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Networks Setting up Active Directory?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Washfordmonkey, 26 Sep 2007.

  1. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    Hello guys...

    Been talking to a few people about our works security.. (small office based company - 6 to 7 people)

    and i was advised that i should go to active directory.. we currently have a very old windows nt server 4.0... but i have been given authorisation to now update the entire system. Each computer is P4 or above.. with very good specs.

    Where do i start??

    I deal with the IT administration here, but have very little knowledge in servers as such (yep... i dont know why im the IT administrator either) Could anyone give me an idea of what ive got to do? and how id go about setting it all up??

    :D
     
  2. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Find someone that's been on an MCSE/MCSA course and borrow their study aids :)

    Failing that, see if you can get your company to pay for an MCP or two for you so you then know what you're on with!
     
  3. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    my company are less than willing to send me on any courses.. and i wish i knew someone who had done a mcse or mcsa course :p
     
  4. Arthur2Sheds

    Arthur2Sheds Jackson

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    Any Dell server would work for a company that size. It'll come with Server 2003 installed. Then you give it a domain name and add the client PCs into the domain - detailed instructions readily available with Our Buddy Google (OBG). The only thing you need to worry about is what server to get and which version of Windows Server 2003. Is your company expanding, or are you comfortable with current staffing levels? If you're not expanding anytime soon and you want to save money, Dell has some cheap servers (upgrade the RAM) and the Small Business edition of Server 2003 ought to do you fine.

    Question - do the client PCs run XP Home or Pro? You can't add a Home machine to a domain.
     
  5. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    The actual hardware we have is more than upto the spec.. running dual 3 gig processors... its just running old software for some reasons :S

    We all currently run windows xp pro.. as i upgraded everything from windows 2000.. i assume this is what the previous person thought would be suitable.

    so i guess it means that the current level of window server is going to be important.. the company is slowly expanding perhaps maybe one new member of staff every other month.. and with us only have like 5 people internally i cant imagine it being a big problem.

    money isn't really an issue for software as i have quite a nice budget.. we just haven't upgraded the server for sometime.
     
  6. OneSeventeen

    OneSeventeen Oooh Shiny!

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    My advice would be to first do some research on Client Access Licenses (CALs)

    I called Microsoft's 800 number and got a guy there to explain it to me, they were actually very helpful. You have to pay for either each person in the company, or each computer. (I think that's how I had it explained to me)

    Once you decide on that, figure out the version of Server 2003 you want. I don't know the difference between them as I walked into an office that has "Server 2003 Standard Edition" and I've never had a problem.

    From there, it is fairly simple, just remember to research every step you do, no matter how simple it looks. It may help to find a good windows based IRC channel to ask questions throughout, and definitely post here any specific questions so people can pipe in with not only "how" but "best practices"
     
  7. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    well what i might do is go and get a copy of the standard version and then buy the appropriate licences...
    or more if needed...

    and then ill have a bit of a play...

    could anyone give me a step by step guide??
     
  8. Arthur2Sheds

    Arthur2Sheds Jackson

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    Standard will work fine. It comes with 5 CALs, so you will need more. I don't think you can buy them in bunches less than 5. Check with CDW. If you need a CDW rep's contact info, PM me or OneSeventeen.

    Do you all use SQL Server at all? Loading it on the same server as the domain controller isn't a very good idea as it's a huge hit to speed.

    I don't know that either of us can give you a step by step guide per se, as both of us walked into existing networks and did not have to build them from the ground up. If you need help managing and maintaining, though, we can help a bit.
     
  9. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    okay dokey.. well my boss says i am welcome to do whatever i feel...

    According to microsoft they can give me a demo copy to see if its what i will need to use?

    so thats in the post now.

    Umm we dont use sql.. but do use a microsoft access database.. which is made of a front and backend.

    im going to try running the server with say 2 desktops and a laptop for the moment to see if i can get to grips with it on its own network seperate from anything else.
    :)

    any ideas as to where to start first would be good..

    i guess

    install, basic configuration (i.e name etc) and then install AD as a service??
     
  10. Arthur2Sheds

    Arthur2Sheds Jackson

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    You'll install it then look for the Configure Your Server wizard (usually a shortcut on the desktop, or found under Control Panel >> Administrative Tools). From there, you can just select what you want your server to do. Keep in mind that the more stuff you tick, the slower your server will be.

    Thus ends Arthur's 10 Second Windows Server How-To.

    Thank you.
     
  11. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    ahh indeed it does (i remember from when i was playing around with windows 2000 server..)

    ill have a look :)
     
  12. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    It looks fairly straightforward when setting up, but can get very involved - it depends on what you want it to do. I have to admit I had very little to do with the setting up of our server at work, but I do bits of administrative work on it, i.e. users, mailboxes, etc.

    Would you want to be running Exchange on it, too?

    Server Virtualisation seems pretty good, as long as the cpu's multicore and there's plenty of ram - I wish my company had chosen to do that instead of running a Xeon just for a Terminal Server that really doesn't seem to do much apart from host a runtime Access Database.
     
  13. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    basically just want the machine to deal with users log-ons and passwords...
    im trying to setup a nas or external raid setup so that deals with the file sharing.. because its taking me forever to back up.
     
  14. Shielder

    Shielder Live long & prosper!

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    Okay, if you are just using it for user authentication and filesharing, why are you thinking of using AD? It really seems like overkill to me. Time for the obligatory Linux plug...

    Using OpenLDAP on a Linux server would enable you to authenticate your users, share files and have a mail server, all in the same box and all (potentially) for free. No CALs, no cost to get the server software (if you get a free distro, which companies, generally, don't do) and you have more security on the server too.

    If you still want/need AD, there are many good guides on the net for you to look at. Use Google and you'll probably be able to find simple how to guides out there.

    Andy
     
  15. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    would rather steer away from linux if i can :D

    hmm perhaps AD is a bit over kill..
     
  16. Shielder

    Shielder Live long & prosper!

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    I think you may be able to use Windows XP as a server, if you install the OpenLDAP package, but I'm not too sure. If you don't want to use Linux, then AD may be the only way to go, sorry.

    Andy
     
  17. Majormonkey

    Majormonkey What's a Dremel?

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    Take a look at Microsoft Small Business Server 2003.
     
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