ClioSport.net

Register a free account today to become a member!
Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Question for the IT Crowd



  Chelsea tractor
Right, our work network is pretty slow at the moment, I guess because we are all using mstsc to log on. Don't ask why, it's apparently always been like that.

This means that the server is effectively running 10-15 profiles at once, all locally. This is on top of the mail server (also on the same box), and storage (at a guess it's just a raid5 array in the same box). By server, I mean they have a few year old 2x Xeon tower. Understandably, when people are working (especially off-site), the server has a paddy and everything slows down.

Now I've been invited to a meeting with the person who is in charge of purchasing, regarding networking and such like. I'm not the IT guy (they don't really have one), but I have a feeling that they are going to ask about specs for a separate:
  • Storage and print server (I doubt they'd need iSCSI / SAN)
  • Box that runs MS Server 2003
  • Mail server (they don't use exchange - I haven't had time to look what they use in all honesty)
Would I be right in thinking that the box would be perfectly fine if we just used roaming profiles rather than remote desktop to log on?

Any help would warrant a cookie or two :eek:
 

dk

  911 GTS Cab
i'm guessing by remote you mean you are logging into a terminal server? As remote desktop to a normal server is limited to about 2 connections i think.

Sounds like you just need beefier servers, maybe separate the mail and file data to different servers, or you could try SBS server. A server should be able to handle 20-30 connections easily as a TS
 
  SLK 350
Roaming profiles have problems of their own. Why is it you all need to be logged onto the server using the console at once? Do they have no AD infrastructure at all?

Tbh if you're not an IT guy my advice to them would be to get a consultant in to deal with it. Sounds like you need a complete network redesign.
 
  Chelsea tractor
Sorry yeah, it's a TS server (couldn't remember what it was called lol).

Roaming profiles have problems of their own. Why is it you all need to be logged onto the server using the console at once? Do they have no AD infrastructure at all?

Tbh if you're not an IT guy my advice to them would be to get a consultant in to deal with it. Sounds like you need a complete network redesign.

No active directory setup lol. It's basically pretty random in every way possible. I'm used to some network admin from previous jobs in computer services departments, but in terms of setting it up from scratch I don't really have a clue. I think they want a suggestion of what to suggest kind of thing. The IT people they have are pretty awful to be honest though. I cringed when they started talking the usual bs for "I don't know".
 

Dafthead

ClioSport Club Member
  MB EQC
Jeeeeesus!! You've got a shitload of different apps which should be running on seperate servers on the same box.

Are they tight with money?
 
  Chelsea tractor
Up to about 15 in our office. The box runs Server 2k3, case management software (separately on each profile), adobe acrobat, print / scan software and office. The printer drivers and scanner software are loaded onto the local machines themselves for some reason. Mail server is on the box too probably (not had time to look really). There's a vpn set up for people to log in from off-site, their connections are always s**t.

Shambles is a good word tbh
 
  Fiesta ST
Personally I would look at Microsoft Small Business Server and get a nice DELL server with plenty of ram. Plus a UPS and a good backup system.

Upgrade the whole place to a AD domain.

Do people use hot desks often? if not - try not to use roaming profiles.

SBS is a bargain for what you get.

Exchange, ISA Server (if premium version), good remote workspace tools, easy config VPN, great sharepoint system for sharing documents/calendars, outlook for all machines, shadow copy etc

Plus the server 2003 is easy to configure because everything in SBS is done via a control panel and wizards.
 
  1 Series Coupe
Yep as said above really.

I'd run Server 2003 with AD logins. Get GPO's sent out to all the machines. A good backup server.. Roaming profiles are more hastle then they are worth. Exchange server is definatly worth a punt though. VMWare vitual machines installed on your physicals are a good idea. We've just implemented sharepoint for shared calendars, documents and a booking system.

If you've not got a proper IT guy, get afew companies in - Dell, ERGO etc. get them to give you a quote and play them off against each other.
 
We have 800 staff all using roaming profiles at our place and rarely have problems with them that I am aware of.

Our Sys admin may have another take on that though....
 
  1 Series Coupe
We've got 1800 users and it went on a major c**k up, so local profile's it is!

They were just getting larger and larger. People saving to the desktop etc. Not good. Logon times were immense!
 
We have such a restrictive policy in place that people can hardly save anything to their desktop. If they have to save something, it goes to My Documents which is mapped to another server.

I think it caused some issues when we first implemented it but that was before I joined the dept so was on the receiving end.
 
Not so much tight, more that the older generation don't like change...
Older generation should also realise that all their eggs in one basket can end in tears.

As many have suggested SBS would be a good option but you will also need to consider the desktop machines to get the most from it. You could use SBS on a new server for file/print, email and internet connectivity and continue with the TS sessions on the original server for the case management stuff.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/default.mspx

Might be worth getting an external company in to review the setup and make some suggestions that best fit your needs.
 
Last edited:
  Better than yours. C*nt.
Definately get a specialist to investigate what you're doing and why you're doing it - it's not so easy over the internet to just say 'you need this'. SBS has it's own limitations and problems, and just sticking all your eggs in one 'better weaved' (more powerful) basket doesn't stop the fox getting to it.

Get your purchasing or 'IT' guy to drop me an email on mike@proactif.co.uk and I'll get something sorted. We're small business specialists, generally putting a managed infrastructure in for people with little or no IT in place and getting staff trained on how to best manage and use it.

Going out and buying a new server is only the lid of a big can of worms. One that can make people hate coming into work, or one that can make working easy.
 
  Revels Mum & Sister
Personally I would look at Microsoft Small Business Server and get a nice DELL server with plenty of ram. Plus a UPS and a good backup system.

Upgrade the whole place to a AD domain.

