Network design Project, continued from Have to build a high end server for school.

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by J32P2006, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    Here's the whole story of what I started trying to do in the thread Have to build a high end server for school.
    I was going overboard on the server hardware itself and not concentrating on the overall project.
    I'm looking for input on a simple yet efficient network setup here.





    [​IMG]



    For starters, what servers does this setup call for (links please)?


    Thanks for your time,
    J32P2006
     
  2. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    reserved....


    Need input on what are some good to great servers for this job ?
     
  3. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'll be on later tonight...but one area I'd look into is the printers. I prefer HP. You'll also usually have different grade printers across your network...based on needs. Some higher end units, some more basic. An office that size..you're bound to have at least big mopier, and several high volume high output duplexing units.

    The "software" that will be run is still an unknown..so as of yet..still only a blind stab at the servers, possibility of database engines (SQL for example), special agents for backup of it. That software will be a substantial part of this overall price also...quite possibly over 50 grand for that software alone. Might be an all in one solution (point of sale/inventory/book-keeping).
     
  4. Boscoh

    Boscoh [H]ard|Gawd

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    Personally, I'd outsource the web server to a colo.

    The DB needs to be the one recommended by whatever POS software you end up going with.

    I'd go with HP or Ricoh network printers. These would probably be a monthly cost, you'd lease them from a service company that will also come maintain them. Long term, it might be cheaper to lease one big network printer than buy 11 individual ones that need cartridges replaced all the time.

    I'd use Cisco Catalyst Express 500-24TT switches. They're Cisco's new SMB line with 24 10/100 ports. You should be able to get them for right around 500 from a good VAR. Probably a bit more if you went with someone online like CDW. You can manage them from a central location with Cisco's Network Assitant, which is the best free management app I've ever seen. They have a 12 port gigabit model (500G-12TC) that should cost you around 1200-1300, I'd use two of these to aggregate the 500-24's and connect to servers, plugging one uplink from the 500-24's into each 500G-12, and one NIC from each server into each 500G-12 and use DNS loadbalancing for them. If you find yourself needing more than 8 ports for the servers on the 500G-12's (I'm assuming you buy 4 500-24's for a total of 96 ports) then there's a Cisco 2960G-24TC that has 24 10/100/1000 ports, they're right around 2k each. You could also go with HP Procurve switches for this project. You'd probably save a little...most of what you save would be for the gig switches most likely.

    I see you've got 20k priced out for each server. Thats a bit much I think. I just put together a Dell PowerEdge 2850 with the following specs for less than 6k. This is more than what you'll need. This might be what you want the database servers to be running, minus 1 hard drive maybe. Take this setup and subtract a processor for the file servers. The other servers can be a lot less (maybe an 1850 with RAID 1).
    You could get 4 of these (and they'll do anything required by a business of this size and type) for about the price of one of the servers you quoted up in your list. Get a Tripplite Smart-Online 3000va (or 3500, cant remember). Plug the backup power supplies from each server into it, plug the primary power supplies into some good Tripplite Isobar strips.

    Also, 2k for each workstation is astronomical. They're not doing graphics and CAD design are they? Just simple office word processing and stuff? You can probably get a very nice Dell Optiplex for well less than 1k.

    Get a 42u Dell rack for the servers and the network equipment, that should run you a couple grand. A Dell PowerVault Autoloader for backing up all your servers and the Veritas software to do it will probably cost around 5 or 6k, off the top of my head.

    Anyways...thats what I've got to offer.

    EDIT. A single T-1 will probably cost you 500-600 a year. If you colo the web server then you wont have to deal with redundant inbound WAN links. You could get both business class DSL and business class cable for probably less per year than a single T-1. with a router/firewall like the Cisco 1800-series that can do load balancing between both of them, it's unlikely that you'd ever face a complete WAN outage.
     
  5. berky

    berky 2[H]4U

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    do you have to work with a budget? if so, what is it?
     
  6. Kaos

    Kaos [H]ard|Gawd

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    Definately colo or have someone host the webserver/eCommerce and the email server is usually provided with any kind of pro hosting.

    This does a few things, for security's sake if your webserver is compromised they wont be able to get into your internal network...Alot of people are not Apache or IIS configuration gods and tend to fudge the security up alot. If you leave this up to a colo chances are youll get a fatter pipe than you normally would.

    This will also help with bandwidth issues.

    I wouldnt even look at a t3 as far as connections go, google "bonded T1's"

    Network cabling is usually $80 per drop for under 100 drops and $90 for plenum drops, it gets cheaper per drop but thats not your scale currently so stick with 80 or 90 x number of connections needed.

