Windows Server 2003 Standard - setup for Newbie

In the process of putting together first server which will act as a Domain Controller and File Server. I need to complete this one week from today. Offering 500 points as I am assuming I will need to split them up. Have already used Server Setup Wizard to install the Domain Controller, DHCP, DNS, and the File Server. More worried about the first three as I am relatively familiar with file sharing. My knowledge when it comes to the first three is rather limited. Basically hoping to get a working solution up and running as I will have more time to better configure the server so long as I get something in place. Walk through would be ideal but any help you can provide would be extremely useful.

Current network is peer to peer and consists of about 10 machines (mostly win xp though a few are win 98), a router/hub, cable modem, and printer (which is currently being shared via xp machine). A bit worried about connecting the win 98 machines to the domain but hoping this article will help:;en-us;555038

Assuming I want to connect the server to the network like the rest of the machines rather than between the modem and router. My understanding is that while the clients will use DHCP and DNS via the server, they will still be getting their internet connection directly from the router on up to the modem.

Curious if I need to:
-install WINS server for the 98 machines?
-install print server or if I can keep printer attached to xp machine and continue sharing it?
-worry about SID filtering?
-worry about DNS Forwarders in this single server environment?
-worry about DHCP exclusions?
-restrict DNS server to listen on selected addresses?

Also, I am curious how to specify the router address on the server to use in conjunction with DHCP as the router is the current DHCP server. Do I even need to worry about this?

General DNS and DHCP settings would help. In depth DNS settings would be ideal.

Any general or detailed information would be greatly appreciated. Reading recommendations for small setup like this welcomed.

Thanks in advance,
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WINS - yes, WINS will be a great advantage to w98 machines. Make sure you specify it in your DHCP scope options

Print Server - I reccomend this, as it is a pain for other users to connect to any printer if the machine that controls another in the list is off. Netbios will timeout looking for the printer, creating delays even if you're looking for an online printer.

SID filtering? NFI

DNS Forwarders - Yes. Set up DHCP to offer ONLY the server IP as the DNS server. Set the DNS server to forward to your ISP DNS servers. This is the only way you will get reliable internet name resolution.

DHCP Exclusions - Naw, change the scope to only 50 addresses, you can then use the other 200 odd for anything you need without resorting to exclusions.

DNS listner, well, if the server is dual homed then yeah, listen only on the LAN side. If the server in on a LAN, with a router local on the LAN to all workstations then you won't need to change it.

Internet conection for clients:Configure the internet connection sharing for the server, make sure the internet goes through that server, or set up NAT (on server) on routing and remote access for all internet access users on your internal network to be used through the server.

The client machines will have your DNS server as the primary, on your DNS server configure the forwarders to all other external domains to your internet ISP DNS servers, and then voila.
WINS: Probably worthwhile for 98 but XP no.
Printers: You can keep them on the clients machines, go into printer properties and select a checkbox for list in directory. Then the printer should be in AD printer wizard.
SID: DOnt worry about it, this is only for forests or multi domains.
DNS:As said at start of reply.
DHCP: Give server static address and exclude that address on DHCP server. Make sure network is on private range -
Put DNS server to listen to only requests made from IP address connected to your internal LAN and not to listen to network connection connected to internet.
Best of luck.
jdustinbAuthor Commented:
When I get the chance later today I will try to figure these things out on my own, but again my knowledge is pretty limited with DHCP and DNS so I may have to ask how to actually do these things in ensuring the settings are properly set. I just hate asking without trying first.

Aside from that, my understanding of a dual homed server is one that is connected to two devices? Assuming this is good for fault taulernce? What are the advantages of having a dual homed server? Server has dual ethernet ports if I need to make this a dual homed server, but would I benefit by doing so? If yes, how would I set this up and what would the topology look like? Currently the server is on a LAN. The router is connected on the one side to the cable modem and the other side going out to all the workstations and the server. So topology is pretty basic looking like this:

Internet - cable modem - router - workstations & server

Also, I am assuming the ISP DNS servers are going to be the IP addresses that the router is currently receiving.

Last, can you give me an example of what the 200 odd addresses would be used or needed for given that the scope of 50 is going to be the addresses the clients receive?

