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Sikh

Windows Server Noob

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I am toying with the idea of setting up a "full" network all in windows at home. Currently at home and work I run all unix and i have a full network in unix and it runs great. But after seeing a member on neowin post about file shares and permission issues, I realized I should probably up my game in the windows area. Anyway, I was going to direct this at Budman, Sc302 and Snaphat, but I know those guys are busy and i've bugged budman enough, so I would like to reach out to those 3 and the rest of the knowledgable neowin community to see what my options are. I want to set up a LDAP Master, DHCP/DNS Server, File Server, Database Server and Email server.

 

I have a intermediate understanding of windows. But i know basics about server. I've had to set up a 2008 / 2012 server for RDS testing with our aps at work, but thats about it. I would like to learn a lot more but I don't know where to start. What is the best place on the internet? I am not looking for one stop shop but I know there are resources that have to be just as informative as the unix resources im use to (nix craft, cyberciti, etc). 

I know LDAP Master translate into Active Directory something? I also need to learn the terminology for everything on the windows side. Im willing to do it I just don't know where to start. So I hope you guys can help me start. I will be running all the servers on my ESXi Host. I also will be running windows 7 and 8 clients on the host and Ill have my Surface Pro and my Windows Machine as clients too when I feel confident enough to add them into the mix. I want to be able to replicate my current home server structure (ldap master w/ dhcp/dns service, file server, database server, web server) into Windows and know what im doing without feeling at loss.

 

 

-Sikh

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I'm not sure about LDAP, but Windows DNS (Primary and Secondary Zones with Zone Transfer enabled) and DHCP (fail-over-hot/cold) have built in replication / fail-over features, depending on the database you're using (MySQL?) They should have their own replication as well. Might want to use DFS for the file server.

 

If you're looking for a central way to manage the replication, not sure if there's away besides full system replication.

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Download all the evaluations that you want to test. It's 180 days by default and then just set them up. To me that's the easiest way to learn. When you eventually run into problems you do some quick google searches and you be all set. Open settings/properties for all the options and see what's in there then next time you'll be able to quickly get back to somewhere to change a setting because you already know where it is :)

 

That was the idea behind TechNet and it would be perfect in this case. Since that's now cancelled, they offer the 6 month trials so that should be good enough to learn on.

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Download all the evaluations that you want to test. It's 180 days by default and then just set them up. To me that's the easiest way to learn. When you eventually run into problems you do some quick google searches and you be all set. Open settings/properties for all the options and see what's in there then next time you'll be able to quickly get back to somewhere to change a setting because you already know where it is :)

 

That was the idea behind TechNet and it would be perfect in this case. Since that's now cancelled, they offer the 6 month trials so that should be good enough to learn on.

 

Thats what I was thinking about doing. Thats how Ive always approached technology and thats how I've learned. But in this case I just didn't want to make a simple mistake that would cause me to reinstall the OS. I also planned on running all trials. I miss TechNet but I never used it much and I think 180 days is more then enough.

 

 

I'm not sure about LDAP, but Windows DNS (Primary and Secondary Zones with Zone Transfer enabled) and DHCP (fail-over-hot/cold) have built in replication / fail-over features, depending on the database you're using (MySQL?) They should have their own replication as well. Might want to use DFS for the file server.

 

If you're looking for a central way to manage the replication, not sure if there's away besides full system replication.

 

Sorry for the confusion, but I wasn't talking about replication. I was talking about replicating my SETUP in a NEW environment. So I would create a whole new environment / network of windows servers that would match my current unix setup. Hope this makes sense 

Microsoft has a huge array of articles:

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb250589.aspx

 

Thanks for this. They have cleaned up this website since the last time I've been here. Im use to the "windows help" layout which I hated. This looks a lot cleaner.

 

 

 

My overall goal is to start this setup correctly. I can definitely install a bunch of vm's and start setting up some services, but I want to do it knowing of any simple or stupid mistakes that can be made and will require to reinstall the OS. I want to avoid any stupid mistakes. That is why im asking for the best resources on the internet so i can read before I jump.

