Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 is designed to be an integrated, single- domain network solution. While you can have only one computer in the domain running Small Business Server 2000, many small businesses install additional server computers in the domain to meet their business needs. Typically,
each additional server computer performs a dedicated role on the network.
This technical article discusses the benefits of using additional servers and presents five common roles for these servers. It also describes how to install an additional server on your network.
Benefits to adding a server
Adding an additional server computer provides several key benefits:
Increased Performance When tasks are shared across multiple servers, each server can be tuned for optimal performance. For example, disk input/output on servers can be relatively costly. If you access and print many files, performance might be affected. Moving this task to another server could increase the performance of the existing server.
Better Availability When tasks are hosted across multiple servers, tasks hosted on one server remain available even when the other server is taken offline for tasks such as routine maintenance. Additionally, any performance gains realized by adding another server translate to increased availability for applications and services on each server. This availability can also improve scalability as demand increases.
Improved Troubleshooting Servers that perform a specific role on the network are often less complex to troubleshoot.
Inexpensive Growth Adding an additional server to the network can sometimes be cost-effective. Instead of having one large, expensive server, you can add a smaller, less expensive server to perform dedicated tasks.
The benefits of having an additional server are maximized by joining it to the Small Business Server domain. This domain membership provides an integrated authentication model, allowing users to access shared resources residing on both the Small Business Server computer and an additional server, just by using their domain user name and password.
Using a Windows-based server on a Small Business Server network provides administrative benefits, such as integrated server management and monitoring. Additionally, the Small Business Server 2000 client access license (CAL) authorizes you to use the services and functionality of a Windows-based server that is in the same domain as the Small Business Server computer. You do not have to purchase additional Windows CALs for the additional server computer.
Typical roles for an additional server
Typical roles for an additional server are as follows:
- File and print server
- Application server
- Terminal Services for application sharing
- Intranet server
- Additional domain controller
- The following sections examine these roles and discuss the benefits of implementing an additional server.
File and print server
Some of the possible reasons to consider a dedicated file and print server follow:
- For businesses with heavy document usage, resources can be freed up on the Small Business Server computer in two ways:
- Moving shared folders and files to a separate server.
- Load-balancing between the two servers by using Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS).
- A company may need to archive important documents. A file server can be used as a storage server.
- Multiple print devices can be connected to a print server and shared as a single printer.
- Older print devices that cannot operate as network printers can be centrally shared.
Some of the possible reasons to consider a dedicated application server are as follows:
- The application vendor may recommend or require a dedicated server or a server with different applications.
- The application may not be compatible with Small Business Server 2000. For example, some applications may not run on a domain controller.
- If the role of the application is important, consider installing it on another server to improve application availability and increase the performance and reliability of both servers.
Terminal services for application sharing
Some of the possible reasons to consider Terminal Services for application sharing follow:
- Terminal Services delivers the Windows desktop–and the most current Windows-based applications–to computers that might not be able to run Windows, potentially extending the life of legacy client hardware.
- With Terminal Services running on a Microsoft Windows 2000 Server computer, all client application execution, data processing, and data storage occur on the server.
- Users log on and see only their individual session, which is managed transparently by the server operating system and is independent of any other client session.
- Configuring Terminal Services for application sharing on an additional server is detailed in the white paper entitled “Using Small Business Server 2000 with Terminal Services in Application Server Mode.”
Some of the possible reasons to consider a dedicated intranet server follow:
The Small Business Server computer is already hosting a site on the World Wide Web that may conflict with the name space or installation parameters of an intranet.
The intranet is built around a line-of-business application that drives substantial amounts of traffic to the server. By hosting the intranet on a dedicated computer, you can divert the additional load away from the Small Business Server computer.
The intranet serves as a front-end for document access or other collaboration. Moving it to an additional server can free up resources on the Small Business Server computer.
Additional Domain Controller
Some of the possible reasons to consider an additional domain controller are as follows:
- An additional domain controller provides fault tolerance for user authentication.
- Adding a domain controller provides additional reliability to DNS services.
- An additional domain controller can improve the availability and reliability of network services.
- If the additional domain controller is installed at a company’s second site, users there can authenticate locally.
- Additional server operating systems
In part two of this three part series, the article will get into roles and discuss the benefits of implementing an additional server.