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33
votes
5answers
7k views

What to look for in a server rack?

I'm looking to purchase a rack/enclosure for some servers. As this is my first time shopping for this type of equipment, I need to know what to look for. I'm asking not only about how to buy the rack, ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

What else do I get with Cat 6 beyond future proofing my wiring?

We are about to put in the wiring in an expansion of our office building and the vendor is proposing we use Cat 6 cabling because it is "faster." Gigabit works fine over Cat 5e which is what our ...
16
votes
4answers
523 views

Starting a branch office on the other side of the world

Going to cut right to the point on this question, as I'm after as diverse range of solutions as possible so don't want to effect any opinions with the question too much. Client is a UK based company....
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What is meant when IT Infrastructure people refer to the “Stack”

Can someone please define what exactly is the "Stack". I know its an industry term but its very vague. I am referring to Infrastructure terminology not "Stack" in terms of memory allocation.
11
votes
3answers
628 views

What types of systems have to “scale up” rather than “scale out”?

I have been wondering for a long time if there are systems that have to "scale up" (onto a more powerful, more expensive server) rather than "scale out" by being split across many smaller servers. ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

guidelines for wiring an office

Does anyone have a link for recommended network wiring for office space? Runs per wall plate, wall plates per room, that sort of thing.
9
votes
2answers
322 views

My server setup for a heavily used API

I will soon be buying a bunch of servers for an application that I am about to launch but I have concerns about my setup. I appreciate any feedback I get. I have an application which will make use of ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

How to build network across buildings?

I need some help in building a network between hundreds of computers spread across multiple buildings of my college. Yes, I'll be doing this as a part of my college project. Please see this image, it ...
8
votes
2answers
830 views

10GBASE-T shielded cable switch-to-server connection

I'm venturing for the first time into the 10 gigabit (over copper) realm. Likewise, I have never worked with shielded CAT-5/6 cables previously. From my own research, I understand the types and ...
7
votes
4answers
914 views

Release Management for Infrastructure [closed]

Does anyone use release management principals for system administration of infrastructure in the same way it is done for software development? I have been in the system administration field for more ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

How to properly deploy multiple computer labs and have room for future expansion?

I am currently the only computer guy at a high school (small budget). Currently, there is no real infrastructure in place. There are just office computers connected to a consumer grade router that ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What causes network cable to not work?

I've installed a bunch of cat-5 and when I check it for continuity and polarity it seems fine, but when I hook up a pair of laptops with a x-over cord and try to ping between them, they can detect ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

When should an org invest in a private infrastructure as opposed to a partially or fully hosted solution? [duplicate]

Not referring to militaries or governments, but for other organizations or shops that needs an IT infrastructure (who doesn't nowadays). Similar to this question, but purely in regard to hardware and/...
6
votes
3answers
236 views

Oracle: 1 Large Server vs. 2 Smaller Servers?

We are in the planning stages of setting up our production Oracle 10gR2 environment. Our budget gives us the ability to buy 2 processor licenses of Oracle DB Standard Edition. We have minimal ...
5
votes
5answers
536 views

What are good practices for distinguishing production environment from others? [closed]

My main area of work is programming, and I sometimes have to perform some actions on production servers (when deploying application or configuring something...). So my question is, what should be ...
5
votes
3answers
944 views

Design Critique Needed ( VLAN & ESXi )

So this is my new "project" which consists of tearing down our legacy network and re-doing it correctly. As of now it is a mess. Production is a hogpoge of legacy servers that should have been put to ...
5
votes
3answers
127 views

Small store infrastructure - where to begin? [closed]

It looks like my older brother is about to change jobs - from lawyer to shooting range proprietor - and since I'm the family 'computer guy' I have the task of coming up with and setting up the in-...
5
votes
2answers
305 views

Small Scale Point-to-Point Fibre optics

I'm faced with a bit of a dilemma with regards to stretching a 100base-T network from building to building. The site is a racetrack (cars) with a control tower, housing race control, admin and a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use terraform.io to change the image of a stateful server without downtime or data loss?

Say I have application servers, database servers, and a few dns-round-robin load balancers. All this powered by images created with Packer with deployment managed with Terraform. How do I change the ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Do you really need cable management for a cabinet with just switches and patch panels?

We are about to start wiring out a building expansion and our vendor has laid out the racks in the following configuration: Option 1 1U Fiber patch panel 2U Cable Manager 2U 48 port Patch Panel 2U ...
4
votes
4answers
982 views

What is the best backup solution for VMware Infrastructure system that hosts a wide variety of VMs?

In a situation where you are running: VMware Infrastructure 4.x with multiple hosts Over 150 VMs with a wide variety of operating systems (Linux in a half dozen distros, Solaris, every MS version, ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Nginx, Varnish, ESI - Will that work?

I've serveral backends (one is nginx+passenger) to combine via ESI. Since I don't want to go without gzip/deflate and SSL varnish can't do the job out of the box. So I thought about the following ...
4
votes
4answers
469 views

Creating an office network and monitoring all activity without a proxy

We are setting up our office network and would like to track all the websites visited by our employees. However, we would not like to use any proxy based solutions. Our work is highly dependent on ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Beginning a company's digital certificate infrastructure [closed]

What type of digital certificate product do I need to begin a digital security infrastructure within my company and for use by our customers (pre-trusted by chaining)? I believe I need some kind of ...
4
votes
3answers
407 views

How to handle server failure in an n-tier architecture?

Imagine I have an n-tier architecture in an auto-scaled cloud environment with say: a load balancer in a failover pair reverse proxy tier web app tier db tier Each tier needs to connect to the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Recommendation for a small redundant VM infrastructure?

