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Data Center Setup

Posted on 2008-11-05
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Hi,

We would like to install about 30 servers (Data base, email servers and VoIP server) in a data center... all we get from the data center is the internet connection...

As you may already know there are lots of Routers/firewall/switch available these days... based on your experience what would be the best Router/Firewall/switch to get or what would you recommend and why...I would be interested in getting something that does Load Balancing as well (if one connection fail the other one kicks in)

Number of servers: 30
Number of users: 400

Thanks...
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Question by:ezzadin
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that1guy15 earned 1120 total points
ID: 22887935
i would suggest if you have the funds to set up with cisco gear.

ASA 5500 series firewall for security and VPN if needed
Cisco 3750 for your server connections

Alternates to Cisco gear would be Juniper (great firewall) and HP ProCurve.
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by:jcs5003
jcs5003 earned 400 total points
ID: 22890114
For a router I would suggest a Cisco 3700 Series. It has been time tested and reliable, very flexiable, can handle anything from a dial up connection to multiplexed T1s.

For your firewall Id go with something like an ASA 5515 or 5525 depending on how much throughput you need. In addition the 5525 supports more VLANs, this all depends on how you plan on setting up your network, weather you plan on having a good ammount of VLANs or keeping it flat. I beleive all of the ASA firewalls support Active / Passive failover and the higher end models support Active / Active. This would cooperation with your ISP though in most cases.

For switching, you cant go wrong with Cisco 3650 switches, you get Layer 3 for a good deal more flexibility, they come in many different confiurations, for fiber connections / ethernet / whatever you like.
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by:ezzadin
ID: 22890442
thanks... do you guys recommend setting up a Linux Router/Firewall?
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by:that1guy15
ID: 22890481
Me personally i would not trust a linux built router for this setup. It will save you money but usually configuration is complicated and it lacks the advanced features and ease of use that professional grade gear provides.
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by:jcs5003
ID: 22890516
I would agree, a Linux based firewall is built on a PC or Server platform therefore subject to OS vulnerabilities and lacks enterprise level support and updates. Its great for a small network or home network but tends to get bogged down with higher amounts of traffic. If you wanted to supplement the Cisco with a Linux router/firewall for things like content filtering or mail queuing, that wouldn't be a bad idea, its also nice for just being a pass through for IP accounting and wiresharking
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by:ezzadin
ID: 22890793
how about the Cisco Router configuration... is it all GUI(web based) or not?
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by:that1guy15
ID: 22890829
Yes cisco now offers a web based gui (SDM) for configuration. simplifies the set up a lot
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by:jcs5003
ID: 22890943
There is a GUI, I find it limiting personally, but it's come along way.
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by:Aaron Street
Aaron Street earned 400 total points
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How much do u expect to expand?

how much money do you have?

if you expect a lot of incress in user/servers, high data througput between servers/ and have the cash to spare. then I would suggest starting of with something like the 4500 series. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps4324/index.html

These are  expensive, but are very flexabable and powerfull, so would last you many years and a fair biit of expansion. being moduler you can add 2 modules with say 48 ports each, and duel link your servers in to these. IF one module fails the switch will still run the other modules, with duel power supplies. each modules is almost a seperate switch as far as redundence goes.

however is the data flow is low, and you have limited finance, then I would suggest a stack of 2 or 3 3750's. this would allow servers to be duel linked (one in each switch) and provide resilences if one switch should fail.

In each of the above cases this give you a single point of managment, good data throughput, and high redundence.

I would stear well clear of linksys, They are a great home/small office solution. And are all i have used at home for the last 10 years or so. They are also designed by cisco.

however thre is a reson that an enterprise firewall cost 10 of times more than a home firewall. And it is not jsut the support you get with them. a good cisco switch can be left running for 5+ years with out a single problem, they are built to be relibible. Linksys may be good, but i woudl not run company data over one..

As for firewall. It depends again what you need, what protection does the data center give you? (they usualy have some fire wall protection) the best firewall in the world, is not going to do any good unless you set it up corectly. I would suggests that yyou learn what your fire wall will need to have, and then soure the required specs.
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by:ezzadin
ID: 22895358
Thanks... money is not an issue ... we need to make the move fast, so I decided to go with 3750 for now... As far as the firewall goes, I guess I will go with Cisco firewalls as well... I wanna basically use the firewall to block range of IPs, ports and of course the ability to view traffic ... by the way, since you guys are more familiar with Cisco, does Cisco firewall allows you to view the traffic in real time through a web interface or something...?
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by:that1guy15
ID: 22896008
on cisco gear you will want to use netflow to monitor your traffic.
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by:Aaron Street
ID: 22897498
money not an issue?
luck guy :)

as for monitering, all cisco kit is snmp enabled and allows you to monitor traffic using a varity of softwear/hardwear methods, as well as good logging on the switch/routers them selves.

however as Thatguy said netflow gives you the most informed picture, however how far you want to take it will be up to you.
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by:ezzadin
ID: 31513590
hope you guys are happy with the points
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