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over my head????

Discussion in 'Networks' started by steve_p1981, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

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    Ok, so the boss tells me yesterday that he wants to buy a server for our company. It's only a small shop with 5 pc's and a handfull of printers. I asked him why and he said that he want's all the important files and the partsprogram centralised. I told him that you could do this with a normal PC but he's insistant he wants a server.

    He's been offered a used one that will be wiped but come with some sort of networking OS software but he doesn't know what. He also wants it configured so that he can access it from home on his days off.

    My worries are, can i still keep the printers connected to the computers that they are already with? i assume i can. can i still use the belkin router / access point that i have been? will my IP addresses need changing? I assume i'll have to disable the DHCP on either the router or the server? will i have to set up passwords and user permissions or can i just have no specific user profiles as we're always switching computers that we work on and logging off and on will be a right pain in the arriss? how do i go about letting him on the network from home?

    I know there are a few questions there but any help would be great. He seems to think that as i'm doing my a+ course, i should know everything about everything to do with computing :ohmy
     
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    depends on what the server is and the os is I suppose but to allow him to access the server from home you would propbably have to setup a VPN so most likely you would need another router. Someone will have to be administrator and you will have to setup user accounts and permissions. Since it sounds like your boss doesn't know much you should acts as admin, you will have to anyway to set everything up.

    You probably will have to setup a static IP too so that people can access the VPN if thats the way you end up going.

    You will be able to run the printers from the PCs that have them but you will need to set the server to run as a print sever and domain controller too.

    Why not tell him that the A+ is a basic course and is no way related to setting up servers and VPN connections?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. karan1337

    karan1337 Byte Poster

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    yes u could tell him that.

    But i think if u *try* to get things done, by researching on forums, technet and other resources, it would help u in the future while upgrading your certs.
    Also, having a server at your workplace will make it a playground for u to gain experience in later stages. Try convincing him :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, MCTS, Brainbench: XP and Vista [Master]
    WIP: Bachelors:Computer Science
  4. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    One option is to hire in a consultant to do all the setup, just ensure they fully document everything.

    Otherwise it would be a great exercise in planning and implementing, if it is one server then you would probably be better off setting up 2003 server.

    Things I would recommend

    Get a UPS for the server, that way if there is a power cut, the server stays on, you can then shut it down "gracefully" and not risk losing work

    Invest in a backup system, either to tape of some form of disk storage system, and leanr the difference between Full, differential and incremental backups for your backup strategy.

    You can run the server in a workgroup, so you dont necessarily need an Active Directory domain, but you will have much more security, and access to group policy, when you implement AD, look at that as a more long term project in your situation.

    I would set up DNS and DHCP on the server, as when you configure AD, it will need/integrate DNS.

    Exams you should study for 70-290 and 70-291 will help you get up to speed, maybe an AD one as well when you get to that stage.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    If you want give me a shout, I am Essex based.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Taking on this project with no experience of doing it before or guidance on what to do could be very stressful for the OP and all responsability will be on his shoulders. Not a good move to do it in my opinion although it would be a good learning experience it may make him look bad to his boss especially if he runs into trouble and can't fix the problems.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Which is why I said to him to give me a shout.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  8. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

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    thanks for th advice, i got to work this morning and he said he'd "done some research" and thought that it was too expensive to set up. He didn't realise you buy the tower then have to buy separate servers and understood why i was concerned when he suggested it yesterday as it would be alot of work when we could just get one of the computers here to "act" as a server as such or go virtual.
    I'm still interested in looking to access remotely but not using a remote setup like go to my pc or logmein. I disocvered how to set a static ip but would doing this and making it available for outside use increase the chance of infection both from his pc and hackers?
    we will be looking at a cloud solution to back ups as there's a company called carbonite that do it incrementally and it waits untill the pc is inactive to upload the files. plus it's cheap which the boss loves with no limit on space. what do you guys think?
    i'm not trying to get my work done for me but this is all new and i need a little guidance. cheers
     
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    With only 5 PCs, I wouldn't recommend getting a server unless you absolutely have to have one. That said, if you do get one, you'll be able to get some good server administration experience that will help you as you grow in your career. :)

    If you are setting the computers up with a static public IP with no NAT or firewall to protect them, then yes, you increase the exposure. Unfortunately, that's not uncommon in small companies.

    If you don't mind your company's private data being stored in the cloud, Carbonite provides a good service. But remember, anytime you store anything on a computer, server, or cloud-based resource that is outside of your own administrative control, you run a risk of that data being exposed. It is up to you to determine whether the reward is worth the risk. If it were me with five networked PCs, I'd just set up a backup scheme where the files are copied from one computer to another. That's not gonna help you if the building burns down... but you could copy files to a USB key every so often and carry that key to an offsite location.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. greenbrucelee
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    I know I Was actually meaning to respond to Karan but pressed reply instead of quote.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    It would have been a good environment for Small Business Server 2003 or 2008. Printers could have stayed the same way but you could have made the server a print server as well to keep things simple.

    To be honest 1 to 2 days from a contractor could get that server set up properly for you.

    Alternatively buy it and gradually migrate PCs onto the new domain as you get more comfortable working with a server\client setup.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  12. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

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    I told him that a server for just 5 PC's was a bit OTT and that we can easily back up a usb key that he could take home, but he seems to be insistant that this company will allow him to use any pc like it's one in the shop. I tried to explain that unless the pc he was using had the same software on then the parts program stuff is useless as are any files that are written in specific file types like our accounts package. I also mentioned that to use the files he'd have to retrieve them off the server, I don't think he believes me so if he wants to do that then i won't stop him. I can only advise. Cheers to you guys for the advice though. I'd like to get some server and active directory experience as i'm looking to move into a larger company. It's hard to do that with no experience in that software
     
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  13. Connell

    Connell New Member

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    ok, first get him to invest in 2 firewalls and a ts gateway server to sit in the DMZ which will allow him to remote access in from home securely.
     
