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Small dental business

Last response: in Business Computing
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December 7, 2013 10:49:30 PM

So I'm a college student working on a final project given by my professor, and I'm looking for some help. The details of the project are here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y4s_AKTUE9EyNj740bm... Basically, it is a scenario to setup a proposal for server management for a small dental business that will also be having another office serve as a satellite to the main office. I'm really only looking for help on the first part of the project (Component 1), as the 2nd part is straightforward (though if you have something you'd like to share about component 2, that's fine as well). Anyways, after looking it over, how would you guys approach this scenario? What would be your solution? Would you go with a cloud solution or otherwise? Any tips/comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! You can be as general or as specific as you'd like, the more information the better :)  Also, I'm sorry if this isn't the correct forum to post this. It seemed the most relevant to my question.

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December 7, 2013 11:21:45 PM

your first step is look into fed hippa laws on data back up and transmission of medial info. myself i look into dell blade server and network storage for inhouse that can grow as needed. (rack). then have a vpn hardware for the other office.
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December 8, 2013 8:43:23 PM

What would you guys suggest for data backup for a small business like that? Just a RAID 5 array?
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December 9, 2013 12:35:52 AM

First of all, you really don't have enough information to really begin here so in real life you would have to meet with the client to get more details and make an assessment of the needs of the client and the capabilities of the software to architect a solution. One major glaring questions that comes to my mind, what are the capabilities of the practice management software? For example some Dental Practice Managment software packages not only include patient information, scheduling and billing information but they also include patient digital x-rays and also include modules for insurance billing and external communications etc etc.

Now, lets make some assumptions and look at this from a practical cost perspective.

(1) You would have to go to a private cloud solution to avoid any possibilities for issues with HIPPA or customer data issues.
(2) Private Cloud would not be cost effective for the size of the practice. This is a small practice that is already concerned about cost.
(3) Since this would be satellite office, you would primarily be concerned with unified scheduling for both offices which can be handled by remote login for scheduling or a replicated scheduler.
(4) I would recommend a two node system with a private VPN between the two offices with a replicated data store.

One more note: Raid5 is not a backup solution. You will need a true backup and recovery media in case of true systems failure.
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December 9, 2013 12:45:56 AM

#1 find out how much a t1 with a secure pipeline between both carriers would cost (Or maybe a secure cable business connection if it is available in your area...cheaper). You would need to have a secure pipeline between the two or provide proof that both of the offices are going to be able to transmit private data without fear of hacking.
Just a SCSI RAID 5 Array. And make sure that the thing has a tape backup drive. Or some form of Nightly backup to a remote system. TRUST ME IT WILL SAVE YOUR JOB AND YOUR LIFE ONE DAY.
So your just going to have a DC already set up and use a secondary box as the datacenter?
I probably would do that.
Have 1 main sys as the Domain controller and a secondary blade as the SQL Center.
Little bit more expensive but more worthwhile. We had a redundant system when I was working in IT and when our dc crashed (raid controller crashed-dell) it took up the slack on the orders.
So you have your domain and dns in one box and you have your SQL with DTS on the other box.
Users logging in and accessing the software pointed to the dts through the domain. Bing done.

Verified to hold its own.
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December 9, 2013 10:28:36 PM

All of the advice is much appreciated! I think i have a pretty good idea -- at least baseline -- where to start. I obviously haven't had any real world experience building a server infrastructure for small businesses -- or any actual real world client for that matter -- so the advice given here is invaluable to me. I could obviously do the project given all the theoretical material I know, but I've always been a much more practical learner in that I want to hear how you would build servers in the real world from people who have experience in the industry. Anyways, thanks again for the replies! I'll keep checking back the forums in the next few days while i'm working on the project to see if there are any additional posts (so dont be shy about posting your opinion on this project if you haven't already, it won't be completed for the next few days.)

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Best solution

December 10, 2013 2:44:37 AM

Good luck on your project.
Remember, there are many ways to "Skin the Cat" but there is one thing that you will find in the real world is that every client wants to get it done as cheaply as possible and your job will be to find solutions that work. In my opinion, IT is absolute! It is either Pay Now or Pay Later. If you scrimp on the front end, you will pay on the back end! :) 

You will also find a plethora of opinions that are based on the experiences of the various consultants and that is OK, but every workable solution may not pass the feasibility test for the client.

Good Luck on your project and do what makes sense to you! This is your creation!

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