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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Setting up a new 2008 AD and creating a new network? Now or never? in Technical; ...
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    Setting up a new 2008 AD and creating a new network? Now or never?

    Hi

    After sometime away from the world of the UK school ICT scene, I have found myself back in the a role of Network Manager for a Language School in Thailand.

    It’s afairly small school with about 40 windows 7 (a few XP machines) PC’s, a server ( server 2003 withan external USB HDD for backup) and a coupleof networked printers, split between 2 floors with 2 horrible old 16 port dlink switches, a few generic home style (Zyxel and Linksys) Wi fi routers andsome cheap 8 port switches. E mail and file storage / sharing is at present done through Google.

    At present there is no network as such, the server at present is housing some CRM registrar(running some form of thunderbird sql setup) software and a cheap Thai account spackage.

    The software is minimal and i think it’s mainly tied in to the server as the databases on a share drive, rather than programs installed on the server (thesoftware has been installed on the local machines)

    The machines are all running on a WORKGROUP and the fibre router / modem is doing pretty much all thedhcp / I.P and from what I can see running the school.

    Whilst doing an inventory, I came across an older server with a server S3000AH boardrunning a dual core 2Ghz . So my first thoughts were to make this an AD serverand get a bit of proper network up and running.

    In the last few weeks, the school has decided to purchase new accounts software from Sage (300ERP) and is currently looking into also buying the CRM part to replace thecurrent troublesome regitrar database.

    They’ve been talking about hosting this on a cloud solution, until last Friday when the software basically got dumped in my lap, with a phone number for thereseller and instructions to have it up and running by the end of the month (something’swill never change!!!)

    So this brings me to where am I am today, now I was going to use the this new foundserver as an AD server, get the network up and running and sorted and stable. Do a few tweaks and mods as such and then move the software over to the news erver and re use the other server (Xeon 2Ghz, 4Gb, 3 x 300 hhd) as some sortof mirror / backup server in case the main 1 gives up (the school are scarred theservers will die, hence wanting everything on the cloud, because the equipment’s old!)

    Except the software mentioned here (office, Google drive, chrome, finance and registrarDB) the school don’t really use anything else (and anything else use it mainlyweb / browser based) there’s no curriculum software and all computer work ispretty much admin based.

    But with the new edition of this Sage software, I’m trying to now weigh up my best routeof action, and am after any advice, thoughts as to if there’s a better or worse way?

    As I had foreseen what was about to happen (pppppp) , I got one of the other managers to give me a bit of a budget and sourced server 2008 R2, SQL 2012 and 8GB of RAM.
    So I’ve done a clean install of Server and sql and had the server on stress tests for over a week,.Now the Sage software is in theroy going to go on a server and hopefully we’ll use theportal facility to connect to the program. (1 of the directors has a Mini Mac and sage is PC based, so if we’re making a portal option for 1? makes sense foreveryone to do the same?)

    So I was wondering, I’d still like to the AD route, so that I can have some control overthe network and send out updates, lock the PC’s down a little etc and eventually they want some spy / staff monitor software.
    What do youguys think my best route?

    A) Make this now clean server an AD server, move the 2 workstations that for now willuse the Sage over to my new network and install Sage on this server, then slowly pull work stations over. Then when a decision is made on the CRM move this to the new server (or hopefully just install the Sage CRM on it and loose the old program all together). Then do a clean install on the other server and make it some sort of virtual / backup server incase my new one goes down.

    B) Just use the new server to run Sage and have it purely as a host for the Sagesoftware. Maybe move the current CRM over to the Sage server and then thinkabout using the old server (after the registrar software has been moved /replaced) as an AD server and setting up some form network.

    C) Forget about a network / AD altogether and just carry on using a WORKGROUP and use a server to house Sage and the otherleft running the current CRM or move them both to new server.

    D) Any other thoughts /suggestions or ideas?

    It’s likely they will purchase the Sage CRM software eventually, after they hum and har aboutthe cost for another month or 2. So this kinda pushes me that it will have toall go on the newly revamped server, I was just wondering more about the best way to do the AD and as it’s a small school with limited software, is there anypoint changing it from the WORKGROUP setup and creating tons more work.