While I may be new too all of this I definately appreciate the help as I need to start somewhere. =)

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jdustinbAuthor Commented:
chillinlong - I read somewhere that it is better to have the clients obtain their IP information from the Server but to have their internet connection actually go through the router. It seems that there is no use for the router if the clients were to access the internet through the server. I do not want to bog down the server with internet requests when there is a dedicated router for this. Only getting more confused =(

Is there even a point to having DNS and DHCP set up on this server if all I need it as is a Domain Controller and File Server? Can the router handle DNS and DHCP? Router is currently handling DHCP for all the workstations...I am under the impression I want the server to handle DHCP for the workstations.

Possible to get a run down on how the overall set up of the network should look? Thanks for all your patience with me!
jdustinbAuthor Commented:
Good article for me to configure NAT server:

NAT server recommended then? Seems like a good idea now that I have read up on NAT a bit. Anyone else recommend it given the network environment?
It is better through a router security wise, but are you able to configure it?

If so, I think you need to a do a bit of reading up.

It wont really bog down your server if you actually use a client machine to run the internet connection but use the NAT on the server perhaps and configure the internet connection through the client machine.

But you could test it first then see how it goes.
jdustinbAuthor Commented:
I am able to configure the router. Suggestions for type of stuff to read up on? Pretty familiar with routers. No client machines available to run the internet connection on...all clients are in use as personal machines...only the one server I am trying to set up to work with here.
Dual homed, yes 2 nics but on Different networks. Most common is one NIC for LAN, one for WAN or Internet. In your case I can't see a good reason to do it. If it's a simple network then stick with a NAT router with some anti DOS smarts - We tend to stick with the more professional ones like watchguards and fortigates, but there are plenty out there that do a good job for less $$$.

Yes, your current ISP DNS address is the one to use in the forwarders.

Set the DHCP range to 50 - 99 or 100 - 149  It's really not important what it is, so long as you don't try and use those addresses for anything else.

You should use the 2003 server DHCP and DNS as you cannot set many options in the Router DHCP server, and the Router DNS server will not support Dynamic updates, which is a requirement of Active Directory.

What it looks like? Again, simple network is

Server with Static IP plugged into Switch
NAT Router/Firewall with static IP plugged into Switch
Workstations with dynamic (DHCP)  plugged into Switch
Printer server with Static IP  plugged into Switch

Set up the printer on the server, then share the printer from there, that way you maintain control over settings, such as paper, divider pages, fonts et al.

Set the DHCP server to issue 192.168.X.100 to 192.168.X.149  (I say "X" because I *strongly* recommend staying away from "0" or "1" as these are way too common in use, and will cause problems if you try to VPN in from or to another network with the same IP range. I started my clients on 101, and worked up from there, so that no matter whose site I am at, I can connect to any other site I need.

Set DHCP to issue the Router address (option 003), DNS (006) server and WINS (044) server. Set the Node (046) type to 8 (Hybrid)

The rest is all straight forward...


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jdustinbAuthor Commented:
harleyjd - that helped a million times over. Last few questions for you.

Company already has a router, unsure if it is a NAT router though. All I recall is that it is a Cisco router with a firewall. Should I recommend replacing it with a NAT Router if it isn't? Or should I just install NAT server on the server? Would adding yet another service to this server be too much in your opinion?

single xeon 1.8ghz server with only 512 mb of RAM at the moment.

Last, I'm assuming the switch would be connected to the modem on up to get internet access. Company does not have a switch, just the router/hub which is connected to the modem. Should the default gateway on the workstations be set to the router/hub OR the server in order to get internet access?

Thanks again!
jdustinbAuthor Commented:
Forgot to ask what the Router option (003) does under scope options and if I also need 015 DNS Domain Name selected as well.
Yeah, the Cisco will be a NAT router. Keep it.

Well, the network devices you should have are a Cable Modem, Router, Switch. The cable modem is a fairly dumb device that will need to connect to the WAN port on the Router, in this case the Cisco. The LAN port of the router will connect to the switch, along with the PC's and server.

Some routers have a switch built in to them, I think you're saying the Cisco is one of these, yes? Does it have multiple RJ45 sockets?

Now, forgive me if I'm telling you how to suck eggs, buta Hub is a dumb box that many PC's connect to to share data. It is capable of only one transmission at once, creating huge bottlenecks in network traffic. A switch, or more accurately a switching hub, creates a path between devices so that mutliple devices can transmit at the same time, alleviateing the bottleneck. There are few hubs available for sale these days, and the word "hub" is often interchanged with "switch" just to make it easy to talk in laymans terms.

Router option 003 - this will specify the "default gateway" for all internet access. This should point to the Cisco box.

015, no not really for a small network. All PC's will assume the domain name anyway.

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