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Small business server specs check - Page 3

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tismon View Post
So from what you say and what I've tried to look up, it has to be a windows server OS to run a domain controller with AD-DNS, correct? If so, is there a way to just get a single 2003 or 2008 license without any CALs?
They all come with CALs, and you have to buy enough CALs to ensure you have appropriate coverage for the number of users or devices that will be accessing the server. You'll need Windows CALs and also Exchange CALs, if you intend on running SBS. That's another reason why you might want to go to Google Apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tismon View Post
And I understand that the file server and any inter-computer communications would go down including the DHCP if the primary DC went down, but what else? The biggest pain of that would be loosing access to any work for that day. We're going to have our current NAS backing up the data nightly and could just switch the DHCP back on in the router to get working if there were a major issue with the server.
If you only have a single DC on your network, and it went down, your entire operations would screech to a halt. If you had a second file server, for example, your users wouldn't be able to authenticate to access any network resources. This is why it's suggested to have at least two domain controllers on your network.

If you ran with a Hosted Exchange provider or Google Apps, at least your email won't be affected much if the DC / file server in the office went down.

You can also look into other cloud solutions, depending on your line-of-business application. Microsoft Cloud computing would work. Even Google Apps with all the other features beyond email may be sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tismon View Post
And it looks like the closest dell partner is 60 miles away, but they serve nationally and focus on small/medium businesses. That doesn't give us a lot to shop around with, but at least there's the possibility.

As always, thanks for all the help. We've almost got this nailed down (loosely, of course ).
My company serves internationally, and we're still a small / med business. We send people all over the world if we have to - just fly them out there and all that. So I'm sure there are other options available for you.
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post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
I understand CALs and SBS and that the Essentials version of SBS 2011 won't require CALs and allows up to 25 users, which definitely is playing a part in this whole thing. However, if we went that route and would only be using the server for AD and file sharing, we'd still need a second DC that would need either Server 2003 or 2008 R2. The question is then, would we have to get CALs just for the second DC or could we get a single server license to just cover the DC?

How about this setup then: the NAS that backs up each night has it's own authentication built-in and can only do basic windows sharing anyway. If the DC/file server went down, would we still have access to simple shared files like the NAS (as we do now without a domain) or is it by switching to a domain, we effectively kill off normal windows sharing?

Please forgive me to being a little slow. If it helps any, I've got a small fever and chest cold (hopefully that's all) at the moment. smile.gif And thank you for your patience.

As it stands, I'm definitely going to recommend going the google apps route with only a smaller server in-house and hopefully, we can get a good enough deal from the dell partner to go that route, because I don't want to end up as the IT guy and not be able to pass my own professional exam when the time comes because I didn't do any work in my field. smile.gif
Edited by tismon - 2/26/11 at 8:20pm
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tismon View Post
I understand CALs and SBS and that the Essentials version of SBS 2011 won't require CALs and allows up to 25 users, which definitely is playing a part in this whole thing. However, if we went that route and would only be using the server for AD and file sharing, we'd still need a second DC that would need either Server 2003 or 2008 R2. The question is then, would we have to get CALs just for the second DC or could we get a single server license to just cover the DC?
Leave it to Microsoft to totally screw everybody up with regards to CALs with the release of SBS2011 Essentials.

In the past, you needed a CAL for each user or device that accessed server resources. If you had 80 computers / users, you needed 80 device or user CALs, regardless of whether you had 1, 5, 10 or 20 servers on your network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tismon View Post
How about this setup then: the NAS that backs up each night has it's own authentication built-in and can only do basic windows sharing anyway. If the DC/file server went down, would we still have access to simple shared files like the NAS (as we do now without a domain) or is it by switching to a domain, we effectively kill off normal windows sharing?
You'd still have access to it. It's basically a device operating in Workgroup mode.

You just have to ensure that you either have an alternate DHCP server available for providing leases to clients - and you may have to browse to the NAS using IP address rather than hostname.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tismon View Post
As it stands, I'm definitely going to recommend going the google apps route with only a smaller server in-house and hopefully, we can get a good enough deal from the dell partner to go that route, because I don't want to end up as the IT guy and not be able to pass my own professional exam when the time comes because I didn't do any work in my field.
You can even make the recommendation of going entirely to a cloud-based solution, depending on your needs. Take the money saved and upgrade your internet connection... If you do go to a cloud-based solution, you can even get rid of the physical office and just have everybody work from home or on the road... Wouldn't that be nice...
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post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well, I can't explain it entirely, however, the bosses weren't too keen on switching to google for mail. In their minds, they see it as, if we're going to change at all, we should just have in-house exchange. I can see where they're coming from, but I'm still a little leery of the maintenance time that it may require.

They did agree that if we're going to do this, we should do it right and have a second domain controller and get all the hardware for the main server from a dell partner to save on hassle.

From reading a bit closer to MS's site, the premium add-on includes a second 2008R2 license and can be added to either the standard or the essentials version. So I guess that answers my question regarding the second DC no matter which direction we go. Plus, (this is where my experience actually helps) I can build a lower-end computer as a secondary DC as well as a more maintainable NAS than the little guy that really just needs it's retirement party.

Honestly though, from your experience how much maintenance would this setup require (aside from hardware failures) and how long would you expect it to last?

This wouldn't be something that we'd deploy initially or rely on for a while, but the premium add-on already includes SQL-server as well, and with some practice and research, it could be useful in the future. However, I'm a little foggy on what this tool could help a small company with no major databases to do.

Got a phenom II X4 system spec'd out for the second DC/NAS in an ARK 4U case and this iStarUSA rack frame to hold the two systems, UPSs and a switch. Unfortunately, the space restrictions don't give us many options for a cabinet, but I believe that the R510 and the ARK will fit just fine. Though I wouldn't mind some confirmation before we order it.

Thanks again ComGuards.
Edited by tismon - 2/28/11 at 1:49pm
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