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Want to set up my server at home for simple purposes.

    Question

  • Hi,

    I am an IT student and recently took a course in Windows Servers in which we were to over the duration of the course setup and configure a server using Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.

    I was so excited to get to work with this kind of stuff that I went straight to ebay and bought a used Dell 1U CS24-SC JSD2  with two Quad core Xeon L5420 2.5GHz 12MB L2 Cache 1333Mhz processors, Dell S45 Mother board on intel 5100/ICH9R chipset with ASPEED AST2000 onboard graphics and 8GB PC2-5300P Ram and two 250GB 7.2K SATA drives with an additinal two blank caddies to fill.

    I have run the gauntlet setting it up as a double for the machine I am supposed to be configuring in the lab at school, just to make sure I could do the classroom exercises efficiently. Now that I am done with the course, I would like to put this beast to work as place to experiment with building web sites, as a source for media and data from remote access. I will soon be taking courses some 40 plus miles from the house which is a bugger of a turn around time of I forget a flash drive. So remote access would be nice, and to be able to host media throughout my home network consisting of two IMac's, two IPad Air's an MSI netbook running linux Ubuntu and a Dell notebook pc running Windows7  as well as two Apple Tv's.

    One of my biggest things is this: I know when setting up the class machine I was required to setup Active Directory Domain Services. Since essentially the Server and the Dell notebook are the only Windows devices on the network, is it necessary to run Active Directory Domain services to be able to use web server and provide a remote connection? It would be nice to either run a protected site that I can access my data files for school that I built myself, or be able to remote connect to the server and access from the web at school.

    If I am not mistaken, because of the proprietary nature of both the Windows Software and the Mac OS's, those devices will not communicate properly, also because of the same thing, the linux netbook is probably out of the question because neither Windows or Mac play well with Linux and the Apple Tv's are just dumb terminals.

    I admit I am extremely new and dying to learn more. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:55 PM

Answers

  • What ports you need to open, will depend on which services you want to publish.

    Typically 3389 TCP is the RDP protocol port, used for remote desktop and 53 UDP is domain name system. Which is used if you need to perform inbound DNS quires, which is only if you setup your own DNS server.

    And you more than welcome to ask :) - That's why we are here, to help others as much as we can, to better understand IT and especially the Microsoft part of this :)

    Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:15 AM
  • From what I understand you want to build websites and connect to your server remotely... totally possible.  Active directory isn't a requirement for any of that (but you can do it anyways).

    Since essentially the Server and the Dell notebook are the only Windows devices on the network, is it necessary to run Active Directory Domain services to be able to use web server and provide a remote connection?

    • No.  As Rhys mentioned you dont need Active Directory to connect to your home server (or home computer).  To do this you can open and forward ports from the router connected to your modem to your home computer.  The port depends on the software that you use, like you found 3389 is for Windows Remote Desktop.  There are other tools to do a similar task and may support multiple operating systems, such as VNC.

    It would be nice to either run a protected site that I can access my data files for school that I built myself

    • You can do this.  Again, active directory isn't needed.  On your server install the IIS role.  Then allow port 80 on your router to your server.  Make sure your server is kept up to date with patches, antivirus wouldnt help (MS has a free one i think for 2008), etc etc.  Then you start building your own sites.
    • Well.. openning port 80 on your router if you want people (including yourself) outside your home to access the site.  I'd get it working internally first, then subject yourself to the attacks of the world :)
    • Happy coding

     


    Friday, April 25, 2014 3:12 AM

All replies

  • You don't need active directory to do what you are describing.  And MAC and Windows can play together - here's a helpful link for accessing Windows file shares from a Mac:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1568

    As for remote access, your biggest challenge will be setting up port forwarding on your broadband modem/switch/router/whatever you have because each manufacturer is different, but if you just want to access files remotely, you can setup ftp and forward requests on that port to your server as a very simple and straightforward first step.


    I hope this post has helped!

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:03 PM
  • Hiya,

    you might want to look into running some sort of server virtualization technology. That will allow you to create and remove servers, as you want to play around with different technologies/roles/features of the Windows Server. Also that way you would prevent cluttering the base/host server when you try to configure new things. You need to check if your server supports virtualization.The 8GB of memory will be a somewhat limiting factor however.

    Linux/Windows/Apple are learning to speak together - if your presenting your stuff using http or ftp, it's usually easier. However its not at all impossible to get them to talk together using direct TCP/IP.

    If you need to get your stuff at home while at school  or basically anywhere else, you need fixed public IP on your home connection as well as open the required ports, as Rhys describes. It might be easier to use cloud service storage if your talking documents. (SkyDrive, Gdrive, Dropbox)

    Sharing within your own home network you need to setup some sort of media center. Properly not using Windows here is a good idea, as they are somewhat rigid on formats and such. If you create a virtualization host, you could boot up a Linux server and use that.

    Have you considered what direction your going for IT? It's quite a big area, so always good to consider some sort direction :)

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:15 PM
  • These are some interesting points.

    I am currently pursuing an associate's in Computer Networking as this is about all I will have time to accomplish while using my GI Bill, I hope to advance to a higher degree eventually, but since it will be on my dime I have to pace myself.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:27 PM
  • Thanks for the quick response,

    I have gone into my router and forwarded the ports 3389 and 53, but I am guessing I need different ports forwarded.

    I will take a look at the link you provided and re-address the situation and see what happens.

    Again thanks for the informative response.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:31 PM
  • What ports you need to open, will depend on which services you want to publish.

    Typically 3389 TCP is the RDP protocol port, used for remote desktop and 53 UDP is domain name system. Which is used if you need to perform inbound DNS quires, which is only if you setup your own DNS server.

    And you more than welcome to ask :) - That's why we are here, to help others as much as we can, to better understand IT and especially the Microsoft part of this :)

    Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:15 AM
  • From what I understand you want to build websites and connect to your server remotely... totally possible.  Active directory isn't a requirement for any of that (but you can do it anyways).

    Since essentially the Server and the Dell notebook are the only Windows devices on the network, is it necessary to run Active Directory Domain services to be able to use web server and provide a remote connection?

    • No.  As Rhys mentioned you dont need Active Directory to connect to your home server (or home computer).  To do this you can open and forward ports from the router connected to your modem to your home computer.  The port depends on the software that you use, like you found 3389 is for Windows Remote Desktop.  There are other tools to do a similar task and may support multiple operating systems, such as VNC.

    It would be nice to either run a protected site that I can access my data files for school that I built myself

    • You can do this.  Again, active directory isn't needed.  On your server install the IIS role.  Then allow port 80 on your router to your server.  Make sure your server is kept up to date with patches, antivirus wouldnt help (MS has a free one i think for 2008), etc etc.  Then you start building your own sites.
    • Well.. openning port 80 on your router if you want people (including yourself) outside your home to access the site.  I'd get it working internally first, then subject yourself to the attacks of the world :)
    • Happy coding

     


    Friday, April 25, 2014 3:12 AM