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  1. #1
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    Should I Cluster or Replicate DC's and Use DFS?

    25 user shop. Grand total of 500 gigs of data, including archives, maybe 100 gigs active data. Very low bandwidth usage.
    I've got a 2012 server running file services only. I've got a 2003 server running AD, DNS, and remote services (no terminal services, VPN only). Only apps are Trend Micro AV and Quickbooks server side supporting two clients irregularly run. Websites hosted elsewhere, Exchange hosted elsewhere, no server based apps, no SQL, no SharePoint, no nothing.
    My intent is to increase the redundancy of the system. Right now, if the 2012 server goes down, there is no way to access files. If the 2003 DC goes down, can access files locally within network but no remote access.
    I was originally going to buy another 2012 server, then some NAS like Synology or QNAP and create a two node cluster. But besides the fact that a lot of small business consultants don't know much about clustering, others said it was overkill, updates difficult, etc.
    So, I am now looking at having two 2012 servers. DC's (AD, DNS, DHCP, VPN) will be replicated between them. Instead of an external NAS as required with clustering, I'll use internal RAID 10 disks in each server and use DFS for synchronization.
    Question: Are there holes in this approach? It certainly seems simpler and less costly equipment wise. Also, it has been recommended that I virtualize each server for better performance. Thoughts?
    TIA

  2. #2
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    Have you considered Azure?

    Joe

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Have you considered Azure?

    Joe
    Thank you.

    _I_ would certainly consider Azure... or something like it. However, the boss had some sort of very difficult foray into the world of cloud computing with her last IT consultant and wants to see live boxes in a server room.

    I figure if I use DFS that somewhere down the road I'll create a cloud instance for DR and later on, a total move.

    I would like to know one thing, though... how can I develop price estimates with Azure to do it all in the cloud?

  4. #4
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    See Azure pricing.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    How do you manage to access files without the DC? This implies you don't have AD on the workstations. If so, what is the AD for?

    RAID 10 is a waste of disks IMO, RAID 5 is more than sufficient, 6 if you are paranoid.

    Virtualization will not improve performance, it will decrease performance at the cost of further complication, more difficult support and potentially greater cost.

    In my experience duplicate servers don't really provide improved reliability, just feels like it. A quality UPS, a temperature controlled environment and hardware monitoring will make the system very reliable.

    Cloud based services may be good for data integrity but you still have a single point of failure - the link.

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. Avoid clustering unless you are prepared for lots of hard work and support problems - very few people know how to manage clusters.

  6. #6
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    Thank you. I see I am going to have to contact Azure because I don't understand enough of the terminology surrounding all the moving parts. For example, how to figure out how many storage transactions I will have based on my curent stats... whatever they may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    See Azure pricing.

    Joe

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