Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference (Excerpt): Page 2

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Build the Windows Server 2008 Network

Networks of all sizes require specific features and functionalities to provide support for
the organizations that use them. As mentioned earlier, this book addresses the needs of organizations of all sizes—small, medium, and large—in terms of the networking functionality you can draw from Windows Server 2008. But to do so, it is important to begin with the establishment of some core principles. Two principles in particular are essential at this point:

  • A common definition of the meaning of small, medium, and large in terms of networking and network functionality
  • A common definition of the various functions any network requires and an identification of where WS08 adds new or enhances existing functionality

The latter will help you understand where you can see gains with the addition of Windows Server 2008 to your existing network. If you’re building a brand-new network, you’ll find that WS08 can support almost any networking function and provides an excellent means to support team productivity for any size of organization.

Organization Size Definitions

WS08 has been designed to respond to the needs of organizations of all sizes, whether you are a company of one working in a basement somewhere or whether your organization spans the globe, with offices in every continent. Obviously, there is a slight difference in scale between the two extremes, but for the purposes of this book, it is important to provide a definition of what is meant when we address the needs of small, medium, and large organizations. Each of these is defined as follows:

  • Small organizations are organizations that include only a single site. They may have several dozens of workers, but given that they are located in a single site, their networking needs are fairly basic.
  • Medium organizations are organizations that have more than one site but less than ten. The complexities of having a network with more than one site address the networking needs of medium organizations.
  • Large organizations are organizations that have ten sites or more. In this case, organizations need more complex networks and will often rely on services that are not required at all by the two previous organization sizes.
Windows Server 2008, book


Small organizations have all of the requirements of a basic network and will normally implement a series of technologies, including directory services, e-mail services, file and printer sharing, database services, and collaboration services. Even if the organization includes a very small number of people, these services will often be at the core of any networked productivity system. For this reason, it is often best for this type of organization to use Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS08), because it is less expensive and it includes more comprehensive applications for e-mail and database services. Nevertheless, some organizations opt for Windows Server 2008 anyway, because they are not comfortable with the limitations Microsoft has imposed on the Small Business Server edition. For example, it is always best and simpler to have at least two domain controllers running the directory service because they become automatic backups of each other. SBS08 can only have a single server in the network and therefore cannot offer this level of protection for the directory service. This is one reason why some small organizations opt for Windows Server 2008 even if it is more costly at first. However, realizing this business need, Microsoft is releasing Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (WEBS) as a multi-component server offering for these organizations. WEBS is made up of three server installations:

  • Windows Essential Business Server Management Server To manage the WEBS network as well as worker collaboration and network services centrally.
  • Windows Essential Business Server Security Server To manage security, Internet access, and remote-worker connectivity.
  • Windows Essential Business Server Messaging Server To provide messaging capabilities.

Medium organizations face the challenge of having to interconnect more than one office. While small organizations have the protection of being in a single location, medium organizations often need to bridge the Internet to connect sites together. This introduces an additional level of complexity.

NOTE    Secondary sites may or may not have administrative personnel on site. This adds to the complexity of working with and managing remote sites.

Large organizations have much more complex networks that provide both internal and external services. In addition, they may need to interoperate in several languages and will often have internally developed applications to manage. Large organizations may also have remote sites connected at varying levels of speed and reliability: Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) or dial-up. From a Windows standpoint, this necessitates a planned replication and possibly an architecture based on the Distributed File System (DFS). For this reason, they include many more service types than small or medium organizations.

This book addresses the needs of each organization type. When core networking features are addressed, they will apply to all levels of organizations, since best practices for network service implementations should be used no matter which organization size you have. Interconnection issues will address the complexities of medium and large networks, and finally, advanced network functionalities will address the needs of very large organizations. If you find that your organization does not quite fit this trend, rely on the information provided for the other organization types to supplement your networking configuration requirements.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference; Copyright 2008, The McGraw-Hill Companies


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