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How to setup a small business network

We have been having our websites hosted offsite for several years now, however our company has grown much larger and we are wanting to move our websites and email onsite now.  I haven't had to deal with all the technology end of our business before, but I have taken it over now, however, I haven't been this involved with it since back in the Windows NT days and a lot has changed since then.  We have some good hardware and I want to use it all the most efficient way possible and thought I would get suggestions here and hopefully not have to hire an outside company to set this up for me.  My hardware is listed below:

Dell Poweredge 2950 Server -- (2) Dual Core Xeon Processors, 16GB RAM, (4) 1000Mbs ports, (6) 146GB SAS 10k drives

Dell Poweredge 2950 Server -- (2) Quad Core Xeon Processors, 8GB RAM, (4) 1000Mbs ports, (2) 146GB SAS 15k drives

Dell Poweredge 1800 Server -- (2) Xeon Processors, 4GB RAM, (2) 1000Mbs ports, (3) 160GB 7200 SATA drives

(16) Desktop PCs
(3) Laptops -- Wireless Capabilities
48-port Dell PowerConnect 5448 1000Mbs Switch
24-port NetGear JGS524 1000Mbs Switch
Buffalo TeraStation Pro II 2TB NAS
Linksys WRVS400N Wireless Router
Adtran Netvanta 3200 T-1 router
Firebox x55 Edge Firewall
Comcast 16Mbs up/2Mbs down internet
Verizon T-1 service


All 3 servers are running Windows Server 2008 and all desktops/laptops are running XP Pro with the ability to move up to Vista if necessary.

Right now I basically need to know what is the best use for each server.  I need a file server for internal use, print server, virus server (Norton Enterprise software), Exchange server, database server, web server.  We have never been in a domain and I would like to set that up as well, which I figure is needed when hosting our own sites.  So, I guess I need a primary domain controller, and DNS as well.  We've always used the DHCP through the router too, so I don't know if it would be best to use DHCP through a server or keep on like we have been.

If anyone wants to get real ambitious you could point me in the best direction on the best way to setup Server 2008 for all of this as well as I'm sure that will be my next question.  :)

I hate to sound like such a newbie with all this, but I finally have the time to set all this up right and it's just been so long since I was in the IT loop.

Thanks for your help,
Ken
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kwhitney2008
Asked:
kwhitney2008
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1 Solution
 
97WideGlideCommented:
To start, I would split this question into about 20 or 25 individual questions.  That's just to start.
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kyleb84Commented:
1.
Microsoft Windows 2008 x64 Edition + Exchange 2007 on the 1st DELL w/16GB RAM
- Secondary DC
- Email Server

2.
Microsoft Windows 2008 x64 Edition + IIS on the 2nd DELL w/8GB RAM
- Primary DC
- Web Server

3.
- Setup replication between the two servers.

The rest is really up to you how you network layout is done...
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kyleb84Commented:
The way technology is heading, you might want to experiment with VMWare ESXi 3.5 on the Dell Poweredge 1800 Server....

The more you learn about Virtualisation the better, because in the end you'd only need one big server that'll house all your "virtual servers".

www.vmware.com

ESXi is free.
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kyleb84Commented:
To justify the above, we have 2 x ESXi servers:

Server 1: Q6600, 16GB RAM, 5 x 160GB HDD's
- 3 x Linux distros doing various tasks
- 2 x WinXP installs, one testbed, other production app server
- 1 x Win2K8 Server (SDC)

Server 2: Quad XEON 3.2, 32GB RAM, 6 x 146GB 10K RPM SAS drives
- 1 x Win2K8 Server PDC, Mail server, Web server
- 2 x Linux servers, DNS backup, secondary Mail server (bound to 2nd MX record for our domain).

Server 3: E4300 6 x 320GB
- Backup server in a physically different location.

Imagine how many server's we'd need to have all these as hosts? Or how difficult it would be to change upgrade because we had to combine heaps of the above server's tasks into one server doing everything - what if it failed?

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exx1976Commented:
+1 to ESX..  But I'd use the quad core box and move some memory to it so you have 16GB there and 8 in the other one.

My ESX setup?

Thee of the following:
IBM x3850 quad-proc dual-core XEONs, 32GB RAM, 146GB SAS mirror for ESX, two dual-channel 4GB/s FC HBAs, tons of FC LUNs for VMFS, a few more NFS mounts, 10 GBaseT NICs (two on-board and two quad-port cards).

On those three boxes, I host a combined 50-some-odd VMs, with room to spare.  Granted, I'm using Enterprise, so I have features like HA, DRS, and vMotion, but still.  When you have big iron like that, it doesn't pay to have only one server on each, unless it's a super busy database or Exchange server or something.  For what you need, those hardware specs are overkill.


+1 to split this into 20 or 25 other questions, too.  You need a LOT of help.  My personal recommendation is to just bring someone in to set this up for you.  Nothing personal, but you sound kind of green (AD is a HUGE departure from the NT4 days), and there's a fair amount of design work to be done to get it all 100% correct.  Especially in a timely fashion.

Always remember:   Fast.  Cheap.  Correct.     Pick any TWO.

HTH,
exx
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exx1976Commented:
+1 to ESX..  But I'd use the quad core box and move some memory to it so you have 16GB there and 8 in the other one.

My ESX setup?

Thee of the following:
IBM x3850 quad-proc dual-core XEONs, 32GB RAM, 146GB SAS mirror for ESX, two dual-channel 4GB/s FC HBAs, tons of FC LUNs for VMFS, a few more NFS mounts, 10 GBaseT NICs (two on-board and two quad-port cards).

On those three boxes, I host a combined 50-some-odd VMs, with room to spare.  Granted, I'm using Enterprise, so I have features like HA, DRS, and vMotion, but still.  When you have big iron like that, it doesn't pay to have only one server on each, unless it's a super busy database or Exchange server or something.  For what you need, those hardware specs are overkill.


+1 to split this into 20 or 25 other questions, too.  You need a LOT of help.  My personal recommendation is to just bring someone in to set this up for you.  Nothing personal, but you sound kind of green (AD is a HUGE departure from the NT4 days), and there's a fair amount of design work to be done to get it all 100% correct.  Especially in a timely fashion.

Always remember:   Fast.  Cheap.  Correct.     Pick any TWO.

HTH,
exx
0

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