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Many small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) often outgrow simple sharing of resources with networked PCs but don't know when or how to upgrade to a more robust system. In this class, you'll determine if your business is ready for a client/server network. You'll also learn how to select and configure a variety of servers to provide file and print, database, email and web services. 1. Why do you need a server? This lesson will introduce you to client/server networks and cover the components: workstations, servers and network operating systems. You'll take a look at retail and open source operating systems and learn which servers are popular with SMBs and why. 2. Selecting a server In this lesson, you'll learn how to determine which software, hardware and backup solutions meet your needs, and how to make smart purchasing decisions. This lesson will focus on hardware by HP and operating systems by Microsoft®. 3. Configuring file and print sharing File and print sharing is the most common server role in most organizations. In this lesson, you'll learn how to configure a file and print server. You'll also understand the benefits of having a file and print server on your business network. 5. Configuring an email server This lesson describes how various email servers interact to send and receive email. You'll learn how to select an email application for your business, configure an email server and secure the system you put in place.
Why do you need a server?
4. Configuring a database server In this lesson, you'll learn what a database is, and why you need a server to host a database on your network. You'll also learn how to configure a database server and understand the benefits of managing a database server in your own company.
This lesson will introduce you to client/server networks and cover the components: workstations, servers and network operating systems. You'll take a look at retail and open source operating systems and learn which servers are popular with SMBs and why. This class is a beginner's guide to small and medium-size business (SMB) server systems. You start by learning about network server hardware, software and peripherals in general terms. Later lessons focus on specific features that fit within a small business. Throughout this class, we provide Flash examples. To view these examples, you need the Adobe Flash Player. Keep an eye out for notes with links that say "See how to ____" or something similar. Some of these files may be very large and could take a while to appear or download if you have a slow connection.
6. Configuring a web server Websites are an essential part of doing business today; some companies wouldn't exist without them. In this lesson, you'll learn what a web server is, how it works, how to configure one and how it can benefit your company.
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As the class progresses, you learn the typical roles of a dedicated server in an SMB environment: file and print servers, email servers, database servers and web servers. If you want to know more about server functions after completing this class, you should continue to research more in-depth materials, such as those found on the HP Small & Medium Business website. This class is a first step into the world of client-server networks, and how they can benefit a small business environment. Here's what to expect in the lessons: This class is geared toward SMB owners and technical staff in charge of business server systems and information technology management.
Introduction to networks
Each lesson is accompanied by an assignment and a short quiz, which help you put your skills into practice and reinforce what you're learning. Now it's time to get started with the topics in Lesson 1.
Lesson 1: Introduces the basics of client-server computing and gives you an overview of workstations, servers and network operating systems. You also learn the differences between Microsoft Windows and Linux network operating systems. Lesson 2: Explains how to determine which software, hardware and backup solutions meet your needs and how to make smart purchasing decisions. This lesson focuses on server hardware and the Windows and Linux operating systems. Lesson 3: Covers the basics of file and print sharing. You learn how to configure a file and print server, and see the benefits of having this type of server on your business network. Lesson 4: Focuses on databases. You learn what a database is and why you need a server to host one on your network. You also learn how to configure a database server and understand the benefits of managing a database server in your company. Lesson 5: Describes how email servers interact to send and receive email. You learn how to select an email application for your business, configure an email server and secure the system you put in place. Lesson 6: Walks you through web servers. You learn what a web server is, how it works, how to configure one and how it can benefit your company.
A server is a combination of computer hardware and an operating system (OS) that provides resources for other users on the network. Servers vary in appearance: some look exactly like desktop computers whereas others are designed to be mounted in special racks in protected areas called the server closet, network room or server room. Because of its central role on a network, you should regularly back up important data or information on a server and store backups in a safe place. Having all important business information saved in a single location makes data recovery easier. And backing up a single server is less of a chore than backing up every computer on the network. You'll learn more about backups in Lesson 2.
A client is a personal computer or device—a desktop, notebook PC or personal digital assistant (PDA), for example—that can communicate on a network and run applications, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Desktop and notebook computers are also sometimes known as workstations. Each client generally contains installed applications and requests access to shared resources, including data, from the server. On some networks, administrators
A commonly used Ethernet cable is the CAT 5 cable. It has an RJ-45 connector, which looks like a telephone jack but is slightly larger, at both ends. One end of the cable connects to the workstation's NIC, and the other end connects to or terminates at a port on a hub or switch.
allow users to store data on their client hard disks. Anything stored on a client is referred to as being "locally" stored.
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Servers and clients are connected via wireless network interface cards (NICs), or Ethernet cables and NICs, with all communications flowing through a central networking device, such as a hub, router or switch. This forms a client-server network, as shown in Figure 1-1. You can use wireless NICs and routers to supplement or replace cabled environments. Some organizations now use completely wireless networks due to the desire of users to travel freely around the office and the construction costs required to install a wired network. In these cases, the server is still connected to the network by a wired connection because of the higher speeds possible on a wired network. Most PCs today have a wired NIC and wireless capabilities integrated into the system.
Figure 1-1: A basic client-server network with cabled and wireless components. Enlarge image
The router is a necessary device that connects the internal network to the outside world; a switch is optional equipment used to improve the efficiency and security of larger networks (usually those containing 10 or more systems). A network cable connects the server to the switch or router. If you need to connect a lot of computers, network printers and other network devices, you can stack several switches in a specialized equipment rack so that enough switch ports are available for all required connections. After you configure the server for sharing and assign the same Internet Protocol (IP) address and subnet mask as the rest of the LAN, the server can access and be accessed by the rest of the network. On most networks, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server dynamically assigns IP addresses. Dynamic addressing allows large numbers of clients to receive IP address assignments from a server automatically when they log on to the network. You must manually configure certain devices, such as servers, routers, switches and network printers, with static (unchanging) IP addresses, because static IP addresses make finding these devices on a network faster and easier. Cabled networks with more than 10 to 15 computers should use switches because of the distance and traffic limitations of Ethernet communications.
The most common client-server network arrangement is called a star network, which involves a central hub or switch that directs traffic between client workstations and the server. The server is the center of the star formation. None of the clients are directly connected to each other. Instead, they pass all communications through the central device.
Operating more than 15 computers on an unswitched network results in serious congestion, reducing the network's speed for all users.
In a business environment without a server, you can configure workstations to share their resources and to use shared resources on the network. Business networks without a server are referred to as workgroups or peer-to-peer networks. They usually consist of as few as 2 workstations to as many as 10 to 20 workstations. On a peer-to-peer network, some workstations provide resources for all workstations on the network. One workstation might provide a shared printer, another might provide a shared scanner and others might share files on their hard disks, as shown in Figure 1-2. The workstations providing shared files or resources serve as both workstations and servers.
Figure 1-2: A basic, cabled peer-to-peer network. Enlarge image
A peer-to-peer network, much like a simple client-server network, connects several workstations to each other through a hub or switch, or a wireless router. To actually carry out this network communication, however, you must configure each computer to be part of the same network. Joining a computer to a peer-topeer network requires the following: Because you must perform many of the preceding configuration tasks manually on each computer, managing a peer-to-peer network with more than 10 workstations is difficult and time-consuming. All computers must share the same network name. Each computer must have a unique name. All computers must be configured with a network address on the same network or subnet.
Sharing resources on a network
After all computers on a network are physically or wirelessly connected and configured, they're able to communicate with each other and share resources, such as files, printers, fax systems and scanners.
A peer-to-peer network works relatively well for printer and file sharing in small
environments. However, if you need to work with a common database or host a website, a peer-to-peer network makes performing those tasks difficult, if not impossible. For example, let's say five people are working on the same project, and the primary file is on Computer 01 of a peer-to-peer network. If that computer is turned off or malfunctions, the job comes to a grinding halt. If Computer 01 suffers an error that destroys the work file, unless that data is saved elsewhere, all the work—sometimes representing hundreds of hours—is gone. With a business group of 10 employees, for example, the most common solution is to convert to a client-server network. So far you've learned the basics of client-server and peer-to-peer networks. The next section addresses general server features. Sharing files and printers is covered in more detail in Lesson 3.
Exploring server hardware
A server is a computer with more hard disk space, memory and computing power than an ordinary workstation. A wide range of servers are available on the market. The most common entry-level server has a tower form factor (physical type). Rack servers and blade servers are a common part of large networking environments, such as internet service providers (ISPs) that host many websites; however, they're gaining popularity with SMBs. A rack server, which is shaped somewhat like a pizza box, is designed to fit into a vertical rack holding several servers. A blade server is similar in form factor to a rack server and fits into an enclosure that includes cooling, power, storage and network components that are shared among server blades. A large collection of servers is usually called a server farm.
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Features common in small to midsize servers are described in the following sections.
Central processing units (CPUs)
A server can support anywhere up to 64 CPUs for faster, multithreaded processing. Because hundreds of client computers can access a server at the same time, insufficient server processing power can cause a bottleneck in accessing resources. In a small business environment, servers generally don't have more than four CPUs. In fact, using more than four CPUs requires an advanced operating system, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition.
Random access memory (RAM)
Servers usually contain at least 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM but support amounts up to 256 GB. Advanced operating systems can go even further, with current
limits of 2 terabytes (TB, or 2,048 GB). Server RAM is usually rated at much higher speeds than what's ordinarily found in a PC or workstation.
Servers come equipped with one or more hard drives. On servers with two or more hard drives, the primary drive usually contains the OS files and the remaining drive(s) is configured solely for data storage or fault tolerance. Fault tolerance is a method for ensuring that computing devices can recover from a failure without losing data. Popular drive types include:
Redundant array of independent disks (RAID)
The RAID standard describes a variety of methods of using multiple drives to provide redundant storage and fault tolerance. Figure 1-3 shows a comparison of the variations of the RAID standard. There are several levels of RAID, such as 0, 1, 1+0, 5 and 6. Each level offers different options in terms of reliability, performance and cost. You can implement RAID as a hardware or software solution. RAID solutions use parity—a method of checking if data has been lost or written over when it's moved—to ensure data integrity. For additional information on RAID solutions, search the HP website.
Serial advanced technology attachment (SATA): This type of drive transfers data to and from the motherboard via a serial cable. SATA drives usually come in capacities of 80 GB or more and speeds of 1.5 to 6 gigabits per second (Gbps). A server can have two, four or six SATA drives for data storage. Serial attached SCSI (SAS): This drive uses serial communications to transfer data at rates of 3 or 6 Gbps, with the next release expected to increase the maximum speed to 12 Gbps. SAS drives are generally more robust than SATA drives, making them a solid choice for critical server needs. Small computer system interface (SCSI): Pronounced "scuzzy," this drive allows you to connect different peripheral devices in a series. SCSI drives represent an older technology that's being replaced by SATA and SAS drives, as even more advanced SCSI implementations are limited to 5 Gbps transfer speed.
Figure 1-3: A comparison of RAID performance.
A backup is both a hardware and software solution. An advantage of locating all important data in one location—the server—is that accessing it for backups is easier.
Backing up data involves saving it to a hardware medium, such as to another hard disk on the server or network or to a tape drive. Data is usually backed up daily during a time of low network activity, and you should store the backup media in a safe place. If the server suffers a serious failure resulting in the loss of data, you can restore data from the stored media.
In addition to backup hardware, specialized software usually manages backup and recovery operations. In a client-server system, backing up server data regularly is crucial because having all important data on one machine results in a potential single point of failure. If the server fails and the data isn't backed up, the data is lost, unless you have some other method of fault tolerance.
Home and business PCs generally have a standard 100-Mbps (megabits per second) NIC installed. Almost all business LANs are rated at this speed, which is adequate for most data transfer, including streaming video and audio. Because servers are accessed frequently on a business LAN, they're often equipped with one or two NICs, sometimes rated at 1,000 Mbps (also called Gigabit Ethernet). These servers are connected to high-speed Ethernet switches of equal data rate capacity, and the LAN workstations are connected to this switch via their 100 Mbps connections, whether cabled or wireless.
Previously, Gigabit Ethernet connections were possible only with expensive fiber-optic cable; however, technological advances allow using less-expensive copper (CAT 5 and CAT 6) Ethernet cable to achieve the same transfer rates.
Hot swapping means you can remove server components for repair or maintenance and replace them without powering down the server, as shown in Figure 1-4. This feature is common in most types of servers. RAID configurations commonly have hot-swappable hard drives for optimal reliability.
Understanding server software and server roles
Figure 1-4: Replace components without powering down the server. Next, learn about server software and server roles. Server software usually consists of a server operating system (also called a network operating system) rather than the desktop OS used on workstations. In the business world, you see a variety of desktop OSs. Microsoft holds the
majority share of this market, with Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Apple Macintosh has a significant portion of the desktop OS market, however, especially in companies in graphic design, video production and related fields. Science and engineering firms often use Linux as a desktop operating system, but it is not commonly used outside of that industry.