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As the others have said, TechNet is your best friend for this. Not your only friend but I have learned nearly everything I know about Windows and other Microsoft products from the TechNet library and forums.

 

For the services you are asking about (LDAP, DHCP, DNS, File Server, Database Server, Web Server) most are pretty straight forward to setup. I am assuming you want to use the Microsoft products for each of these as in every case you could just install your preferred vendor's software and use that (except maybe File Server). For example OpenLDAP, Apache, MySQL, things like that but again I assume you want to give the Microsoft programs a try.

 

Windows Server 2008 and above use a role-based installation method which means you install the base OS (just like installing a Windows client OS) and then on your first login the Server Manager starts up. From this you can install the Roles and Features you want and it will also help you though configuring them. If you are using Server Core (a near GUI-less version of Windows Server, just command line and PowerShell) then you will need a lot more help than I can fit into a reasonable forum post.

 

For LDAP, Windows Server has two Roles available: the full blown Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) which is a full Active Directory install or the Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) which is a smaller subset of the first one with limited functionality but also reduced requirements. I am not very familiar with AD LDS. When you install the AD DS role, it will load all the files but won't actually enable it, that will happen when you click the 'Configure AD DS' in the server manager, otherwise known as dcpromo. This is the Active Directory setup wizard that will let you setup your forest, domain and other important settings. This wizard will also install DNS and configure it if you want it to since DNS is critical to Active Directory. Once all the settings are set, it will configure your server and promote it to a Domain Controller which I believe translates pretty close to LDAP Master.

 

After AD DS is installed (you should install and configure AD DS before any other roles imo) you can install the DHCP role. This one will also need to be configured after install but it is pretty straight forward. The only different part is that because you have a domain you will need to 'authorize' the DHCP server, this is very easy to do and it will walk you through it. This is just a simple security feature aimed at preventing rouge DHCP servers. It doesn't really work but you have to deal with it anyways.

 

File and Print Services is also a role you can install to get advanced File Server tools like Distributed File System (DFS) but it is not needed for just simple file shares which is built into Windows.

 

For Web Server you would install the 'Web Server' role which is Internet Information Services (IIS). There are a ton of additional features that can be installed along with it, too many to list, so just use the wizard and TechNet to figure out what you need.

 

A Database Server is tricky, this is not something that is built into Windows Server. Microsoft's product is Microsoft SQL Server and is a fantastically expensive product. There is the 180-day evaluation but if you are looking for longer term you can run a 3rd party solution like MySQL. SQL Server install and config is not quick and there is no way I can go through it here, it is a beast.

 

This all assumes a single-server install and with AD DS, IIS, and possibly SQL Server it will be a very taxed system. Things get a little more tricky with multiple servers but it is still not difficult using the configuration wizards.

 

Hope all that helped. There is a ton of things going on behind the scenes, especially with Active Directory which is why they have several tiers of certification available, but just to get a simple install up and running isn't all that difficult. I would be happy to help if you need anything.

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Rdlenk

This is what I was looking for. I'm going go start my installation this weekend and start with AD DS and go from there.

Thanks for the detailed post

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If you have two severs install starwind iscsi on both of them and create clustered everything (just remember to only use iscsi on the hyperv servers everything else can use vhd shareing)

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It sounds like you want a deep understanding of the the core Microsoft products.

I would recommend going the certification paths (don't actually have to get certified
but the learning material will help you. )

You can use your local network and the Microsoft Virtual Labs:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb467605.aspx

I've added the test numbers as it is easier to look up the related book/e-learning/video
training material.

I would recommend getting a subscription with one or more of the popular high quality
ebooks and/or a high quality computer based training sites if you need anything additional
to Technet.

