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Distributing Win2k services over two servers

This is regarding the separation of a proxy server, Exchange server, FTP site and Web site. I now have a Win2k network. One server has all the above services installed on it. I have purchased a new server and wish to split the services between two servers. What is the best configuration for distributing these services? Server No. 1 is a P3 2.0 GHz with 1 GB of memory, Dell 2600, RAID 5. Server No. 2 is an IBM xSeries P4 2.4 GHz with 0.5 GB of memory, RAID 5.

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Well, I don't really have enough information to provide a good recommendation. If your primary concern is performance, I would need to understand the load generated by each service. You can use the performance console to figure this out -- watch the memory and processor utilization of each of the processes. Note the peak time and peak requirements of each service, and make sure that the way you divide them up doesn't cause any conflicts.

Proxy, Web and Exchange services all vary widely in their resource utilization. For example, if you have server static HTML, your Web server will incur minimal processing overhead and will be bandwidth-limited. If you have complex dynamic pages, it may very well be processor limited. FTP is always bandwidth limited.

You mention you have a proxy server. Is this being used as a firewall? If so, I would make Server No. 2 the proxy server and not put any other services on that system. This will minimize the potential for vulnerabilities on that system. Server No. 1 has more memory than Server No. 2, so it can better handle Exchange, Web and FTP services. As noted above, you should make sure you're not going to max out system resources, but this depends on your utilization patterns.

This was first published in July 2003

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