Network Design Help

Posted on 2013-05-24
Last Modified: 2013-10-09

I'm working at a company that needs to move off of XP and basically upgrade everything.

I was hoping to get some recommendations on hardware and setup from others on how they would go about doing this.

Current Details:

100 User Company
100 GB Exchange Mailbox
60 GB SQL Database
400 GB File Server

It's a simple manufacturing company.  Who is currently using two virtual servers (ESXi Hypervisor, free edition), as well as a physical Exchange and SQL box.

I've not had to do much server sizing, and with visualization it seems more difficult.  They are not heavy users overall...  Very simple company.
Question by:mmicha
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Expert Comment

by:Kent Fichtner
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Sorry, but what is it that you are looking for?  We are a manufacturing company as well, and oddly enough match up with your specs pretty good.

Are you looking for desktop ideas, server ideas, network topology ideas?

Author Comment

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I'm mostly looking on the server side...  And I guess that would include topology?

It would be easy I suppose to go get a few DL380's and mirror the way it is now.  Though wanted some recommendations on what others might do with a company of this size.

Assisted Solution

by:Kent Fichtner
Kent Fichtner earned 250 total points
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For our company we have the following:

4 Stacked HP 2910 POE switches
3 fiber connects to 3 switch closets (with the HP switch above)

All Physical Servers (VM would be best)
2 Domain Controllers
1 exchange
3 Misc App

This set up has been very nice for us and has kept up with additional people.  All our servers are IBM System X ( a little old now but still really good).  Between the 4 stacked HP and the two stacked HP switches for the servers we have HPs 10Gbps backbone.

Almost all our desktops are Dell OptiPlex and laptops are Latitude to allow for docking.

In a best case world, we would have three servers, two at our main building running VMs and one at our other building for backup.  To make it even better I would love to have Thin Clients.  In a manufacturing world the computers can cake dust on in a matter of months and a Thin Client computer would allow for fast swap of hard ware if something breaks.  With the POE switches we allow ourselves to get IP phones.

If only in a perfect world....

Hope that gives you some ideas and helps.
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Accepted Solution

uescomp earned 250 total points
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I would virtualize everything and take the best of the physical boxes and set that one up as a backup domain controller.  Other thing is how are you backing them up?  I know now most backup software such as Veeam does not allow backups of the virtualized environment with the free edition of VMware.  

It also depends on how much room you have on the ESX datastore.

My standard design would be something like this.

**Virtual Servers***
Antivirus server (usually on a windows 7 box)

**Physical Server**
Backup domain controller (DC02)

Files for users are stored on the DC01 unless you have enough room you can make a virtual file server if necessary.  I like to split up all my major roles so you can bounce servers independently so the users are still able to work and maintain uptime.

As for the server configuration I usually make the primary partition 60Gb and then add a 2nd vmdk that holds the mailbox and log stores on exchange.  OS and services go on the primary drive and data goes on the 2nd drive.

There is alot more involved and that I guess is my general guidline for the infrastructure

Author Comment

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Here is basically what I've gotten thought out:

Just mirroring the layout we have, though replacing physical with virtual...

3 HP DL380 Gen8
8, 300GB 10k drives each
32GB RAM each

Server 1:
DC1 - Domain Controller
FS1 - File Server
AP1 - Accpac Server
IIS1 - Web Server (.net application)
Server 2:      
MAIL - Exchange Server
IMAP1 - Basic Mail Server for shared namespace
AVU1 - AntiVirus/WSUS Server            
Server 3:
DC2 - Domain Controller
SQL1 - SQL Server
PXY1 - Proxy Server (Squid)

Though, the problem is it doesn't allow access to the Storage API on the free edition.  I'd like to be able to back them up using new vm based solutions.

Based on how my management is... I wanted to create a lower cost solution, and a more HA solution.
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Expert Comment

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Looks good.  If you want HA and VMotion you would at least need VMware essentials plus license.  Its a bundle so it would license your entire cluster.  For the virtual environment I use Veeam but it only backs up all the virtual servers (not physical).  

I like it because you get the AD restore, exchange restore (down to a single email), and SQL restore (down to individual tables).  There are other solutions out there but Veeam so far is my favorite.

Author Comment

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Are you using Essentials Plus with the VSA appliance, or do you have a SAN?

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