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Stephen Taylor

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Two Servers on same physical LAN

I am looking for advice on how best to achieve the following:-

I am providing a solution to various companies which needs a SQL database hosted on each individual site that will be accessed via RDP connection, there are no client PC's joined to our domain nor is there a future requirement for this. The plan is to use AD authentication for the database access, due to licensing we need to be in control of the users added so don't want to use the sites existing AD or domain.

So the question is can we add our own server with its own domain name to the existing network without introducing problems to the existing domain / network, we don't need DHCP or DNS on our server and the plan would be that our server is configured with a static IP address provided by the site form their existing IP address range.

What would the best option be Server 2012 or SQL Server?

We have piloted the system using MS Azure platform with two DC's and the database setup on server 2012 using SQL Express, we tried just using local accounts on one server with SQL express but as these systems are going to various remote locations we didn't want to have to keep remoting into each end users PC every time we needed to add a new user.

I am only just starting to work with servers to this level so any advice would be welcome.

Thank you.
Windows Server 2012

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Stephen Taylor
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Carol Chisholm
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I think you need a little more understanding. I think you are overcomplicating your life, and you could probably just have your SQL server in your domain and restrict access to it to those users that really need it. Or you could license your SQL server on a per-core model where you oay for the server, no matter how many users access it.

SQL server is a database product that runs on a Windows Server (the version is probably 2012R2)

You are not clear if you are worried about SQL licenses (expensive) or Windows Licenses (cheap). These are two independent sets of licenses.

Tell us:
How many sites?
How many domains?
How many SQL servers?
How many Windows users?
How many SQL only users?

Do the users already have Windows on their desktops? of are they using some other tools to access the SQL? Do you have an Enterpise agreement?

If you have multiple sites acecssin the same databse oyu could just put it in Azure and let them all access one database.
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Stephen Taylor


Hi Carol,

Sorry I should of said the solution we are providing has to be on-premise due to some areas of deployment there will be very slow internet connection that's why we moved away from the Azure test platform as we had issues with latency and deemed it not a viable option for all our customers.

At the moment we have to deploy this solution to one site as pilot but we have a contract to supply it to all other states currently 36 states and the number of sites is unconfirmed but is estimated to between 36 - 150.

Our solution has to be stand alone, we have a license agreement with the company who have designed the database software (which has a user and admin client installed on the database server) and integrates with the database, we have to restrict access to specific users under this agreement.

If we used the sites current AD if they have one (not all sites will have existing servers / domains) how could we stop them adding users to groups in AD for database access? We are charged on a per user basis and therefore our model is also charged on a per user basis to include the server license costs.

We are planning on using Server 2012R2 with SQL express 2014 installed as you say the cost of SQL server plus CAL's is prohibitive. So we would adopt RDS CAL's Our Azure platform used 2012R2 with SQL Express and this worked very well.

Sites: 1 currently (up to 150 or more)
Domains: 2 (existing + our new one no inter-connectivity required or planned)
SQL Servers: 0
Windows Users: 5 currently for pilot (will increase depending on size of the site deployed)
SQL database users: 5 currently, will be the same as windows users

Environment: Windows Desktops / laptops (possibly some mac's)
Database: Each site has it's own database under the license agreement, no plans to migrate across sites.

Sorry to be vague but some of the details have to be finalized, and we will know more once the pilot has been completed.
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Carol Chisholm
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You use user CALs (versus device CALs), correct me if I am wrong.

How do users receive their SQL based service? Do client users RDP into the server to run the application? or Do they run a client application on their device? or Do they connect to a web service?

Anyway, you may setup a new domain  for customers  and deploy RODC in your client areas which could sync users via slower links. You now may centrally manage the user accounts.
you need a back-end database of usernames and passwords and a front end that the user logs into. The front end authenticates with the back-end and gets back a yes/no or a token that states what access they have. The front end takes the token and then permits access to the rest of the program depending upon that token. The exact same way a website administers users.
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Thank you for all your comments.

I think I'm trying to over complicate things and would be introducing more problems than it solves and feel we need to go back to the Azure platform as Carol has said it would be easier to manage and with some sites having slow internet if we explored using Azure AD the client program could be installed locally on the site PC's.

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Thank you for taking the time to help with my question, I must admit  I hadn't thought about just using the Azure AD for authentication, we can install the client locally with the database so there would be no reason why this wouldn't be a good workable solution.

Kind Regards,
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 is the server version of Windows 8 and the successor to Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows Server 2012 is the first version of Windows Server to have no support for Itanium-based computers since Windows NT 4.0. Windows Server 2012, now in its second release (Windows Server 2012 Release 2) includes Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacenter, and does not support IA-32 or IA-64 processors.

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