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Small Business Server 2008 Standard And Co-Location Setup

Posted on 2010-09-13
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I have a client who has Small Business Server 2008 Standard currently installed at their premises but would now like to move this offsite to a co-location host in light of the earthquake which struck Christchurch. My question is, how do I configure the server to allow this move? I contacted the co-location host and they have infomrmed me that they will assign 1 external IP Address to the server, which they will completely block all incoming connections excpet for the ports I ask them to open, which will be the usual Small Business Server ports. My question is, how do I configure the IP Address on the server for an external IP before taking it over to the co-location host? What other considerations do I have to take in mind?
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Question by:asheersingh
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by:FrankvanRensburg
ID: 33660347
Hey Mate
All you really need to do is run the Internet Connection Wizard when the server gets to the other side. It might also be a good idea to ask the host what your LAN IP should be or if the current IP will do.
If the client host their own email then you need to change the A record of your clients domain to the new WAN IP. This will sort out the server setup.
Next you need to ensure you have a DHCP server enabled at the original location.
You must also remember, when you move your sbs server off site you will lose your Active Directory Services and other benefits.
If I was you I would not recommend the server be moved off-site. It does not make sense unless the only use the SBS server for Exchange. In this case you can setup POP3, Outlook over RPC or Outlook mobile access for emails.
Another option is to setup a secure VPN tunnel between you and the ISP, but I don't know if they will do that for you.
Where are you going to store your client’s data?
How are you going to do backup?
How are you going to setup their internal network to be able to communicate with the SBS server?
These are all questions you have to ask yourself before moving the server.
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by:asheersingh
ID: 33660690
@FrankvanRensburg. Thank your comments. You raise some good points. When I talked to the co-location host they told me that the server will not get an internal IP address, only the external one they assign. How would Small Business Server need to be setup to accommodate this? The client only uses the Small Business Server for e-mail. The computers within organisation are not connected to the SBS server as client PC's. The backup of the server is done via an HP DAT160 Tape Drive once per month, which the co-location host will rotate the tapes.
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by:asheersingh
ID: 33660827
Does anyone have experience in co-locating a Small Business Server? I would love to hear others input.
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by:FrankvanRensburg
ID: 33660938
fantastic. If you only use exchange server you have a couple of options.
But first you need to find out exactly how the co host is going to configure your server on their network.
Once we have this information I can give you better advice on how you should go about setting up you sbs server.
To successfully configure the sbs server you need a LAN ip, default gateway and subnet.
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by:asheersingh
ID: 33665545
@FranvanRensburg. Thank you for your comments. What are my options? What do I need to find out from co-location host?
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by:FrankvanRensburg
ID: 33666875
Fisrt of all. I asume you have an ADSL router that is acting as a gateway and firewall to the WAN. If you are hosting emails, like you said you are you should have a static WAN IP address.
In order for you to get the SBS server setup at the host you need a LAN IP address, subnet mask and default gateway, and 2x dns server addresses. Get this information from them.

Second, you need to contact your DNS host and change your client's A record to the WAN IP address your host gave you. Use centralops.net to get more information on your clients domain setup. Be aware that there could a delay on zone record changes so inform your client that there might be some down time for this.

Does your Client have a website? Is it hosted elseware or is this in the SBS server too?

Once you have changed or added a new A record to you domain you can configure your client Outlook using RPC over HTTP
Here is an example on how to setup RPC over http http://www.petri.co.il/how-can-i-configure-rpc-over-https-on-exchange-2003-single-server-scenario.htm 


   
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by:asheersingh
ID: 33666897
@FrankvanRensburg. Thank you. Once I get the IP Address information from the co-location host. Do I configure the IP Address on the server with the one they give me? Even though it is an external IP Address?
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by:FrankvanRensburg
ID: 33666938
No do not change you server ip to the one they give you because you will expose your entire SBS box to the outside world. You need to be behind some kind of firewall.
Ask them how they are going to set you up. You mist have a LAN IP, Mask, Default gateway, and external dns.
This is the information to ask your ISP.
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by:asheersingh
ID: 33667632
@FranksvanRensburg. The ISP have informed me that they will close off all ports on the external IP address and will only open the ports which I ask them to. Would this be sufficient? So If I configure the server with the IP Address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and External DNS, this would be sufficient?
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by:FrankvanRensburg
ID: 33667891
Indeed. After you run ICW you should be ready to rock. After that you need to configure Rpc over http one the server and configure outlook clients t use rpc over http.
I do not think it is very practical to host an sbs server off site because they will loose all the nice functions associated with a domain network.
Can you tell me the main reason for moving the server in the first place?
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by:asheersingh
ID: 33667937
@FrankvanRensburg. The main reason for moving this off-site is because we have experienced a major earthquake in New Zealand in past two weeks and a lot of the businesses have had buildings etc destroyed. Their building has also been destroyed and they need to move out. However, the server is in good condition and needs to be moved. What are your thoughts about this?
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by:FrankvanRensburg
ID: 33668635
My honest opinion is to not move the server at all and make sure you have a water tight backup solution in place that includes off-site storage of your daily backups.
The reason I say this is that you will lose too much functionality with the server being off-site and you must also not lose track of the bigger picture.
It is all good to safeguard your server that is running exchange only, but what about the clients data and line applications. How are they currently protecting themselves against data loss there? And application failure?
You will also have to remove all workstations from the domain and rejoin to a workgroup, Meaning that the client will be stuck with a peer-peer network, nothing will be centrally managed. You will also need to have a DHCP server setup somewhere to give workstation IP addresses.
The only practical way to house the server off-site and not lose any functionality is to setup a permanent secure 3des VPN tunnel between you and the host. This way the two networks will be physically connected and it will be as if the server is onsite. ADSL speed will also play a big role in the.

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by:asheersingh
ID: 33678880
@FrankvanRensburg. I will talk to the client and layout the advantages and disadvantages of co-location of the server and have them decide if they are still keen on pursuing this.  Thanks for all your advice. I will recommend that they do not move it offsite.
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FrankvanRensburg earned 500 total points
ID: 33679011
Good move. Glad I could help and good luck
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