Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, First Server For A Small Business - Advice Needed! in Technical; I used to work in a large high school, hence why i still rely on this place for such good ...
23rd November 2012, 06:41 PM #1
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First Server For A Small Business - Advice Needed!
I used to work in a large high school, hence why i still rely on this place for such good advice. I am working in a small business now which has a workgroup network setup. I want to put in a server and a windows domain if i can afford it. If someone could take a look at my idea and tell me if i am forgetting anything, something won't work, something isn't best practice and the cheapest way to do something, that would be great.
The business has 45 users, that predominantly just use the internet and phones for their work. The phone system is offsite so can be forgotten about for now.
Server to serve 45 users, spec suggestions?
Windows Server 2008 Standard (i can run 1 free VM server instance with this license?
ESXi or Hyper-V? Install onto bare metal or not?
Want to run AD and Print services
Managed Anti-virus (avast)
4 x Windows 7 VM's to run mailboxes that need to be running and auto responding to emails 24x7
Believe I'll need a User or Device CAL for each user or device in the office?
Most Windows versions are running Home Premium so i need about 40 x Win 7 Pro upgrade licenses
Cheap but effective way to backup the server?
I was thinking of installing Win Server 2008 with AD, file/print, DNS, DHCP services then installing a win server 2008 VM to run spiceworks and anti virus as a kind of Management Tools Server. The run 4 Win 7 VMS for the mailboxes.
File storage, we'll be moving to office 365 so that will take care of email and file storage and backup or should i map everyone a personal network drive then sync that with SkyDrive Pro as my backup?
Lets say i only need 1GB space per user, i could do this with just hard drives in the server without buying a NAS?
Budget is the problem here, i need to be able to do this as cheap as possible so not spending money on something i MIGHT need. Once i've got this in place, after a year or so or when necessary i can then get the funding i need as i need it, but its the commitment for them to shell out a few grand at first that is the hard part so i need it to be as appealing, price wise, as possible!
1 final thing, we have desktops which go into unmanaged switches which then go into the wall, to a patch panel then into a managed switch. Would i be able to setup a VLAN (to seperate my voice data to send it over a separate internet connection) in this setup or would i need managed switches throughout?
Any help or guidance would be awesome!
23rd November 2012, 06:51 PM #2
Well few things spring to mind:
Why the 4 Windows VMs? Surely you're just wasting licenses/CPU/RAM etc on something the "main" server could do in the first place. Is there any reason you want it like that?
In terms of the 2008 + 2008VM will you have two boxes to do this on? As they won't be able to run on the same box if you're doing esxi etc.
You can get both types of CALs, but generally it's done per machine if you have more users than machines?
In terms of backup a lot of it rests on how much you want backed up. e.g. Is it "just" files/docs etc, or do you want the full OS/servers backed up etc? Are you happy to spend time reinstalling the basics on the server, then just restore user data, if so it's a lot cheaper/free, but obviously slower in a disaster.
In terms of the VLANs if you set up a VLAN on the managed switch, then "every" device on the unmanaged switch would become the VLAN of the port it's plugged into. So if it's 1 phone + 1 pc per switch it's useless, if it's 5 pc's on a switch it's fine.
23rd November 2012, 07:20 PM #3
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We have 4 mailboxes that run mail rules and sent out auto responses that we need running 24x7. We also have staff that need to send emails out from these mailboxes so whenever you adfd the mailbox to someoens email i couldnt find a way to get rid of the 'sent from so and so on behalf of so and so'. It needs to just come from that mailbox name so unelss you can suggest a better way to do that?
Originally Posted by Steve21
I definitely wont have the money for 2 servers, i need to make it work on one. however like i said if we evolve then further down the line i could look at getting another server in but to start with i cant see me getting funding for more than 1.