    Run a fiber backbone between the store and the inventory warehouse. VLAN them if the switches allow. for POS systems IBM has some really innovative stuff.

    you might find that full POS systems are 2k...NO BUSINESS would greenlight 2k for regular workstations unless its a design company or something that requires that horsepower. SMB's usually get celery's or low end AMD's. Larger tier businesses go for baseline flagship processors.

    alot of POS systems throw info into some sort of mysql or sql server...you can use linux or mac or windows for this.

    When I designed this activity I leaned towards security first and foremost because thats my main interest. I kept as many services off of windows as possible. Linux and OSX handle all the normal workhorse services (DNS, DHCP, FTP, HTTP, SMB, NAT, NFS, Firewall, VPN, Mail) VERY well. A nice OS X server with about 2gb of ram (or more) can handle alot of them in one box for a business of that size.

    I like to help alot of the people still in school, especially ITT (Im still posting in my capstone forum for all the new capstone students) But i do not like to divulge direct products and exact configurations. If any of you have rolled over into the programming forum they have a strict policy of not doing other people's homework for them and usually help people out with theory, and that's what I like to do as well. If you ask about a specific product Ill be glad to throw my 2 cents on it, but if you apply theory to practice youll end up walking away much more informed.
     
  7. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    No budget, but it has to make sense and be realistical... well somewhat...
    :p
     
  8. Boscoh

    Boscoh [H]ard|Gawd

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    Very true. I gave him products, but I left out a lot of configuration details for a reason. I had a project like this (but it was with regards to securely designing a website), and one of my peers did a fancy presentation and looked very professional, until the prof asked him specifics about how he'd configure certain things.

    While it'd be easy for someone to take this equipment and throw it into a project, if you dont know how to design for HA then it would behoove you to not act as though you do ;). Projects like this are just as much about learning what products are best for a situation as they are about how to implement them properly.

    The server config was more to state a point that 20k/server is wayyy out there. To the OP: do NOT use that server config for all your servers, use it as more of a "what you really dont need to exceed" mark. You can get a great SMB server for a lot less that the one I priced out.
     
  9. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    Hey, I don't think anyone has been doing my work for me.
    And I never asked for them to do that.
     
  10. Boscoh

    Boscoh [H]ard|Gawd

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    Never said ya did :) .

    IMO, learning how to build networks is more of an apprenticeship type of thing than just reading books. Someone's opinion of what equipment they'd use in this kind of situation is going to teach you a lot more than you would learn reading it out of a book (at least it did for me). That method benefits those who really want to learn this stuff, and for the ones who just want the easy way out...that will become very apparent once they enter the job market if not before.

    Oh, I should mention that with the redundant power supplies, if you plug only PS2 into the UPS, and the power supply dies when it switches over then you're screwed. If you want maximum uptime in power failures, use two UPS's.
     
  11. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    Can someone help me out with 4,5,6 of the software part of this project...

    I'm unsure what exactly client cal's are ???
    And what email service/program to run ??? What are the top ones ?
    And when it says web, it's talking about the website this company wants to run right?




    Thanks for your time,
    J32P2006
     
  12. Kaos

    Kaos [H]ard|Gawd

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    Cals are client access licenses. Often in corporate environments you would order a single windows disc and however many CALS you need. For email on windows Exchange is the defacto standard, most *nix boxes for mail services will run something like postfix. web is for the website or web applications.

    I didnt say we were doing your homework for you, just stating that it would be wiser to post process instead of product.

    on a happier note, I lost my job today.
     
  13. Boscoh

    Boscoh [H]ard|Gawd

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    That sucks. Sorry to hear that. I was forced to resign from mine two days before Christmas (also the same day I proposed to my now-fiancee - what a day)...long story, but it wasn't because of job performance as I'm guessing yours wasn't either. Anyhow, it sucks.
     
  14. Kaos

    Kaos [H]ard|Gawd

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    I realized that I was being ripped off expenses-wise and said something about it, their response was to look for a new job.
     
  15. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    Sorry to hear that... But thanks for the help... :)
     
  16. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    Where can I find prices on outsourcing a website ?

    And what is COLO ?



    Thanks for your time,
    J32P2006
     
  17. Kaos

    Kaos [H]ard|Gawd

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    if you want quick numbers you can look at sites like networksolutions or 1and1 iPowerWeb is ranked pretty well too. If you are getting a dedicated server package from them performance shouldnt be an issue and you get some rediculous amount of email addresses to hand out. My webserver package gave me 250gb of transfer a month, 5gb storage, 500 email addresses and a few other things (birthday present from fiancee)

    COLO is short for colocated. basically you can either rent a server or have your housed in a major datacenter such as Level3 where my Xcompanies VOIP servers are kept.
     
  18. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    First...brew yourself a pot of coffee.