    Thanks ina dvance, bit of an essay I’m afraid, but it’s quite an important decision and to say the future of my career at the school pretty much hangs on whatever happens over the next few weeks, I’d really appreciate any feedback, thoughts or any foreseen problems in any of the above plans.

    Like I say the server will just run Sage and AD, all files are kept on Google drive and /or a NAS (when my boss, sorts all the old files and returns to the school).

    The director is arse obsessed with the ‘Cloud’ he wants everything to based out of theschool in the future with no actual server in the school at all (also forfuture braches to see the Sage / CRM software). If we had decent internet inThailand, I’d most probably go with the flow and try this new setup, gain some new experiences. However Sage and pretty much everyone (old tech, sage partners, staff, www host company, seoand web guy etc etc) else hates the idea(without a dedicated line to the host), and at present his Google drive takes about 4 days to sync on our super great 10MB fibre line with it’s 84m run to a battered cheap 10/100 d link switch. fun fun fun

    Thanks again

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    supawat1's Avatar
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    My advice is to get your Network Switch sort out ASAP and check your network cable whether this is based on CAT5 or CAT5e. If you have a good network infrastructure then you can move into AD, DNS and DHCP and File Server, Web Server etc.

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    The switch is on the list, i've redone half the wiring...so it's not great...but it'll hold out. The decission for the switch is out of my hands, we got as far as buying a wall mounted cab and now it's been pushed to the back......i.e it's not broken it doen't need fixing...till it goes down again in another 2 months. The wiring and switch is a battle I have everyday with them......i got a 305m rll of Cat 6 and and redone a lot, just peniding a switch to take out the last 2 crappy 8 poters and run driect cable to the computers. I told them if they don't buy me a switch soon, all this other stuff is pointless and i'll walk, why waste my time. But this Sage stuff's gotta happen, then when i've done it, they may listen to me about the wiring / switches and actually install the cab on the wall and fill it with stuff.....director 2 and 3 had approved the switch, but the main director decided he's in charge and i can wait, it'll get done evetaully!
    Last edited by djdos2013; 22nd April 2013 at 05:09 PM.

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    supawat1's Avatar
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    You are totally correct, without no network connectivity, there is no point of having any networks at all. Why were they dreaming of having everything based on cloud, but they can not even afford a couple of decent network switches, an internet access and a router?

    You can only do so much and It's no point of stress yourself out if there is no IT strategic to support your work.

  5. Thanks to supawat1 from:

    djdos2013 (22nd April 2013)

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    ahahaha, they can afford shiney super things.............but not boring stuff. Director 2 walked out, they brought him in to do this Sage stuff, but the main director kept going on about the cloud. After he left and they paid nearly 4K for this software, he finally backed down, to housing it in house (couldn't justify the cost of housing the software, nevermind unuderstand how to connect to it!!), and guess who gets left to clear up the mess, for a fraction of all their salaries!

    But a jobs a job, and for now I shall have to bare and grin it. The more I push it apprently the more he'll hold back on doing, something along the lines of he knows best, i already told whats the point of employing people to do things, if your not going to listen their advice (me and director 2) never mind cause it's the most important part of the network cloud or not! The network's getting done......and the server will be in a room where it's connected to a new ish better switch and I can even stick it next to the PC's that will run Sage for now. I just wondered if I was better of starting my AD plans now, as I have the server sat on my desk redy to go, if it's just hosting Sage. Easier to start implimenting it now as a clean fresh thing, start as you mean to go on...ahahahah

    He's ademant he deosn't want any form of server in house at all....so to get this far is a break through. You can guess how much he screwed Google drive, swapping everyones folders and permissions away, cause he wanted ownership of everything...that took a week to sort out, now that mess is cleared....on to the next.........and i won't even get started how long it took me to sort his last building project out, lets just say the builders just cut all the network and phone lines and through them in the ceiling! And then he wondered why he had no phones or interent in the new reception...another wasted week...........grumble over.

    So back to the subject, if you had to do 1 of the above and the network back bone is ok / getting sorted...........any thoughts? The plan is to get everything in the school to 100% then go to a part time roll, hopefully max 2/3 days a week, the sonner I plan get all this out the way...the quicker that will happen.

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    Anyone....any other thoughts...and if I do this Ad on the old server later down the line....do I need to worry now about making this server thats going to hold Sage a file server, or just leave roles alone for now.

    Thanks

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