Redisgn Best Practices

15 pts.
Tags:
Domain Controller
Linux
NAS
Novell
Unix
Windows Server 2008
I work in a Novell/Netware environment and we are workin to outsource our GW and change it to Outlook. I feel like our network is just a bunch of piece thrown around to do jobs but they don't function as a cohesive unit. I'm working to find the best redesign ideally switching to Active Directory so we can integrate with out web monitoring, email, workstations, firewall, and anitvirus server in a much better fashion. My initial thoughts were to migrate to a Server2008 Domain Controller (this would manage our AD). For a file server I was thinking linux or some sort of NAS. We have about 90 users and are planning to expand up to about 175 over the next few years. I am trying to find a scalable, functional solution. Can I get some input from you IT pros out there? I'm one of those young just out of college guys...I've been working in the tech field for 7ish years...mostly project jobs/internships. I've been at this job for two years now and can see where we need to improve... Thanks,
ASKED: June 12, 2009  7:52 PM
UPDATED: June 15, 2009  10:08 PM

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This is a good place to ask this question. You will get a lot of different ideas from people in different environments, but after you review all of the posts you should decide on the system that you and your colleagues are most comfortable with.

If you want everything to work cohesively, Microsoft Active Directory is a good choice. Microsoft has a solution for everything firewall, email, antivirus etc.. You will probably want to take advantage of the System Center tools for centralized manageability.

In addition to manageability, you will also gain the benefit of the largest user base in the world; thus, you will have several sources, including the IT Knowledge Exchange, to ask and get answers to problems or issues.

You should also note that a linux based file server might not be a great idea with MS Active Directory. For a cohesive solution, you should use a Windows based file server or NAS to manage access using Active Directory permissions.

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  • YJTechy
    Thanks for your input. I had thought about the Linux file server because of the fact it's Linux. I was thinking it might be a little more secure, stable, and potentially less susceptible to viruses. I was thinking NAS because it would allow for a redundant solution that would also easy scalability....to add more had drives to expand out storage when needed. What are the thoughts on that?
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  • mshen
    Those are very good reasons to use a linux file server. You should also consider access permissions, and whether your linux file server supports Single Sign-On with your client operating systems. It would be a pain for the users to have to login every time they need to access their networked files so make sure your linux distribution supports Active Directory LDAP authentication if you are leaning toward an Active Directory environment. NAS storage is low cost, but not the most stable solutions out there. They all run some kind of OS, and I've found most run a simplified version of a Windows Server OS. If you want scalability, you can go with an iSCSI or a Fiber Channel SAN. They are expensive, but they provide much better stability and flexibility than NAS boxes. Attaching a SAN LUN to your file server will make it look like the SAN is another drive directly attached to the server.
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