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I've been tasked with building a Remote Desktop Services server. My machine is an HP DL380 with dual Xenon 3.6 GHz processors, 10GB RAM, 6x 73GB SCSI drives, Gig ethernet card, etc. It will have Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server management tools, Quickbooks, and a few other programs installed. It will be serving 35 employees, but realistically no more than five at a time.

What are some best practices or guidelines I should follow as far as RAIDing and partitioning the drives, setting up the OS, and hardening the box go?

Edit: this is my first time building a Windows server. I have had some Linux experience in the past.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Do you mean Terminal Services? If so you'll probably want one RAID set for the start up drive (personally, I would just create a RAID1 set with two of your six drives) and an additional RAID set for your data. I would create one partition on each RAID set (you'll have a C: and a D: drive basically). I would store the users data on the D: drive. As for hardening, you'll want to make sure the firewall is enabled (it is by default). When you add the Terminal Services component in Server Manager the correct and necessary ports will be automatically opened.

You will want to make sure that if your users aren't using redirected home directories (roaming profiles) that the local home directories are created on the data partition. This will hopefully cut down on your boot drive being filled up by careless users.

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Surprisingly, I don't mean Terminal Services. It was renamed to Remote Desktop Services a year ago.… – Chris Sep 10 '09 at 15:08
/pedantry. I was debating between creating a RAID1 for the OS and a RAID5 for the rest of the drives versus just making one big RAID5. The second option gives me more available space. Would reliability or speed be noticeably worse? – Chris Sep 10 '09 at 15:11
I'm a big believer in having the OS drive live on its own RAID if its possible. The performance of RAID5 isn't fantastic, but I've never hit any real bottle necks with it in a terminal server. – Josh Budde Sep 10 '09 at 19:04

The Windows Server 2008 Hardening Guide (above) is a great resource as well.

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