Do people use hot desks often? if not - try not to use roaming profiles.

SBS is a bargain for what you get.

Exchange, ISA Server (if premium version), good remote workspace tools, easy config VPN, great sharepoint system for sharing documents/calendars, outlook for all machines, shadow copy etc

Plus the server 2003 is easy to configure because everything in SBS is done via a control panel and wizards.

Echo this. Fairly easy to Administer for basic everyday tasks as well. Good security features also. Easy to setup
 
  Scirocco GT 2.0
We used to run Roaming Profiles where I work,

Apparently it was an absolute joke, profiles would become corrupt and disappear and if a member of staff had for instance, 1GB of documents on his/her desktop it would take an age to download it!

Local profiles FTW
 
  Better than yours. C*nt.
We used to run Roaming Profiles where I work,

Apparently it was an absolute joke, profiles would become corrupt and disappear and if a member of staff had for instance, 1GB of documents on his/her desktop it would take an age to download it!

Local profiles FTW

That's because the twunt that put them in didn't know how to configure it properly then isn't it?

As roaming profiles can be extremely useful. All you need to do is correctly set up document redirection and make sure users know they can't put documents on their desktop. Use quotas on the file server to ensure that they don't exceed their limits and everybody is happy.

It's all a case of doing it properly, not just dumping a setup on there and saying 'that'll do' because it's very easy to screw stuff up...
 
  Scirocco GT 2.0
That's because the twunt that put them in didn't know how to configure it properly then isn't it?

As roaming profiles can be extremely useful. All you need to do is correctly set up document redirection and make sure users know they can't put documents on their desktop. Use quotas on the file server to ensure that they don't exceed their limits and everybody is happy.

It's all a case of doing it properly, not just dumping a setup on there and saying 'that'll do' because it's very easy to screw stuff up...

That wouldn't work here (Teachers = very stroppy, don't like any restrictions or being told what's what, especially being a private school)

I think you are prob right, our predecessors were twunts, hence them both getting the boot last year.
 
  Better than yours. C*nt.
That wouldn't work here (Teachers = very stroppy, don't like any restrictions or being told what's what, especially being a private school)

I think you are prob right, our predecessors were twunts, hence them both getting the boot last year.

Windows 2008 redirection FTW ;)
 
  Scirocco GT 2.0
Windows 2008 redirection FTW ;)

We are looking to phase into Server 08 completely within the next few months (currently only have one server running it)

If the redirection works well then maybe we will go back to roaming profiles, we are always looking for the quickest log on times possible for the pupils so no lessons time is wasted!
 
  Scirocco GT 2.0
VDI then. But that costs money.

I will mention this at our next SMT meeting! Has got to be sorted really, some log on times are ridiculous the vista "Preparing your Desktop.." screen is being a familiar sight despite having a 1Gbps network and rapid servers/client machines
 
  Better than yours. C*nt.
I will mention this at our next SMT meeting! Has got to be sorted really, some log on times are ridiculous the vista "Preparing your Desktop.." screen is being a familiar sight despite having a 1Gbps network and rapid servers/client machines

I take it then you've got £100,000 to play with? :S
 
Just echoing other comments, a single Dell server running SBS would do the trick if money is tight.

Setup a proper domain, run exchange, file + print server from it. If you want ISA and Sharepoint you'll need to go with the 'premium' edition of SBS, although no idea how this changes with SBS 2008.

Jeeeeesus!! You've got a s**tload of different apps which should be running on seperate servers on the same box.

Not really, for 10-15 people you can easily have it do all the server stuff, as long as these 10-15 people aren't all remoting onto it to work :p Things like acrobat would be running off the client machines.

Having a single SBS server will be fine.
 

dk

  911 GTS Cab
We are looking to phase into Server 08 completely within the next few months (currently only have one server running it)

If the redirection works well then maybe we will go back to roaming profiles, we are always looking for the quickest log on times possible for the pupils so no lessons time is wasted!
we use server 2008 totally in our domain, its a great product and a lot easier to work with and quicker than 2003.

If you want log on speed then use TS, 2008 TS is great, very fast and you can even make it look like vista. Logging on takes a couple of seconds, I use TS from home with TS gateway and to log in from home takes 3-4 seconds, so highly recommend it.
 

dk

  911 GTS Cab
Well we spent nearly £400,000 on IT over the summer alone so I don't see why not tbh
its not that expensive, presume you know the idea behind it?

XP sessions running on a vmware server, the thing that costs the money if you want it is the BigIP from F5 to do the brokering but you can use the vmware broker.

Lots of people are talking about VDI but not many people are implementing it at the moment

oh, and don't worry about mike, he likes the nice small cheap solutions, hes not one for spending money;)
 
  Chelsea tractor
We used to run Roaming Profiles where I work,

Apparently it was an absolute joke, profiles would become corrupt and disappear and if a member of staff had for instance, 1GB of documents on his/her desktop it would take an age to download it!

Local profiles FTW
Can't you just use the mandatory profiles?

It's pretty much got sorted now touch wood. Still slow but we managed to get the old IT consultant in to pop in and explain the reasoning behind the set up as a TS server, and what would be best for us to use (he works in marketing now - not IT anymore unfortunately).

Looks like it may be revamped in the near future (call that a year) and to use SBS. Give it time lol

Not really, for 10-15 people you can easily have it do all the server stuff, as long as these 10-15 people aren't all remoting onto it to work :p Things like acrobat would be running off the client machines.

Everything runs off the TS server and everyone remotes onto it to work ;)
 
Everything runs off the TS server and everyone remotes onto it to work ;)

I know they are now! I was merely saying when dafthead said you need more than one server I was saying no you don't, one server for the server side stuff then have the clients run their apps etc. :)
 


Top