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279 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 111969 21-Nov-2012 10:45 Send private message

Doing a feasability exercise to see exactly what is available in the Cloud to replace our SBS 2003 network.

I have looked at hosted remote citrix desktops, but HD video, itunes etc are out of the question and also we're not due to get fibre for another year or so. We have around a dozen workstations, with mail/print/file/and AD being handled by SBS 2003.

We have VDSL availablaility currently but only apparently 20mbs/10mbs.

Not really a huge need to remote workers/desktops but the ability to be able to is useful. Mainly print and file, user management, exchange mail, standard office desktop.



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167 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 720636 21-Nov-2012 10:49 Send private message

Gmail + Google Apps ?



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 720637 21-Nov-2012 10:53 Send private message

jim.cox: Gmail + Google Apps ?


..ok... but what do we do about local print/user/computer management?

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  Reply # 720646 21-Nov-2012 11:00 Send private message

What industry? What type of data? Do you need to have centralised management for a dozen machines?

If you had financial/privacy information and a load of transient (i.e. shift/seasonal) staff then maybe you do.

If you are an office of professionals providing marketing services, maybe you don't?

Need more info about whats important to you really.

Could always run a small box as a local file/print/dc? With the cloud doing what it does best (mail, backup).

(Or dare I say it, a VM - I used to run a Linux VM (Clarkconnect) on a Windows desktop doing this for a party of 15, and it was great. It wasn't mission critical stuff).




Visit http://www.thecloud.net.nz for New Zealand based Hosted Exchange, Virtual Servers, Web Hosting, FTP Backup & more.
(1GB free FTP storage, or larger plans from $5.75)
 
 - Setup your own mailserver at home on Ubuntu Server - full step by step howto here.
 - Have you seen this: Nathan "KFC4LIFE" Dunn.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 720654 21-Nov-2012 11:12 Send private message

tonyhughes: What industry? What type of data? Do you need to have centralised management for a dozen machines?

If you had financial/privacy information and a load of transient (i.e. shift/seasonal) staff then maybe you do.

If you are an office of professionals providing marketing services, maybe you don't?

Need more info about whats important to you really.

Could always run a small box as a local file/print/dc? With the cloud doing what it does best (mail, backup).

(Or dare I say it, a VM - I used to run a Linux VM (Clarkconnect) on a Windows desktop doing this for a party of 15, and it was great. It wasn't mission critical stuff).


1. Childcare
2. Mainly Office documents, PDF's etc
3. Prefer centralised management for ease of remote support and yes we do have frequent user changes.
4. Yes, privacy of documents is a major conern.


I guess we'd like to retain domain/user management/print and file service but as you mentioned use the cloud for email and out of hours backup until we have better access to more bandwidth and cheaper traffic charges.

Would a combination of Amazon EC2 Server 2008 instance operate as a remote domain controller? then use a local hosted exchange/sharepoint provider? Obviously we'd like to keep it all in NZ and dare i say it stickj with Microsoft server products if possible but just unsure of exactly is around that would suit.

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  Reply # 720656 21-Nov-2012 11:18 Send private message

Have a pretty similar situation with a client with around 25 staff. They use a private cloud as in their own server at an Auckland datacentre which they connect to using terminal services. They have a single server physical server with virtualizationando have a separate domain controller and terminal server running as VMs. They used either existing windows computers or now thin clients over RDP.

They have a site to site VPN using PFsense as their router (virtualized at the datacentre) and can print etc. across this with the print server being on the domain controller which also manages their PCs.

In terms of video streaming etc. you could use RemoteFX on RDP (sure Citrix has an equivalent) which should provide a good experience.

Next thing will be to move their legacy phone system to a PBX on another VM.

Cost wise you may want to budget around $4k for the required hardware, $175 a month for colocation plus MS licenses. Backup perhaps $1500 + somewhere to put it which could be your old server at your office.







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  Reply # 720657 21-Nov-2012 11:18 Send private message

currently we provision a new user in house...they log onto their desktop with mapped drives, printers, access to documents etc and email already setup. it is quick and painless and we defintle ylike to be able to replicate this in any possible cloud solution or at least have a similarly easy but different method.

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  Reply # 720664 21-Nov-2012 11:28 Send private message

I have never investigated a cloudy DC.

Have run plenty over PON (Telecoms old Private Office Networking, and newer variants of same - OneOffice etc).

Have run a few over VPN on ADSL connections too.

The VPN via ADSL always seemed quite flakey compared to 'very reliable' on the PON setups (PON and newer didn't traverse internet or have congestion issues - it was a committed speed between 128k (with 256 burst) and about 1Mbps with 2Meg burst) and was always consistent.

I'd hate to think about doing it over the actual internet. Someone elses routing issue or ISP fault leaves you unable to do so much. Disaster!

Run a local DC on a very low end box (with a good imaging solution so backups are very current and able to redeployed within minutes on a new box if required).

No need to go all redundant and beefy for the setup you described (in my opinion). You just need the security and features, not high performance. I'd say a desktop-level box, or entry level HP or similar server would be totally ample.

Pay the most attention to security (network, PCs, and the domain itself), and backup.

