Overview

Typical of small to medium businesses with their own dedicated e-commerce presence, the Single Environment Web Farm provides a separation of functions for performance and redundancy’s sake to the maximum extent possible within a single physical environment. For most small to medium businesses with a few hundred to a few thousand orders per day, such a deployment makes perfect sense and provides a good tradeoff of cost vs. benefit (from performance, redundancy, etc. perspective). For discussion purposes, the assumption will be that the Standard Edition of Commerce Server 2009 will be utilized.

This scenario corresponds well to the Base Deployment of Commerce Server as identified in the product documentation. There are exceptions, however, based upon limitations of the Standard Edition of Commerce Server, specifically:

· There is no Data Warehouse, as that feature is not present in the Standard Edition of Commerce Server

· Web Services for hosting the business management tools will reside on the actual production Web services in the Web tier, given that no more than 2 Web servers can be in a Web farm for Commerce Server Standard Edition

Virtualization Considerations

As the point of this environment is to separate functions based upon performance and redundancy, it largely does not make sense to consider virtualization.

Software Considerations

The following software considerations should be taken into account:

· Operating Systems – The Web servers can leverage the base editions of Windows Server, such as Standard Edition or Web Edition. The Database Servers must use Enterprise Edition or another version that supports clustering in order to achieve redundancy. Domain Controllers must leverage at least Standard Edition.

· Commerce Server – Everything identified here can be deployed on the Standard Edition of Commerce Server. The only reasons that Enterprise Edition would need to be contemplated include:

o Need for beyond two processor sockets

o Need for greater than 10 sites or 1 application per Commerce Server instance

o The number of Web servers in the farm needs to scale beyond two

· SQL Server – Any version of SQL Server can be utilized that supports clustering.

· BizTalk – As clustering has been utilized, the Enterprise Edition of BizTalk must be utilized.

· Operations Manager – Any version supported by the base platforms can be chosen.

Hardware Considerations

In this configuration, there are quite a few hardware considerations that one must examine:

· Firewall

o A firewall should be utilized to separate the Web tier from the Internet, to prevent denial of service attacks.

o A second firewall should be utilized to provide redundancy

o It may make sense to have a firewall or VPN to corporate headquarters depending upon the actual geographical proximity of the servers.

o Firewalls should potentially be redundant to eliminate single points of failure.

· Load Balancer

o A hardware load balancer should be utilized, though it is possible to utilize the Windows Server Network Load Balancing feature for such a small environment.

o If a hardware load balancer is utilized, it should potentially be made redundant to eliminate a single point of failure.

· Network

o For the Web Servers, it makes the most sense to have these be dual-homed, with one NIC pointing to the Internet and the other pointing to the back-end.

o To minimize round trips, it makes the most sense to have the back-end of the Web servers, the SQL servers, and the BizTalk servers all running on the same network.

· Clustering-aware Hardware

o Both the SQL Server and BizTalk Server configurations must support Windows Server’s clustering capabilities.

· Server Hardware

o Moderate low-end to mid-range servers can be utilized across-the-board because the limits of transactions that can be supported by Standard Edition (typically 10K per day/less) do not warrant any specific server or other hardware considerations.

o The hardware required for this configuration is relatively fixed given the constraints of the Standard Edition of Commerce Server 2007, specifically:

§ Web Tier

· 2 Active Directory Domain Controllers

· 2 Web Servers (running both the site and Web Services for business management)

· 1-2 Operations Manager servers (depending upon the level of redundancy desired)

§ Data Tier

· 2 Clustered SQL Servers

· 2 Active Directory Domain Controllers

· 1-2 Operations Manager servers (depending upon the level of redundancy desired)

Directory Configuration

It is assumed that Active Directory with two trusted domains will be leveraged (one for the Web tier and one for the Data tier), with a set of common service accounts utilized across the Web and Data tier environments respectively. Depending on how things are connected to a back-office, this may be trusted with the corporate environment. It would not be advisable to leverage the same domain as the corporate environment, however.

Server Configurations

The hardware required for this configuration is relatively fixed given the constraints of the Standard Edition of Commerce Server 2007, specifically:

· Web Tier

o 2 Active Directory Domain Controllers

o 2 Web Servers (running both the site and Web Services for business management)

o 1-2 Operations Manager servers (depending upon the level of redundancy desired)

· Data Tier

o 2 Clustered SQL Servers

o 2 Active Directory Domain Controllers

o 1-2 Operations Manager servers (depending upon the level of redundancy desired)


Database Configurations

With two database servers in a cluster being utilized, an Active/Active cluster can be utilized to maximize hardware. Given this, it makes the most sense to have separate databases per Commerce Server resources. Given a mix of two servers, the most logical separation would be:

Server 1

Server 2

· MSCS_Admin

· Profiles

· Transactions and TransactionConfig

· Catalog (with Inventory included)

· Marketing

Given that this is a controlled, dedicated environment, it is assumed that Active Directory and Windows Authentication for SQL Server are in use.