An SME client at a local technology park was experiencing growing pains with their IT infrastructure. The infrastructure had grown organically with the addition of Linux servers as required to share files, run a CRM application, operate a VPN for remote workers, and host their code repository. They wanted to structure and formalise the setup, keeping everything in-house with minimal cloud services, and keep ongoing costs very low.
Their pain points were office firewall reliability, server uptime/reliability and recovery times, a lack of organised system patching, no system health monitoring, a lack of automated backup monitoring, and no centralised user management.
After much consultation P.S. Computer Services Ltd designed a brand new in-office IT infrastructure comprising fully redundant and affordable HP servers, a Cisco Meraki wireless firewall, and a fully open source and free Linux server network with web-based CRM and system health portals. The web-based system monitoring includes all aspects of server health, network performance, and the status of all backup jobs.
PSCS are operating an infrastructure monitoring and patching service remotely as the client grows accustomed to their new infrastructure, with the aim to hand over 100% of operations to their internal team within 6 months.
Ubuntu Server Linux was selected for the server operating system and a system of compartmentalised virtual machines was designed to ensure redundancy across the servers. The latest version of Samba was utilised for file sharing and centralised user management. Samba’s Linux-based Active Directory was fully integrated into the VPN, CRM, file server, and code repository. User management is via Microsoft’s own free graphical Active Directory management tools available for all the current versions of Microsoft Windows.
Each server uses Linux’s software RAID to eliminate single points of failure and continue to function when a disk fails. Virtual machines were also backed up for quick recovery on an alternate server should one physical server fail. Local backups were also copied to a third server and also remotely backed up to Amazon Web Services’ EU data centre in Ireland, utilising both Amazon's S3 storage service and Amazon's EC2 compute service to run a storage server. Backups include virtual machines, MySQL database snapshots, and full versioned backups of all user files.