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Help recommend server setup

Posted on 2004-08-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
We are purchasing all new servers and I'm trying to think about what the best setup would be...

current setup:

(server 1) Application server [has to be all by itself]
(server 2) exchange, wins, pdc, dns, dhcp
(server 3) terminal server
(server 4) application server, dns server, file server, print server, dhcp, wins, bdc

How would you suggest seperating out these servers? It's okay to add more servers. I was thinking probably 6 or so.

I know I'd like to seperate them out as much as possible to provide the best performance. I am going to be running W2K3 server and enterprise, as well E2K3 enterprise.

I've got a few ideas, but I'd like to know what you guys think. It's always best to get more then one opinion ;-)

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Question by:DoobyWho
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by:dis1931
dis1931 earned 125 total points
ID: 11729449
(server 1) Application server [has to be all by itself]
(server 2) exchange, wins, pdc, dns, dhcp
(server 3) terminal server
(server 4) application server, dns server, file server, print server, dhcp, wins, bdc

Well you will have one App Server by itself.

I would suggest Exchange be by itself due to amounts of data and bandwidth it uses as well as hard disk space.

The Terminal Server is probably best left by itself.

The PDC and BDC have to be different and the other services such as DNS, WINS, DHCP, PRINT SERVER, and FILE SERVER can be distributed evenly onto either the PDC or BDC.  Though File/Print serving is probably better off on the BDC.

If you wanted to split it up some more I would put the File/Print Server seperate from the PDC/BDC.

I am also a fan of using a lower end server or even just a workstation as a print server as long as there is enough hard drive space and memory.  Main concerns for drive space come if you have color printers especially big production color printers who normally have their own fiery or server boxes but initially go through a print server in most cases.

Usually File/Printer serving can go together without much problem at all but if people send huge printer jobs it could slow down file sharing which is why i go with another workstation or low end server for printing. I think printing needs it's own workstation but definitely wouldn't buy a server for printing.  There is no need and printing can be handled effectively by a decent workstation.



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Expert Comment

by:dis1931
ID: 11729548
I really think you only need one more server to seperate Exchange from PDC and if you really want to get 6 servers then you can use the sixth for file/print sharing.  I think it is a good idea to seperate file and print sharing from the PDC/BDC/Domain Controller not because it can't handle it but it makes authentication more timely even during peak hours of file transfer and printing.  Even though it might be on the BDC for now...but you never know when the BDC might become the PDC.  Also makes backup and management easier not to group users files with your most important network services.  Main reason is if you need to work on something you have to worry about hundreds of people yelling at you cause they can't access their files and that is always a bad thing.
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by:DoobyWho
ID: 11729800
That's .... for the most part .... what I was thinking. Thanks!
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by:
cooledit earned 125 total points
ID: 11729831
We are purchasing all new servers and I'm trying to think about what the best setup would be...

current setup:

(server 1) Application server [has to be all by itself]
(server 2) exchange, wins, pdc, dns, dhcp
(server 3) terminal server
(server 4) application server, dns server, file server, print server, dhcp, wins, bdc


My plan would be like this:

NEW PLAN
(server 1) Application server [has to be all by itself]
(server 2) exchange, wins, pdc, dns, dhcp
(server 3) terminal server, DNS,
(server 4) application server, dns server, file server, print server, dhcp, wins, bdc

Server 1 Logon Server, Wins, PDC, DNS, DHCP
Server 2 Exchange,
Server 3 Terminal BDC, Print Server Split print park
Server 4 Application (Cluster with Application 2 server)
Server 5 Application (Cluster)  File server, DHCP overlapping scope,Wins
Server 6 Network Backup server, BDC, DNS, Print Server Split print park (if the first printer park does not work people can still print)



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Author Comment

by:DoobyWho
ID: 11729840
AWesome guys! Thanks a bunch. This will help me figure out what the best plan is.
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Author Comment

by:DoobyWho
ID: 11729872
Cooledit - what would be the benefit of the server 4/5 setup with the clustering.
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Author Comment

by:DoobyWho
ID: 11729889
Also - you sure it would be wise to have the terminal server and print server on the same server? We have several offices using the TS quite a bit.
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Expert Comment

by:cooledit
ID: 11733937
hi, DoobyWho

Sorry for changing my mind but since the Terminal server is used heavily:

1. Logon Server (PDC, WINS, DNS, DHCP) (Print Server Pool 2) (The other half of Printers here)
2. Exchange
3. Terminal
4. Application Cluster node one
5. Application Cluster node two
6. Network Backup, BDC, Primary Print Server Pool 1 (Half of the printers here), Terminal Server

Scenario 1
Following Servers fails: 1, 3, 4 (PDC, Terminal server, one cluster node)
People can still do following workload:
Email, Print on first half of printer park, Terminal to the second cluster node, Get DHCP, WINS, DNS

Scenario 2: Exchange, both cluster nodes unlikely, Backupserver (2,4,5,6)
People can do following workload:
Logon, DHCP,DNS,WINS, Print on one half of the Printers, Terminal to nothing,)

How many users do you have geografically spread around how many in HQ + remote sites.

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Author Comment

by:DoobyWho
ID: 11736953
We do already have a NAS unit for our network backup. In our HQ we have about 100 employees. In the 3 other branches we have about 20-25 in each.
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