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Windows Server 2003 on HP ProLiant Servers : File and Print Services, Selection of ProLiant Servers for the Enterprise

6/7/2013 4:28:40 PM

1. File and Print Services

Migrating file and print services requires attention to the physical design. Of course, the first step is to take an inventory of the application and file servers as well as of the printers.

Table 1. Server Inventory Table
CharacteristicFile Server 1File Server 2File Server 3File Server 4
Make and model    
Disk capacity    
Storage Adapter Model    
Type/make/model of storage array    
MAC address    
IP address    
Current user storage and growth requirements    
Backup storage requirements and growth estimates    
Redundant file shares    
Hardware, drivers, peripherals on Microsoft HCL    
Replace or upgrade suitability    

Print services, like file services, should be assessed for the migration as part of the physical design. Table 2 is the printer inventory used by Reed Elsevier. Using a printer inventory permits the examination of printers just as you would servers to determine whether they are suitable to keep and upgrade, or retire. Note that some of the information collected here includes an evaluation of the volume, sizing requirements, network impact, and footprint to see whether the printer is going to meet future needs. There is no sense in upgrading a printer that won't meet future needs. In addition, you must evaluate whether the characteristics of the printer (duplex printing, color, and so on) match the need of the users and determine whether the users have complaints about it, such as reliability, accessibility, features needed, and so on. Printers are an important part of any computing infrastructure.

Table 2. Printer Inventory
Printer CharacteristicPrinter 1 (provide name/location here)Printer 2 (provide name/location here)
Printer make, model  
Network or host attached  
MAC/IP address  
Printer driver version  
Current printer volume requirements  
Printer availability and accessibility requirements  
Specialized printing requirements (large format, collating, binding, and so on)  
Existing server suitability for upgrade and remaining book value  
File and printer driver and support availability  
Current versus future server and printer sizing estimates  
Current versus future power and floor space requirements  
Network impact of proposed changes  
Current versus future maintenance and service contract expenses  

2. Selection of ProLiant Servers for the Enterprise

Because the focus of this article is deploying Windows Server 2003 on ProLiant servers, it's important to provide you with information on the ProLiant server line as an aid to selecting ProLiant servers for various roles in the Windows Server 2003 enterprise. Although I recognize that with the evolution of ProLiant server development, it's impossible for printed media to keep up, the ProLiant line of servers has been designed to maintain model identification as much as possible to minimize name changes and still identify new servers. For instance, the ProLiant DL380 line has been produced for a number of years and gone through several model numbers, but still maintains the DL380 name. New models are identified as “generation” numbers. For instance, the DL380 G1 was generation 1, whereas the next version was identified as DL380 G2. The basic characteristics, as described in this section, remain the same as well as the intended use.

Of course, it's best to get the latest hardware information from the ProLiant server Web site at http://www.hp.com/servers/proliant.

Ultra-Dense ProLiant Blade Servers (BL)

Although the blade server architecture might seem new, HP began pioneering enterprise blade server design for industry standard applications in 2001. HP moved to the second phase of blades in August 2002 as the first major vendor to bring multiprocessor blades to enterprise customers. Today, HP delivers a rather diverse line of blade products including the ProLiant BL-e class, single processor, ultra-dense, front-end blades; and advanced ProLiant BL-p class dual and, quad-processor blades for midtier and back-end applications. The newer BL-p class server blades are regarded as “enterprise class” servers.

The basic idea behind blade servers is consolidation. The first time I saw a blade server, it was difficult to imagine you could have a server that looked about the same size as a high-end video card ten years ago. It is truly impressive to see a comparison of the amount of space that regular servers take, as opposed to the same number of blades in an enclosure. Let's look at some basic features of blades to help you evaluate their potential value in your enterprise.

By allowing servers to share resources provided by an enclosure, individual servers can be made much more compact. The architecture not only allows you to put a lot more processing power into a smaller space, but its modular design also simplifies deployment. In terms of hardware, two basic components are in a blade server solution: the blades themselves and the enclosure that houses them. The enclosure connects the blades installed to the shared resources, and the enclosure can be configured for I/O options according to your needs. The blades are complemented by automated deployment software that utilizes scripting or drive imaging to rapidly deploy a server. Over a gigabit Ethernet connection using drive imaging, a server can be deployed in ten minutes. Blade servers save space, drastically reduce cabling, and simplify installation and the processes in deploying and managing servers. The ProLiant BL-p series offers multiple processors, the benefits of the blade architecture, and many of the enterprise class server features found in ProLiant 300 and 500 series rack mount servers. As an example, the BL20p blade delivers these enterprise-class capabilities:

  • Dual-processor capability

  • 8GB memory capacity

  • Integrated Smart Array 5i Plus

  • Dual 3.5-inch SCSI Hot Plug drive bays

  • Dual Fiber Channel ports, optional for redundant SAN connections

  • Three 10/100/1000T Ethernet ports

  • One iLO (integrated Lights-Out) advanced management port

  • Rack-centralized external shared redundant hot-plug power

These capabilities make the BL20p blades ideal for hosting these applications:

  • Web-hosting

  • E-commerce

  • Computational cluster

  • Terminal Server Farm

  • AV, streaming media

  • Messaging front-end and mobility

  • Small database

  • Application server

Add in the benefit of storage consolidation to ProLiant BL-p class blade servers by attaching and even booting blades from a SAN, and you can build a robust and rapidly adaptable infrastructure.

Server Classes

Server classes are defined in the Microsoft Systems Architecture Internet Data Center (MSA IDC) documentation, which includes recommended applications for each class of server. For example, ProLiant BL-p class blade servers meet or exceed the requirement to fill the following roles:

  • Internet Security and Authentication (ISA) server firewall server

  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server

  • AD DCs

  • Application Center 2003 staging servers

  • Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) server

  • NetIQ AppManager management server

  • DNS server

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server

  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Server

This definition is used to demonstrate how the BL-p series blade features meet data center server classification.

The MSA IDC documentation uses server class definitions to define and categorize server capabilities.

The ProLiant Servers in this section are classified based on this documentation, which offers a well-defined, comprehensive, and structured approach to cover all aspects of building an IDC based on industry standards. The MSA IDC documentation is available at the Microsoft Web site.
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