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SBS 2008 Premium Partitioning

Advice on SBS 2008 Premium partition for 8 users.

Dell t410
8 gig ram
4 drives  (2) 250's (2) 1 terrabytes with Raid 1 controller

Probably need to do SQL for a particular program, so therefore the Premium version.
If 2nd server is needed, does it need to be a server or can a standard pc be used?

If Hyper V is needed, is this done on my single server i have?
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emumaster
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emumaster
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7 Solutions
 
tonymikeCommented:
"If 2nd server is needed, does it need to be a server or can a standard pc be used?"

Sure it can be a standard pc, but do you really want SQL running on a standard pc?  Maybe?  If you are testing or it's not a big deal if it goes down.  If you do go witha standard pc for the SQL box then make it a brand new pc with at least a morror.

"If Hyper V is needed, is this done on my single server i have? "

Yes, you can install the Hyper-V role on the single pc and have multiple vm's running.  You have nice hardware and multiple resources, so it will handle it fine.  Suggestion: Install 1 or 2 more network cards, it will help.  
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
tonymike,

Can you explain the need for more network cards?
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
tonymike,

what about a cheap dell server?
how big would the two drives i am mirroring need to be?
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tonymikeCommented:
Sure: If running Hyper-V from your single server, it has the ability to allow your vm's (virtual machines within your server) to "share" your servers network card and it does this quite well.  However, when you share the one and only net card with your real server and 3 vm's, your network throughput declines.  If you install another physical network card (or 2!) in the server, then you can config your vm's to use those dedicated NIC's and you will be much happier with the network speed as you 1. use the vm's and 2. transfer files to anf from your server.

A cheap Dell server would be better that a regular workstation - I think.  better fans, able to add more memory in the future if needed, stuff like that (depending on the server of course).  As far as the size of the morror, that depends on your plans for the second server. If planning to install Server 2008 with SQL server, the 2 - 250GB's should work.  That would give you 250GB of total space, if however, you feel you need more, get 2 - 500gb's and then you will have 500GB of total mirrored space.  Hope this helps,
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
tonymike,

If i go the hyper v route, how much more ram do I need on my server?
I have 8 gig
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tonymikeCommented:
It all depends on what you have running.  Your main server will use most of the RAM as SBS2008 is a monster, so you might be able to get a few workstation vm's OR maybe 1 server.  I would suggest trying it out and see how slow it is first.  The you always have the option to add more RAM later.  Hope this answers your question!
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kevinhsiehCommented:
Doesn't your server already have two or four NICs? It is a little bit cleaner from a setup perspactive if one NIC doesn't have a Hyper-V network on it, but it doesn't matter from a performance standpoint and all of my Hyper-V hosts share NICs between the host and the VMs, but I only do it because I don't have enough switch ports and NICs available to have dedicate a NIC to the host.

I think that you would be okay with 12 GB RAM total. You could give 9-10 GB to the SBS VM, 1-2 GB to the SQL server VM, and leave .5-1 GB for the parent partition.
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
Yes the server has two ethernet ports.
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tonymikeCommented:
Perfect, use 1 for the main server and the other for the vm's.  Nice and clean.
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
tonymike,

I just got the word that the company would foot for a 2nd server if I keep it under $2000.00

So what do you think about putting the sql on that 2nd server instead of hyper v?
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naughtynatCommented:
Few things:

If you are going to be using SQL the disk I/O is very important.

What RAID controller do you have on the T410? If this is a PERC 6i, I thought these only had a 4 way controller on them?

It does depend somewhat on what the users are doing and how much work the server is going to be getting.

Is the T410 a single or Dual Xeon Server? What CPU does it have? If its single X3430 or similar I think HyperV, SBS + SVR08 & SQL will be much too much even for 8 users.

I would normally recommend 16GB RAM for a small install like this (8GB SBS, 6GB SVR08 & SQL, 2GB HOST). I know some 410s are dual- CPU. Remember you need even amount of RAM between CPU for Hyper-V as well or it wont work.
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
Ok..
The server that was just bought
 (not what they will allocate the $2000.00 for. That will be what I will have to decide)
is :

Dell T410 with:
8gb Memory
Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 Ghz 12M Cache Single Processor
Perc 6i SAS Raid Controller
Raid1/ Raid1 for Perc/SAS 6ir Perc h200/h700 controller
(2) 1Terrabyte 7.2 rpm Sata 3.5 Hot Plug Hard drives

We have approx 8 users.

The software is SBS2008 Premium

I was hoping the 2nd server I can spend up to two grand on would help with the sql.
The sql is handling a financial database with 8 users , not a real heavy workflow
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kevinhsiehCommented:
I think that rather than buying a second server that will spend most of it's time idle, beef up your current server (though I doubt that you need to aside from bumping the RAM to maybe 12 GB). I suggest starting with what you have using virtual machines and if the performance isn't good enough add RAM. If that still isn't enough performance (unlikely), you have add a pair of solid state disks in RAID 1 and put your SQL data on that and it will fly. You only have 8 users, so let's not go overboard here. Better to spend the $$ on a good backup and recovery plan.

