Server and Network Design

Hi All ..... Just putting together a proposal for network and server design for a small (10 - 15) graphic and digital design business.

The idea is to move from a SBS 2003 to:
Hosted Exchange
Online Backup
Hosted Endpoint Security
SBS Essentials

The NAS will host all Files as a dedicated file storage, then the SBS Essentials box to take care of all Server Services like AD, DHCP, DNS, Remote Access. Is having the NAS separate overkill - or should we up the specs on SBS to then host files?

I like the idea of having SBS Essentials as we dont have the expense of CALs, but am worried services are starting to become non-centralised. With past SBS installs everything is in the one place and have not had to be concerned with going to different places for various services.

I would like to have some other perspectives on how best to design ......

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Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
I personally like Keeping data separate. You can keep control of the data by doing an iscsi lun to sbs and then sharing that. Or you can do a samba share but joined to the domain so you still use domain credentials to access it. If you don't want to build something, check out netapp.
FlippAuthor Commented:
"iscsi lun to sbs" ..... can you give me some detail on what you are referring to here?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
Read up on Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator
Basically you have a network based raid something and windows uses the iscsi initiator to mount it as a drive. You can then share it just like if it was local
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
A NAS is completely overkill for such a small network.  You have to look at the benefits of using SBS vs using a NAS.  And by benefits, I mostly mean cost.  Add up the costs.  With 25 users, unless you're HEAVY storage users, you shouldn't have a problem sharing data off the SBS server and odds are, you'd have WORSE performance off a cheap NAS.  Only if you were planning on spending 4 figures on a NAS would the performance likely increase significantly.

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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
I agree with leew, why have two boxes when you can get away with one?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
I guess it's because I'm comfortable building a sub $1000 6tb raid10 zfs filer with great performance. Dell wants almost that much for one big sas drive.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
A couple of 3TB ST33000650SS cost about $1000, but you can build a 6TB ZFS filer for less than that? As Seagate say if you're using desktop drives in a server environment and you keep cooking them by exceeding the duty-cycle then caveat emptor.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
Yeah, that's the next step up. I really like the constellation drives. Dell however won't give you trays if you don't buy the drives from them. And they are not priced well. For low end, I use desktop drives in a raid 10 do I'm not all that worried. For zfs you don't need tler drives.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Agreed, you don't need TLER for ZFS; you do however need some kind of workload management on the disks so they don't exceed the duty cycle. 7.2K enterprise drives do that by going into read-after-write mode as a first resort, so that it takes on average a spin and a half before the head moves again. After that I suppose they just twiddle their thumbs or go on strike for a few miliseconds rather than cook themselves.

Third party caddys are readily available for most makes of server.
FlippAuthor Commented:
Looks as though the client is set on a NAS even though our evidence and recommendation says otherwise.
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