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Setup the SBS 2011 Premium Add-on Server

Posted on 2011-09-22
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With thanks to the experts here, my network upgrade went smoothly and our SBS 2011 domain is up and running. Now, I'm working on setting up the Premium Add-on server. I want to achieve three things, and need advice. I have already installed the 2008 R2 server and joined it to the domain.

1. secondary DC: Basically, I want users to be able to log on, print, and access the internet if the SBS server is offline (reboot, service, etc) I take it this is possible, but I'm unsure what I need to do to get it working properly (promote DC? Trust for delegation? what about DHCP?) What roles do I need to install and configure?

2. Run network share to target Windows 7 image backups (I think I got this covered...not running DFS, but a simple UNC path should do. But if you think otherwise, please advise.)

3. Run SEP 12 manager. (I think I got this covered too...just unsure if I need to wait to set this up to get the DC roles working)

4. Is there any SQL that I can offload from the SBS server as well? What about WSUS? Can that aspect be moved to the 2008 R2 server without breaking the SBS console?

Thanks!
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Question by:jrockman13
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 36584455
1) my STRONG suggestion is...don't. If you treat your SBS server well, it will rarely, if ever, be down. And if is down, getting it up becomes a priority, and a second DC makes this VERY complicated. In almost all cases, it is better NOT to introduce the complications of another DC unless you are an AD expert and can handle DR in such environments (hint, the SBS backup is no longer sufficient as it isn't designed for multiple-DC sites.)

Additionally, mixing a DC with LOB apps (SEP 12) is almost always disastrous. DCs are DCs. application servers are application servers. Tge two rarely mix well.

2) for client backup, I think running a backup package to prevent pegging I/O and network resources from simultaneous backups is essential. A centralized backup program that manages the scheduling and, as a side benefit, it will centralize your backups too. Look into one of these.

3) as mentioned above, mixing DC and apps is usually bad, regardless of order. With that said, install away. Order won't matter.

4) I'd recommend against it. Best to leave things configured by SBS as configured. Makes ongoing troubleshooting and support easier.

-Cliff
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Author Comment

by:jrockman13
ID: 36584603
Cliff,

Thanks for the advice on DCs. I didn't realize it complicated things that much. Can I run backup DNS/DHCP and printing without doing the DC? I'm guessing no.

regarding 2) backup. I have Backup Exec SBS, which includes Backup Exec System Recovery (or whatever you call it). It's a royal pain, and I've pretty much decided that I will be using the Windows 7 image backup to backup key machines once a month (all data is on the SBS server anyways) in case a hard drive dies or they mess up the registrey. They will run the backups on the weekends, and we have a 10Gbps fiber backbone, so I'm not worried about the network load. I can control some settings with group policy, but it's only 25 machines, so I'll foot it out if I have to. I'm planning to use Backup Exec to offload the SBS backups to tape.

Any other comments or advise from anyone?
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 36585465
You could set up DNS and DHCP, but again, the benefit rarely justifies the complication. Good server hardware, solid backups, and planned maintenance, and you can have INCREDIBLY high uptime without needing redundancy. If that is REALLY needed, I'd still look at products better equipped to keep your network up with less complication than a second live server. Something like a heroWare backup appliance is easier yo administer and easier to recover in a disaster event.

Regarding backups, 25 machines running backups simultaneously can saturate a 10Gb link ...if the disk I/O doesn't peg first. But disk I/0 would be my greater concern. Heavy disk thrashing, fragmentation, and lack of file system dedupe equals a ton of wasted space. Plus when backing up win7 to a share, it overwrites, so one failed backup can mean NO backup for that machine until you resolve the cause of the failure. And monitoring failures is a PITA. win7s native backup is nit designed to ge a business solution, so centralized reporting is non-existent.

At 25 machines, I'd highly recommend at looking at a Windows Storage Server Essentials appliance. As an "essentials" product, they are VERY reasonably priced. They schedule backups of clients round-robin. Keep a history. Do incremental backups. And do full dedupe across backups, saving loads of space. Incredible product, can't recommend it highly enough.

-Cliff
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Author Closing Comment

by:jrockman13
ID: 36705636
Thanks for the advice!
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