Advanced functionality and feature sets distinguish server operating systems from desktop operating systems. In other words, a server OS has features that enable servers to perform specific tasks and roles in a business network. A complete list of server features is beyond the scope of this class, but the following sections cover some common server roles.
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File and print servers
With file and print servers, users can access files on the network, modify them and then save them to the server, as shown in Figure 1-5. If the server is configured correctly, users don't notice that files are actually stored on the server. It seems as though they're accessing, modifying and saving files stored on their local workstations. You can configure these file shares so that only certain groups have permission to see and change them. Files can also be set as read-only, so they can be opened and read but not changed.
Figure 1-5: Accessing file and print servers. Enlarge image
File and print servers also make it possible to share printers on the network. Network printers commonly come with their own NICs and are physically connected to the network. All software and drivers for the printer are loaded on the server. When workstation users send a print job to a print device, they're actually accessing the server, which sends the print job to the device for printing. Like file sharing, it seems to users as though they're printing to a device connected directly to their workstations, even though it can physically be anywhere in their office.
File and print servers are covered in more detail in Lesson 3.
Small businesses usually use Microsoft Office applications, such as Access and even Excel, as database applications. Excel isn't designed for database use, however. Although Access is widely used, it's not robust enough to provide true database functionality. It also doesn't support multiple database connections reliably. Figure 1-6 illustrates how information flows through the database process.
Figure 1-6: Information flow within the database process. Enlarge image Database servers are covered in detail in Lesson 4.
The three best-known database applications—Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL, pronounced "sequel"), MySQL and Oracle—often run on dedicated servers. Database server features offer more storage capacity for corporate databases, and allow working with and controlling data locally. These features are an advantage over attempting to manage data in-house with a desktop database, such as Access, or outsourcing management of a business database to a third party. Retaining local control also improves database security because you don't have to involve an outside management firm.
Small businesses usually have their email service hosted by an ISP, as home users do. Larger businesses, however, have their own email servers, as shown in Figure 1-7.
Figure 1-7: Email server for large businesses. Enlarge image
Having an in-house server for managing email accounts allows you to control email files from inside the business network infrastructure. These files are stored on the server and backed up just like any other type of data, so you can recover this data in the event of a server failure. You can also scan incoming emails for malware (malicious software, such as viruses and worms) before they enter the network so they can be quarantined to avoid infecting the network.
Email servers are covered in more depth in Lesson 5.
Small businesses rely on an ISP or a web-hosting company to host their business websites, but larger businesses have in-house web servers. Having an in-house web server gives you more control, improved security and faster access, as shown in Figure 1-8.
Figure 1-8: In-house web server. Enlarge image
Web servers are covered in detail in Lesson 6.
Figure 1-9 shows all types of servers, including file and print, database, email and web servers, working together in a network environment.
Figure 1-9: All servers working together in a network environment. Enlarge image
You can also create an internal intranet, accessible only to your employees. An intranet provides a method of communication within the corporate infrastructure so that employees can access internal information as easily as they would surf the web. With an intranet, you don't have to send group or broadcast voicemails or emails, which tie up network resources and clutter email buffers. An intranet can easily be updated, too, so that employees can be kept informed of the latest business developments.
Popular server operating systems
Server software has traditionally been more diverse than desktop OSs. Several companies produce server OS software, such as the following: Linux: Currently found on many web servers; for example, Google uses Linux exclusively for its web server farm. Other popular Linux distributions are Debian, Red Hat and Novell SUSE (pronounced "soozy"). Novell NetWare: Previously held the majority market share in corporate server software. Novell NetWare is no longer commonly used, except in legacy systems. Windows Server systems: Microsoft entered the field with Windows NT, then with Windows 2000 Server and now with Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft has replaced Novell's position in the enterprise server arena. Desktop operating system No Server operating system Yes
The following table lists key differences between desktop and server operating systems. Feature Offer roles, such as file and print, database, email and web
Supports many simultaneously connected users Supports multitasking capability
Supports network load balancing to ensure resources No are available File storage capability and handling
Limited Limited Limited
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Table 1-1: Differences between desktop computer and server operating systems.
This class focuses on servers and server roles on a network to help you understand the great benefits to your company of switching to a server-based environment.
In this lesson, you learned the differences between workstations and servers and reviewed a few basics about networking. You also learned some essential hardware and software features of servers. In Lesson 2, you'll find out how to determine whether a client-server network would be beneficial to your business and how to select server hardware, software and backup solutions. Before you move on, do the assignment and take the quiz.
This assignment has two parts. The first part requires going to a server manufacturer's website, such as the HP Servers web page, where you'll review hardware server solutions. You're not looking for a particular server in this assignment. Just document some examples of server technology to familiarize yourself with what's available. For the second part of this assignment, go to the Microsoft website or the Linux website of your choice. Search for information on server software that's geared toward SMBs. List five to seven features that you know would benefit your company or that you want to learn more about. Question 1: What is a server? A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D) A device commonly used to run applications from users' desktops A device that runs OSs like Microsoft Windows 7 Microsoft Excel Debian Linux SUSE Linux A device found only in server farms hosting websites Microsoft Windows Server 2008
Question 2: Which of the following are server operating systems? (Check all that apply.) Question 3: Which of the following is a fault-tolerance solution?
A device and OS that centrally locates and administers shared resources on a network
A) B) A) B) A) B)
Question 4: True or False: Each computer on a peer-to-peer network must have a unique name and network address. Question 5: Which of the following are common server roles? (Check all that apply.) True False File and print Maintenance Email
Gigabit Ethernet Hot swapping SCSI
When does an SMB need a server?
Selecting a server
C) D) Word processing
In this lesson, you'll learn how to determine which software, hardware and backup solutions meet your needs, and how to make smart purchasing decisions. This lesson will focus on hardware by HP and operating systems by Microsoft®. Welcome back. In Lesson 1, you learned the differences between clients and servers. You also explored basic hardware and software features of servers, and the roles servers play on a network. In this lesson, you learn how to assess your company's need for a server and select a server OS, server hardware and backup solution based on your organization's requirements. Several factors go into selecting the server solution that's right for your work environment. It's important to know your organization's needs as well as which server platforms have the capacities and feature sets designed to fit those needs. It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the variables in determining the need for a server. This lesson helps you make that decision.
Assessing the need for a server
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Sharing, modifying, coordinating and saving data are critical in business. The group project model is common in work settings, which means several people are simultaneously responsible for creating and modifying documents.
In a peer-to-peer network environment, however, some business functions are impractical or impossible to perform. For example, different versions of a document can exist on several workstations. There's no effective way to store a document centrally and have it be the official copy—at least not easily. In this situation, one person must be made the "keeper" of the document. All other members of the group must be able to access the file on the keeper's client workstation to work on it, and then save their work to the file on that workstation. Other difficulties include: Two workers save a copy of the document on their notebook hard drives and work on the file while traveling. Each worker has a different version, and the changes aren't reconciled with each other or the master document. One person saves changes to the file and inadvertently destroys another person's saved work. Each person is responsible for backing up his or her data regularly. Or, one person has to back up data at each client workstation for everyone, a task that ranges from inconvenient to highly time-consuming, depending on the
Hosting a database on a client is impractical because of the size of hierarchical databases. Some businesses use a flat spreadsheet structure, such as Microsoft Excel, but spreadsheets lack the flexibility to function as true databases. Unless you contract with a third party to provide a hierarchical database service, a peer-to-peer network can't handle this task. Client workstations generally lack the processing power and storage capacity to be used as email and web servers, especially if they also function as day-to-day workstations for employees.
number of users.
Determining when you've outgrown a peer-to-peer network is partially based on how many people need to share resources on the network. As the user population in a peer-to-peer environment grows, resources are harder to manage and users become less productive. If your network can't handle the tasks necessary to maintain productivity, such as backups, databases and email, it's time to buy a server. Generally, if you anticipate more than 10 users on your peer-to-peer business network, you should consider upgrading to a client-server network for efficiency and reliability. Once you determine your business needs a server, decision making falls into three categories: server operating system, server hardware and backup methods and devices. Read on to learn how to select a server operating system.
Selecting server software: the basics
After you've decided to buy a server, what do you look for and in what order? You need to know which server operating system offers the features you need and can grow with your company. In addition, to stay within your budget, you want to avoid purchasing a system that offers functions (and costs) you'll never need. As mentioned in Lesson 1, many server operating systems are available. This class focuses on Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Debian Linux because they're well suited to the needs of an SMB environment.
Benefits of Windows Small Business Server 2008
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First, take a look at the advantages Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 offers:
This server suite is based on the most recent release of the Microsoft Windows Server operating system, Windows Server 2008. It's a fifthgeneration release of this product line and is considered extremely stable. It supports the roles of file server and print server as part of its core functionality. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is incorporated to provide an out-of-the-box email server. A single wizard helps you configure network settings, firewall settings, a secure website and email. Windows Small Business Server 2008 also includes Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server, which provides virus, worm and spam protection for your company's email. You can create an internal intranet based on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, which enables you to post shared documents, company calendars, help desk requests, surveys and discussion groups on your company's internal website. You can create and host websites that are accessible from the internet to
Many other features in Windows Small Business Server 2008 make it an ideal server system for SMB clients. You can find a complete list of features on the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 website.
Benefits of Debian Linux 5.0
share public information and resources over the web. Remote access services are available for telecommuters and traveling employees via a virtual private network (VPN) connection that provides a secure, encrypted tunnel to your network over the internet. The Premium Edition of Windows Small Business Server 2008 includes Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard for creating and managing your line-ofbusiness database applications. Almost everyone is familiar with the Windows interface, which makes Windows Small Business Server 2008 immediately accessible, even to less technical users.
Debian Linux 5.0 (codenamed lenny)—a very popular choice for corporate Linux installations—offers the following for SMB environments:
The Linux interface isn't as familiar as Windows; your IT staff should be familiar with the Linux OS before making this choice.
Preloaded server software
Although you can acquire the server OS separately and then install it on a physical (hardware) server, purchasing a server with a preloaded OS is common. In later lessons, you have the opportunity to learn how to configure some features available with a server OS.
To learn more about the many features that make Debian Linux a good choice for SMB environments, visit the Debian website.
It's based on the same open source Linux core that has been refined by thousands of programmers over the past 15 years. It supports the roles of file server and print server as part of its core functionality. Sendmail with SpamAssassin is included as well as a wizard for configuring network settings, firewall settings and email during installation. Commandline tools are also available for further customization. You can create and host intranets and websites that are accessible from the internet to share public information and resources over the web. Debian Linux uses Apache Web Server for this purpose. It provides out-of-the-box security features, including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) and intrusion detection tools. It includes MySQL, the open source database system that provides functions similar to Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. Because Debian Linux is open source, you can obtain it for free!
In addition to installing the software yourself, or buying a server with the OS installed, you can also upgrade or migrate a server OS.
Upgrading server software
Installing the OS from scratch is beyond the scope of this class. However, if you want to learn more, you're encouraged to continue your education on Windows Small Business Server 2008 or Debian Linux by visiting the Microsoft and Debian websites, respectively.
You can upgrade a variety of older Windows server systems to Windows Small
Business Server 2008 to improve functionality and security without having to buy new hardware. Of course, your current server hardware must meet the minimum requirements to provide adequate resources for the server OS. Linux operating systems usually have a longer shelf life than Windows versions, so you don't need to upgrade as often. Visit the Microsoft and Debian websites to determine if you can upgrade your server OS. Also check your hardware vendor's site, such as HP.com, to verify whether your older server supports the newer OS.
Migrating server software
The other major installation path is migration. To migrate a server OS, you should install the new server OS on a different physical server. (You can also acquire a new server with the OS already loaded.) Then you transfer, or migrate, user accounts, tasks and functions from the old server hardware to the new server, as shown in Figure 2-1. Migrating from one OS vendor to another—for example, from Windows to Linux or vice versa—is more difficult than migrating within an OS family.
Figure 2-1: Migrating to a new server.
To learn more, search the Microsoft website for migrating to Windows Small Business Server 2008 or the Debian website for migrating to Debian Linux.
Acquiring necessary licenses
You should also understand how the Microsoft Windows client access license (CAL) works. Because a server provides resources to a certain number of clients, each client or computer needs to have a license. When a home user buys a computer with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium loaded, for example, she also buys a single-user license. This license doesn't mean other family members can't use it; it just means the OS is legally installed on only one computer at a time. You can purchase Windows Small Business Server 2008 installation DVDs or preloaded on a physical server. You'll receive one server license and five CALs. This means five computers can access the server simultaneously under the default license arrangement. If more computers are going to connect to this server (and that's the whole point of upgrading to a client-server network) at the same time, you have to purchase additional CAL licenses. Each Windows Small Business Server 2008 server can support up to 75 CALs. Take the licensing agreement seriously—it represents a contractual arrangement between your business and Microsoft. For more information on licensing, search the Microsoft website or your vendor's website. These license restrictions aren't an issue with Debian Linux because it's an open source OS.