    Server prices will vary, but being around 7 grand per, well, averages out somewhat OK without knowing the details. The DC/Infrastructure box doesn't have to be that big...as I mentioned, something like an HP Proliant dl360, single CPU, 1 gig of RAM, pair of 72 gig drives in RAID 1, would be about what I'd start with. You can price that out. For your MS Exchange Server, and for your database/application server, 1x each of an HP Proliant DL380 would be my choice, probably pair of Xeons, 2 or 4 gigs of RAM, pair of 72 RAID 1 for OS, and 3x or more RAID 5 for data volumes. You can price those out. I'd also look at a NAS box, maybe something like an HP Proliant DL100 NAS or higher. You can price those out. For backup, if backing up a NAS box, Exchange, database/application...you're looking at some sizable backup...perhaps an external Ultrium 200/400...you're looking at near 3 grand for that hardware and tapes alone.

    For workstations, I strongly disagree that SMBs should have low end Celery boxes. I flat out will not install or support anything less than full Pentiums for my clients, I always insist on full Pentiums, 512 megs of RAM, full business grade workstations with a 3 year warranty. Heavier duty users, such as those in Accounting department..a gig of RAM. None of those $499 celeron shitboxes struggling to run WinXP on 256 megs of RAM with a 120 day or 1 year warranty, stuffed with cheap Maxtor hard drives that will blow up in 367 days. When considering cost per workstation, you're not far off targeting 1500 bucks...considering monitor, surge strip, patch cable, MS Office, cable organizer, and setup labor per workstation. What people don't realize, is there is no cost savings in going with cheaper molasses slow processors underspec'd in RAM. Most people here know it it agonizingly slow working on underhorsepowered machines, doing service pack installs, installing software, windows updates, cleaning of malware, etc. A tech consultant at $100/hour working on some south american tree sloth slow Celeron that takes 5 times longer for him to work on than a properly spec'd out unit with a full Pentium atn 512 megs...well...3 grade business math there.

    For laptops...even closer to 2 grand...I love IBM Thinkpads. Again, full business models with 3 year warranties. At least 1300 bucks or more per unit..depending on which models you get. And no Celeries here either...Pentium Ms, 512 megs for light users, a gig of RAM for heavy duty users. Considering docking stations/port replicators, equipment to balance out those port replicators (monitors/keyboard/mouse/extra power supply), carry cases, 12volt power adapters for the mobile fleet to use in cars, mobile sized printers for same fleet to use in cars, yeah....laptop users can easily reach and surpass 2000 per unit.

    11 switches? :eek: 100 or so nodes? Hrrrmmm. I see a lot of $ that can be chopped from there, almost 800 bucks per switch...I'd re-arrange that area. I'd probably have an 8 port 10/100/1000 switch at the top, several 24 port or a couple of 48 ports with a pair of giga-uplinks/or/mini GBIC connectors for sffLC fiber tranceivers for any long home runs. Switches at the end of these long fiber runs can just be some basic unmanaged 24 port 10/100 models with a mini GBIC module for the fiber, about 150 bucks each plus the tranceiver.

    Network cabinets and battery backup units...brand loyalty here..I'm all APC, keep my business local to some good people (they're located in Rhode Island). I love their Netshelter cabinets..most prices are similar for those no matter what brand, about 2 grand is right with appropriate options. Think about an LCD/KB/Mouse tray to work with your srevers. 4x servers and the switches a pair of APC 1400 smart ups (two servers per) and a single 1000 unit for the switches/router/KVM.

    Antivirus...you're close in price...but probably forgetting a few special packages. I priced it out for your network, based on 100 users, including Enterprise Edition (which includes servers and all workstations, plus Remote Admin Server, plus Remote Admin Console), plus the Exchange antivirus agent..called XMON. It's about $2,500.00 for the first year, renewal is 60% of that for each year after that, including program updates. Cheaper rates if purchase/renew for 2 years or more.

    Labor...here's where the real fun begins. IMO the rates you have up there are waaay low. But this does vary by region. I'm between $100/hour, and $125/hour..depending on client. Oh I have two that I have scheduled weekly visits with, a minimal set of hours per week, that I negotiated 85/hour for...(I call them monthlies..guaranteed hours each month). But on the whole...around where I'm at, most consultants average 100/hour.

    In guestimating costs...I look at several things. A project this size is a pretty decent job for one person...you might want a helper or two. I'm talking about just the computer hardware, the wiring stuff, esp one this size, I'd outsource to someone. Don't forget...every single box you have will be dealt with my you. When you take a box, carry it to a table...cut it open, remove the contents, discard of the packaging material and box, take the computer...unbuckle the OS, run all your windows updates, install MS Office, run all your Office updates, install all the little "extras" like the latest Adobe Acrobat, Google Toolbar, Quicktime, Macromedia Shockware, Macromedia Flash, latest Java, Spybot update and immunize, CCleaner, Adaware, Microsoft Defender, SpywareBlaster...all those little things some of us do to each workstation we install and support..carry the unit onsite, setup, organize the cables, log it into the domain, set up "stuff" on the domain, push out the antivirus....this is all time that you want to consider. I start with 4x hours per workstation. Each time a client orders a workstation...for starters...I charge 4 hours of my time to order it, receive it, built it, deliver it onsite, install "basic" software. Additional software that's time intensive to install is extra. Now...on the flip side...a network build this large, obviously it's not 4 hours per. You'll probably have several "classes" of machines here...so you can "build" an image for each one..."sysprep it", then "clone" that image to the other "same model" machines..thus saving a lot of time in the build. So....it's not 80 rigs x 4...but you still have a decent amount of time ahead of you here. I'd still probably shoot for at least 1 hour per rig.

