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IT infrastructure small business RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I am looking to some advice for setting up an IT infrastructure for a small business. 

    Current architecture

    • 1 server (4C/4T, 2.4 GHz and 4 GB) with Windows Small Business 2008
    • Database SQL Server 2008;
    • Email Exchange Server;
    • 5 Windows 7 clients;
    • The server is used as file-server, database server, email server and DC for the network.

    This current infrastructure is very slow, at the moment we are also working on developing a database service application. This application will use SQL Server, WCF, WPF for intranet application and a web-application for remote access via laptop/mobile/tablet. This application will be a vital application for the business and will be used daily by different employees. The web-application will only be used by 2 users and only a couple of times a day.

    The client wants to have a secure and fast solution for the WPF and web-application, at the moment I am researching if we need to buy a new server. The requirements for the new architecture are as follows:

    Requirements IT infrastructure

    • Host WCF services for intranet and web-application;
    • File server capabilities for storing the company files;
    • SQL Server database;
    • Email server;
    • Must be able to extend in the future when there are more users;
    • Backup solution;
    • Supported for the coming +/-10 years.

    At the moment I have two options on my mind:

    Option 1: Only upgrade RAM to 8GB or 16 GB

    • Using this option the server will get some additional tasks when the application is finished. It will then be used as file-server, web-server, application server, database server, email server and DC for the network. I don’t know if I can deliver a fast database application when the server has so many tasks?
    • Support for Windows 2008 SBS will end in 2020, so my client will need to update his current infrastructure again in 5 years.

    Option 2: Buy a new server with Windows Server 2012 R2

    • Use the server as a file server, web-server, application server, database server and DC;
    • Move the email to Exchange Online;
    • Possibility to move a task or tasks to the old server;
    • Supported for the coming 8 years.

     

    At the moment I am a little struggling what’s the right approach here:

    • I read many posts and articles stating that you should separate responsibilities over different servers. But buying 3 or 4 servers will be overkill for the requirements that my client have.
    • My client doesn’t have an IT department that will manage the infrastructure in the future. So the final infrastructure should not be to complex and require a lot of maintenance.
    • As stated my client has high demands on the speed of the database application. He wants to be able to access this application around the world and wants to have a fast and secure experience and is willing to pay an appropriate amount for this.
    • Also when using 1 server, this server needs to be available as a web-server. This will pose a threat when it will be hacked or has a virus. Everything will depend on this one server.

    So my questions are:

    • What’s a good approach to separate the responsibilities over servers?
    • What’s a reasonable amount of tasks for a server in this situation?
    • How many servers should I use in this situation and how should I separate the tasks?
    • If we need to buy a new server, what kind of hardware does this server need?
      • Number of cores?
      • RAM?
      • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Essentials?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Marcel

    • Edited by marcel222 Sunday, October 19, 2014 1:09 PM
    Sunday, October 19, 2014 1:06 PM

Answers

  • Hi Marcel,

    1- you need to separate applications and wcf service from data layer so better each on is on a server

    2- it is better to have in your case 3 servers 1 for apps and wcf, other for DB, other for email and file share

    Windows 2012 64-bit server standard with 8 GB of RAM and 4 cores that would be good


    Kind Regards, John Naguib Technical Consultant/Architect MCITP, MCPD, MCTS, MCT, TOGAF 9 Foundation

    • Proposed as answer by John NaguibMVP Sunday, November 2, 2014 12:45 PM
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Friday, July 17, 2015 12:00 PM
    Monday, October 20, 2014 9:15 AM

All replies

  • Hi Marcel,

    1- you need to separate applications and wcf service from data layer so better each on is on a server

    2- it is better to have in your case 3 servers 1 for apps and wcf, other for DB, other for email and file share

    Windows 2012 64-bit server standard with 8 GB of RAM and 4 cores that would be good


    Kind Regards, John Naguib Technical Consultant/Architect MCITP, MCPD, MCTS, MCT, TOGAF 9 Foundation

    • Proposed as answer by John NaguibMVP Sunday, November 2, 2014 12:45 PM
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Friday, July 17, 2015 12:00 PM
    Monday, October 20, 2014 9:15 AM
  • Hello John,

    Thanks for your answer.

    What if I only if 2 servers available? Whats the best way to separate the tasks in this case?

    Regards,

    Marcel

    Thursday, October 23, 2014 12:59 PM
  • Hi Marcel,

    Then try to Separate the Database and ongoing assessment can be done based on servers resources consumption. 


    Kind Regards, John Naguib Technical Consultant/Architect MCITP, MCPD, MCTS, MCT, TOGAF 9 Foundation

    Thursday, October 23, 2014 1:12 PM