Planning is the first step in building a reliable, secure, high-performance and highly available Windows Server 2003-based network. In this chapter, we begin with an overview of network infrastructure planning, introducing you to planning strategies and how to use planning tools.
We will review the fundamentals of network design, including analysis of organizational needs. These include factors such as information flow, management model, organizational structure, and issues of centralization versus decentralization. We discuss management priorities, including availability and fault tolerance, security, scalability, performance, and cost. Next, we address
This chapter also looks at legal and regulatory considerations, how to calculate total cost of ownership (TCO), and how to plan for future growth. We discuss how to develop a test network environment, and how to document the planning and network design process.
Proper planning of a network infrastructure is essential to ensuring high performance, availability, and overall
When planning for a new infrastructure or upgrading an existing network, you should take some or all of the following steps:
Document the business requirements of your client or organization.
Create a baseline of the performance of any existing hardware and network utilization.
Determine the necessary capacity for the physical network installation, including client and server hardware, as well as allocating network and Internet bandwidth for network services and applications.
Select an appropriate network protocol and create an addressing scheme that will provide for the existing
Specify and implement technologies that will meet the existing needs of your network, while allowing room for future growth.
Plan to upgrade and/or migrate any existing technologies, including server operating systems and routing protocols.
In this section, we’ll discuss best practices and strategies for planning your network implementation. We’ll then look at the various tools that you can use for network planning, both from Microsoft and from other
When designing a new network, you should first use the business requirements of your organization as the primary source of planning information. You’ll need to create a network infrastructure that addresses the needs of your management structure, such as fault tolerance, security, scalability, performance, and cost. You’ll need to balance these requirements with the types of services that your users and
After you’ve determined the business requirements of your network, you should then analyze the technical requirements of your organization. These requirements may apply to any applications that are already in use or that you plan to implement, as well as to the associated hardware and operating system. You should
Finally, any well-
There are a number of tools available to assist you in developing a plan for your network infrastructure. The first and best of these, however, might be the simplest: pencil and paper. As we discussed in the previous section, you should begin your planning by determining the requirements of the business that will be using the network. The best way to do this is through face-to-face interactions, by interviewing relevant managers and staff
After you have a high-level understanding of your company’s organizational structure and computing needs, you should inventory the hardware and software that is already in place. In a small office environment, you can accomplish this by simply taking a walk to determine the physical layout of network cables, routers, and the like. In a medium- to large-
You can use a network analyzer, such as the Network Monitor utility built into the Windows Server 2003 operating system or the more
The version of Network Monitor that ships with Windows Server 2003 can analyze only traffic addressed to the network interface card (NIC) on the server itself or that is sent by the server on which it is running. The SMS version of Network Monitor operates in promiscuous mode , enabling it to capture all network traffic on a given segment, even if the traffic isn’t addressed to or from the local server.
Windows Server 2003 has introduced new management features that will assist you in planning your network configuration,
Exercise 1.01: Generating a Group Policy Modeling Report
In this exercise, we’ll take a look at a GPMC modeling report for a Windows Server 2003 domain.
Click Start Run , type mmc, and click OK .
Click File Add/Remove Snap-in , and then select the Resultant Set of Policy snap-in. Click Add, and then click Close .
Resultant Set of Policy
, and then click
Generate RSoP Data
On the Mode Selection page, select Planning mode as shown in Figure 1.1, and then click Next .
Figure 1.1: Selecting the RSoP Report Mode
User and Computer Selection
page, shown in Figure 1.2, specify the
Figure 1.2: Specifying the User and Computer Information
From the Advanced Simulation Options page, shown in Figure 1.3, you can choose to modify a number of reporting options, such as simulating a slow network connection or the use of loopback processing. Click Next when you’re ready to continue.
Figure 1.3: Advanced Simulation Options
User Security Groups
page, shown in Figure 1.4, you’ll see the security groups to which the specified user belongs. You can use the
Figure 1.4: Simulating User Security Group Membership
The next page lists the security groups to which the specified computer belongs. As in Step 7, you can use the Add or Remove buttons to change the contents of the RSoP report. Click Next to continue.
By default, the report will include all possible Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) filters, as shown in Figure 1.5. (WMI filters allow you to apply GPOs to users or computers based on hardware and software attributes such as operating system, free hard drive space, and the like.) If you’ve created any WMI filters that would cause the computer you’ve specified to
be subject to Group Policy, you should remove them by clicking the
Only these filters
radio button and selecting
to repeat the process for any
Figure 1.5: Selecting WMI Filters
Click Next again. You’ll see a summary of your choices, as shown in Figure 1.6. If you are satisfied with the selections you’ve made, click Next again to run the simulation.
Figure 1.6: RSoP Summary Screen
When the simulation has completed, click Finish . In the console tree, click the RSoP query to view the data. You’ll see the output in a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 1.7.
Figure 1.7: A Completed RSoP Simulation
As you can see, Group Policy modeling will allow you to perform “what-if?” analyses to simulate the creation of new security groups or OUs. You can also use simulated WMI filters to see how GPO settings and inheritance would change if you upgraded a workstation from Windows NT to Windows XP Professional, for example. GPMC modeling is definitely a useful tool to have in your arsenal as you begin developing your Windows 2003 Server network design.
When you design a network, the most important question is
A company’s business requirements can include a number of factors that you need to keep in mind. An obvious issue is that of
, whether you are interested in improving user efficiency to save money, or pumping cash into high-
After you’ve determined the budget for your new network, you should take stock of the current state of your company’s computing technology. Ask the following questions:
What resources are already in place?
How much needs to be upgraded or
What can be reused in the new or upgraded network?
Although completely new network installations are becoming a rarity except when dealing with new construction, they do present their own unique challenges. When planning a new network installation, don’t take even the most basic configuration items for granted. Here’s a real-world example: A medical supply firm was moving from an environment consisting exclusively of mainframes and dumb terminals to an installation of networked PCs and servers. Part of the physical installation included running pipes under the flooring to allow the network cabling to run throughout the building. Unfortunately, the construction manager received his specifications from the mainframe administrator, who was relatively unfamiliar with PC technology.
The mainframe manager assumed that the PCs would use the same type of cable to connect to the routers and hubs that was used by the existing dumb terminals. He did not
Rather than incur the increased cost of running the piping all over again, management tasked the LAN administrator with installing network connectors that would use the smaller network cabling. This created an excess of performance bottlenecks until the subfloor piping was rerun two
There might be existing technologies that will need to be
The next step in designing your network is to understand where your users are located. Understanding the physical geography of your company and its