    Servers...the cabinet...here's a whole 'nother thing to think about...lot of time involved in doing this, the patch panel, switches, etc. Building the servers...tough to think about, because there's a lot that goes into the setup past just unbuckling the OS, running your windows updates, and sticking them into the server cabinet. 4x servers plus battery ups plus the server cabinets plus the switches..oh you have a full day right there. Now comes the lengthy part...setting up your user accounts, organizing the groups, the shares, setting up your antivirus server, pushing it out to clients, setting up your backup routine. Setting up your main applications. Deploying those applications to appropriate users. You quite possibly have at least 30 hours right there in setup and deployment of the servers and user accounts.

    Documenting everything....that's a billable, of high value to the client wether they realize it or not. Time spent so if you get hit by a bus...some other propeller-head can figure out this mess and pick up the pieces.

    "Training"...keep your sanity...chop that waaaay down. 1) Train only a few department heads or managers in the basics. 2)...the core of training will be needed in whatever mainstream application this business is going to run on. And that software company will be doing the training in that application. You can attend it if you wish (billable of course), but IMO it's not necessary for the IT guy, keep that support outsourced to the software company...that's their job, you're most likely paying for it anyways on a yearly basis. Your job should go as far as maintaining the servers, the network..and deploying this application to workstations. That's about it.You'll be on a first name basis with their support staff through phone calls, and granting them remote access to your servers to "do their stuff" with the server component of their software.

    Ongoing main...25 hours/week seems a bit high to me...I'd say close to 1/2 of that...but since the hourly rate you have is less than 1/2 what I'd shoot for ...the end price for support is about right.

    I fully agree...outsource your web hosting. And at the same time...have them scrub/wash the e-mail (spam and viruses) before it hits your Exch server. Most of the better hosting companies do that.

    Bandwidth...if VPN is important, nothing beats managed bandwidth like a T. Broadband is quite reliable. Dual WAN...well, for redundancy, really only if you have one of each flavor. Having 2x DSL...well, if there's a DSL outage in your area..they'd most likely both be down . Same with if it's dual cable...if there's a cable outage in your area...they'd most likely both be down. So you really only get the failover redundancy of dual WAN if you mix different flavors. But a nice dual WAN broadband router...Linksys/Cisco RV016.
     
  19. Malk-a-mite

    Malk-a-mite [H]ard|Gawd

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    Keep in mind everyone that depending on the school/professor that while outsourcing might be a great idea for many of us, in the classroom they'll want to see how you handle doing it yourself (i.e. what if you are the person they are outsourcing to?).

    I've seen some people take fairly large hits to their grades because of not understanding the requirements on a capstone before - and some get by with outsourcing damn near everything.

    Either way you'll need to find out from the professor what the bounds of the assignment are.
     
  20. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Certainly a point to consider...which might require providing reasons why. My reasons would be 1) Security...let a webhost deal with hosting the website on their servers, on good redundant bandwidth, managing the DNS. 2) Bandwidth bandwidth bandwidth...a typical webhost is usually fed by a DS3 or higher..with redundant routers and bandwidth. This project involves internet based sales...possibly an ecommerce driven website with verisign certificates 'n stuff. You'd want this on nice fast bandwidth. Cost of hosting this site at a real webhost, versus cost of having it hosted onsite at this business...and providing decent bandwidth such as a 10 meg fractional DS3?
     
  21. Boscoh

    Boscoh [H]ard|Gawd

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    FYI. He told me in PM that this project was due today. So until he posts again, you guys might want to save your breath :).

    I have a feeling this is just a kind of informal project. If it's capstone at a good uni, the OP is in trouble.
     
  22. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    I handed in this project today.

    Thanks for all your guy's help with this.





    No, it wasn't capstone yet... It was just a project for Network standards and protocols class...
     
  23. Boscoh

    Boscoh [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well I hope you did well. Hopefully you learned that next time you need to start quite a bit earlier! Done properly, this is not something that takes a day to put together unless you really know this stuff inside and out.
     
  24. J32P2006

    J32P2006 Gawd

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    Very true, I will not take this stuff as lightly next time.