Server Setup for Legal Firm



  • This is a Legal Firm, with currently 40 networked users -> 70 users future up scale.

    Now everything is on Gsuite, sync between Gmail and Outlook is a nightmare. So we going to have a Local Domain as Mail Server.

    I am in midst doing a server proposal.

    We need AD and share point = Server A, Server B File Server (Heavy usage due to Documents and archives) (File Share back up to Cloud) Which cloud service should I Use? Web Hosting and one to for Client Database Management. Server C (Can the web hosting and Client database management system be on one Server?)

    I am leaning to Floor Standing Server Rack (foresee future need to add storage), Intel Xeon processors,

    File Server OS will be Windows Server.

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    Any help will be appreciated



  • @hari We have many customers like this. A few are using G-Suite (that way before we took over). I have to say, the new G-Suite sync tool, totally eliminates and problems I had years ago between Google apps e-mail and Outlook. I actually like it now. E-Mail and Calendars are seamless.

    In an office like this, my baseline would be a 24 or 25u cabinet on casters with a Dell R540 beefed up and running Hyper-V with the Domain Controller in a VM, and Application server in another VM (like Timeslips, QuickBooks, etc) and another R540 for the DB application and SQL. (ie; Summation by AccessData) I would split the DB server if volume were expected to warrant it. I have no interest in managing SharePoint (too many headaches from 15 years ago) So I recommend Hosted SharePoint with AD integration. We use ClouberryLab or BckupAssist to backup to local media (Synology NAS RAID10 - RS2418RP+) AND S3 with full encryption, then we use Cross Region Replication with versioning for fail safe.

    As for the server, once you get to the bigger R series of the Dell servers, it really comes down to drive bay capacity. Just make sure you can accommodate additional drives in RAID 10 if your capacity needs increase.

    I hope this get your mind moving in the right direction. Please ask for details if you need anything more.

    J



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    I don't even know what this means? If it's not closed source you believe that it can't have top notch security? If you really believe that, than I'm going to say, this is not the forum for you. If on the other hand you are open minded and willing to learn and understand technology, and not just cater to the guys with huge marketing budgets, then please, stick around and be prepared for a lot of knowledge transfer.



  • As for the actual question -

    @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    So we going to have a Local Domain as Mail Server.

    You're having sync issues with Outlook and G-Suit - why keep using Outlook then? What's wrong with the online version of Google's apps? i.e. G-mail?

    If Outlook is a must, why not look at migrating to O365 if you want better integration with Outlook? Last I looked, the pricing for the email and online storage components were about the same (and pure hosted email was $4/u/m last time I looked).

    To finish up this quoted bit - you didn't even mention what you planned to use for local email. Since you jumped on the Microsoft bandwagon on for everything else, I'm assuming you plan on moving to onsite Exchange, so that would be one more server you'll need.



  • @Dashrender I didn't read his post that way at all. He already stated he is going to use MS Windows. I think he was just heading off alternate OSes that he may not be comfortable with "at the pass". Also, are there ANY open source OSes with poor security structure? If so, he doesn't want those to be suggested. Wording could have been better, but I don't see the implied statement you see.



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    We need AD and share point = Server A,

    Do you have AD already? If not, how are they managing their machines today? Why the instant jump to having AD?

    Why are you mixing AD and Sharepoint? Normally these would be on two separate servers.

    Server B File Server (Heavy usage due to Documents and archives)

    So you're going to have SharePoint and a SMB (assuming this because you said Windows Server) file share? Why make your users learn/use two different ways to access files? Move to pure SharePoint and you can move more toward the LANLess infrastructure you can read about all over ML.

    (File Share back up to Cloud) Which cloud service should I Use?

    There are many options - I'll let others chime in here

    Web Hosting and one to for Client Database Management. Server C (Can the web hosting and Client database management system be on one Server?)

    When possible, most around here will tell you to separate these services. Also, assuming you want you client db onsite, do you really want to be hosting a website from your location instead of from a hosting provider who's dedicated to that task?

    I am leaning to Floor Standing Server Rack (foresee future need to add storage),

    Aren't most server racks floor standing? I suppose there are some wall mounted ones, but how much storage are you thinking you're going to need? You can get many, many terabytes into a 2U server these days (perhaps a 3U) - look up the SAM-SD solution.

    Intel Xeon processors,

    Isn't that standard in most Intel based servers? in otherwords, this doesn't tell us anything.

