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HOW TO DESIGN A NETWORK SERVER

Here you will learn designing a network server techniques, windows 2000, memory, processor, power supply, clustering, monitoring, software and hardware requirements of a server.

A computer network server can be configured reliable and efficient according to the needs of a business. If the business is of a critical nature like banks, consulates, police department or corporate companies, the cost on the reliability of the server increases. There are a large number of the objects involved in a computer network such as hubs, routers, Gateway, bridges, ISDN adapters, Modems, transceivers, firewalls and many others and all these devices by some means depends on the server to share data and resources. There are a number of the subsystems involved in the reliability of a server. Following are the tips and recommendations in making a secure, high performance server according to your business needs.

1. Hard Disk Subsystem Reliability

The main server component that is prone to failure is the hard disk that stores the data of the server. Hard disk is a mechanical component in a server. While selecting the disk drives, you should consider the S.M.A.R.T technology (Self monitoring and Reporting technology). This technology allows the monitoring of the disk drives parameters and is able to predict the failure of the disk drives. Most server vendors provide the hot swap disk drives this means that they can be replaced while the server is in working mode. To provide fault tolerance, implement RAID (redundant array of the inexpensive disks). RAID is implemented by installing RAID disk controller in the server. RAID 5 provides fault tolerance by adding the parity information of the data as it is written on the disk drives. This parity information can be used to regenerate the data in case of disk failure. Minimum 3 disk drives are required to implement a RAID 5 (striped set with parity) and the maximum numbers of the disks involved in the RAID5 are 32.

2. Server Processor

Most of the servers use the Pentium processors that are very reliable in performance and processing speed. Processor or CPU is a heart of any server and if it fails to work, the server becomes non functional. Trend is growing to use a dual-processor server or even multiple processor servers. If this scenario, if one processor fails to work, there is not effect on the other processors in a server. So it is a best decision of the network administrators to use the multiprocessor server.

3. Network Subsystem

The attachment of the server to the network is carried out by the NIC adapter. If a NIC of the server fails to work, the connection of the server with the other computers in a network also fails. Many servers support redundant NICs that can be implemented in the fail over or load balancing situations. In the NIC fail over situations one NIC is used to communicate with the server and the other NIC is held reserve until the other NIC fails and the second NIC is automatically activated. In the NIC load balancing situation both the NICs are activated so improve the reliability and performance of the server communication. A PCI hot swap slot allows replacing the faulty NIC adapter without shutting down the server.

4. Clustering

Redundancy is achieved by clustering. In a clustered environment, two or more server operates as a single server and the failure of the one server, does not affect the working of the other server. There are many advantages of the clustered environment such as reliability, load balancing and high performance of the computing environment.

5. Memory Performance

The memory technology has been improved and it fails to work very seldom. Purchasing a memory for a server that supports ECC (Error correcting code) is a best decision of the system ornetwork administrators. ECC technology is capable of detecting and fixing the single bit error and reporting the multiple bit memory errors. A server needs a high amount of memory to perform its function smoothly. If a memory is low in a server, it can results in slow boot up, slow response time and halting the system so memory is a vital for a computing server.

6. Power Supply Usage

Many computers come with the multiple power supplies and these multiple power supplies 2 or more share the electric load of the computer server. The main advantage of the multiple power supplies is that the failure of the one power supply does not cause the server to shut down because other power supply takes all the electric loads and so server works normally without any problem. Like the other hot swappable hardware in the server, the multiple power supply system is also hot swappable. This means the faulty power supply can be replaced with the new one, while the server is running.

7. UPS ( Uninterruptible Power Supply) Function

A UPS or uninterruptible power supply system plays very vital role in case of the power failure. UPS normally provides power back for 3-4 hours and during this time, server can easily be setup to save the data and all the network users can also access the store their important data on the server. The shutdown process of the server is controlled by software that is installed on the server. UPS is very important in a network environment and if there are a number of the UPS in a network, they can share the load and provide constant power supply to the server.

8. Emergency Generator Working

When a full time operation of the server is required such as hosting servers, web servers, email servers, data server, and emergency generator is a necessary. The emergency generators are usually diesel powers and are developed by a number of the world’s renowned companies like Jubaili Brothers, Cummins. These emergency power generators can be set to automatically switch on in case of power failure or they can be used after the UPS is fully used.

9. Cooling Fans Function

There is a large amount of the hardware installed in inside the CPU so there must be cooling system inside the CPU. The cooling of the server is achieved by the cooling fans, which are installed inside the CPU. These cooling fans pull the cool air inside the CPU and throw away the heated air from inside the CPU. The failure of the cooling fans in the server leads to the automatic shut down of the server due to high buildup heat in the server. Many vendors are providing the hot swappable cooling fans.

10. Computer Monitoring Hardware

There is a specially designed adaptor available for monitoring the performance of the different components of the server. The server can be monitored locally or remotely via a modem by this adapter. In very critical network environments, these types of adapters are usually used in the server to put a check on the performance of the different networking devices.

11. Computer Server Software

Software installed on the server should be very reliable and virus free. A good anti virus software like Norton Anti Virus, Trend Micro, McAfee Anti virus, Panda Anti virus or any other anti virus should be installed and updated. Additionally, a good firewall, anti spyware, malware, adware should also be installed to keep the server virus or spyware free. Good backup software should also be installed on the server in case of any emergency. Any unwanted software, media players, codec, flash games or emails can provide a room for the viruses from the internet to enter in your network. No unauthorized software applications or hardware should be installed in the server. If a virus enters in the server by any means, it is very easy for the viruses to spread all over the network and if they are of severe nature, they can even destroy all your critical data. The above mentioned recommendations for a designing a good server can play a key role in designing a secure, reliable and high performing server for your computer network.

12. Data Server Location

A server should be placed in a room that is capable of providing the cooling and dust free environment to the server. It is very advisable that the server room should be very secure and only the authorized persons like (network administrators or other users) be allowed to enter in the server room.

 

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