  14. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Actually that’s not a good solution. One backup copy of data on a USB drive? Does the data ever get verified\checked – probably not. What happens if the drive is misplaced or you need a file from a few weeks ago – unlikely this will be an option.

    It’s a separate debate about if a server should be installed or not. I say it is a good option, especially with SBS 2008 as you get full domain functionality \ Exchange Server \ Sharepoint and the option of hosting other applications and even a virtual server on the same box. Plenty of useful business tools for a small(ish) outlay.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  15. Sparky
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    Complete overkill :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  16. steve_p1981

    steve_p1981 Byte Poster

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    this is a boss of a small company that doesn't like to spend out unnecessarily, so i doubt he'll go for a proper back up solution. i recommended a tape back up but he didn't want to buy the machine and tapes. even if we uploaded to a remote server, would the data get verified \ checked? probably not for £42 per year. not so sure if \ how it gets verified on the tapes. We've had to use the USB back up before after the parts system server died and i had to transfer it all to a new pc. I'm still on a steep learning curve with this area of IT so i'm trying different ideas and seeing what the pros and cons are for each way.

    I downloaded a copy of comodo back up software, does back up software verify the data???
     
    Certifications: A+ 220-701 and 220-702
    WIP: none at current but poss 70-680 soon
  17. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    A cost effective way to do this:

    Set up a share that is available to all users on a specific machine.
    Then use the back up system that is built into windows to create a backup of important files on each machine to this location.

    Then I would either get a usb stick as suggested or an external harddisk and backup the data from this share to the removable media, take this offsite or store in fireproof safe.

    Ideally you would have one use drive for each day, but you can be flexible depending upon amount of data being backed up and size of the disks, so limiting this to one offsite one onsite and rotate them, so all you pay for is 2 use drives, so this is doable for 100 quid ish.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
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  18. Solkazo

    Solkazo Bit Poster

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    Call me silly but couldn't you have a shared drive on a PC set up as the server - install some free back up software from online to copy his documents / emails etc to the shared drive.

    On the server have it set to raid 1 (mirroring) as his back up.

    As far as remote connections go set up something lile UltraVNC

    Cheap and easy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
    Certifications: HND Computing and Business
    WIP: Exam 70-680
  19. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    I both agree, and disagree with this last comment.

    Data leakage isn't necessarily a problem within the realm of Cloud based offerings. In some respects, they may even be more secure than on-premise setups. The figures vary depending on who you ask, but the largest leakages of information that have occurred at companies in the past, did not necessarily come from hacker attacks and the like, they came from the people within the company, that took company data and passed it onwards. The figure is astonishingly high and we've seen recent cases of this with Wikileaks, most recently with an ex-Banker in Switzerland that passed two CD's worth of data to Wikileaks.

    Yes, cloud offerings run the risk of hacker attacks, but this is why you choose your cloud solution very carefully. For example, Google uses software and algorithms to feed targeted ads to the users of their cloud offerings based on the data these customers provide them. Microsoft does not.

    Does this make Microsoft a more secure Cloud partner to work with? Not necessarily. But I do know that we take the security of our customers data very seriously. As such, I no longer consider the idea of Cloud based storage as being within a less secure location. On top of this, I have seen details on how Microsoft stores Cloud based data, and I can assure you that it is stored in a very secure manner with extremely limited access to anything (and of course we're looking at not just the data, but the software running it, and the servers that host this data).

    In the end, we all joke about how to secure data:
    - Dump the server in concrete
    - Throw it in the deepest trench of an ocean
    - Unplug all cables from the server
    But we all know how easy it will be for your end-users to work once you do that, and ironically, a Cloud based offering may also increase access to data for your users if you wish to do so, and this in turn may increase productivity (working from home, being able to read emails on the phone while at vacation, etc... but it is to each and everyone to decide if they wish to go into the moral aspect of expecting their users to work during their free time... I know that we in IT do this, but others may not want to).

    I think the shift in mentality regarding the Cloud will change with time, I still read of people saying how they won't buy Windows 8 because it can "connect to the cloud". Well, we're already connected to the cloud. Your Hotmail or Gmail account contains personal mail hosted by Microsoft or Google. If you want to use Windows 8 without moving your files to the Cloud, then I don't see how this would be a problem. I can store all my Windows Phone 7 files in the Cloud, but I can also choose to not do this.

    So just food for thought...

    Now, back to the question of cloud based offerings, I would recommend that the OP take a quick look at Microsoft's Office 365 offering for Small Businesses: http://office365.microsoft.com/en-US/small-business.aspx

    The offer should be available for UK based companies as well in the very near future (BPOS is the current solution, but 365 will replace this once it's outs of Beta). The services provided by this for a very low fee are very interesting, providing large inboxes, Cloud based storage, Sharepoint and Lync collaboration tool and of course on-line Office applications (which if you've tried it, has some very sweet features such as being able to edit Excel files in real-time by multiple people, with constant back-ups on-line).

    And you can try it out for free over a period of 1 month, right now :)
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    For the record, I never said that the USB copy was the only backup method, nor did I say that there should be only one USB key. I said it was a method that they could use to mitigate the chance that their local backup would be lost due to fire or other disaster that causes the loss of every PC at the site.

    Poo-pooh the idea if you want... but it's a passable backup solution for extremely small companies that don't have the money to invest in a server or tape backup.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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