The EBS product is unique in that it is intended to provide a complete Windows based IT infrastructure for medium sized companies that is deployed all at once as a single product. During the course of the EBS deployment Windows 2008, Exchange 2007, System Center Essentials, Forefront Threat Management Gateway along with unique EBS software are installed and configured in a “best practices” deployment across three servers.
There have been questions about how to approach planning the timing of the deployment of EBS, and where in the deployment timeline are there logical “break points” where a user can pause before continuing with the deployment. To phrase the question another way, people have been asking how long can a user can “take a break” between the different deployment stages and between the tasks that are within the stages.
Here is a framework for thinking about the logical stages of EBS deployment with rough estimates of time for each of the stages and where “break points” exist during the deployment process.
Note that your mile will vary on the timing of completing the tasks within the stages. These times are used as examples for planning purpose only.
Figure 1 EBS Deployment Stages
There are three major stages that occur during an EBS deployment (see Figure 1 – EBS Deployment Stages).
1. Stage 1 – Prepare Environment and Plan for the Deployment
2. Stage 2 – Install the EBS server roles
3. Stage 3 – Perform final Configurations steps & Migrate workloads to EBS servers
This is the stage where the user plans & prepares for the deployment and uses EBS’s Planning and Preparation Wizards to help with the process.
1. Prepare Environment – Run the EBS Preparation Wizard to detect conditions in the Windows Server IT infrastructure that need to be corrected to ensure a successful EBS installation. The Wizard will detect blocking conditions in the existing environment and provide guidance on how to correct the conditions. The total amount of time to run the Preparation Wizard and detect and correct conditions is dependent on the state of the environment that the wizard is being run in. Some environments have many issues that need to be corrected before continuing.
Timing - Plan on spending a minimum of three hours during the prepare environment phase.
Break Point(s) – The user can run the wizard as many times as necessary (and take breaks between each run) to correct detected environmental conditions.
2. Plan for EBS Installation – Run the EBS Planning Wizard to help you gather the parameters that will be required when you run the Installation Wizard. The Planning Wizard is useful to help you think through how EBS will be integrated into your environment. The output of the Planning Wizard is a checklist that can be used when running the EBS Installation wizard.
Timing - Plan on spending a minimum of three hours during the planning phase.
Break Point(s) –The Planning Wizard needs to be run within fourteen days of completing the Preparation Wizard.
This is the stage where the user installs the EBS server roles (Management, Security and Messaging) on three servers.
1. Install Management Server Role – Run the EBS installation wizard to install the Management Server role.
Timing - Plan on approximately three hours to complete the Management Server installation wizard.
Break Point(s) – The Management Server installation wizard needs to be run within fourteen days of completing the Planning Wizard.
2. Install Security Server Role – Run the EBS installation wizard to install the Security Server role.
Timing – Plan on approximately two hours to complete the Security Server installation wizard.
Break Point(s) – The Security Server installation cannot be completed until the Management Server install has completed. There is no enforced timing between when the Management Server has completed and when you need to start install of the Security Server.
3. Install Messaging Server Role – Run the EBS installation wizard to install the Messaging Server role.
Timing – Plan on approximately two hours to complete the Messaging Server installation wizard.
Break Point(s) – The Messaging Server installation cannot be completed until the Security Server install has completed. There is no enforced timing between when the Security Server has completed and when you need to start the install of the Messaging Server.
This is the stage where the user performs the configuration tasks that complete the EBS deployment and to migrate data from existing workloads to the newly installed EBS environment.
1. Configure EBS – Perform the configuration steps to complete the EBS deployment such as configure System Center Essentials (SCE) and configure EBS licensing (CALS).
Timing - Plan on approximately two hours to complete the Management Server configuration tasks
Break Point(s) – The initial licensing configuration must be completed within 30 days. Otherwise, there are no dependencies or forced timing for completing the individual configuration tasks.
2. Migrate to EBS – Perform the steps to migrate the data from existing workloads to the equivalent workloads running in EBS.
Timing – The timing for migration is variable and depends on which workloads you are planning on migrating to EBS. For example, if the user plans on continuing to use an existing DHCP service, then there is no need to plan for the DHCP migration. Another timing variable to consider is how big the data sets are that you are migrating. For example, the timing of the Exchange mailbox migration is dependent on the size of each user’s mailboxes and how big the existing Exchange mailbox database is. Plan for a minimum of three hours to complete the Management Server migration tasks.
Break Point(s) – There are no dependencies or forced timing for completing the individual migration tasks. The user can complete them on a schedule that makes the most sense for their business.