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Help to decide between a single or mutiple windows 2000 / 2003 servers

Posted on 2004-10-11
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Hi experts,

We'd like to optimize our network environment. We're about 15 users in our LAN and our job is software development. We frequently test our software trying to stress it. New projects are coming and have a huge project folder. By now we have only one windows 2000 server that is our domain controller, SQL Server, Oracle Server and File Server. It has 1GB of memory and about 160GB of HD.

Task manager shows that sql server is using more than 50% of CPU and Memory. I don't know what's the impact in the performance of our environment. I know that write cache is disabled in the domain controller, I think it could make the server slower.

What I'm thinking is to have an environment with:

01 Windows 2000 / 2003 Server - Domain Controller only
01 Windows 2000 / 2003 Server - File Server only
01 Windows 2000 / 2003 Server - Oracle and SQL Server only

I'd like to know if I have this kind of environment we'll gain a lot of performance in all our network activities. If we won't have a significant improvement simply will continue working with our server (probably we would upgrade the hardware).

Thanks,

Carlos V.
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Question by:CARLOSVILLACRIZ
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Lee W, MVP earned 1500 total points
ID: 12283843
You don't mention the kind of CPU the server has or if it's dual capable.  

What I'd suggest you do is setup 2 servers.

Server1 = Domain Controller (and operations masters), File Server
Server2 = Database server (Oracle, SQL), Domain controller

File services and domain functions don't typically stress a server, ESPECIALLY in an environment of 15 users.  Keeping the database on those servers might end up slowing file access down.  Likewise, accessing files might end up slowing database access.

Having two DCs will help ensure that if one crashes, your active directory settings and file security isn't lost.

The database server you might want to consider getting dual CPUs.  The fileserver/DC could be whatever you're using now.

By the way, what do you do for backups?  Critical files could be scripted to be backed up on the other server so that you have a live backup every so often.  In addition, if you upgrade to 2003 server, you could enable Volume Shadow Copy on the fileserver.  This effectively lets your users recover previous versions of files, in the event they accidentally overwrite something.
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Author Comment

by:CARLOSVILLACRIZ
ID: 12365958
Thanks leew,

I'm doing backups manually by now.. can you give me a references to read about volumen shadow copy? is it fast and secure? this copy must be done when the users are not working?

Carlos V.
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Author Comment

by:CARLOSVILLACRIZ
ID: 12390153
Thanks leew, I'd like to send me some references about shadow copy.. I'm about to configure my network using your suggestion, and I'm interested to know easy to read and practicle articles about best practices of backup with windows 2003. I hope I don't need to write another question about this.. only give me some good links please...

Carlos V
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