Selecting server software: services you should not be without
The following sections briefly describe types of management and security applications you should run with your server OS.
Now that you understand the essential features of a server OS, the next section describes important features that help you run any server OS more efficiently.
Remote management is an important part of any network. You could just plug a monitor and keyboard into your server hardware; however, if something goes wrong at 2 a.m., your system administrator needs to be able to log onto the server from home rather than come into the office. A remote management solution gives your system administrator the ability to perform all necessary tasks, from routine administration such as adding users to emergency management, including powering down the server from anywhere, as shown in Figure 2-2. Without this solution, a simple server reboot could take up to a few hours, depending on your system administrator's commute from home to office.
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Figure 2-2: Remote management.
Remote management is a good business choice because:
If your network OS doesn't include remote management software, find a compatible package or invest in a remote management hardware solution.
A single system administrator can administer servers at multiple branches or locations. Emergency server management may be performed quickly, at any time, to minimize downtime. IT travel costs and overtime are targets for budget reduction. Business goals usually require an increase in IT productivity.
No matter how small your business is, you need to pay attention to security. Many security breaches occur because of outdated antivirus definitions and patch levels. If your IT staff is often too busy to check for security updates for the software your business uses, implementing automated security software is a must. Automating routine tasks, such as updating virus definitions, reviewing vulnerability reports and installing patches, benefits your business in several ways—better security, healthy systems and increased IT staff productivity.
If your web server is bogged down, visitors will leave your site. The average website visitor is willing to wait less than five seconds for a website to load. Performance management software proactively alerts you to potential
performance issues, enabling you to solve the problem before your customers even notice, as shown in Figure 2-3. Ensure your choice of server OS includes performance management features, or acquire third-party utilities to handle the job.
Selecting and acquiring server hardware
Figure 2-3: Performance management.
There's a lot of information to consider when selecting a network OS and maintenance software. You should be just as careful when selecting your server hardware.
After selecting a network OS that meets your business needs, how do you decide which hardware to use? In a way, it's similar to deciding which features you want in a new car and then shopping for cars with those features.
Reviewing server specifications
The variety of hardware server solutions is vast, and a comprehensive survey of all server vendors is beyond the scope of this class. Instead, this section focuses on the most important features you should look for when acquiring a physical server for your business: processor, memory, hard disk and network capabilities.
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At a minimum, you need a server with a 2 gigahertz (GHz) processor. Windows Small Business Server 2008 supports up to four processors, so if you anticipate significant growth, you should look for a motherboard that can handle multiple processors. You can run the network OS with just one processor initially, and then add processors as needed.
The following sections focus on Windows Small Business Server 2008 because the requirements of that server OS are much higher than Debian Linux.
You need a minimum of 4 GB of RAM to run Windows Small Business Server 2008; however, you should install as much RAM as you can afford—up to a maximum of 32 GB—to help ensure a smoothly running server.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 is a 64-bit OS that requires 64-bit hardware.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 uses about 60 GB of hard disk space, depending on the options you decide to install. When shopping for a server, keep in mind the space you'll need to install other applications and store your data. A typical server setup has at least two hard disks—one for the operating system and applications and a separate hard disk to store data. Look for a hot-swappable drive cage and hard drives, so you can remove a damaged or nonfunctional hard drive and replace it while the system is running.
Your selected server must be compatible with your existing network, whether it's based on 802.11 wireless or 10/100 wired Ethernet. You can purchase most servers with either type of network card, or install a dual card that can handle either type of connection.
Buying a server system
Now that you've read all about your options for server hardware, software and OSs, how do you decide which server to buy? It's more important to find the server that meets your business' unique needs than to buy the one with the most impressive list of features. Refer to your server OS vendor website for specific hardware requirements before buying a particular server.
It's typical for even an SMB network to operate at a data transfer speed of 100 Mbps. The server is usually linked to the connecting switch by 1,000 Mbps CAT 5 or fiber-optic cable.
Your server is an integrated system of hardware, software, operating system, technical support, storage, backup device and services. This system as a whole should provide you with the features you need, such as reliability, security, manageability and support.
Looking to the future: scalability
Although you might not need every top-of-the-line feature available, you should realistically assess your anticipated growth for the next two to five years. Look for a system with plenty of room to upgrade, because it's much easier, less disruptive and less expensive to add more memory or storage space to an existing server than to migrate to an entirely new system. After you purchase a hardware server solution for your network, you need to protect your investment. Read on to learn how. The HP server buying guide can help you find the right server solution that meets your requirements.
Protecting your investment
Disaster recovery plan
For many SMBs, a server represents a significant capital investment. Theft probably isn't a significant concern, but loss of data and productivity certainly is.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your server is to create a disaster recovery plan. In the event of any manmade or natural disaster, this plan becomes your organization's guide to restoring operations as quickly as possible. A good disaster recovery plan should include the items in the following sections, at a minimum.
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Emergency contact information
Include emergency contact information for the disaster recovery team leader and members. Key members of this team are your system administrator, network engineer and other members of your IT staff with specialized knowledge of your applications and information security. Another key member is a business manager with the authority to authorize purchases and coordinate with the larger enterprise in case it becomes necessary to shut down an entire location. You should also include members of the facilities and public relations departments.
A priority list of actions
This list is a set of actions to take when a disaster occurs and requires the leader to balance the needs of the various departments involved in disaster recovery. This task list should include, at a minimum:
Disaster recovery plans exist to minimize the effects of a crisis situation. Including server passwords in your disaster recovery plan provides two benefits:
Notify the disaster recovery team leader. Assess the situation. Bring the server back online. Restore services. Notify the business side that service is restored.
Locations of documentation and backup media
This information needs to be stored in your disaster recovery plan for the same reasons passwords should be saved. Documentation and backup media may not be used every day, so they're often stored in a closet in the server room or located offsite. When time is critical, you don't want your IT staff hunting for the documentation they need or the backup media. Your disaster recovery plan should be highly detailed, and it should address specific priorities within your business.
If your system administrator is unavailable, someone else can perform emergency server tasks that require system passwords. Crisis situations affect every individual differently. Some people think clearly in a crisis, whereas others get flustered. Rather than relying on memory for key information, such as passwords, it's much safer to have them recorded in your disaster recovery plan.
For more detailed information on disaster recovery, check the HP Learning center for disaster recovery classes.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) device ensures that your server and related systems keep operating during a power failure. If you're running a mission-critical application or an important data backup, all your work could be ruined by even a brief power outage.
A UPS device connects to the alternating current (AC) power socket in the server room, and electrical power flows through it continually, even under normal operating conditions. A UPS conditions electrical power from the main circuit, allowing a smoother, cleaner flow of power to enter the server. This reduces the possibility of electrical spikes damaging delicate internal components. The UPS also acts as a high-end surge protector to shield the server from fluctuations in current. Additionally, the UPS has an onboard battery that's constantly at full charge when power is flowing normally.
When AC power is interrupted, the UPS takes over and provides power to the server. Keep in mind that a UPS battery has a finite charge, like any other battery. A UPS isn't intended to keep your server running long term. Its primary goal is to keep electrical power flowing to the server long enough for all data to be saved to disk and for the server to be shut down correctly.
Although backups might seem mundane, perhaps no other function is more vital in terms of server maintenance. A disk-to-disk backup solution is currently the most popular, in which data is replicated to an array of disks on the network, usually in a remote, protected location. Cloud backups, which continuously back up data to a third-party site across the internet, are also gaining popularity.
Many companies still use tape to create and store backups, either as a primary form of backup or as long-term storage in a disk-to-disk-to-tape solution. You can select from several types of tapes, but the linear tape-open (LTO) format
has the fastest access rates and the highest maximum compressed storage capacity—1.6 TB.
If the amount of data to be backed up exceeds a tape cartridge's capacity, someone has to be physically present to change tape cartridges. However, you can also install an autoloader, which holds several tapes and loads them into the drive seamlessly. Companies that need a lot of backup capacity should consider a tape library, which enables you to back up data from many servers to a single library over a network.
The capacity of tape drives is expressed as a 2:1 ratio of compressed and uncompressed storage. For example, an LTO 1.6 TB drive has an 800 GB native (uncompressed) storage capacity and a compressed capacity of 1.6 TB.
Backup software and schedules
Although you can acquire specialized backup software that largely automates the backup process, Windows Small Business Server 2008 has a wizard for configuring routine server backups easily, and the software supports most tape drive formats. Identify the storage location for your backups. Decide whether you wish to backup your entire server or select specific data for the backup. Select a backup schedule.
To start the Backup Configuration Wizard, click Configure server backup on the Windows SBS Console Backup and Server Storage tab. This wizard allows you to configure several options: This lesson doesn't describe a detailed strategy for setting up a backup schedule and routine, but you should be aware of a few details. Usually, a backup of all data is done once a week, most often on Saturday or Sunday. For the remaining weekdays, only the data that has changed from the previous day is backed up. This schedule requires at least one tape per day for a seven-day week. Assigning a specific person to be responsible for changing and storing the tapes is recommended. Standard procedure usually requires storing tapes offsite in a safe location. Depending on how important your business data is, consider a fireproof and waterproof safe. Some organizations hire firms that specialize in data storage. What's important is keeping your tape backups in a place where damage or loss is extremely unlikely, and keeping them at a nearby location in case your server crashes and you need to recover data in a hurry.
Recovering data with backups
Your backup plan is only as good as your ability to recover data in a disaster. Windows Small Business Server 2008 server has a standard procedure for data recovery. In a worst-case scenario, you also need access to the original installation media and the product key because you'll have to go through most of the installation routine again.
When setting up and maintaining any server, configuring a backup and restore routine is essential. You should become familiar with this routine and test it regularly to make sure the system works.
Technical support and warranty
Just like clients, servers occasionally encounter problems. Unfortunately, while a crashed workstation is an inconvenience, a crashed server can bring productivity across your business to a halt. You should find out which level of technical support is provided by your server vendor, and make sure you're familiar with the terms of the server's warranty and upgrade the level, if needed, to ensure the coverage that best supports your business.
For this assignment:
In this lesson, you learned how to assess your organization's need for a server and how to select a server OS, hardware and backup solution based on your organization's requirements. In Lesson 3, you'll learn about the file and printer sharing server role and how to configure it. Before you move on, complete the assignment and take the quiz.
A) B) A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D)
In addition, read some case studies to learn how other organizations have benefitted from Windows Small Business Server 2008.
1. Create a spreadsheet containing information you learned in Lesson 2 about server OSs and server hardware. Add columns for Cost, Technical Support Plans and Technical Support Cost. As you work through the remainder of steps in this assignment, fill in your spreadsheet appropriately. 2. Go to the Windows Small Business Server 2008 homepage on the Microsoft website, and then click the Product Information link. Review the features this operating system offers. Search for and read about Microsoft's technical support plans. 1. Visit the Debian Linux website. Locate and read the specifications and benefits of Debian Linux for SMBs and find technical support information.
Question 1: Besides buying a server with preloaded software, which of the following installation paths can you use for a server OS? (Check all that apply.) Question 2: Besides buying the OS, what else do you need to buy from Microsoft for a Windows Small Business Server 2008 network of 50 workstations? Question 3: True or False: A UPS enables a server to operate long enough to save data and shut down the server correctly during a power outage. True False Client access licenses Computer access licenses Client address licenses Computer address licenses Advancement Migration Upgrade Remote assistance
Question 4: Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Debian Linux have a wizard for configuring which of the following? (Check all that apply.) A) B) A) B) C) D) Question 5: True or False: Most RAID configurations use hot-swappable hard drives to achieve optimal reliability. Network settings Firewall settings True Email User preferences
Exploring file and print sharing
Configuring file and print sharing
File and print sharing is the most common server role in most organizations. In this lesson, you'll learn how to configure a file and print server. You'll also understand the benefits of having a file and print server on your business network. Welcome back. In Lesson 2, you learned to assess your need for a server and select an operating system, server hardware and backup solution. In this lesson, you'll find out what file and print sharing means, and learn how to configure the services associated with sharing files and printers across a network.
Of all the server roles, file and print sharing is the most widely used. Even people who are unfamiliar with server roles are aware that servers can store information and manage printing functions on a network. However, they might not understand how they can access files as though they're stored on their own client workstations, or manage print jobs as though the printer were connected directly to their computers.
What's a file-sharing server?
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A file-sharing server is a server role or service that stores an organization's collective data in a central location, as shown in Figure 3-1. Instead of employees storing their documents, spreadsheets and other work on their own workstation hard drives, they save them on the server's hard drive. From the employee's point of view, it's no more difficult than saving data to a local machine.