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/certification-overview.aspx

I would recommend starting off with the material for the MCSA for Windows Server 2012:

These will hit your DHCP, DNS, File Server Objectives:

Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 70-410
Administrating Windows Server 2012 70-411
Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services 70-412

Then move on to the MCSE for Server and Desktop Infrastructure:

Server:
Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure 70-413
Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure 70-414

Desktop:
Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure 70-415
Implementing Desktop Application Environments 70-416

Once you have completed those, move into MCSE for Messaging (Mail):

Hit your mail objective:

Exchange:
Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange 2013 70-341
Advanced solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 70-342

Hit your Database objective:

MCSA: SQL Server 2012
Database:
Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 70-461
Administrating Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases 70-462
Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 70-463

MCSE: SQL Data Platform
Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases 70-464
Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server 2012 70-465

As a bonus (the frosting) I would also recommend adding Sharepoint.

MCSE: Sharepoint
Core Solutions of Microsoft Sharepoint Server 2013 70-331
Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Sharepoint Server 2013 70-332

Then to top it off (the cherry on top) I would also recommend adding a CISSP certification
from ISC2 and a CEH certification from EC-Council.

If you would like to add the fireworks too you can add an VMWare Certified Professional
and/or Advanced Professional or Expert certifications.
 

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...snip...

 

 

Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was looking for. Rebuilding my current setup in a windows environment is easy for me. But I would like to know where most people start and this is perfect. Thank you!

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Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was looking for. Rebuilding my current setup in a windows environment is easy for me. But I would like to know where most people start and this is perfect. Thank you!

 

No problem, one of the best ways I have learned the Microsoft, RedHat, Cisco, VMWare, etc. tech is to start with the certification training 1st or 3rd party which help fill in any gaps in knowledge.  Blogs and tutorials are nice but normally only give general overviews or are not in depth enough to cover most of the gotchas that you will encounter that will pop up normally while your working through your training.  Even if you don't get the certifications you will have gained knowledge to set things up the proper way professionally.

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the best way that I have learned is to jump in feet first, and ask questions.  Training was always near useless to me...I cannot be classroom trained.  I need to read and apply what I read, I am more of a practical learner...by doing this I have a much better understanding than most.

 

I have setup networks without stepping foot on site, remotting in and showing/teaching what is best and standard practice. 

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the best way that I have learned is to jump in feet first, and ask questions.  Training was always near useless to me...I cannot be classroom trained.  I need to read and apply what I read, I am more of a practical learner...by doing this I have a much better understanding than most.

 

I have setup networks without stepping foot on site, remotting in and showing/teaching what is best and standard practice. 

 

This is exactly how I am. I just do a little research. Learn terminology, try to figure out the things not to do that will make you reinstall etc. Once I learn those, I just dive in. I just wanted a brief overview of what Microsoft Implementation of LDAP is because i know they have active directory but I also have heard terms like "forests, domains, etc". 

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Active directory is ldap, for lack of a better was to explain it. You can't separate ldap from active directory.

Active directory is a tree hierarchy. The forest is the top level, then you can have sub domains under that to level to separate it further. This works with permissions and what not to easily give access to people without giving them the entire domain access. This also helps with putting people in certain areas. This isn't common practice though. Just about everything that you can do with child domains you can do with a single domain with less complexity....even assigning permissions to certain users to have access to certain ous. If planned out right it isn't a big deal at all.

Start small and work big.

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Active directory is ldap, for lack of a better was to explain it. You can't separate ldap from active directory.

Active directory is a tree hierarchy. The forest is the top level, then you can have sub domains under that to level to separate it further. This works with permissions and what not to easily give access to people without giving them the entire domain access. This also helps with putting people in certain areas. This isn't common practice though. Just about everything that you can do with child domains you can do with a single domain with less complexity....even assigning permissions to certain users to have access to certain ous. If planned out right it isn't a big deal at all.

Start small and work big.

 

Ok thanks man. You've been very helpful

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Microsoft iSCSI target does not support synchronous mirroring between hosts so cannot create a fault tolerant storage back end (unless clustered with generic Windows clustering services and THAT requires external shared storage making whole setup slow, expensive and complicated).

