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Hardware Thread, Servers in Technical; Originally Posted by Edu-IT If I've understood correctly then this is how it will be. What did you use to ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    If I've understood correctly then this is how it will be. What did you use to create the network diagrams?

    Another thought I've just had, if I don't allow the DMZ and the internal VLAN to communicate then does that mean access to the exchange server/web server can only be done over the internet or would the firewall rules allow the communication?
    You've got the right idea, yes. If you don't allow the DMZ and internal VLAN to talk then your internal network will not be able to use the exchange server. You can set up what services you want available to the internal network from the DMZ in smoothwall.

    And the diagram was done in powerpoint with icons borrowed from a stash I have.

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    Thanks localzuk.

    What RAID should I use for the PDC and BDC, RAID1? Is it worth configuring any other servers for RAID?

    At a mid point in the building I have a switch which takes 4 fibre connections into one which then travels to the server room switch. Do you think that this will cause performance problems? Is than alternative solution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Thanks localzuk.

    What RAID should I use for the PDC and BDC, RAID1? Is it worth configuring any other servers for RAID?

    At a mid point in the building I have a switch which takes 4 fibre connections into one which then travels to the server room switch. Do you think that this will cause performance problems? Is than alternative solution?
    AD servers (the roles PDC and BDC don't exist any more) should have RAID 1 to provide increased data read speed and provide redundancy for the critical system.

    File servers should be RAID 5, with RAID 1 system petitions (IMO).

    I would personally have all server OS disks in a RAID 1 setup to provide a minimal level of redundancy. In most servers this is only the cost of an extra disk (so what, £150?).

    There could well be a bottleneck, and the way you could avoid it is to make use of more pairs of fibre in the fibre link (ie the cable is not likely to be a single pair of fibre, but more likely a 4 core or more). Then trunk them together to provide a 2GB or 4GB link. That is unless you are using OM3 fibre and 10GbE connections.

  4. #34

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    What are system petitions?

    I've put backup drives in each of the servers so is it really necessary to RAID the file servers?

    For the file servers and web/exchange server I've got one drive which I am going to partition so that the OS is on the same drive as the files. Is that wise?
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 7th February 2008 at 03:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    What are system petitions?

    I've put backup drives in each of the servers so is it really necessary to RAID the file servers?

    For the file servers and web/exchange server I've got one drive which I am going to partition so that the OS is on the same drive as the files. Is that wise?
    RAID 5 is where you have 3 or more drives which share the data across them to create one large volume. If one drive fails, it should continue to work fine without any data loss. It is a necessity really for a file server.

    What do you mean by 'backup drive'?

    The system petition is the C: drive or wherever windows is installed.

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    When I said backup drive I actually meant tape drive.

    As it stands each of the servers will have just one hard drive partitioned accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    When I said backup drive I actually meant tape drive.

    As it stands each of the servers will have just one hard drive partitioned accordingly.
    I would dedicate 1 pair of drives to the system partition (c and then use other disks for any data purposes. This allows for a lot more flexibility and for a lot more redundancy on the server.

    The difference you would have is that if the drive goes down, restoring from a backup could take a couple of days depending on your warranty (ie. how long the disk takes to arrive). If you have RAID then it just carries on working, and when your new disk arrives you can just slot it in.

    So, you could lose a day of use on a critical system, or no loss at all - for the cost of a hard disk.

    Why do you need a tape drive in each machine? Surely having one in one of the servers and doing centralised backup is a more cost effective way of handling backups?

    Or even having a disk based backup solution with tape based offsite on a weekly basis from that system. (We use a 2TB server with BackupExec 11d for this).

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    I have 6 servers in total. I know you've said that the PDC and BDC roles don't exist now but for the purpose of this lets say they do.
    • PDC
    • BDC
    • 3 X File servers
    • Exchange/Web server
    The PDC will have two hard drives. (RAID1)
    2 x 72.8GB Hot Plug SAS SFF

    The BDC will have two hard drives. (RAID1)
    2 x 72.8GB Hot Plug SAS SFF

    The file server will have five hard drives, two for the O/S and three for the files. (RAID1/RAID5)
    2 x 72.8GB Hot Plug SAS SFF
    3 x 146GB SAS SFF

    The Exchange/Web server will have five hard drives, two for the O/S and three for the files. (RAID1/RAID5)
    2 x 72.8GB Hot Plug SAS SFF
    3 x 146GB SAS SFF

    Now I do not know whether or not I need to backup the O/S on to tape. If I do then there will be a maximum of 1020.8GB to backup if my calculations are correct. That means that I could use one tape drive in the PDC and another in the BDC, because I can only find tape drives which go up to 800GB. Will this not take hours to backup or am I backing up too much?

    Would a schedule like this be suitable or is this too much:
    Backup O/S drives each week.
    Backup file drives each day

    I've been looking at a HP backup system but that is priced at about £3000.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 7th February 2008 at 06:49 PM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    So your DC's don't have RAID??
    Nope and this is a deliberate policy on my part. Our last DC was on a raid 5 partition and was an absolute nightmare to repair when the power went off and the partition got corrupted. 36 hrs of raid drivers, rebuilds, system restores and head banging I vowed never to use RAID on a Domain controller again.

    Now all I do is image the DC's and backup the systates, I couldn't be happier in terms of disaster protection.

    Sometimes simpler is better for these types of things.

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    I've had to change some of the servers because the ones I originally looked at can only hold three SAS drives which will be no good if I'm using RAID5. The information I wrote yesterday about the file servers/exchange server is wrong as there will need to be at least 4 drives for RAID5, including the main drive.

    Is the backup plan I suggested suitable? I'm not too sure about what part of the O/S I am backing up. Is it just system states?

    Or even having a disk based backup solution with tape based offsite on a weekly basis from that system. (We use a 2TB server with BackupExec 11d for this).
    That seems like a good plan. Do you just change tapes part way through?
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 8th February 2008 at 07:46 PM.

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