Figure 3-1: File sharing server. Enlarge image
Although access to the server file system, including the OS and all network applications, is restricted to just a few staff responsible for maintenance, certain areas of the file structure are shared on the network. Server administrators set up permissions that enable users—usually groups of users—to access shared files related to their job functions and prevent them from opening, copying or modifying restricted files.
What's a print server?
A print server is a server role or service, or a standalone device, configured to share printers in the same way a server shares other resources on the network, as shown in Figure 3-2. After you configure the server, users can see shared printers on their workstations. Users can send print jobs to the printers of their choice, just as if the printers were directly connected to their workstations.
Figure 3-2: Print server. Enlarge image
Servers can be physically associated with printers in one of two ways:
Printers connected directly to servers aren't as common. Servers are usually located in central areas (server closets or rooms) with other network equipment, where it's inconvenient to place printers. Most users wouldn't be
You can connect the server directly to a print device with a parallel printer cable or USB cable. You can connect the server to the print device over the network.
able to go to this location to retrieve print jobs because server closets are usually locked and accessible only to network administrative personnel.
Placing printers in work areas is preferable, but when they're located away from the server, they must be connected directly to the network with a NIC and a data cable. You must also assign an IP address to each network printer consistent with the network addressing scheme. A print server acts like a relay station between the client and the printer. When a user sends a print job to a printer, the server spools the print job. This means the server uses its hard drive and memory resources to process the print job and sends only the actual data to be printed to the print device. This method usually results in faster printing because the print device doesn't have to use much of its onboard memory to process the print job.
Like shared files, you can configure printers with permissions so that only certain people or groups can access them. Although printer access is rarely a security issue, sometimes printers are reserved for particular types of work. For example, a color HP LaserJet printer might be reserved for the graphics department, which needs to produce photo-quality print jobs that other employees don't require. Setting a printer's permissions for restricted access protects it from being used by others inadvertently or intentionally.
What are the benefits?
The following are benefits of a file and print server:
With more storage space, more memory, faster processors and faster network connections than workstations, the shares on a server are more reliably available for network users. (You'll learn about shares and file sharing in the next section.)
Highly available: Under normal circumstances, servers are left on constantly and are powered down or disconnected only for scheduled maintenance, usually when the network isn't in use. This means shared folders and printers on the server are always available for use on the network. Dedicated resources: A dedicated file and print server's only purpose is to provide those services to network users, and all its resources are devoted to those tasks. Protection: Business data that's shared and stored on the server is protected from damage or loss by a system failure. In fact, of all the server roles, the file and print server is usually one of the most well-protected and valuable servers on the network.
Now that you've seen the value this server role adds to your business, read on to learn how to configure file sharing and printer sharing.
Configuring file sharing
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Resources are shared on a client-server network by creating shares. A share represents a folder (and its files), a printer or other network devices that employees use on your network. On most networks, files are the most commonly shared resource.
Configuring file sharing in Windows
In Windows Small Business Server 2008, double-click the Windows SBS Console icon on the desktop. The SBS Console appears, as shown in Figure 33. You use this window for a wide variety of server configuration and management tasks. To go directly to the area you want to manage, click the corresponding tab at the top of the SBS Console window.
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Figure 3-3: The Windows SBS Console. Enlarge image
To configure file sharing in Windows, follow these steps:
1. Click the Shared Folders and Web Sites tab. As shown in Figure 3-4, this displays all folders shared by default on the server with their share names, folder paths (locations), free space and storage quotas.
Figure 3-4: The Shared Folders and Web Sites tab. Enlarge image
1. To the right of the folders list are links for creating and managing shares. Click the Add a new shared folder link. The Provision a Shared Folder Wizard starts. 2. In the first screen of the wizard, the Shared Folder Location screen, you have the option of typing the path to the folder you want to share or browsing to the folder's location. Click Browse to navigate to the folder you want to share. 3. In the Browse For Folder dialog box, expand the root folder and then select the name of the folder to be shared. 4. Click OK, and the location of the folder you want to share is automatically entered in the Location text box, as shown in Figure 3-5. Click Next.
Figure 3-5: The folder path has been entered. Enlarge image
1. In the NTFS Permissions screen shown in Figure 3-6, you can leave the default NTFS permissions for the folder or change them. For this example, ensure that the No, do not change NTFS permissions option is selected, and then click Next.
Figure 3-6: The NTFS Permissions screen. Enlarge image
1. In the Share Protocols screen shown in Figure 3-7, ensure the SMB checkbox is checked to allow users to access the shared folder using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Click Next.
Figure 3-7: The Share Protocols screen. Enlarge image
Linux systems sometimes use the Network File System (NFS) protocol to connect to a server, but the SMB approach is more common. 1. In the SMB Settings screen shown in Figure 3-8, you may provide a description of your shared folder that will help users understand the purpose of the share, and then click Next.
Figure 3-8: The SMB Settings screen. Enlarge image
All users and groups have only Read access Administrators have Full Control; all other users and groups have only Read access Administrators have Full Control; all other users and groups have only Read access and Write access Users and groups have custom share permissions Read access means any user connected to the network can see the folder and its contents, but users cannot modify, save or delete that folder and the information it contains. Write access allows users to write information to the folder. Select the option you desire and then click Next.
1. The next screen of the wizard is the SMB Permissions screen. You may select the permissions option you desire from the list of available choices:
1. The Quota Policy screen allows you to place a quota on the folder that limits its maximum size. Let's skip the quota for our shared folder—you can set it another time. Click Next. 2. In the File Screen Policy screen, Windows Small Business Server 2008 allows you to limit the types of files contained in the shared folder. You can skip the settings for now, so click Next. 3. The DFS Namespace Publishing screen appears. You don't need this advanced functionality on a simple network, so click Next. 4. The wizard presents the Review Settings and Create Share screen, shown in Figure 3-9. Take a moment to scroll through the share folder settings and ensure they match your intent. When you're ready to create the share, click Create.
Figure 3-9: The Review Settings and Create Share screen. Enlarge image
Once Windows Small Business Server 2008 finishes creating the share, you'll see a Confirmation screen indicating your share was successfully created. Click Close to end the wizard. The share is now available to authorized users.
Configuring file sharing in Linux
File sharing is configured on a Debian Linux server by using a file and print server package called Samba, which comes with the full set of Debian Linux installation media. Samba allows Windows workstations to access files stored on a Linux server as though those files were stored on a Windows server. If you don't already have Samba installed, enter the following at a command prompt: apt-get install samba. Follow the prompts to install the package, selecting the default choices.
See how to configure file sharing in Windows.
To configure file sharing in Linux, follow these steps:
For the purposes of this class, a mountpoint is a directory or folder on a Linux server that's mapped to a drive on a Windows workstation. It's
1. Create a mountpoint in the server's filesystem. To do this, create a new folder in the filesystem.
analogous to a Windows share. 1. 2. 3. 4.
From this point on, you can configure each workstation to connect to the server.
Right-click the folder, and then select Share Folder. Select Windows networks (SMB) from the drop-down list. Uncheck the Read only checkbox (if desired), and then click Share. Right-click the shared folder, select Properties and set its permissions to allow users and groups to access it. 5. Restart the Samba file server using the following command at a command prompt:
You can fine-tune Samba by editing a configuration file that's usually located in the /etc/samba folder. The Samba file and print server package has a multitude of configuration options, so describing every option is beyond the scope of this class. Luckily, you can find a wealth of documentation at the Samba website.
Accessing shared files and folders
See how to configure file sharing in Linux.
Now that you know how to configure file shares, learn how to access shared files and folders on your network.
Assume you're part of a team that needs to create and share a common set of files. Only your workgroup should have access to read these files, however. To make sure no one else in your organization (or outside the network) can access the files, you create a shared folder on the server and then assign permissions for that folder only to your workgroup. To see shared resources on your network in Microsoft Windows 7, select Start > Computer. On the left side of the screen, select the Network option. All shared folders and devices are listed in the Network window. By default, every user on a Windows Small Business Server 2008 server has a shared folder located in the UserShares share. The default permissions for these folders restrict access to the named user.
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Of course, there's a little more to it than that. For example, all users and all computers accessing the server must be configured in the server. In addition, users generally belong to groups on the network.
Instead of giving each user specific permissions for network resources, put all users into a few groups, perhaps by department or project, and then give the groups permissions for the files they share. Only the applicable group is given permission to access its shared files. Your group can allow others to read your group's files but not modify them, however. This option is helpful if other departments need to access your work for informational purposes, but you want to protect your work from being changed.
The benefits of partitioning
As you've learned, servers generally have more than one hard drive. If they have only one drive, it's usually separated into at least two partitions. The OS and additional components are often loaded on the first drive or partition, and all data is saved to the second one. This arrangement makes backing up data files easier. Figure 3-10 shows a breakdown of a server with no partitions, a partition and multiple partitions.
Figure 3-10: No partitions, a partition and multiple partitions.
Remember that you don't have to back up the complete contents of server drives. If the OS or an application is damaged, you can use the original installation disks to repair or reinstall these programs. Because you create data files, however, the only original source is what you have saved to the server. Of course, you could also save files to your workstation's local hard drive, but this method is inefficient and risky. Files saved on local machines aren't synchronized with the main file on the server. Therefore, members of a team could end up saving different copies of the same work, or inadvertently overwrite another person's work as shown in Figure 3-11.
Figure 3-11: Multiple versions of a document cause inefficiencies and possible data loss. Some companies have policies against saving business documents to local machines or any medium other than the disk space allotted on the company's server. This rule includes sending data as email attachments or other uploads across the internet or saving it to removable media, such as CDs, DVDs or universal serial bus (USB) thumb drives. This policy prevents sensitive company data from being removed from the premises, where it could be accidentally or purposefully acquired by competitors or other unauthorized parties.
Mapping network drives
Another way to access a shared folder on a server is to map a drive to a share on the network server, as shown in Figure 3-12. The term mapped drive is a little misleading because it implies there's a connection between your computer and a remotely located drive. You can map a connection between your computer and a shared folder on a server, but the mapping appears in the Computer section on your workstation as though it's a local drive and is assigned a drive letter.
Figure 3-12: Mapping network drives.
Most people who have used Microsoft Windows understand that drives are assigned letters of the alphabet to identify them. The main hard drive is called the C: drive, and the CD/DVD drive is usually the D: drive. Other physical hard drives or partitions can have any higher letter designation. You can assign a mapped drive any letter between E: and Z:, and it appears as though it's a separate hard drive. In the early days of PCs, computers often had two floppy drives, labeled A: and B:, because floppy disks were the primary method of transferring data. Today, most computers do not come with floppy drives, but the A: and B: drive letters are generally not used for other purposes.
It's easy to map a network drive in Windows 7:
Now when you want to save a file to your team's folder on the company server, for example, you just select File > Save As in the program you're using, and then navigate to your mapped drive. Give your document a name if necessary, and then click Save. The document is saved to your team's shared folder on the server.
Some devices, such as USB digital cameras, are configured by default to use a particular drive letter when connecting to a computer to upload their data. If you have a mapped or other type of drive using that letter (usually E:), you might encounter problems connecting the camera to your computer. For this reason, it's best to use the higher letters of the alphabet (F: and above) when choosing a mapping letter. 1. Click Finish.
1. Open Windows Explorer, scroll down and expand Network, select the remote computer (such as a server or any networked computer), rightclick the folder you want to map to and select Map network drive. 2. The drive letter is set to Z: by default. Click the Drive list arrow if you wish to change it, and select any letter not currently used by another drive.
Configuring a shared printer
Because file sharing and print sharing are two separate functions, they're configured by using two separate processes. You'll learn how to configure a shared printer next. Configuring a shared printer requires a few more steps than configuring file shares. By following the steps outlined here, you can see the differences in configuration tasks in network OSs.
See how to map a network drive.
Configuring printer sharing in Windows
To create a shared printer in Windows Small Business Server 2008, follow these steps: 1. Click the Server Manager icon in the taskbar. The Server Manager window opens, as shown in Figure 3-13.
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Figure 3-13: The Server Manager window. Enlarge image
1. In the tree view on the left side of the Server Manager window, click Roles to expand it. 2. Click the Add roles link. The Add Roles Wizard starts. 3. Read the initial wizard screen and click Next. 4. In the Select Server Roles screen, select the Print Services role, as shown in Figure 3-14. Click Next.
Figure 3-14: The Select Server Roles screen. Enlarge image
Now that you've created a Print Server role on your server, the next set of steps show you how to set up a shared network printer: 1. From the Start menu, select Administrative Tools > Print Management. The Print Management tool. 2. In the left pane, expand the Print Servers list and the item corresponding to your server name, as shown in Figure 3-15.
