Creating server infrastructure in a small enterprise with a modest budget

Good day, dear readers.

I want to share my experience in deploying network services on a small office scale. The written below, of course, does not pretend to be the most efficient way, but this scheme has proved itself in terms of the ratio of the spent funds to productivity, flexibility and reliability.

I think that for those who worked in an ordinary Russian company with a staff of less than 20-30, it is no secret how much the management squeezes money for the development of IT. So it was with company X, where I worked.
When asked to allocate funds for an air-conditioned server cabinet, the more so since 2010 turned out to be extremely hot, I was refused. As a logical result, the iron burned in the server 1C: Accounting. Moreover, the previous system administrator was guided by incomprehensibly what: the drives worked in RAID 0. One of the hards died. I hope it is clear what this means. The hardware itself was a desktop class, in general, it became clear that it was better to purchase a new server.

It was possible to achieve the allocation of 32 thousand rubles for the configuration, which I will describe a little lower.

The review of ready-made server solutions did not satisfy me at all. For that kind of money, of course, you could choose a car that pulls 1C quietly, but I looked further - I was attracted by the use of virtualization capabilities, contrary to the incomprehensible skepticism of some "IT professionals" with whom the company management had friendly relations.

The plan for the IT structure was as follows.
On the new server, start 3 virtual machines running Citrix XEN Server:
1) domain controller + DHCP (Windows 2003 Server);
2) 1C: Accounting (file version) + terminal server (Windows 2003 Server);
3) a proxy server on Squid (Ubuntu Server 9.10);

There must also be a second physical server. It should provide the following functions:
1) copying and synchronization of personal documents for each account;
2) file wash;
3) to store backups of 1C bases;
4) be able to run virtual machines that duplicate those on the main server.

In my case, it already existed and had a good configuration: AMD Phenom II X2 @ 3.1Ghz, DDR3 4Gb, RAID 1 750Gb. In principle, it could be organized on Ubuntu, but at the time of its creation I did not have enough knowledge to confidently integrate Samba with AD, I was afraid of glitches. So Windows 2003 Server was chosen again, but x64. Functionality of Oracle VirtualBox is quite enough to start VM.

So, what kind of hardware did you manage to pick up for 32,000 rubles? I decided that the most correct would be self-assembly of the machine on server-class components.
Approximately the filling looked like this:
1) FSP Epsilon 85 PLUS 600 power supply;
2) Intel Original S3420GPLC motherboard;
3) Intel Xeon X3440 2.53GHz (4 physical cores of the Nehalem class, 8 logical cores);
4) Memory DDR3 1333MHz ECC Kingston at 8GB;
5) 80GB INTEL X25-M hard drive.

I know that the most controversial point is No. 5: both in terms of reliability and in terms of volume. But my argument is as follows:
- for virtual machines, the volume was no more than 45GB, while the OS itself reserves a little less than 20GB for itself;
- if necessary, you could add a standard hard disk;
- SSD has unrivaled performance options for multitasking environments;
- X25-M is certainly not an enterprise-class, but is considered one of the most reliable and durable models in its generation;
- oddly enough - a thirst for experiment: few people dared to use SSD for such tasks. The risks were justified - the speed of service recovery should not exceed more than 1 hour in the event of an accident due to duplication of VMs on the file server. The benefit is server scalability for new services.

The system has been assembled and configured. No glitches or pitfalls were discovered during the year of operation. The only thing I added is a virtual machine on a file server that duplicates a domain controller. It turned out, of course, not very beautiful - for this I had to leave the session running, since VirtualBox at the service level is not intended to work. But otherwise no complications.
The best part is that there are still some computing resources left for future tasks - you won’t have to buy any new servers for a long time! And of course, excellent fault tolerance.

It is worth mentioning office software. The standard was a machine with:
1) Windows XP Pro SP3;
2) OpenOffice 3.x;
3) FrontMotion Firefox (this is such an assembly for the ability to control via GPO, like IE);
4) Symantec Endpoint Protection;

OpenOffice proved to be quite good, although of course it works a little slower, and sometimes behaves more buggy than MS Office, but in 99% of cases it was enough. In other cases, office laptops with a pre-installed small-sized office were used.

In general, in the future I planned to transfer all client machines to Ubuntu, but did not manage to implement it, although the first experiments + people's accustomedness to working in OpenOffice demonstrated the realism of such an undertaking.
This would reduce the cost of purchasing anti-virus software, since viruses are practically not written under Linux, and in the future, part of the cost of switching to Windows 7 will be avoided, which includes both the cost of licenses and the cost of upgrading client computers. However, along with this, one would have to lose the ability of group policies. However, for the scale of company X, this is not critical.

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