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How do you do....it? Thread, Network setup - how do you do yours? in Technical; Normally, for a small size school (first/primarys, 50-200 PCs, 100-600 Users), running a windows based domain, we have 1 or ...
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    Jon_boy1984's Avatar
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    Network setup - how do you do yours?

    Normally, for a small size school (first/primarys, 50-200 PCs, 100-600 Users), running a windows based domain, we have 1 or (rarely) 2 physical server(s), doing everything.

    By everything I mean:
    Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, File store, Printer Server, Anti-virus, WSUS, MDT/WDS and IIS.

    Now, I know the hardware side isn't perfect, but that's not what I'm interested in here, there is plenty of threads on here about hardware, I'm interested in what roles/features/services you've got running on similar sized networks, and whether we're missing anything... (like Cert Auth, or anything else)

    Also what kind of budgets you have over a 5 year period.

    And for those interested in knowing why I'm asking, I work for the local authority, and we provide support for a lot of schools, and I want to improve that. Hopefully not a bad thing. :-)

    Also most schools/networks I see on here appear to have either a lot more pupils and therefore budget, or we've been doing it all wrong for a long time.

    Thanks for your help in this guys. :-D

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    witch's Avatar
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    Looks like my primary and also my middle-deemed-secondary server. I have backup exec as well.I do have a secondary server but that is only because some old software that runs on the old 2003 beast might not run on the new 2008R2 so I left it where it was.
    It runs fine. I dont see why I need anything else at the moment especially as we dont run our own email server or anything.

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    Jon_boy1984's Avatar
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    Thanks Witch, glad that there is at least a couple of other schools out there setup in a similar way, as I always read about schools with SANs and multiple Servers, thought we had it all wrong.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    We used to run stuff like that but moved from it a while ago for better redundancy. We also run other services in house like email and web filtering as well as our own websites.

    The closest setup we have is a 500 pupil school with one big server that has 50GB of RAM and 16 cores and 4TB of space that runs everything virtualised. We run WSUS, MDT, WDS, AV, Internal web server, Exchange, File and Print, AD, DNS, DHCP, Papercut, Proxy/FW. This works but is a nightmare for doing work on because you need to pull down the entire site just to run an update.

    The other schools are further down the line investment wise and have at least a couple of servers running virtualisation hosts, over time storage needs and performance needs increased so we added SANs to centralise the storage and make it easier long term to manage and upgrade. For reference we got an IBM SAS SAN for less than a couple of servers here however we pay about double what you do for servers.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I still cant see the value of virtualisation in a setup like mine though

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I still cant see the value of virtualisation in a setup like mine though
    We use it primarily to separate out the roles for better reliability. I like to keep printers on their own separate server because drivers are rubbish and can spew junk into memory of filesystems without warning - I have seen it happen many times - Brother are rubbish.

    It is also really handy to have a couple of DCs so that you can tear one down for updates or whatever while the users are still being served by the other. 'The movie goes on, and nobody knows the difference' .

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    witch (10th February 2013)

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    I only support primaries (all sizes) - all only have 1 server running everything on each site. The only exceptions is 1 school that has a 2nd tiny server which is replicating AD and backing up files because the primary server is 8 years old and about to fall over any minute, and another school has a virtual 2003 server running off the primary server acting as a print server due to specific driver issues.

    Most sites have a robust backup either by RDX cartridges stored in a fireproof safe, and/or a Buffalo NAS drive located in a cabinet elsewhere in the school

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    witch's Avatar
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    I've got RDX - they sit on top of the server..yes, I know, I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_boy1984 View Post
    Normally, for a small size school (first/primarys, 50-200 PCs, 100-600 Users), running a windows based domain, we have 1 or (rarely) 2 physical server(s), doing everything.

    By everything I mean:
    Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, File store, Printer Server, Anti-virus, WSUS, MDT/WDS and IIS.
    That looks similar to our secondary build which is 1 big server doing almost everything along with papercut to manage printers and print credit. One outdated server kept offline in case of major problems with the main server. The main server is as redundant as we could afford to make it with x2 power supply and raid with no virtualization as I just cannot see the benefit for smaller networks.

    Budgets I prefer not to post online and it changes a lot depending if it’s a rolling hardware revamp year or a major systems refresh.

    We also have one workstation as a minor server running AB tutor to monitor the network as I wanted to keep that off the main server.

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