1. After reading the Introduction to Print Services, click Next. 2. In the Select Role Services screen, you can select among the Print Server, LDP Service and Internet Printing role service options. Check the Print Server option and click Next. 3. Click Install on the Confirm Installation Selections screen to configure the Print Server role on your system. 4. When the Installation Results screen confirms a successful installation, click Close to exit the wizard. 5. Restart your server.
Figure 3-15: The Print Management tool. Enlarge image
1. Right-click Printers, and then select Add Printer from the shortcut menu. The Network Printer Installation Wizard starts. 2. In the Printer Installation screen, shown in Figure 3-16, ensure the Add a TCP/IP or Web Services Printer by IP address or hostname option is selected and click Next.
Figure 3-16: The Printer Installation screen. Enlarge image
1. In the Printer Address screen, shown in Figure 3-17, select the Autodetect device type and provide the Domain Name System (DNS) name or IP address of your printer in the Printer name or IP address field. Click Next.
Figure 3-17: The Printer Address screen. Enlarge image
1. Wait while Windows Small Business Server 2008 detects the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) port. This may take several minutes. When the screen advances to the Printer Name and Sharing Settings screen, provide a name for your printer in the Printer Name text box, if necessary, and ensure the Share this printer option is selected. Click Next.
Figure 3-18: The Printer Name and Sharing Settings screen.
The printer is now shared on the network and should be visible to all client systems that access the server's resources. The first time you double-click the printer icon, you see a message asking whether you want to load the printer drivers for this device. Click OK to load the drivers from the server. From that point forward, the printer will be available within all applications.
1. Review the configuration settings on the Printer Found screen and click Next. 2. Wait for the driver to install properly, and then click Finish to close the Network Printer Installation Wizard.
Configuring printer sharing in Linux
To share a printer on a Debian Linux server, follow these general steps:
See how to configure printer sharing in Windows.
1. Configure your network printer with a static IP address (following the manufacturer's directions). Make sure the printer can accept connections on port 9100—the default port for raw print data. 2. Using the Printing tool (located on the Administration pull-down menu in GNOME), set up the network printer in the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) print queue. 3. Add the following lines to the /etc/samba/smb.conf configuration file using a text editor:
[printers] path = /var/spool/samba printable = yes guest ok = yes use client driver = yes browseable = yes
After the shared printer is set up, the users on your network can print to it as though it were connected directly to their workstations.
1. Restart the Samba and CUPS services. 2. Create the shared printer on each Windows workstation, using the steps in the "Configuring printer sharing in Windows" section of this lesson.
In this lesson, you learned what a file and print server does on the network and the benefits of sharing these resources on your network. You also learned how to install and configure file and print sharing on your Windows Small Business Server 2008 or Debian Linux server. In Lesson 4, you'll learn how to install and configure a database server, and see the benefits of having this type of server on your network. Before you move on, complete the assignment and take the quiz to reinforce what you learned in the lesson.
See how to configure printer sharing in Linux.
For this assignment:
1. If you have a file or folder stored on your server that you access frequently, you can create a shortcut to it and place the shortcut on your workstation desktop. Double-clicking the shortcut opens the file or folder immediately. Because this resource is stored on the server, not your workstation, you might not know the exact path to its location in the file system. 1. Map a new network drive on a client computer to any shared folder on your server. 2. Download a printer driver from the HP website and install it on your server system, or add a new printer on a Linux server. (You don't have to have the physical printer installed to complete this step.) Share the printer and then test access from a client computer. DHCP DNS FTP HTML To locate the path, right-click the shortcut icon and select Properties. The path is usually displayed in the Target text box. Click the Security tab and review the permissions for that file or folder.
A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D) C) D) C) D) C) D)
Question 1: Which protocol automatically assigns IP addresses to workstations on a network?
Question 2: Which term describes a print server using its own resources to process print jobs? Question 3: Why are static IP addresses used for network devices such as printers, servers and switches? Question 4: Which of the following is the most commonly shared resource on a network? Question 5: In Linux, which of the following is analogous to a Windows share? Files Printers Routers Servers Static IP addresses are a feature of network OSs. Static IP addresses don't change, so finding network devices is faster and easier. Configuring dynamic IP addresses is too time-consuming. Static IP addresses should never be used on a network. Caching Reeling Forwarding Spooling
Configuring a database server
Directory point Mountpoint
In this lesson, you'll learn what a database is, and why you need a server to host a database on your network.
What's a database?
You'll also learn how to configure a database server and understand the benefits of managing a database server in your own company. Welcome back. Now that you know how to configure a server for file and print sharing, you're ready to look at three common uses of servers, or server roles: database, email and web. This lesson covers databases and database software installation. You'll learn about email servers in Lesson 5 and web servers in Lesson 6. » HP StorageWorks 4/8 Base SAN switch and HP StorageWorks 4/8 SAN switch
A database is a collection of information, data tables and other items organized in such a way that these items can be searched and managed in a hierarchical and relational manner. Companies usually keep records on a multitude of subjects that need to be interrelated in some way—customers, vendors, inventory, sales, accounts payable, sales staff and more.
Databases are composed of three major building blocks:
Putting these building blocks together, a database is a structure that stores information about multiple types of data, attributes of those entities and relationships between those entities. The way in which the information is stored allows you to search for and sort information by multiple criteria. The database then presents information based on search and sort parameters, as shown in Figure 4-1.
Entities: Any person, place, object, event or idea for which you want to store and process data. In other words, an entity represents a particular thing you want to store in the database. Attributes: A characteristic or property of an entity. You can categorize an entity of customers, for example, by a variety of attributes, including name, address, phone number and email address. Attributes in a database are often represented as fields or columns in a table. Relationships: An association of some sort between entities. For example, there are relationships between vendors and inventory, and between customers and accounts. A relationship between two different entities is called a one-to-one relationship. A relationship between one entity and multiple other entities is called a one-to-many relationship.
Figure 4-1: A database.
Sorting and filtering information
Being able to sort and filter information is important. For example, you're trying to buy a book about database administration at Amazon.com, but you don't want to wade through all the information in Amazon's databases to get to the book you're looking for. Fortunately, you don't have to. You can select the
category Books, and then type the book title or, if you don't know it, a subject, such as database administration, and then click Go. Your web browser then displays a list of books matching your database search parameters.
That list doesn't actually exist, at least not as you're seeing it in your browser. By creating search parameters, only the information stored in the database that meets those criteria are displayed in the browser window. Each entry for a book is an entity with the common attribute of having database administration as its subject. There's a one-to-one relationship between books and "database administration," and the entity information is presented based on the attributes and relationship data you requested.
There are tremendous benefits to database processing. Managing a database server enables you to: Control your company's stored information and get more information from the same amount of data: By administering your own database server, you can collect all the company's data in one place and make sure it's safe through fault-tolerance and backup solutions. You can also manipulate and collate that information in a variety of ways, based on its relationships. Control the level of security for information in your database: Anyone with access to the database must have permission to view it, but only someone with administrative rights can access the raw data and modify it.
Databases grow as your company grows, and the capability to handle this growth is called scalability. By selecting a database server capable of scalability, you don't have to be concerned that your storage space won't expand when needed.
What's a database server?
Databases are as much a part of a company as its name and the product or service it offers. Managing a business without managing a database would be almost impossible. Now that you understand what a database is and its benefits to your business, read on to learn about a server's role in databases. A database server is both a hardware and software solution. Here you learn what you should look for in a database server's hardware and software components.
Dramatically improve productivity in a company: You can store, review and manipulate inventory, sales force and customer base information. Plus, the human resource and payroll departments can run secure databases to organize these internal information groups more efficiently. Enable different users to have simultaneous access to the same information: Users aren't blocked from accessing a database record just because someone else is currently using it.
For the hardware component of a database server, you need a machine with high storage capacity and separate areas (partitions or hard drives) for the network OS, the database program and the stored data. Large applications require a lot of RAM to operate correctly, so your server should be equipped with enough memory and a fast processor with a large cache size. Also, because large amounts of information travel to and from the database server, you need a fast network connection, usually Gigabit Ethernet, so that database transfers don't cause bottlenecks in network traffic. Whereas a single server can often manage file and printer sharing (as
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discussed in Lesson 3), a database server needs to be dedicated for just that purpose. Expecting a database server to play another role splits hardware resources and slows performance of both roles below an acceptable level on a business network. Keep these hardware considerations in mind when using a database server: Protect your data: If your database server fails and you have no method of disaster recovery, you lose your data and you could be out of business. Always back up your data: How you back up a database server is different from how you back up a file and print server. In addition, you must make sure nothing causes a slowdown on your database server when performing backups.
If you use tape as a backup media, don't install the tape drive in the database server. You don't want the drive channels for storage drives and the tape drive to compete. It's better to back up to a tape drive on another machine, which can be a different server or a standalone tape device attached to the server by a separate data channel.
Whereas a file and print server can use a single hard drive—partitioned into logical drives or functioning as one drive—even a small, low-end database server needs to run some form of RAID for fault tolerance and redundancy. The most common is RAID 5, which uses a minimum of three drives. If one drive fails, you can hot-swap a new drive for the damaged one, and data lost on the damaged drive is rebuilt on the new drive from redundant data on the two undamaged drives. Another issue with hard drive storage space is that databases almost always grow over time. Therefore, you can't use a drive that's the same size as your current amount of data. You have to purchase enough storage space to meet your future needs, or your hardware must allow adding drives to your server as your storage needs grow. Many databases must be available around the clock. To prevent a shutdown from happening, consider investing in the following:
Make sure your server's motherboard and basic input/output system (BIOS) can accept upgrades of all these major components. Upgrading older designs might require buying a new server, an expensive proposition you want to avoid. You can save money by using inexpensive monitors, video cards and sound cards. In fact, many database servers are only accessed remotely and don't have these components. Many different hardware configurations are used with database servers, but a complete discussion is beyond the scope of this class. Clustering, network attached storage (NAS), storage area network (SAN), Fibre Channel, internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) and the like are advanced subjects you can pursue if you want to know more about database servers.
UPS: Power outages do happen, so you should invest in a UPS solution for your database server. After installing the UPS, test it regularly to ensure it's working properly and the battery is fully charged. Extra processor: A single fast processor is good, but consider buying a database server with multiple processors. Remember that your database will grow in size, and it's likely that demand to access the database will increase over time. Even a very fast processor can be a bottleneck on a database server if it's handling a large number of access requests. More RAM: By adding RAM, you can improve the performance of a server with even an average CPU. Adding additional memory to a server is often one of the least expensive and most effective ways to increase server performance.
Microsoft SQL Server Oracle MySQL
The software component is the heart of the database server. Highly specific and powerful programs called database management systems (DBMSs) are designed and configured to compile, organize and manage database information. These are the most popular DBMS programs:
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DBMS programs, like the databases they manage, are huge, requiring a lot of storage. A DBMS isn't part of the operating system—it is application software that you install on top of an existing operating system. Microsoft SQL Server runs only on Windows. You can install Oracle and MySQL on any major modern operating system. They run effectively on Windows, Debian Linux or many of the other Linux variants available on the market. All of these databases use Structured Query Language (SQL) to provide a common interface for users. All database professionals use SQL and, if you intend to work with databases, you should invest the time to learn this important language.
Selecting the DBMS that best meets your needs
Examine all your options before choosing a DBMS. If your server is running Windows Small Business Server 2008, you might decide to use Microsoft SQL Server to stay with Microsoft products. However, don't discount MySQL and Oracle—both run on Windows as well as Linux.
The three DBMSs discussed here are all based on the SQL standard, but each adds some functionality not covered by the SQL standard. Select the DBMS solution that will grow with your business, because migrating from one platform to another can be tricky. Keep these points of comparison in mind when assessing DBMSs:
Another factor is scalability. You should select a DBMS that can grow with your business or offer an easy upgrade path. These two signals tell you it's time to upgrade: General slowdown in the database: If you're consistently pushing the limits of the number of connections or the amount of data your DBMS can easily handle, consider upgrading. Decreased reliability: Overloaded databases tend to crash more often than those that are working well within their limits.
MySQL is the closest of the three to the SQL standard. It's also an open source solution, with an active support community and professional support available. Some of the largest corporations use MySQL to run their database-driven applications. Oracle is expensive, but it adds security, data integrity and development features the others don't have. Oracle once held the major share of the enterprise database market, but Microsoft and MySQL now each enjoy substantial portions of the market. Microsoft SQL Server is the easiest to administer because of its familiar graphical interface. It's closely integrated with the Windows operating system and is the best choice for experienced Windows administrators embarking upon their first database administration adventure.
Before you make a final decision, spend time reviewing the features, costs and requirements of each product by exploring the Microsoft, MySQL and Oracle websites. This will enable you to select the one that best matches your business infrastructure and goals. After selecting a DMBS solution, you need to know how to set it up. Read on to learn how to configure a database server. A database administrator (DBA) is an expert who manages the DBMS, but any user can access the database by using the DBMS. Sometimes another program—created with languages such as C++, Java, Perl or Visual Basic—acts as an intermediary between users and the DBMS.
