Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MBS' Major Network Revamp

The Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving we began a 2.5 day project to completely revamp our network. Though our staff is small, we serve and provide services to church and ministry clients nationwide, so our network needs are much larger than they might be for a company our size.

Here's what we did:
  • After shuffling our data off our Dell PowerEdge 2950 servers (one was an ESXi host) we erased their drives and installed VMware vSphere (ESX 4 Enterprise) on both, naming them vh1 and vh2 (virtual hosts 1 and 2).
  • We created two RAID5 datastores on vh1, and one on vh2, then created our servers that run as guests on the hosts: 2 domain controllers, 2 terminal servers, a mail server (we upgraded to Exchange 2010), an SQL server, a secure IM server runing OpenFire, a print server, an endpoint security server running Sophos, a WSUS server, and an ftp server our clients use to send us backups of their databases nightly.
  • We still have three hardware servers (Asterisk VoIP, database which will be converted to our new SQL server, and backup), but will soon have two of those (Asterisk and database) virtualized.
  • We started with seven servers on five boxes, and now have fourteen servers soon to be running on just three boxes!
  • Our servers are all Windows 2008r2 and 2003r2 (due to license counts). Of our two terminal servers: one is 2003r2 and one is 2008r2.
  • We upgraded our electrical protection to an APC unit with a network card so we can properly shut down our virtual servers. We have more than an hour of blackout runtime, and we have a generator that can easily power the network for an expended outage.
  • Our network also has two Internet connections to entirely different backbones (Verizon FiOS and TimeWarner Cable) to ensure our hosting of SPAM Firewall services remains up at all times.
The best part was that we accomplished all that with less than two hours of downtime to the team, and less than ten minutes of downtime on the SPAM Filtering service! The month before we upgraded all of our desktops and notebooks to Windows 7 Pro and my Mac to Snow Leopard, so it's been a fun couple of months around here!


FriendshipHeights said...

Wow, you all were busy

SteveD said...

So...did your customers have any downtime?

Nick Nicholaou said...

Yes, but we kept it so minimal they wouldn't have noticed. They had two brief SPAM filtering outages while we re-worked our electrical connections, each for less than five minutes.

Joyce Racine said...

Wow! So glad you can see all this futuristic stuff because I can't! But I don't need to because you do!

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful. May individuals get on your network also? Ruth Lindsay

Nick Nicholaou said...

Thank you, Joyce! We LOVE working on leading-- and sometimes bleeding edge technology! And it helps us serve you better.

Ruth, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but our network is very secure and not available to the public.

Fady Eldeiry said...

Nice Design! Very clean and efficient!