We currently have an active-active 2 node cluster running virtual machines. Every node has two disks, every disk is DRBD mirrored on the other node. Every node runs virtual machines out of his primary ...
4
votes
1answer
465 views

Tool for network/infrastructure graph [closed]

I search for Linux a graphic tool to document our network/server infrastructure. A script that converts maybe some textual representation into dot (i.e. graphviz) would be enough. Nodes should be ...
4
votes
1answer
353 views

Fibre Optic Cabling - Where to start?

I'm a sysadmin/developer that works for a small IT company. We are having a new office building built, and we have a limited time window in which to put in the core infrastructure network cabling that ...
3
votes
5answers
362 views

How to convince a corporation to use DNS? [closed]

This is not the first time in my life when I have to convince a smaller corporation about using DNS service instead of /etc/hosts files and IP addresses. It might seem silly/funny at the first time, ...
3
votes
9answers
883 views

active directory or workgroup for production machines

The old school of thought was that application and database servers should not be part of the domain. I have my network setup such that only the app servers can communicate with the db servers. The ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Out of band notification when UPS loses mains power?

We're currently looking into upgrading our UPS and possibly having a small petrol generator on site in the eventuality that the UPS battery is used long enough to drain it completely. Realistically, ...
3
votes
1answer
778 views

Rails/Mongo across multiple different geo-regions

I have a system that by necessity requires physical presence in three or more different locations and I need advice on structuring in such a way that my database stays replicated in a timely manner ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

A plan to mitigate PDU failures?

A client just experienced a complete failure of an APC AP7911A switched/metered rack power distribution unit (PDU). This obviously took all of the connected equipment down with it. The equipment is ...
3
votes
4answers
118 views

Managing a Testing Infrastructure

We're currently running continuous automated functional tests against the CI builds of our software. This is done on a variety of Windows based machines (around 10-15 boxes or VMs), to identify ...
3
votes
3answers
326 views

IT merger - self-sufficient site with domain controller VS thin clients outpost with access to terminal server

SITUATION: A larger company acquires a smaller one. IT infrastructure has to be merged. There are no immediate plans to change the current size or role of the smaller company - the offices and ...
3
votes
3answers
245 views

Tool to describe information about infrastructure

I'm looking for something to describe existing infrastructure of working applications. What I need: The ability to create new entities, add/edit properties of entity. Example of entity is Windows ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Detecting Infrastructure Provider in Puppet

Note: we use Puppet standalone (master-less) i.e. puppet apply. Usually, while deploying a web application there are a number of back-end services and applications that run behind the front-facing ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

IT Considerations for a company name change

Nothing is "for sure" yet but there is a good chance my company will be changing it's name in the future. Our IT requirements are relatively modest - Exchange server, IIS, MSSQL, etc. My question ...
3
votes
1answer
18 views

Should our traffic drive our system design or our system design drive our traffic?

A few weeks ago, I have moved to a new company as Linux system administrator, they are going to start a project of moving production servers infrastructure from a data center to Amazon AWS. They are ...
2
votes
4answers
208 views

Cost saving measures from an IT perspective [closed]

We're looking at cutting costs in all departments, which of course, includes IT. There wasn't a whole lot of ideas other than auto-shutdown of all workstations at x-time and having low consumption ...
2
votes
3answers
479 views

Wireless network infrastructure for an office with 40 employees

In my company we're facing connectivity problems due to our not very professional network infrastructure. We're growing now, and we expect to be 40 people at the office by the end of the year. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Looking for recommendations on how to evaluate replacement of on-premise server with new server or go to cloud

My business has about 15 people in a single location. We've lived forever off a local Windows Server for file sharing (about 800 GB) and access to our accounting system, which is also file system ...
2
votes
5answers
321 views

VOIP Power outage strategy

In the past 2 years, we have had 4 instances where we have been without power for a period of 4-6 hours - due to construction crews cutting power lines, car accidents involving downed power lines, etc....
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens with the Guest OS's on ESXi in the event of a power failure?

Many small businesses would prefer to let their server drop on power failure than to pay even $100 for a cheap UPS. It's often difficult to convince them of the value of something like that; it's why ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

Pros and cons of using appliances [closed]

I previously had negative feelings toward dedicated appliances. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and knowing the ins and outs of our infrastructure. However, after some discussion with my colleague ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

How do you ensure that two data network links have no SPOF?

How do you ensure that two data network links have no SPOF (Single Point of Failure)? We are working on a datacenter network connectivity and need to ensure that there will be no SPOF. We will have ...
2
votes
3answers
47 views

How can I keep a third-party cloud provider accountable for guest VM performance?

I support an ERP system for a manufacturer. We're experiencing intermittent application performance issues on our database, hosted on VMware by a third-party cloud provider. (They're a smaller ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

How to design the infrastructure for an application serving USA and Canada?

I am developing a service that will be applicable for both Americans and Canadians, the data collected and stored are not legally allowed to cross the borders...which is new to my knowledge. So what ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Can unjacketed cable handle gigabit speeds?

Looking at taking over management of an old network that was done in 2004. Surprisingly, for the time, it is category 6 cable. About 200 ports in each of 5 IDFs, all running PoE. But I'm worried the ...
2
votes
1answer
318 views

using pgpool doesn't see a list of variables into group_var directory

I am using Ansible + Vagrant to create my infrastructure or make a little simulation of I wish. It installing postgres and creating a ssh directory to store the differents keys for each host. It is ...