Before you start your sever build you need to do a few things and there are
considerations prior to doing any purchases thus the need for a servers
This is a abbreviated
checklist to get you thinking about what you need
to accomplish before, during, and after the server is built.
- Network layout
- Server location
- Server hardware
- Sever Operating System
- Build out of hardware
- Proprietary pre built
- Bare bones
- Self Assemble
- Operating System install
- Server Operating System Options
- Additional software applications
When you look at the servers checklist I know you are scratching your head
wondering what the heck I am on about so I will give an explanation for
- Network layout: If this is the first server in your
location you need to have a network or the server is useless. No
connection, no server to serve, no? Consider the load a server has
to handle when looking at setting up your network, fewer than 200
devices then a dual teamed NIC will suffice, over 200 you will want
to consider a quad team NIC to keep the network from becoming a
bottle neck for access.
- Keep in mind you will need a CAL
for each non Windows Operating System device that the server
will serve or attach to for user access...
- Server location: You will want a secure and well
ventilated area for the server, if this is your first server make
the area large enough to work on the server in place. If you are
going to have more than three servers consider rack mount servers,
they are smaller, just as powerful, and you can get more rack mount
servers in the same area two tower servers will occupy.
- Server hardware: This one is tougher to describe in a
short paragraph, what is the servers function? This will drive the
hardware you will need to purchase,
see this page.
- Server Operating System: This web site supports mostly Windows
Operating Systems so most of the information is about Windows Servers however
Windows is not the only company producing Server Operating Systems,
the main thing is you get an OS that is compatible with your
workstation OS and has functionality for your business / project.
Novell, Linux, and a few other Operating Systems will do the same
thing as the latest and greatest Windows Server OS.
- Build out of hardware: Are you buying an off the shelf
already to go server? Or maybe a "Bare bones" where you have to
install some of the hardware? Or maybe you (or an employee) will
build the complete server from the ground up?
- Operating System Install: From inserting the CD / DVD to
the last application install what you need to do to get the server
Lockdown: The final steps to secure the server from
accidental deletion of files to fully protecting your server from
hackers, thieves, and idiots.
All these servers checklist steps are outlined in
Build Your Server e-book/book available on this web site.
Note: After a few questions in the (now gone) Q and A I decided to give
you a short and quick severs checklist on Microsoft Server licensing. This is only
Microsoft's way of doing Server licenses...
Using your servers checklist first consider the the total number of network connections the server
will serving. This includes all workstations and all network attached
devices. This will be the workload for the network.
Note: Each workstation that has a Windows Operating System
installed (with the exception of the Home versions) have a CAL
included with the OS.
Next subtract all the workstations that will have a Windows Operating
This will leave you with the minimum number of CALs you will need to purchase
when you buy the Server Operating System. (each network attached device
that DOES NOT have a Windows Operating System installed will need a
single CAL per unit to connect, this includes:
- Other NAS (Network Attached Devices, this includes external drives
attached by USB cables!)
- Any other NON Windows Operating System (Such as a tablet with Linux
or MAC OSx Operating System)
- Now the bad news: All Cell phones that have network access will
have to have a CAL or you will have to find a way to block the cell
phones from accessing your network.
Case in point: Even if the cell phone / tablet owner may
not try to access the server but the cell phone / tablet will query
the server, this "ping" as the geeks say is considered as a
connection, therefore if you disregard the cell phone / tablets that
are in the area a user with a non Windows Operating System may have
difficulty connecting to the server for data, printing, or if you
have a web site on the server.
CAL (Client Access License)
Per Device or Per User licensing mode is the best option if your
clients frequently use multiple servers on the network.
The Per Device or Per User licensing mode enables all network devices or
users to access all the servers on a network. The number of simultaneous
connections to any server is unlimited. Per Device or Per User is the
normal licensing mode for a server product that is installed on multiple
servers in a network.
Per Server is the best licensing option when a server product is
installed on only one server accessed at any time by no more than a
subset of your users.
Per Server connections to a particular server are allocated on a
first-come, first-served basis, and are limited to the number of Client
Access Licenses allocated to the server. This might be more economical
for a single-server network or for a server product that is accessed on
one server by only one department or group in an organization. As your
network grows, you are allowed a one-time conversion to Per Device or Per
I wanted you to be aware that failure to get the correct number of
CALs when you buy your Server Operating System will result in loss of
connectivity if the CALs are exceeded and most of the time when the
CALs are exceeded your workstations will be the first to be denied
If you chose Per Server licensing and only buy two 5 CAL
licenses then the MAXIMUM number of concurrent connections is
TEN. Where as if you bought one 5 CAL license and chose the
Per Device or Per User and only had two network attached devices
with six Windows client Operating Systems you have three unused
CALs for more devices.
Although a MCSE will advise you to go with the
Per Server when purchasing CALs for a small network always plan for
expansion. At this time the quantity for CALs is 5, 50, 100, 250, 500,
and unlimited (big bucks for this one!).
When I tested and passed my MCSE certifications the non OS
devices were only printers and scanners, now though there are a
lot more devices that can be accessed across a network...
02/16/14 - This short
servers checklist is a precursor to a larger more
checklist I am making to accompany the Build Your Server book
when I do the revision in a month or so.
When the server operating system BSOD's what do you
Your server is already down why make it worse with an outdated
ERD? Make a custom Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) for yourself! Check this out.