For backup, i'm not even certain if i'll store any user files in-house yet. We currently use JungleDisk and will be moving to office 365, so i may just initially at least, rely on SkyDrive/Sharepoint to store files. So i think what i'd like is to be able to maybe restore an image of the server and the VM's or is that not going to be possible. What could i theoretically backup for free or next to free and what would it cost if i wanted the least hassle backup/restore procedure and how easy would that be? I've zero experience with backing up VM's, i 've only used Symantec Backup Exec on standalone servers before, going to disk and tape. So maybe i could do a disk backup to this NAS i have (if its big enough)
On the phones, i THINK i understasnd what you mean but it is also worth mentioning that the majority of us use Softphones on their computers, so can this voice data be directed to a separate internet connection or is that impossible, would you need 2 nic's in the pc to separate them?
23rd November 2012, 07:33 PM #4
Well in terms of the mailboxes it depends what system you're using for it currently. Are you using outlook/exchange? web based mail etc etc? If you're using an exchange based system you should be able to do all of that from the one console, without needing to physically have 4 clients/outlook etc open.
Originally Posted by AndyCan
If you don't have money for two servers you pretty much don't need/can't have, a physical 08 and a VM 08. Unless you're hosting the VM08 inside the physical08 which seems rather pointless too (People may disagree, but you're still limited to a single failure point. If the main host has a wobble you'll lose all the VMs anyway. Same as the Windows ones etc). If you have esxi etc installed, everything hosted will be virtual under it. So you'd either need two licenses, or a different version (Think 2012 come with 2 virtual licenses etc).
In terms of the backups there is no reason you can't use backup exec from within one of the virtual machines. Honestly not sure if we even backup real VM images (as it's over a raided SAN here so "shouldn't" really get lost, and all data is backed up normally through backup exec. If worst comes to worse reinstall OS manually, install backup exec and restore it all). But again if you wanted it cheap, just for basic files etc (If most is hosted externally), A simple scheduled task/script that copies what you want either to second drive, or NAS etc could be used. It all comes back to cost vs importance of data etc.
As far as I know generally all the softphones (unless they're high priced ones) work over standard PC IP, so they couldn't really be seperate to the pc's VLAN in that case, but again may be wrong as we have standalone IP phones. If you were to go down the 2 NIC routes, you'd still need either two "wall ports" or a seperate connection. If you plugged both the NICs into the same unmanaged switch it'd still be same VLAN etc.
23rd November 2012, 07:35 PM #5
Without meaning to sound rude this is about the 12th thread you have started on this subject. Surely we can keep it to one can we not?
23rd November 2012, 07:59 PM #6
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Using Exchange but its hosted offsite so all i get to manage it is a admin panel. I could do it all from 1 instance of Outlook but the problem is the 'send on behalf' problem that i get if a user sends an email out unless they are logged into the actual mailbox itself and not just adding it to their own/copy of Outlook.
Originally Posted by Steve21
I've just looked at Server 2012 which you can indeed run 2 virtual instances with 2 cpu's so i might have a look at that. And i guess i just want to virtualise in case further down the line i want to move the installations, will be much easier to do if everything is virtualised.
With the phones it sounds like I won't be able to route voice data over 1 connection instead of another. So the best i could do is QoS i assume?
23rd November 2012, 08:34 PM #7
you could direct the voice traffic by using policy based routing on the firewall
23rd November 2012, 09:03 PM #8
You can add more than 1 office 365 account to Outlook with not having the send on behalf problem (I've got that set up for a couple of clients). This way, you can setup rules for when email is received by each account. I've got 2 hosted exchange accounts (not Office 365 thou) on my Outlook and can send from both accounts with no problem.
Originally Posted by AndyCan
23rd November 2012, 09:09 PM #9
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We are currently not on Office 365, but planning to move to it in 2013 Q1. When you can say you can send from both accounts, do you mean you can select which account to send an email from, so lets say pick through a list of 'From's' Account 1 to Account 4 then when you send the email out it is delivered saying from Account 4 and not Account 4 on behalf of stevehill06? If so i'd like to know how you managed to do that as i couldnt find a way to get rid od the 'on behalf' unless you were the owner of the account and not just adding the extra mailbox to your own copy of Outlook.
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