Run file/print local, but backup the server with cloud (plus the odd sneakernet here and there).

Run email totally in the cloud. I'd even go as far as saying for that type of organisation, use webmail clients across the board, esp if multiple staff move around multiple machines. Might only need director and main reception machine with mail clients running.

Backup backup backup.

Security security security.




Visit http://www.thecloud.net.nz for New Zealand based Hosted Exchange, Virtual Servers, Web Hosting, FTP Backup & more.
(1GB free FTP storage, or larger plans from $5.75)
 
 - Setup your own mailserver at home on Ubuntu Server - full step by step howto here.
 - Have you seen this: Nathan "KFC4LIFE" Dunn.




279 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 720666 21-Nov-2012 11:29 Send private message

Zeon: Have a pretty similar situation with a client with around 25 staff. They use a private cloud as in their own server at an Auckland datacentre which they connect to using terminal services. They have a single server physical server with virtualizationando have a separate domain controller and terminal server running as VMs. They used either existing windows computers or now thin clients over RDP.

They have a site to site VPN using PFsense as their router (virtualized at the datacentre) and can print etc. across this with the print server being on the domain controller which also manages their PCs.

In terms of video streaming etc. you could use RemoteFX on RDP (sure Citrix has an equivalent) which should provide a good experience.

Next thing will be to move their legacy phone system to a PBX on another VM.

Cost wise you may want to budget around $4k for the required hardware, $175 a month for colocation plus MS licenses. Backup perhaps $1500 + somewhere to put it which could be your old server at your office.


so they leave their 25 client machines unmanaged? I can only see a use for housing our own server in a datacentre if we wanted mulitple branch or remote user connectivity or were particuarly paranoid about physical security, fire etc otherwise we may aswell keep it close and inhouse give our fast internet availablity over the next 12 months.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 720678 21-Nov-2012 11:53 Send private message

Another option is Office365 with a SBS2011 essentials server.
The SBS2011 will sync passwords etc with Office365 and the server is only about $1600
Gives you the advantage of Cloud, with the reliability of file / print local onsite.
It will also backup to Asure if you set it up.




Hmmmm

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  Reply # 720685 21-Nov-2012 12:12 Send private message

cisconz: Another option is Office365 with a SBS2011 essentials server.
The SBS2011 will sync passwords etc with Office365 and the server is only about $1600
Gives you the advantage of Cloud, with the reliability of file / print local onsite.
It will also backup to Asure if you set it up.


+1 for this approach. It also includes the Desktop "snapshot" style backups of local desktops to the SBS2011 server.

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  Reply # 720687 21-Nov-2012 12:14 Send private message

dimsim:
Zeon: Have a pretty similar situation with a client with around 25 staff. They use a private cloud as in their own server at an Auckland datacentre which they connect to using terminal services. They have a single server physical server with virtualizationando have a separate domain controller and terminal server running as VMs. They used either existing windows computers or now thin clients over RDP.

They have a site to site VPN using PFsense as their router (virtualized at the datacentre) and can print etc. across this with the print server being on the domain controller which also manages their PCs.

In terms of video streaming etc. you could use RemoteFX on RDP (sure Citrix has an equivalent) which should provide a good experience.

Next thing will be to move their legacy phone system to a PBX on another VM.

Cost wise you may want to budget around $4k for the required hardware, $175 a month for colocation plus MS licenses. Backup perhaps $1500 + somewhere to put it which could be your old server at your office.


so they leave their 25 client machines unmanaged? I can only see a use for housing our own server in a datacentre if we wanted mulitple branch or remote user connectivity or were particuarly paranoid about physical security, fire etc otherwise we may aswell keep it close and inhouse give our fast internet availablity over the next 12 months.


The computers are still part of the domain but considering all they are being used for is dumb terminals it doesn't really matter. The user does nothing on them besides open an RDP session to the terminal. There are costs and benefits for datacentre hosting - even cost savings in insurance can be considered as part of the equation though.

At the datacentre they have access to a 1gbps internet connection so as long as there is enough bandwidth for their terminal session (which there is plenty of on VDSL2) for all intents and purposes they enjoy those speeds for their daily computing.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 721040 21-Nov-2012 23:10 Send private message

We have deployed quite a few customers now with Windows DC's on Amazon EC2 with VPC (VPN) back from Amazon to customer's network.

Works great from NZ off the Northern California datacentre and with the new one in Sydney even better.

No problem getting line rate throughput as long as your ISP isn't overselling their international transit.



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  Reply # 721892 23-Nov-2012 14:49 Send private message

bender: We have deployed quite a few customers now with Windows DC's on Amazon EC2 with VPC (VPN) back from Amazon to customer's network.

Works great from NZ off the Northern California datacentre and with the new one in Sydney even better.

No problem getting line rate throughput as long as your ISP isn't overselling their international transit.


thanks, thats cool to know its possible. I was worried about the intl transit part of the equation...what type/spec of internet conection do you use it with?

the standard/reserved/spot instance thing I find a bit confusing, what would be the best option for a windows based dc for a dozen or so users? is this what they'd call "light utilization"? and would it need a small reserved instance?

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