    File Server OS will be Windows Server.

    OK, if you insist.

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    OK, if the need is there, going with Tier 1 hardware manufacturer - Dell and HP are the only real options - that makes sense. As for the server OS, well if the likes of Google and Amazon use Linux based OSs, who are we say that they aren't secure products?



  • @JasGOt said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @Dashrender I didn't read his post that way at all. He already stated he is going to use MS Windows. I think he was just heading off alternate OSes that he may not be comfortable with "at the pass". Also, are there ANY open source OSes with poor security structure? If so, he doesn't want those to be suggested. Wording could have been better, but I don't see the implied statement you see.

    OK, I can understand that - only wants to work with what he knows - but don't toss out some lame excuse about open source not being secure. Just be straight. I know Windows, and I don't want to use anything else.

    As for the thought that someone would purposefully suggest an Open Source OS that has poor security - wow - just wow. This is a site for professionals, right? If someone actually suggested a known poor security OS, I'm pretty sure the rest of the community would crucify them.



  • In the end - I'm made to wonder if the OP is little more than trolling. We have other treads where we talk about just the kinds of red flags we should avoid. Purposefully claiming Windows is the only secure choice, moving from cloud/hosted solutions to onsite with little to no reasons given, poor grammar, an explanation of things that aren't really that important to the subject at hand, and a near total lack of actual details of the situation and problem.



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    This is a conflict in two ways.

    First: Never apply arbitrary rules when they aren't in line with your goals, this is illogical.
    Second: Open source is specifically vastly better specifically for security. I think you worded this incorrectly. If security was your goal, it is closed source you'd be wary to use, not open.



  • @Dashrender said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    I don't even know what this means? If it's not closed source you believe that it can't have top notch security? If you really believe that, than I'm going to say, this is not the forum for you.

    Has nothing to do with this forum. Just with the industry that we are in.



  • @Dashrender said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    As for the actual question -

    @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    So we going to have a Local Domain as Mail Server.

    You're having sync issues with Outlook and G-Suit - why keep using Outlook then? What's wrong with the online version of Google's apps? i.e. G-mail?

    If Outlook is a must, why not look at migrating to O365 if you want better integration with Outlook? Last I looked, the pricing for the email and online storage components were about the same (and pure hosted email was $4/u/m last time I looked).

    I agree. Office 365's email makes way more sense here (and costs less) given the needs and problems and desires.

    Plus G Suite is mostly open source, and O365 is not. So using G Suite violates the one stated (but conflicting) requirement.



  • @Dashrender said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    To finish up this quoted bit - you didn't even mention what you planned to use for local email. Since you jumped on the Microsoft bandwagon on for everything else, I'm assuming you plan on moving to onsite Exchange, so that would be one more server you'll need.

    Must be said... if security needs to be top notch, the first thing you'd avoid is unnecessary local services. There is no way to secure an on site email system like Microsoft or Google secure their hosted services.



  • @JasGOt said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @Dashrender I didn't read his post that way at all. He already stated he is going to use MS Windows. I think he was just heading off alternate OSes that he may not be comfortable with "at the pass". Also, are there ANY open source OSes with poor security structure? If so, he doesn't want those to be suggested. Wording could have been better, but I don't see the implied statement you see.

    What he said was "security has to be top notch no opensource please". There is open AND closed with good AND bad security. But open source has the best options (which is the most important, that there are bad is irrelevant, it's how good good can be is all that mattes since you choose which ones to use) and has the best security starting point (code review.) The most important risk of closed source software is specifically the security risks of no one being able to properly audit the code.

    Also, you can't rule out open source today, even Microsoft is half open source at this point. Using Windows is fine, but he didn't state anything about operating systems, just no open source software at all.



  • @Dashrender said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Aren't most server racks floor standing? I suppose there are some wall mounted ones, but how much storage are you thinking you're going to need?

    There are flush to wall options for servers. But only for one or two.



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS

    I like Dell, but HPE is very good, too.

    R740 is the "go to" general purpose server from Dell. HPE would be the DL380.

    Hit up xByte for better Dell pricing.

    Server OS - you never deploy old software, and since you already stated it was Windows, there is no possible variance in the answer here, right, it is Windows 2016 (unless 2019 releases again before your project starts.) But in any case, you always deploy "current Windows" if Windows is the requirement.

    You never mention hypervisor. In your scenario, if it were me I'd use KVM, especially for security, stability, performance, and ease of use. But Hyper-V is quite good and your rule about no open source means your options are pretty limited - basically only Hyper-V.



