HELP: Layman's terms for boss about NICs

Microsoft Windows server 2008 r2 enterpr...
November 5, 2010 at 13:15:26
Specs: Windows Server 2008 R2
1. They have A windows Server 2008 R2 server with 2 onboard NICs. They have a single switch connected. One NIC has the main IP and gateway and is what internet traffic is NAT-ed to. The 2nd NIC has the same gateway and an IP in that subnet and is for other traffic. I know from experience they should not both have gateways even if in same subnet.

2. The same server is connected to a layer 2 switch with no VLANs set up. Connected to that switch is an iSCSI SAN that serves up storage to the server over the 2nd IP. I am failing to explain to them why it is valuable for security and performance reasons why they should either use VLANs or get a separate switch for the iSCSI traffic. They do need to be able to replicate that SAN storage over the WAN so it can't be completely isolated. They are basically using a flat network and the server is getting hosed.

3. Lastly, Every SAN vendor I've ever worked with has recommended purchasing separate iSCSI HBA cards instead of using the onboard NICs that come with most servers today (ours come with 4 onboard). Again I can't figure out how to explain to them that the HBAs take load off the server's CPU and motherboard.

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November 8, 2010 at 08:10:35

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November 9, 2010 at 13:51:03
I wouldn't worry about it. Unless your desperate for their business id simply wait until they call you when they have an issue. Which judging by the horrid mess of set-up they have is inevitable.

SAN's replicating over a WAN? No VLAN's? iSCSI over a flat network with all the other broadcast traffic? Multi homed server with dual gateway? Thats just a hot hot mess.

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November 9, 2010 at 13:56:43
Hehe. Actually I'm a full time employee there now. Trouble is there's an IT guy above me (who implemented the setups) and the CEO knows he's made mistakes. I just want to be able to coherently explain why we need to change this.

I got them to change the default gateway issue. That's done. The last two parts are critical: 1: separating out the iSCSI traffic into a different VLAN if not onto a different switch altogether. 2: getting separate iSCSI HBA NIC cards. Any idea how to explain this in simple terms?

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