Installing a database server
There are a variety of hardware, network OS and DBMS solutions for a database server, but discussing all of them is beyond the scope of this lesson. For that reason, Windows Server 2008 and Debian Linux are used again as examples of server operating systems. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (bundled with the Premium Edition of Windows Small Business Server 2008, not the Standard Edition) and MySQL (for use in Debian Linux) are used as examples of how DBMSs operate. The premise of this class is that you have a server with Windows Small Business Server 2008 or Debian Linux already installed. In Lesson 3, you learned to configure a file and print server. Now you'll install a DBMS program so you can configure your machine as a dedicated database server.
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Installing SQL Server 2008
To install SQL Server 2008, follow these steps:
You may install SQL Server 2008 on your Windows Small Business Server 2008 server, but Microsoft recommends the use of a separate server for your database.
1. Insert the SQL Server 2008 installation disc into your server's DVDROM drive. The disc should automatically play. Click the Run SETUP.EXE link in the autoplay window. The SQL Server Installation Center window appears, as shown in Figure 4-2.
Figure 4-2: The SQL Server 2008 Installation Center. Enlarge image
Before installing SQL Server 2008, you must have the current version of the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Update installed. If the installer detects one of these components is missing, it will prompt you to install it before proceeding.
1. Click the Installation link on the left side of the screen, and then click New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation. 2. After a brief wait, the Setup Support Rules screen appears, as shown in Figure 4-3. This screen notifies you of any issues that must be corrected before beginning setup. After reviewing the screen and resolving any issues, click OK to continue the installation.
Figure 4-3: The Setup Support Rules screen. Enlarge image
1. In the Product Key screen, either enter your product key (if you purchased a Windows SBS 2008 or SQL Server 2008 license) or select Enterprise Evaluation (if you're using Windows SBS 2008 on a trial basis). Click Next to continue. 2. In the License Terms screen, click I accept the license terms and click Next. 3. In the Setup Support Files screen, click Install to begin the support file installation process. This will take several minutes to complete. 4. When the support file installation finishes, review the installation results shown in the Setup Support Rules screen, as shown in Figure 4-4. Click and read any warnings, and take action if directed. Click Next.
Figure 4-4: Completed support file installation. Enlarge image
1. In the Feature Selection screen, check the Database Engine Services
checkbox, as shown in Figure 4-5. You may also install any other features you desire. Click Next.
Figure 4-5: The Feature Selection screen. Enlarge image
1. In the Instance Configuration screen, you have the option to install a named instance of SQL. For this example, check Default instance, and then click Next. 2. Review the Disk Usage Summary on the Disk Space Requirements screen, and then click Next. 3. The Server Configuration screen shown in Figure 4-6 appears. Provide user names and passwords for the SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Database Engine services, and then click Next.
Figure 4-6: The Server Configuration screen. Enlarge image
1. The Database Engine Configuration screen shown in Figure 4-7 specifies which method of authentication to use for accessing SQL. If you select Mixed Mode, you may have local database accounts in addition to domain accounts. Microsoft recommends that you accept the default Windows authentication mode option.
Figure 4-7: The Database Engine Configuration screen. Enlarge image
1. Click Next to advance past the Error and Usage Reporting screen. 2. Review the Installation Rules screen for any problems that might prevent SQL Server 2008 installation, and then click Next. 3. In the summary screen shown in Figure 4-8, click Install. (If you need to make any changes, click the Back button first, make the changes, return to this screen and click Install.)
Specify one or more Windows accounts to serve as SQL Server administrators with unlimited access to the database engine by using the Add Current User or Add button. When you're finished, click Next.
Figure 4-8: The Ready to Install summary screen. Enlarge image
1. When installation completes, click Next and then click Close to end the SQL Server 2008 Setup program. Close the SQL Server Installation Center window. 2. Select Start > All Programs to verify that Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is installed, as shown in Figure 4-9.
Figure 4-9: Microsoft SQL Server in the Start menu. See how to install Microsoft SQL Server.
After you install Microsoft SQL Server 2008, check the Microsoft Update website to download and install any critical updates and hotfixes for your SQL Server installation.
To install MySQL on Debian Linux, follow these steps:
1. Ensure your Debian system is up to date by running Update Manager (under System > Administration). 2. Install the MySQL client and server using the following command: 1. Verify that the server is up and running correctly:
apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client
/usr/bin/mysqladmin -u root -p version
You will be asked to provide the MySQL root password that you created during the installation process. After providing the password, you should see output similar to the following:
mysqladmin Ver 8.41 Distrib 5.0.51a, for debian-linux-gnu on i486 Copyright (C) 2000-2006 MySQL AB This software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software, and you are welcome to
modify and redistribute it under the GPL license Server version 5.0.51a-24+lenny2+spu1 Protocol version 10 Connection Localhost via UNIX socket UNIX socket /var/run/mysql/mysql.sock Uptime: 14 days 5 hours 5 min 21 sec Threads: 1 Questions: 366 Slow queries: 0 Opens: 0 Flush tables: 1 Open tables: 19 Queries per second avg: 0.000
1. Verify that you can shut down the MySQL server: 1. Verify that you can restart the MySQL server:
/usr/bin/mysqladmin -u root -p shutdown
For more information, consult the documentation on the MySQL website.
/usr/bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql --log &
Administering a database server
That wraps up DBMS installation. The next section gives you some tips for administering a database server. After you install a DBMS, you need to perform some general and ongoing administrative tasks, such as:
See how to install MySQL.
These tasks are usually performed by a system administrator. However, if your database server is mission-critical or you anticipate that the database server will need to be expertly tuned to keep pace with your applications, you may need to hire a database administrator. Remember that this lesson is only an introduction to database servers. The details of operating Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or MySQL are multifaceted and depend greatly on the type and complexity of data you need to manage.
Creating databases, tables and users: You need to create databases for your applications, and create users with appropriate access to those databases. You also need to create tables within the database to store your data. Monitoring resource usage: Databases tend to be resource-intensive, so it's critical to monitor resource usage to avoid system crashes before they occur. Writing efficient SQL queries: Inefficient SQL queries are one of the primary causes of database system crashes because they use two to three times as much memory as an efficient SQL query. This also causes a drain on server and network resources.
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You've now learned the basics of installing and managing a DBMS. This knowledge will provide a solid launching point for more directed learning on the platform(s) of your choice.
For this assignment:
In this lesson, you learned about databases and database servers and how they can benefit your business. You also reviewed the hardware and software components of a database server and learned how to install a DBMS. In Lesson 5, you'll learn about the server type that runs the most common application of the computerized era: email. Before you move on, don't forget to complete the assignment and take the quiz. 1. Create a spreadsheet to use for comparing DBMS applications that lists the standard features of each application. Include a Cost column. 2. Visit the websites of the three DBMS applications described in Lesson 4—Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server. Update your spreadsheet with information from Lesson 4 and during your website research. Include unique features of each DBMS. 3. From your research, determine which DBMS is best suited for your organization. Attribute Entity
A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D) C) D)
Question 1: Which of the following is not a major building block of a database? File permission Relationship
Question 2: Which of the following are DBMS programs? (Check all that apply.) Question 3: What is the most common RAID level for database server fault tolerance? Question 4: True or False: MySQL is an open source DBMS program. RAID 0 RAID 1 True True RAID 3 RAID 5 MySQL Oracle Microsoft SQL Server AutoCAD
Question 5: True or False: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 comes bundled with the Standard Edition of Windows Small Business Server 2008.
Configuring an email server
This lesson describes how various email servers interact to send and receive email. You'll learn how to select an email application for your business, configure an email server and secure the system you put in place.
What's an email server?
Welcome back. Now that you've completed Lesson 4 and understand database selection, installation and basic management, you're ready to look at another important type of server: email. Email is the indispensable communication system of modern commerce. Your ability to control the flow of email into and out of your company is as important as your ability to control telephone traffic. Email is defined by the email client program and email server protocols, among other factors. An email server is the computer (or server role) that manages email accounts and processes and stores emails within an organization.
What are the benefits?
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What are the benefits of managing an email server on your company's internal network? First, you're in control, so you don't have to depend on your ISP to configure email accounts for your organization.
Second, emails sent from one user to another within the company don't have to go through your ISP on the internet, which keeps internal emails from being intercepted and read outside of your walls. This privacy is especially important when sensitive information is being transmitted from one internal group to another. You can also configure your email server to control which domains receive emails from your company or from which domains your users can receive email. In SMB environments, this feature isn't usually enabled; users can send and receive emails from any domain. On the other hand, some organizations have strict security measures and must restrict the flow of data into and out of the company. An email attachment is one of the easiest ways to send company data out of the building. Although there are other ways to monitor email traffic, restricting domains enhances security and can be configured easily on an internal email server.
With an email server on your internal network, you can create, enable, disable, restrict and delete email accounts with a high degree of granularity. Granularity is the capability to customize parameters for different groups in the same network and application. In other words, some email accounts can have different properties and capacities than others. For example, you can assign groups of accounts to access different email servers for load-balancing purposes. Also, you can set up some accounts as unrestricted, whereas others might have access only to the internal network, not to the internet. Large companies that run several email servers often use load-balancing to spread the "load" of email across multiple servers. Load-balancing works in the background, presenting a single interface for the user. Users aren't aware they're accessing different servers.
Additionally, you have a copy of every email sent or received on your network stored on your internal server. Emails often take the place of official memos, letters, proposals, reports and other important documents and are sometimes the only method of storage for this data. Although using your email system as the sole repository for certain information might not be advisable, it's not unusual for it to serve this purpose. Therefore, regular, frequent backups of an email server are critical to make sure important data in emails isn't lost.
Now that you understand the benefits of hosting your own email server, read on to learn how an email server works.
A tour of email systems
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At its core, an email server keeps lists of user accounts and text files. This type of server is much more involved in a real-world production environment, but first you need to learn about the simplest type of email server.
One main component of an email server is a list of user accounts. An email server stores account names for everyone who accesses email through the server's domain name. For example, a user named John Smith has the account name jsmith. He works for Widgets Are Us, which has the domain name widgetsareus.com. Therefore, his full email address is email@example.com. Everyone working at Widgets Are Us has a user account stored on the Widgets email server that follows this same naming format.
The other major component of a simple email server is text files. Each user account has one long associated text file that stores all composed messages. John's text file would be named jsmith.txt, for example.
You learn more about how domains work later in this lesson.
Email servers must store and process the many attachments that are sent with email messages. The main problems with attachments are that they can contribute to network slowdowns, and malicious code (such as a virus or worm) that infects computers and networks can be incorporated into attachments. To counter the problem, many email servers scan incoming messages for possible threats, but no method is foolproof.
After messages are downloaded and viewed with an email client program or in a web browser, the messages are parsed, using the From field as a separation point. The result is that you see your messages as separate pages to open, categorized by who they're from, instead of seeing them as a single long page of text. Parsing is an orderly process of analysis. All emails are simple text files with meaningful labels. A parser program analyzes each label in email text files and divides them into parts, resulting in some sort of action.
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If you've used Gmail or Yahoo! email, you've used webmail, which is usually viewed with a web browser although you can configure an email client to send and receive webmail. When you use a browser, emails are never downloaded; instead, they remain on a server. You can access emails only by authenticating to the webmail server with a user name and password. After authentication, you can read, reply to, forward and delete emails. Many people use fictitious names rather than their own names in webmail accounts, although you do have to supply your real name when you register for a webmail account. For example, John Smith might be smittie047t or tigerguyatlarge. You can use any name for a webmail account as long as it's unique (isn't being used by someone else) in the domain.
So a simple email server contains a list of account names and a list of text files associated with those account names. The server also has to know how to locate and communicate with other email servers; otherwise, no emails can be sent or received. This is where the concepts of domains and DNS servers come in.
Domains and DNS servers
A domain is a system or collection of related computers that share a common name. So all computers at Widgets Are Us operate on one network or a series of interrelated networks connected by routers that share a common name: widgetsareus.com. Domain names are how computers and servers locate each other.
A Domain Name System (DNS) server is a specialized server that keeps lists of the associations between domains and IP addresses, distributes that information to other DNS servers on a hierarchical basis and responds to queries about the location of other domains, as shown in Figure 5-1.
Figure 5-1: DNS server. Enlarge image
To send an email to a friend, you create the email message in your email client program or on the webmail website, and then click Send. The email server parses the message file, looks up the recipient's domain name on its DNS servers and sends the message file to the correct IP address. After it reaches the destination email server, it's parsed again and delivered to your friend's email file.
Small businesses generally do not operate their own DNS servers, but rely upon the DNS services offered by their ISPs. Installing and configuring a DNS server is beyond the scope of this course.
