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Win 2k3 for the small business, few questions from a novice

By sewerynb ·
In building, and deploying my first ever Windows Server 2003, I am profoundly confused on one topic. That is the dhcp, and Internet services side of setting this thing up. I want to know what the best solution is, so far i have come to the conclusion that I should have two nic's, one for the internal side connected to a switch, and one for the external side connected to the dsl modem. Is this the right direction? (with static IP of course).

My final goal is to have Active Directory humming, with Exhange 2003, and full VPN for two remote locations.

I have gotten this far, as to log in to the domain, however each time it take 5-10 minutes, and i haven't even started roaming folders! any tips for that too?

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by _Christian_ In reply to Win 2k3 for the small bus ...

Yes, this is correct for any gateway, regardless the operating system.

Assuming of course that your DSL connection uses Ethernet, which is the best option.

Some DSL connection use USB instead of Ethernet, and this would be the start of a lot of potential hassles for a server.

Once piece of advice, if it is not too late.
If you have several desktop stations running inside your LAN, make sure that during the installation you reserved place for, or installed, the RIS server.
It needs its own partition on the system Hard drive.
At least it did for W2k, and I do not think that this changed.
The RIS server will be invaluable in the long term, for maintenance purposes.

If you did not consider it, but change your mind, you will need to erase your server and reinstall it (unless your reserved the place), which you definitely do not want to do once everything is set-up.
I know that there are tools to resize a partition afterwards, but I would definitely not trust them with a fully configured server. Basically, once your server is live and quicking, the less modifications, the better.

AS for the time, any server, and specifically the domain controller, takes a lot longer to initialize than an workstation, because it just has much more things to set up.
This is normal, and can only be improved by getting a faster PC ;-)
It will actually deteriorate with each service you add on the same physical server.

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I dunno about a RIS server

by CG IT In reply to Correct

not to bash Cristian, but you don't need 2 NICs per se. It all depends on what hardware you have and what operating system your running. If you are going to run Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Premium edition [which comes with ISA 2000] then yes, the 2 NIC configuration is a best practice [because ISA 2000 is your firewall proxy server]. DHCP and DNS does not need 2 NICs to operate. DHCP does not need a local DNS server to operate though DHCP can provide workstations with DNS information just like it can provide workstations with router info, default gateway information through the use of options.

RIS is remote installation server. You can install a RIS server anytime you want [its a windows component, but if your having trouble understanding DHCP and DNS, you certainly should try and tackle a RIS server. RIS relies upon DHCP on the network so that workstations that do not have an operating system installed can boot up and obtain an IP address from DHCP through the PXE enabled NIC and then find a RIS server to remotely install the O/S. It's great is you know how to create an image file with answer files, but like I said, you can install one on the network anytime you want.

DHCP is Dynamic Host Config Protocol which basically assigns workstations and IP address, subnet mask from a pool of address [a pool that you create]. It a good thing if you have a lot of computers and tracking what IP address is on what computer is just to burdensome. For small networks, you can use it or use static addresses. Again, it depends upon how much time you want to devote to paperwork, filling out forms, tracking addresses and the lot.

It should NOT take 5 to 10 minutes to log on to a domain. If it takes that long, then workstations can not find a global catalog server in which to authenticate with. That would mean that the domain controller which has the global catalog server role isn't available to workstations. That could be attributed to how you setup your Active Directory environment. Active Directory requires DNS to operate properly and if you don't have DNS setup right, then Active Directory will not function propertly. A Domain is a part of Active Directory [though there are domains on NT server but then NT isn't an Active Directory environment].

What is your specific questions on DHCP and DNS?

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Thank YOU!

by sewerynb In reply to I dunno about a RIS serve ...

WOW i seriously wasn't expecting such good advice. Thank you. Yes I've read that one can get away with using a linksys router like one does at there home, but i really want dhcp to remain server side. Since i am also going to tackle on the fun task of VPN, I figure i should just let Windows 2k3 do everything, in the long run it will allow me to admin it all in one box anyway.

Concerning the log on issue, yeah I definatly did not have DNS installed correctly, and just recently read about catalogs. What I did was just jump in, and see if i can do it, but now i have read up even more, and see theres slightly more to it.

Actually i just finished doing a clean install from boot with no roles assigned to it. I wanna start fresh again, becasue at this point i forgot where i screwed up haha.. Im gonna then hook everything up to a real swith without all the background junk that a soho router gives, get all the internal network stuff running (probably with the help of reading some more posts, and posting myself) and then add the internet to the nic for the external side.... wish me luck!

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a Linksys router is a router is a router is a router

by CG IT In reply to Thank YOU!

and thats all it is. It can hook up to your ISP if you have broadband and provide a 4 port switch in which to do some stuff with such as create a perimeter network for a web server [where you port foward port 80 traffic to a web server], then provide another connection to another consumer level router and then hook up a managed switch to it [like a Cisco Catalyst 1900 24 port 10 baseT using the 100 baseT uplink port. So the web server is off in the perimeter and your network is behind another router. Hackers will need to go through 2 layers of defense before they get close to your network. Also, With the managed switch, you can hook up your Domain controller that runs DNS DHCP Active Directory [with 1 NIC] to one of the 10BaseT ports and the other workstations or servers can connect to it. They all use the 100BaseT uplink port to get to the router for internet connection OR you can VLAN the managed switch [form of subnetting].

So you see, there are many ways in which to setup a network. All depends upon what you want to do and what equipment you have to do it.

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by sewerynb In reply to a Linksys router is a rou ...

yes hmmm... some more ideas. Well yeah, i know for one thing, since the data that i will be sharing/accessing is somewhat "private," I think ill keep the businesses website/email services at a hosting company for now before bringing it local. So at the end of the day, to the naked eye even if intrudures ponder to degrade the website, they won't end up touching anything local and sensitive. Since domain names are so inexpensive, I probably will pick up another one, that represents my windows domain that i am setting up, just so the 4 or 5 people that will ever really need to access the exhange 2k3 web access, or eventually sharepoint stuff, could just use a domain that doesn't have anything to do with the public trade name. BTW the business i am doing this for resembles closest to a doctors office... I feel keeping the public side public, and private side private will suffice for now. Expecially since hosting and all that stuff runs about 7 bucks a month anyway. No need to use of that limited DSL bandwith...

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