 

If you've manage to lose data with StarWind this means you a) did not use it in a production HA config (2+ hosts) and b) enabled write back cache which is a definite no-no on a single node setup. 

 

fk starwind iscsi, used it and randomly screwed up the iscsi disk image after a server restart. ....microsoft iscsi works just as well if not better,  this is not the initiator. 

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=19867

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The free version of solar winds software doesn't support that either (if memory serves me, I would have to go over their free offering again) the paid version wasn't exactly inexpensive either from what I remember. The free version was pretty limited from my recollection. And yes it was a single node setup, not multiple hosts...I don't believe the op has multiple hosts either as this is a test environment to learn ad with.

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Hello,

Just so you know, Im stuck in the same boat as you...

Im getting a microserver (hopefully this week) but before ordering, Im installing WS2012R2 in VMware...

It has been.....intresting to say the least. The wizard is pretty straight forward but at one point it asks me for a database. I thought WS2012R2 had a min SQL server but it doesnt. So now Im installing SQL Server 2012. Had some hickups but Google solved them quickly :)

Now after SQL is installed, Im making a DB for WSUS, which seems to ask me for a DB (it depends on the options you choose in the wizard for the server manager).

Its a intersting process which Im sure Ill hit more hickups (for example, it tells me that when adding roles/features it cant find some source files. This is something Im problably installing that I dont need or want)

Unlike you, I have never setup a server config in unix or win so Im more of a noob than you. If I can do it, you can too ;)

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fk starwind iscsi, used it and randomly screwed up the iscsi disk image after a server restart. ....microsoft iscsi works just as well if not better,  this is not the initiator. 

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=19867

 

Shouldn't need to download if using 2012.

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Hello,

The most difficult thing for me is coming up with names :laugh: Honestly, its asking me for so many names for different things (my domain, my server, my SQL server, etc) that I dont know what to name them as anymore!

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How about keep it simple.

Dc01

Sql01

Exch01

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Hello,

How about keep it simple.

Dc01

Sql01

Exch01

Yeah, Ive gone with

DC(myname) (Server name)

DCMSSQLSERVER (thats a good one :laugh:)

local.home2.com (Thats my AD forest I believe If I read it correctly)

When deploying Im thinking

DC (server name)

SQLSRV (MS SQL Server; I might not even need this)

local.home (AD forest)

Noone here understands/reads english (much less on a technical level) so...

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1) You're definitely confusing StarWind and SolarWinds... So what software did you run exactly? Storage provider or storage monitor?

 

2) StarWind VSAN (ex-Native SAN) can run hardware-less (on the same nodes where Hyper-V resides making 2-node config fully redundant, with Microsoft iSCSI or SMB 3.0 you'll need at least 3 physical nodes and 3d storage node would be unprotected being basically a single point of failure). Free version can run clustered just fine and it's great for Test & Development. See:

 

http://www.starwindsoftware.com/native-san-for-hyper-v-free-edition

 

So if OP has two physical hosts I think he'll be fine.

 

Good luck and happy clustering :)

 

The free version of solar winds software doesn't support that either (if memory serves me, I would have to go over their free offering again) the paid version wasn't exactly inexpensive either from what I remember. The free version was pretty limited from my recollection. And yes it was a single node setup, not multiple hosts...I don't believe the op has multiple hosts either as this is a test environment to learn ad with.

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For Test & Developmen scenario there's no point to deploy limited MS iSCSI at all. For a reason: SMB 3.0 is faster (Microsoft iSCSI is not cached at server side with RAM and has issues with keeping VHDX on a tiered / cached storage spaces so basically no flash cache either, SMB 3.0 is fully cached @ the same time) and with R2 you can use shared VHDX instead of iSCSI for guest VM clusters making MS iSCSI target history :) 

 

Shouldn't need to download if using 2012.

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