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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Thoughts and Opinions on our new network setup in Technical; Hi folks, yet again another question SCCM 2012, working very well and very happy with it's capabilities. We wish to ...
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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Thoughts and Opinions on our new network setup

    Hi folks, yet again another question

    SCCM 2012, working very well and very happy with it's capabilities.
    We wish to add a bit of resiliance/failover and convenience and DFS seems a good way to acheive this. We are a split site school connected with a gig fibre, and yesterday we lost one of our servers over the other site. So all users on that server had a fair amount of downtime.

    I believe with the use of DFS, both namespace and replication we can negate that sort of thing entirely - keeping all users across both site servers, if one dissapears then they lose nothing, can still log on thanks to the other server etc. However we've been a little bit perturbed by some of the stories on Edugeek, some people enjoy success with DFS, others do not. I can't for the life of me figure out a better way of doing it though. Users will be kept locally on the servers, we could at a push knock up a couple of selfbuild SAN's but would really rather not. Not keen on single points of failure (i.e. one server/storage unit with all users), there's plenty of methods of replication but would rather be able to have no downtime for all users rather than downtime for all or downtime for some.

    One of the questions that appears to come up is network load. Again, I'm not keen on having separate servers for just about everything as it seems a bit of a waste of resource - so the plan is a server on each site, both are DCs, the main server runs SCCM and SQL too. This I know is pushing it a bit but also thinking about separating some parts.

    Any input on this sort of thing? It looks fairly simple to set up, it'll only be users that are replicated. Servers are self build dual xeon 5620 and dual e5-2620s, 16-32gb ram and enough SATA storage to shack a stick at. ESXi but mostly for snapshot/veeam backup ability (they won't be running anything else unless it would help at all to separate some services)

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    Domino's Avatar
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    If it's just the users directories that'll be replicated you shouldn't have an issue - the only *real* issue with 2k8 DFS we see is if a file is edited at two locations at the same time.

    If bandwidth is a concern you can also set limits per replication set.

    The other nice thing, if the sites are setup properly in ADSS then the users will get there closest server on login (obviously unless there's an issue)

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    synaesthesia (20th April 2012)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Excellent. We will be setting up the sites properly, probably via separation of the IP range so distribution points for SCCM work to their best potential. That sounds like an added bonus then, will do a bit of work on that next week I think! Cheers

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    NPs -just make sure you're on a 2k8 domain and the DFS boxes are 2k8 - the 2k3 version both sucked and blowed.
    Last edited by Domino; 20th April 2012 at 11:42 AM. Reason: typo of Doooooooooom

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Thankfully everything will be 2008R2 as from the Summer. Will be glad to get rid of 2003, it's been stable (CC3) but 2008 is just so much better in so many respects.
    Now just need to decide whether we should split SCCM from the DC, or SQL.

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    We run a very similar setup for our primary schools at my school. We have 3 primary schools connected back to our school over a point to point wireless links of 1GB. In all schools, we have a host server that runs hyper V and 4 common virtualised servers. An RODC for logons locally, a file server that utilises DFS, an AV server that uses our server for updates and then pushes locally via policies and a print server, which also uses MDT for image deployment locally. We use the PXE hack to allow all schools to have MDT and WDS running locally. For SCCM, i have only set this up in one school, but we hope to use a folder on their local server as a branch distribution point for deployment.

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