Setting up a new 2008 AD and creating a new network? Now or never?
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.
Itís afairly small school with about 40 windows 7 (a few XP machines) PCís, 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 itís 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.
Theyíve 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 (somethingíswill 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 equipmentís old!)
Except the software mentioned here (office, Google drive, chrome, finance and registrarDB) the school donít really use anything else (and anything else use it mainlyweb / browser based) thereís no curriculum software and all computer work ispretty much admin based.
But with the new edition of this Sage software, Iím trying to now weigh up my best routeof action, and am after any advice, thoughts as to if thereís 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 Iíve 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 weíll use theportal facility to connect to the program. (1 of the directors has a Mini Mac and sage is PC based, so if weíre making a portal option for 1? makes sense foreveryone to do the same?)
So I was wondering, Iíd still like to the AD route, so that I can have some control overthe network and send out updates, lock the PCís 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?
Itís 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 itís 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 Iím afraid, but itís 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, Iíd 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 ĎCloudí 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, Iíd 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 itís 84m run to a battered cheap 10/100 d link switch. :) fun fun fun