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Any help will be appreciated

    You should be reading the replies to your post here instead of creating accounts all over the web and pasting the same question, especially on that one site 🌶 But I guess you're currently busy not reading replies elsewhere.



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    We need AD and share point = Server A, Server B File Server (Heavy usage due to Documents and archives) (File Share back up to Cloud) Which cloud service should I Use? Web Hosting and one to for Client Database Management. Server C (Can the web hosting and Client database management system be on one Server?)

    By "server", I am believing that you are intending to say "VM"? You only want one server, surely. Even at your top end projection of seventy users, you are not big enough to consider a second server yet.

    Server A - you never put AD and Sharepoint together. Very different systems that are meant to be on their own. AD should be one VM, Sharepoint another.

    Server B - why a separate file server from the file server you just mentioned, Sharepoint? And if you need to mix AD with something, it should be the fileserver, not Sharepoint.

    Which cloud service? For what? To host your servers? Vultr is popular around here and supports Windows. Azure would be popular typically, as well.

    Server C - web host and client data on the same VM seems like a very bad idea.



  • @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    I am leaning to Floor Standing Server Rack (foresee future need to add storage), Intel Xeon processors,

    I am assuming that you mean a Tower server? Physically, obviously, you need only a single server. So having a server rack is likely overkill. A whole rack just to hold one small server probably doesn't make sense.

    Intel Xeon processor, singular. A single processor will be way more than what you need unless there is something that you have not mentioned here. File servers, Sharepoint, AD, web servers are all things that use very little processor and only seventy users, that's not much at all.

    I'm confused you ask what form factor but earlier you asked which cloud host. Surely it is one or the other. If you are going with a cloud system you will have no physical server. If you have a physical server, you will have no cloud host?



  • @reid-cooper Yeah a lot of what Hari has said don't add up.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    This is a conflict in two ways.

    First: Never apply arbitrary rules when they aren't in line with your goals, this is illogical.
    Second: Open source is specifically vastly better specifically for security. I think you worded this incorrectly. If security was your goal, it is closed source you'd be wary to use, not open.

    Do you have a macro to respond to stuff like this, or do you type it up each time?

    🙂



  • @BRRABill said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @scottalanmiller said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @hari said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    Server Brand, Family Model and Server OS (security has to be top notch no opensource please 😊)?

    This is a conflict in two ways.

    First: Never apply arbitrary rules when they aren't in line with your goals, this is illogical.
    Second: Open source is specifically vastly better specifically for security. I think you worded this incorrectly. If security was your goal, it is closed source you'd be wary to use, not open.

    Do you have a macro to respond to stuff like this, or do you type it up each time?

    🙂

    LOL, I type it up each time. If I get to the macro point, I write an article and link it.



  • If you do a search on the title here, you get this same topic, with no responses from the OP, in a few other locations. I think he ran away or something.



  • The best answer I've seen from another site is the one from LastChip at Tech Advisor by IDG:

    "Why do you think many of the top tech companies in the world use Linux?

    If you mean you're bringing this in house, you'd better have a world class security expert to monitor it. Security for a legal firm would be a nightmare and any breach could be catastrophic to your companies reputation.

    I for one, wouldn't offer any guidance as it needs in depth analysis by an expert in your field.

    With respect, the fact you're asking theses questions suggests you don't have that level of expertise."



  • Following up @hari, you had loads of responses in minutes. And we keep watching over this. I haven't seen you follow up here or any other community you joined for this question. Is there more that we can help with?



  • @Texkonc it's been a long time since ML has seen a 1PW.



  • what's 1PW?



  • one post wonder?



  • @Donahue said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    one post wonder?

    Exactly.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    @Donahue said in Server Setup for Legal Firm:

    one post wonder?

    Exactly.

    1PW's drive me absolutely insane. Between here (which has been realllllllly nice) and 🌶 , I wish their was a count at the top for how many times the original poster replied.

    Nothing worse than seen 5 pages of replies asking for further info to solve their problem when the 1PW abandons the post.



  • I've seen other forums that required things like higher post counts before being able to start a new thread. I am not sure of that solves the problem or just moves it to somewhere else. I think I have also seen where new users must post to the "newbie" section before a moderator would unlock their access to post in the other sections, that way they didn't dilute the main content. I am not sure if that is a good idea or not, but it is something that is sometimes done.


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