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  • Windows network infrastructure for site to site

    Hi all,

    I've been a HUGE fan of Petri and have really been helped so much in the past, I just wanted to say thanks first off.

    Situation is, I have two offices. To keep costs to a minimum, and with my experience of it, I was hoping to install two SBS2003 Premiums in each office and have them synced using a VPN connection. This allows any users from office1 to access their profile/mailbox etc if visiting office2, etc. I knew SBS didn't allow trusts, but being in the same domain was ok. But after reading a few posts on here, that is also not possible. 1 SBS per domain.

    The reason SBS was attractive is it has Exchange and MS-SQL Server, which are requirements for both offices. They will be linked via VPN over ADSL/SDSL about 512Kb/s up ADSL/ 2mb up SDSL.

    My query is, what's the best way to get both offices equip, on a budget?

    SBS Premium (inc Exchange, MSSQL) ~500
    Windows 2003 Standard, Exchange 2000, MSSQL ~3,000

    A) Have SBS in Office1 with AD and the Standard Windows 2003 in Office2.
    B) Would, NOT including MSSQL at office2 (to cut back 1500) and use the MSSQL server in Office1 be adequate?
    C) Any other options?

    Any help, or direction would be great.

    Thanks for your time.

    PaulG.

  • #2
    Re: Windows network infrastructure for site to site

    Always remember the cost of the Client Access Licences. This can alter your apparent SBS cost dramatically! It comes with 5, but any more than that and you have to buy them in blocks of 5.

    You could run SBS at one site, and have the other office users get their email from it, thus you could have only one SBS box, then have just Server2003 at the other office. Depends on what they need. With caching, Outlook over the VPN for the remote office will be fine. Various ways to achieve that (OWA, RPC over HTTP...).

    So really (B) depends, on what application sat in front of SQL server and whether it was written with proper client/server architecture in mind. Some apps that are supposed to be client/server are so badly written they grind to a halt over a VPN, due to creating too much network traffic.

    You could consider Terminal Services, do this on a modest scale with a little TS box for perhaps 5 or so users to use and then you would be centralising lots of functionality and thus reducing costs at the remote office. Again, it depends on how many users require the database, etc. etc.

    Hope this may have been a little help - do post more info (number of users at each office, number that require access to the SQL server application, that sort of thing.)

    I have setup offices where nearly everything is centralised, and the branch offices have no server, just "dumb-ish" XP boxes getting all their needs from the head office. Can work very well indeed.

    Oh one final thought - cram as much RAM as possible into any server you buy. RAM is the god especially on SBS and on Terminal Services Servers
    Best wishes,
    PaulH.
    MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

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    • #3
      Re: Windows network infrastructure for site to site

      Thanks Paul.

      Regarding emails, I would prefer both offices to have their mailboxes local to them, if there is any downtime at one office, then the other office can still function and receive external emails. Having the two server sync emails would also be a great addition, in the event of a user form office1 being in office 2 and have local (speed) access to his mailbox.

      At this stage the MSSQL usage will be solely from Goldmine, of which 2 users will access in office 2 only, and of which I personally have no experience of.

      Users, there will be a maximum of 5 users in each office. So the included 5 CALs with each OS will be adequate for now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Windows network infrastructure for site to site

        Originally posted by pgudge View Post
        Having the two server sync emails would also be a great addition, in the event of a user form office1 being in office 2 and have local (speed) access to his mailbox.
        That's the part I'm doubtful about - speedy access to emails using OWA is fine and means you don't have tio sync email data when it's not really necessary. So I suggest that you leave emails local to the users' "own" offices, and when the user visits the other office, get him to use either OWA or Outlook remotely, either way should be fine.

        Other than that, you're on the right track.

        From what little I've heard of Goldmine, it sucks. I have one client on it for 2 years (their choice) and they hate it - have to say I agree from what I've seen.

        Good luck!
        Best wishes,
        PaulH.
        MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Windows network infrastructure for site to site

          Or just use one Mailserver and set Outlook to Caching mode?

          How many remote users do you have?
          This because I think it's more efficient to setup a site-to-site vpn without additional servers.
          Marcel
          Technical Consultant
          Netherlands
          http://www.phetios.com
          http://blog.nessus.nl

          MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
          "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

          "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
          "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

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          • #6
            Re: Windows network infrastructure for site to site

            From post 2:
            Originally posted by PaulH View Post
            You could run SBS at one site, and have the other office users get their email from it, ...
            So I agree with Marcel, and it may be an idea to ask why you are keen to have email local to each office? From the number of users you have given, I'd say one SBS server will do well.

            Also, if you can run Goldmine at one office, then use Terminal Services (on another server) for the remote offices to access Goldmine, it'll all be nice and central.

            Terminal Services will require just one reasonable server (in addition to your SBS server), nothing too expensive, with 4GB RAM should be fine.
            Best wishes,
            PaulH.
            MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Windows network infrastructure for site to site

              My only concern to having the one mail server is that if Office1 becomes disconnected (office1 issues, network issues, ISP issues, environment issues) Office2 can then no long receive external emails, and then work will stop. Two Exchange servers is a must.

              Would the following be possible?

              Windows 2003 Standard as the Domain Controller in Office1, and then SBS 2003 Premium installed in the second office and setup the domain relationship. This would allow user in office2 use MSSQL, Office1 users do not need SQL access.

              The connection (ISP) will not be a leased line just yet, they will be dependant on regular business ADSL packages. Which can sometime loose connectivity.

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