Since it's not in this thread, I'll add that you should check with your vendor to see if you can get SBS 2011 Premium instead.
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tonymikeCommented:
I would go with a second server.  That way you have a backup DC, SQL is on it's own box and you have choices moving forward.  Yes, SQL on the second box makes sense.  Bottom line, you have more choiced with 2 physical boxes and i like choices! I hope I answered all your questions.
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naughtynatCommented:
2 Physical boxes mean 2 machines that can break.
You are paying for support and warranty for 2 computers as well.
In this situation I would normally recommend higher specced main system with the redundancy so less change of it falling over and paying for better warranty.

If you beef up your current machine, you are going to be running Hyper-V - which is another learning curve so that is a problem.

If you do just get a machine for the SQL few things
 - I wouldnt setup as a Domain Controller unless there is a specific need to do this.
 - Focus on Disk performance with high speed SAS HDD and quality RAID controller - perferably something like the H700. The Perc 6i I dont believe has any cache and doesnt have battery backed cache either so this will affect performance significantly.

Lastly with all this, dont forget costs about antivirus, office licensing, backup software and management etc. Also how old are your network switches? Are they gigabit? If not then probably need to look at upgrading these as well.
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
Some of these diverse opinions need explanation.
One of you says if you do a 2nd machine let it also be a dc.
Others say don't make it a dc??

Others ignore that I'm will have a learning curve on Hyoer v , yet will not vote for a second machine.

How about this..
Take the fact I already have the abs 2008 premium software and a Dell server with the specs I showed. I WILL get a 2nd server.

What's the best way to configure what I have??
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kevinhsiehCommented:
Since you plan on getting a second server, I would make that server a DC as well. The reason is that while it is preferable to have a clean DC with no other services, there are thousands of SBS deployments and single server deployments where the single server is DC, file, print, etc. I say that it's far preferable to have 2 DCs over keeping SQL off a second DC.

How you partition the drives will be a tossup of which is best.

Are all of the drives 7.2K SATA? If they have different performance characteristics that may change the recommendation.

Conventional deployment would be to partition the 250 GB drives into maybe 40-100 GB C drive, D drive as the rest of the 250 GB, and then the 1 TB as E drive. Exchange logs would go in the D drive. That would be fine, but I also propose  100 GB partition of the 1 TB drives as C, 900 GB as D, and then 250 GB for E. Exchange logs would go on E. The advantage of the second proposal is that you would have the full 250 GB that you can dedicate to to logs without losing space and IOPS to the OS and other activities. As I said, either way would be fine.
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naughtynatCommented:
There is not necessarily a correct solution but several solutions.

Kevin - why do you say best not to keep DC off sql?

You do not need separate hdd for exchange logs.

Also is this recommendations for sbs (server1) or second server? As second server isn't going to have exchange.
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naughtynatCommented:
For a great guide to setup sbs check

blog.mpecsinc.ca/2009/05/sbs-2008-setup-checklist-v111.html
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
kevinhsieh:

The drives are 7.2k sata's

:You said make the second server a dc as well.
I thought the 2nd one would be a backup dc or THE dc.
Can you explain?

naughtynat:

SBS should be the first server
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naughtynatCommented:
SBS should be the first server yet.

The SBS will be the PDC and have all the FSMO roles. Basically its the boss and doesnt play nice when someone wants to take over.

Once you have this up and running you can setup the new second server to add it to the domain.

One thing, how many licenses have you purchased. When you purchase SBS 2008 Premium, you get 5 users or device licenses. You have 8 users so just thought would ask for licensing compliance.

Regards

Nat
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
Hi Nat,

Got an additional 5 beyond the purchase. Ebay purchase...
So the 2nd under premium is 2008 Server i think..
Is that right?
And then I install the SQL on that?
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naughtynatCommented:
Yes that is correct.

Sbs premium 2008 includes
 Sbs 2008*1
 Server 2008*1
 Sql 2008*1
 5 CALs

Process would be to do sbs server first on server 1
Then setup server 2008 on the second server, then install the sql server on that 2nd server.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
You can't make the 2nd server the only DC. You need to install the SBS server first and it MUST hold all of the FSMO roles (schema master, PDC emulator,etc.) If you make the second server a DC before you install SQL, at least you can have a second DC, DHCP server, DNS server, etc. in case your SBS server ever goes down. It's better to have more than 1 DC if you can just in case.
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naughtynatCommented:
Personally just feel that:

Having another DC and the replication issues this can have are not worth it for a business your size.

That if your sbs box goes down then there is going to major issues with productivity as the sbs us likely to have all the network data shares etc. Then if you want to setup DFS to manage these shares more potential issues.

Way I would setup the small office would be as simple as possible.

And make sure have good backups that are tested so that if either server does fail you are protected against data loss.
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emumasterAuthor Commented:
Any suggestion on backing up.
We have also purchased dell's RD1000 hard drive cartridge backup.
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naughtynatCommented:
I would think that would be part of a new question as would need to know server setup.

I always use storagecraft shadowprotect but there is windows based backup software that us included free and isn't too bad but I haven't had much experience with that.
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tonymikeCommented:
All 20 of his questions have been answered.  So now the author started a new topic in the same post!  I gave up.
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