Types of email servers
There's more to an email server than the simple system you've learned about so far. In fact, there are different types of email systems: one for sending email and two for receiving email. The sending email system is called the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server. The receiving email systems are the Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) servers, explained in the following sections.
When John wants to send an email from Microsoft Outlook on his work computer to Chris Meyer at Cogs Unlimited, he composes the email, selects the address stored in his address book, gives the email a subject and then clicks Send. Here's what happens next:
Demo 5-1: The SMTP server process.
That's as far as the SMTP server goes in handling emails.
1. The email travels across the LAN to his company's email server. 2. The SMTP server software receives the email and reads the recipient's address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. 3. The server recognizes that the email isn't part of its domain and sends a query to the default DNS server, asking it to locate the cogsunlimited.com domain. 4. The DNS server supplies the IP address for the SMTP server at cogsunlimited.com, and the widgetsareus.com system then transmits John's email to that IP address.
POP3 is one of the two receiving email server systems. Here is its part in the process:
Demo 5-2: The POP3 server process.
The POP3 server is used more commonly by ISPs that service home users, as you see in the next section.
1. When John's email to Chris arrives at cogsunlimited.com, it's received by the Cogs Unlimited SMTP server and routed to the POP3 server. 2. POP3 reads the first part of the To field and matches it with the account name and text file for cmeyer. 3. The message then waits in the queue until Chris calls for his emails by opening his email client program or, if the program is already open, clicking Send/Receive. 4. The entire text file is downloaded to Chris's hard disk, parsed by his email client program and displayed as a set of messages. 5. Chris's text file on the POP3 server is emptied and acquires more messages only when someone sends Chris another email.
An IMAP server works similarly to a POP3 server. With IMAP, when Chris calls for his emails, they're not downloaded to his computer's hard drive. His email client program, such as Outlook, opens the emails so that Chris can read them while they're still on the server. Using IMAP, emails are displayed in Outlook just as though they had been downloaded to Chris' computer. All the default folders, such as Inbox, Sent, Drafts and Outbox, exist on the server along with any other folders Chris decides to create.
The IMAP server is more commonly found in a business environment, and many ISPs that service home users are also switching to IMAP servers. Because all emails remain on the email server, they can be backed up just like any other server data.
Using IMAP, you can download emails to your hard disk to work on them locally or for archival purposes. For example, you can create a personal folders file (in Outlook, a file with the .pst extension) and move copies of important emails to that file for review when you're offline. Traveling users who have notebook PCs often use this method. Figure 5-2 compares POP3 and IMAP server features.
Emails are legal documents and are sometimes used as evidence in civil and criminal trials. The email system has given rise to specialized professionals trained to recover emails, even after they've been deleted from a server's hard drive, for use in court.
Selecting email server software
The server operating system The experience of your IT staff
Figure 5-2: IMAP and POP3 server features.
Now that you know how an email server works, which one is right for your business? Read on to learn about the important factors you should consider. The email software you select depends greatly on two factors:
Two of the most popular email server applications are Microsoft Exchange Server and Sendmail, described as follows:
When selecting an email server application, consider its shelf life. Email server versions tend to be released as a result of security patches (in the case of Sendmail) or as part of an overall release schedule. Microsoft generally releases new versions of its operating system and applications every 2 to 3 years. Older versions are supported for an additional 5 to 8 years. As email server software approaches the end of its lifecycle and will no longer be supported by the vendor, you should create an upgrade plan. You do not want to find yourself without vendor technical support while managing a major email implementation.
Microsoft Exchange Server: The Windows-based email server from Microsoft. Like many Microsoft products, it has an intuitive graphical interface that makes configuration and maintenance more approachable. It also has a built-in webmail interface, Outlook Web Access, which enables your employees to access their email remotely via their web browser. Sendmail: An open source alternative that's been available for over 25 years. Configuring Sendmail takes some effort, and there's a significant learning curve for someone who isn't familiar with the technical details of email servers. However, Sendmail allows for greater flexibility than Microsoft Exchange Server.
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After you select an email server solution, you need to know how to configure it. That's covered in the next two parts of this lesson.
Performing preconfiguration tasks
Before you can send and receive emails across the internet, you must complete several tasks, described in the following sections.
Getting a public domain name
First, your company must have a public domain name. The domain name used as an example for this lesson is widgetsareus.com. If you've been using your ISP to host your company's website and email server, you've most likely already registered your domain name with a domain name registrar. If not, visit any registrar, such as GoDaddy or Register.com to obtain your name. You'll need to pay an annual fee to cover the registration costs.
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Configuring email server IP addresses
Your email server will use two different IP addresses: the public address assigned by your ISP and an internal address for use on your local network. You should configure the email server to use only the internal address, and configure your router/firewall to handle the translation of the public address used on the internet to the private address used on your internal network. ISPs use two methods to assign public IP addresses to their customers:
Your registrar will allow you to select and register a unique domain names for use on the internet. You must still use an ISP to access the internet and receive a public IP address. The ISP's DNS servers will then be able to link the assigned public IP address with your chosen domain name.
Configuring an email server
In the next section, you learn details about email server configuration.
Dynamically: For home users, ISPs usually use DHCP, which allows them to assign an IP address dynamically when users connect to the internet. This way, ISPs can own a smaller pool of IP addresses because they don't need to assign a unique IP to each user. Statically: Assigning a static (permanent) IP address is done most often for business users who plan to run a web server or an email server of their own. If you aren't sure which type of IP address you have, call your ISP.
This lesson uses Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 on Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Sendmail on Debian Linux as examples of how to configure email servers for an SMB environment.
Configuring a Windows Small Business Server 2008 email server
When you install Windows Small Business Server 2008, the installation process automatically configures Microsoft Exchange to allow the sending and receiving of electronic mail within your organization.
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You'll most likely want to allow users to send email to other sites on the internet as well. Here's how to configure Exchange to forward mail outside of your organization:
1. Open the Windows SBS Console, as shown in Figure 5-3.
Figure 5-3: The Windows SBS Console window. Enlarge image
1. Click Network on the navigation bar, and then click the Connectivity tab. 2. Click Smart Host for Internet e-mail from the list, as shown in Figure 54.
Figure 5-4: Configuring the Smart Host for Internet e-mail. Enlarge image
If you don't have the correct name or IP address to use for your smart host, you should be able to obtain this information from your ISP.
1. Select View outbound Internet e-mail properties from the Tasks portion of the window. 2. Click Next to advance past the welcome screen of the Configure Internet Mail Wizard. 3. Provide the name of your smart host in the Smart Host Server information text box, as shown in Figure 5-5, and then click Next to finalize your changes.
Figure 5-5: Configuring the smart host. Enlarge image
You'll also need to configure Exchange to receive email from internet users, as follows: 1. Click Start > All Programs > Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 > Exchange Management Console. 2. Expand the Server Configuration list in the left pane, and then click Hub Transport, as shown in Figure 5-6.
Figure 5-6: Hub Transport options screen. Enlarge image
1. In the Actions pane on the right, click New Receive Connector. The New SMTP Receive Connector Wizard starts. 2. In the Introduction screen, provide a name in the Name field and select Internet from the drop-down box, as shown in Figure 5-7. Click Next.
Figure 5-7: The New SMTP Receive Connector Wizard Introduction screen. Enlarge image
1. In the Local Network settings screen, click the Add button and provide the IP address you'll use to receive inbound mail in the Add Receive Connector Binding dialog box, as shown in Figure 5-8. Click OK to close the dialog box, and then click Next.
Figure 5-8: The Local Network settings screen. Enlarge image
1. In the New Connector screen, click New to create the connector, as shown in Figure 5-9.
Figure 5-9: The New Connector screen. Enlarge image Once you've completed these steps, you're ready to send and receive internet email with your Microsoft Exchange server. 1. Click Finish to close the wizard.
Configuring a Debian Linux email server
1. Type this command to install Sendmail:
To configure a Debian Linux email server, follow these steps at a shell prompt:
apt-get install sendmail sendmail-bin
1. To add a domain to the Sendmail server, change to the /etc/mail directory and open the local-host-names file for editing. Add your domain to this file. If you have more than one domain, add each one on its own line. Save the file. 2. By default, Sendmail will deliver email to users with accounts on the system using email addresses of the form email@example.com. You may also create email aliases by adding entries to the /etc/mail/aliases file, as shown in this example: This example delivers mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to the root account on the server. When you're finished mapping email aliases, save the file.
1. Run the makemap utility:
makemap -v hash ./aliases.db < ./aliases
1. Restart the Sendmail server:
You've successfully configured the email server, started the service and added user accounts. Remember that for each email user on your network, you must add a user account on your server. Once you've completed these tasks, you can send email through your server.
Securing your email server
An important part of email server setup is making sure the server is secure before you open it to internet email traffic. Email server security is covered next.
Due to the nature of email, these servers are often the targets of hackers and other malicious users. The primary exploits directed at email servers are spam related. Hackers attempt to break into an email server to use it to send spam, or they attempt to flood the server with so much spam that it crashes. This is known as a denial of service (DoS) attack. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent these types of attacks.
Preventing DoS attacks
The simplest way to minimize the impact of a DoS attack is to limit the number of connections your email server will accept from a specific system at any one time. This prevents a hacker from overwhelming your server with thousands of messages all sent simultaneously.
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Preventing a spam relay
Preventing your server from becoming a spam relay is more difficult, because there are so many ways that a hacker can compromise your server. Insecure web applications, insecure user passwords and simple brute force are some of the common ways that hackers gain access to email servers. There are many techniques used to minimize the risk of hacking, because as soon as a security technique becomes widely used, hackers devise a way around it. Insecure web applications are a serious problem, because web servers are often run on the same machine as the email server. Many widely used applications have been written by programmers with little or no formal training, so they lack even the most basic security checks. These applications can represent an open door for hackers to access your server. Server security is a constantly changing topic that requires vigilance.
Insecure passwords are the other major point of failure when it comes to securing a server. Users tend to prefer passwords that are short, easy to remember and easy to type. Unfortunately, those qualities are also what make passwords extremely easy to break. You should require that users change their passwords regularly, and that they meet a minimum security level. In general, a password that meets the following criteria is considered reasonably secure: Finally, you should configure your email server so that it only relays mail for Length: A password should be at least eight characters long. Characters: Passwords should contain both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers or symbols, such as #. Hard-to-guess words: Avoid dictionary words, including the person's user name, names of family, friends or pets, or any other word.
authorized users. Your server should only accept email messages that are either to or from a user in your organization. There should never be a legitimate reason for your server to relay messages between third parties. Servers configured to allow this type of traffic quickly become the targets of spammers.
Antivirus scanning Moving on
Email is often used to spread spam and malicious software, such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses. Therefore, it's extremely important that you configure your email server to scan for and remove any spam or malicious software it encounters. You can do this by using the Microsoft Forefront Security software provided with Windows Small Business Server 2008 or the SpamAssassin package in Debian Linux. In this lesson, you learned the basic components of email server systems and how to select email server software. You walked through the steps for configuring an email server. Finally, you picked up important tips for securing an email server. In Lesson 6, you'll learn what a web server is, how to configure it and how it can benefit your business. Before you move on, complete the assignment and take the quiz.
After you set up an email client program, you should document the settings for future use. Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express are two common email client programs. These instructions are written for Outlook 2007, but earlier versions of Outlook and Outlook Express function similarly. To access user account settings in your email client program, follow these steps:
A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D)
Question 1: If John Smith works for Furniture Madness, which of the following is the most likely format for his email address? Question 2: Which type of email server system sends emails? IMAP DNS POP3 SMTP jsmith.furnituremadness@.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org jsmith.www.@email@example.com
1. Start Outlook. 2. Select Tools > Account Settings. The Account Settings window appears. 3. Select the default account, and then click Change. The Change E-mail Account screen appears. 4. The essential configuration information is listed on this screen, such as email address, POP3 and SMTP servers, and so on. Capture a screen shot using the Snipping Tool or write the settings on a piece of paper. To view additional settings, click More Settings. 5. In the Internet E-mail Settings dialog box that appears, you see five tabs: General, Advanced, Security, Connection and Remote Mail. Click each tab and capture a screen shot of the settings. 6. File your screen shots or handwritten notes in a safe place.
Question 3: True or False: Webmail messages are viewed in a web browser and then downloaded to your local workstation. A) B) A) B) A) B) Question 4: True or False: POP3 servers are more commonly used by businesses than home users. True False Get a public domain name. True False
Question 5: Which of the following tasks are prerequisites for installing email server software? (Check all that apply.)
What's a web server?
Configuring a web server
C) D) Assign email addresses to users. Select an email client program.
Have public and internal IP addresses assigned.
