new server solution advice for 50 users


We currently have a client with 1 main office and 3 sub offices
the 3 sub offices either vpn (which is very slow) or dial in via terminal services to the terminal server

the mian office has an sbs 2003 server running exchange and acting as domain controller but is underpowered and exchange is outdated for their needs.

We need the nearest like for like replacement for 2 new servers - to take them through the next 5 years.

Their internet is not great either.

However I am thinking 1 new windows 2012 standard R2 server - on a ml350p G8 server with raid 10 - 4 x 2tb drives etc

I believe that they will need to go for a seperate office 365 Exchange in the cloud solution (which will be seperate from the local servers??)

1 new smaller server to act as the terminal server for the 12 remote users?

Any advice on the best way to go and anything I need to bare in mind please?

Many thanks
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What is the existing user count and how much growth is expected ?

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If the internet isn't great, then Office365 is probably not a good solution.
You need some pretty decent bandwidth for that number of users.
Therefore what is the internet bandwidth like (both up and down).

What you haven't said is how the sites break down in user numbers.
Are they evenly spread?

You could go hybrid, where some users are on Office365, some are local.

Another option would be to put the whole lot in a private cloud and have everyone terminal server in to a machine. Single large server in a data centre, with Hyper-V/VMware to have DC/Exchange/RD server. Terminal Services will run over some pretty poor bandwidth, and it is only printing that is an issue.

Not really enough information to go on.

phoenix81Author Commented:
hi guys 30 users at main office - small amount of users spread over the remaining sub offices

not much more growth is expected but it needs to be allowed for. Internet bandwidth up is 1mb down is 4 mb which is the best that can get in the area?

any other questions please ask

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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I wouldn't try and run 30 users on Office365 over that kind of internet connection.
So either have a local server and then your own server in a data centre, or hybrid with Office365, with your own server for local users and everything else remote.

Another option would be to have everything in the main site and get the remote users on RDP for everything. That should run fine over that kind of connection - you could always look at bringing a second one in.

phoenix81Author Commented:
Sorry for the delay on this - Thanks guys. Simon can you tell me the correct software os licenses we will need to purchase with a windows 2012r2 server and a new terminal server please?

We have setup sbs 2011 servers alongside windows 2008r2 servers in the past but new to the Windows 2012r2 equivelant if you can please advise.

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Standard Windows 2008 R2 licences for everything.
Remember that if you are using virtualisation you get two VMs on a physical host.
You will need Windows CALs, Exchange CALs and if you are using terminal services, Remote Desktop CALs. You should speak to a licencing specialist though to get the full details on what type of CALs you will need for your deployment.


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phoenix81Author Commented:
sorry did you mean standard windows 2012 r2 licenses?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Indeed - standard Windows 2012 R2 licence.
Although to install Exchange 2013 on it you will need to wait a few more weeks until Exchange 2013 SP1 is released (hopefully by the end of Feb).

phoenix81Author Commented:
Hi Simon has Exchange SP1 been released as yet do you know?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Exchange 2013 SP1 was released today.

phoenix81Author Commented:
we are due to test this shortly and will get back with our findings thank you
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