Websites are an essential part of doing business today; some companies wouldn't exist without them. In this lesson, you'll learn what a web server is, how it works, how to configure one and how it can benefit your company. Welcome back. You've come a long way in this class, from configuring a server for file and print sharing to setting up database and email servers. In this final lesson, you'll learn how to set up a web server to run as your company's internal intranet or to serve as your company's web presence to the world. The internet is a worldwide group of computers, routers and telephone company (telco) switches interconnected by fiber-optic backbone cabling that communicate by using TCP/IP. TCP/IP is actually a suite of protocols that defines physical devices; transmission signals; encoding, encapsulation and synchronization of applications and information; and more. In the past, only large universities, corporations and ISPs had the necessary equipment to host websites. Now anyone with the right tools can create a website and have it hosted inexpensively by an ISP or on his or her own server.
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Taking a tour of a web server
You know that when you access a website on the internet, you're accessing a web server. The following sections describe the inner workings of a web server.
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the combination of a protocol, a domain name and the specific web page you wish to access on that domain. As you learned in Lesson 5, domain names are associated with IP addresses, and DNS servers resolve domain names to their associated IP addresses. When users want to locate a web server, they must open an internet connection, start a web browser and type the URL into the browser's address field. Your web browser then requests the location of the website you want to visit. The DNS server on your LAN or the internet returns the location, and your browser then establishes a connection and opens the website's default or index page.
A URL has three components that perform different functions, as shown in Figure 6-1. All three must be present to locate and open a specific web page on a server. Figure 6-1: A URL broken down into components. Protocol: A protocol is a common set of rules that networked entities use so that they can communicate in a particular format. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the primary communications protocol of the World Wide Web (WWW) that allows documents to be transferred over network connections. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, commonly used for e-commerce and online banking. When you enter a URL in a browser, if you omit the protocol prefix, the browser assumes you want to use HTTP. You can also use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer files across the internet, but it's not nearly as common at HTTP. Domain name: A domain name identifies a collection of related computers, such as all computers on a company network. For more details on domain names, refer to Lesson 5. File name: The file name specifies the actual document the web page consists of. If you don't type the file name as part of the URL, the browser automatically requests the domain's default main page, which is usually index.html or default.htm.
Therefore, to locate and open the main page of the Widgets Are Us website, you could enter the full URL: http://www.widgetsareus.com/index.html.
A website is just a set of files stored on a server and written in a markup language, such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). The file structure, as shown in Figure 6-2, can be accessed through the main page or by entering a specific file name in the URL. The related files are linked (interconnected) in a particular structure, which is how hyperlinks let you navigate from the main page to other pages.
Figure 6-2: Website file structure.
If you want to access a certain page on the website, you can go directly to it if you know the file name. For example, if the file name for the miniwidgets page is miniwidgets.html, you just type http://www.widgetsareus.com/miniwidgets.html to go directly to that page.
If HTTP is the primary protocol of the internet, HTML is the primary language of web pages. HTML is the set of semantic rules for describing a web document's content in terms of how it's formatted. You can use many HTML editing utilities to create a website without seeing, writing or understanding the underlying HTML code. This is what a very simple HTML page could look like: <!doctype html> <html> <head> <title>Hello!</title> </head> <body> <p>Hello!</p> </body> </html>
A newer markup language for exchanging data on the internet is Extensible Markup Language (XML). It provides a wider range of instructions, including straight text data and types of forms, such as medical forms, court documents, banking documents, purchase orders and so on. In other words, XML allows you to put data into a structure that computers can easily read, or parse, but people can still understand. For more information about both markup languages, head to your favorite bookstore or visit W3 Schools and go through the tutorials. Putting it all together, a web server is a special type of server containing file structures that represent websites, with each site composed of interconnected web documents. Each web document is written in a markup language, HTML, XML or XHTML (or a combination of one or more), and that information is transferred across the internet or a LAN by using the HTTP format. Now that you understand the essentials of a web server, read on to compare intranet and internet servers.
Some editors are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), which means whatever you type and format in the editor is what you see when the file's opened in a browser.
Comparing intranet and internet servers
All websites can be accessed via the internet and transfer data with HTTP. An intranet is similar to the internet, with the same basic components, but it's much smaller. You have a web server containing files, most likely in HTML, that other computers on the network can access. Those computers can open web browsers and access information on the web server by using HTTP. The purpose of a company intranet is usually to communicate confidential information to employees that should not be shared on the internet. This
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information could include business objectives, reports on goals reached, virus alerts, commendations for outstanding employee production or whatever is considered valuable internal information. These are the main differences between internet and intranet servers: The internet is composed of a worldwide network of millions of computers. An intranet is made up of tens, hundreds or thousands of computers in a single company's LAN. An intranet site isn't designed to be accessed by computers outside the company's LAN, so the intranet web server is given a static IP address consistent with the internal network's IP addressing scheme. An intranet server doesn't have a direct connection to the internet, as an internet web server does.
Differences aside, an intranet site can look and function exactly like an internet site.
Why use an internal web server?
A single server running an SMB network OS and a website program isn't enough to handle a major internet site. It's technically possible to build and host a website on a small single server with a broadband internet connection, such as digital subscriber line (DSL) or cable, but it would bog down quickly under large volumes of traffic. Even SMBs should have e-commerce sites hosted by their ISPs or a specialized web hosting company with a connection to the internet backbone. The real advantage of using a small internal web server is to control the company's intranet. That being said, an internal web server can serve a purpose for internet websites. Let's say you want to change your internet website's look or functions, but you're not quite sure exactly what you want to do. You can construct the website on your internal web server first as a test so that you can experiment with settings and see the results. You can also run the website through a set of usability studies using internal staff or even community volunteers. The feedback you get from these studies can help you modify the design before publishing the final product on the internet.
Pros and cons of hosting an intranet server
Hosting your company's intranet (internal web server) site offers benefits that include the capability to do the following: Post announcements and messages Post documents, memos, spreadsheets, projects, graphics and presentations Access archived documents Access the help desk Create a survey Host a discussion group
With Windows Small Business Server 2008, creating and modifying an intranet site is easy using the SharePoint-based web server. Debian Linux, which comes with Apache Web Server, has fewer built-in features but offers more flexibility.
Running your own web server requires you to maintain and monitor it, which could negatively impact the productivity of your IT staff if they're already working at capacity. If your business doesn't already have an intranet site, you need someone to build and update the site and encourage employees to use it on a regular basis.
Selecting a web server platform
If your business will benefit from having an intranet (that is, an internal web server), you need to decide which server platform to host it on. The next section lists the criteria you should use to make that decision.
Selecting a web server platform to use for hosting your website or intranet depends on the experience and budget you have for this project. This lesson briefly covers two web servers: Apache and Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). Apache is the open source web server of choice. It has been in use since the beginning of the web, and is the web server used by most ISPs and web hosting companies. It's highly configurable, stable and secure. Apache runs on the Windows operating system but it's built for Linux. The Windows version often lags behind the Linux version and is not considered as stable. Microsoft IIS is built into Windows Small Business Server 2008 and comes with an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) configuration interface. If you already decided to run Windows Small Business Server 2008 as your server operating system, you will probably opt to run your intranet site on Microsoft IIS. Apache is a free software product (open source). If you need technical support, you can pay for it from a number of companies.
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Apache web server releases are infrequent, and older versions are supported and used for many years after a new version is released. You should consider upgrading an Apache web server if the new version has been released for several months to one year, and if it includes functionality that your business needs. Microsoft releases new versions of its IIS web server on a regular schedule. However, unless you need the features included in the newest version, upgrading isn't necessary. You should, however, apply security patches on a frequent basis to ensure that your web server continues to run securely. Next, learn how to configure a web server. The HP server buying guide can help you find the right server solution that meets your requirements.
Microsoft IIS does not run on Linux.
Configuring a web server
For the purposes of this lesson, you learn how to configure a web server for your company's intranet using Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Debian Linux as examples. However, every server operating system provides some web server functionality, and most are able to run a version of Apache.
Configuring a web server on Windows Small Business Server
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Different server roles require configuring and starting various services. If you haven't performed those tasks, those services don't exist on your server and can't be accessed from your LAN. The web server service is a bit different. Windows Small Business Server 2008 comes with a basic set of intranet pages already configured and ready to be adapted. To change the default intranet pages on your web server, follow these steps: 1. Open a web browser and enter http://companyweb/ in the Address text box. The default intranet website appears, as shown in Figure 6-3.
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Figure 6-3: The default intranet website. Enlarge image
1. Click the links in this window to view, manage or change site content. To begin, click Welcome to your Internal Web site. 2. Click the Edit Item button to change the default content of the announcement, as shown in Figure 6-4. Change the announcement to be a welcome to users of your organization.
Figure 6-4: Editing the default announcement. Enlarge image
1. After you've made your changes, click OK. As shown in Figure 6-5, the announcement has been changed accordingly.
Figure 6-5 The revised home page. Enlarge image
1. To add an announcement, click New on the announcement screen. Type any text you want, and then save and close the screen. Now you have a second custom announcement, as shown in Figure 6-6.
Figure 6-6: Another custom announcement. Enlarge image
You can use the links along the side of the home page to navigate and modify the basic intranet website. The default configuration allows you to include many different types of content: Shared documents Faxes Calendar Tasks Team discussion Archived emails Photos
The easiest way to get started with your intranet site on Windows Small Business Server 2008 is to spend some time exploring the various links. Microsoft dramatically simplified the process of getting your site up and running by eliminating configuration steps and making the content publishing process extremely simple.
Configuring Apache Web Server on Debian Linux
You can install Apache, the most commonly used Linux web server, on a Debian Linux system in one of two ways: Use the Synaptic Package Manager ( System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager) or type the following at
a command prompt:
Once the installation completes, you need to perform a few simple configuration steps to set up your web server. The general steps for configuring Apache are as follows:
apt-get install apache2
1. Using a text editor, edit the main Apache configuration file, in the /etc/apache2/apache2.conf directory, to reflect your server settings. 2. After you've edited the apache2.conf file, test your configuration with this command: 1. Assuming your configuration is error free, restart your web server with this command:
In this lesson, you've just scratched the surface of what you could do with a company intranet site. There are many more options to explore for designing an intranet site with features and options that communicate your corporate vision to employees.
See how to configure Apache Web Server on Debian Linux.
Intranet on the internet
Sometimes you might need to let portions of your company's intranet be accessed from the internet. For example, you might want to provide remote workers with the ability to access your file servers as if they were in the office. The easiest way to do this is through the use of a VPN.
Overview of web server security issues
VPNs allow users outside the office to connect to the company LAN via a secure tunneled connection through the internet. The data exchanged is encrypted, so it's secure from others on the internet. A VPN requires a server running VPN software or another type of hardware device. Remote users must be using VPN client software on their computers.
Although it's possible to hide database servers and other internal servers behind a corporate firewall, web servers must be exposed to the internet by their nature. After all, what use is a public web server that isn't accessible to the public? This level of exposure requires that you pay particular attention to the security of a web server. Many of the security techniques you learned in Lesson 5 are applicable to web servers as well. Here are a few other things you can do to secure your web server: Keep your software patches up to date and read the latest security announcements. You should check your software vendor's website
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Remember, security is a constantly evolving field. We covered only the basics in this section. If you run your own web server, especially one that's publicly accessible, you should take the time to become knowledgeable about internet security.
periodically to see if any patches have been released. Some software vendors, such as Microsoft, release patches automatically and regularly (e.g., Patch Tuesday). Many vendors also have a security announcement mailing list. Enforce password security, both for users and administrators. Make sure that only authorized personnel have access to administrative or root passwords. Monitor web server activity. There are many very good log file analysis programs available that will alert you to suspicious activity.
In this lesson, you learned the benefits of having a web server, how a web server works and how to configure and secure one. Throughout this class, you reviewed a small sample of the roles servers play. You can also use servers for remote access, proxy, FTP, DHCP, DNS, fax and firewalls, among other uses. Before you move on, complete the assignment and tackle the quiz for this final lesson.
Intranets play a valuable role in many organizations, allowing team members and other groups of employees to share information with each other. Here are some common uses of intranet sites: Think about the benefits that an intranet might provide to your organization. Sketch out the outline of an intranet site that would add value to your business. Question 1: What is the most commonly used web server on Linux systems? A) B) A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D) C) IIS HTTP Apache Firefox Project collaboration and management Distribution of human resources information Posting of internal job opportunities Sharing of financial results Calendaring and scheduling
Question 2: What are the three components of a URL? (Check all that apply.) Question 3: What's the primary protocol for transferring web page information over the internet? HTTP FTP HTML Protocol Domain name Language File name
D) A) B) A) B) C) D) C) D)
Question 4: Which of the following languages is used to create web content? (Check all that apply.) Question 5: Which of the following can you do on a company's intranet site? (Check all that apply.) Post announcements and memos. Create a survey. Post a spreadsheet. Post a photo of the company picnic. © 2003 - 2010 Powered, Inc. HTML HTTP FTP XML