Commerce Server Deployment Series – Part 4: Standalone and Dedicated Servers

The Standalone Server

The Standalone Server has a very simple topology – that of a single box. It is intended that all software be installed on this box. Typically secure configuration is a non-concern in this type of scenario, as it is typically intended for some sort of demonstration or development (as opposed to production task).

Some resultant considerations with respect to software include:

· Windows Server must be utilized, as both Commerce Server and SharePoint have dependencies that preclude them from being run on Windows client operating systems.

· In a standalone configuration, the cheapest editions of Windows, SQL, and BizTalk + the free WSS probably make the most sense, as the additional capabilities of higher end editions will not be effectively leveraged in a single server deployment scenario.

From a performance perspective, this solution should really only be utilized for development, evaluation, and demonstration purposes.

This corresponds well to the Single Server deployment of Commerce Server as described in the product’s documentation.

The Dedicated Server


This scenario represents the true operational baseline for deploying Commerce Server 2007 – and would represent something typical of what would be experienced when leasing inexpensive dedicated servers for a small/medium business’s hosted Commerce Server site.

The main difference between this and the Standalone Server configuration is that SQL Server is optionally partitioned out onto a separate box, typical of the shared SQL Server environments in use within many Internet hosting providers.

This corresponds well to the Single Server deployment of Commerce Server as described in the product’s documentation.

Virtualization Considerations

Additionally, virtualization has the potential to make a significant impact on this configuration as hardware could potentially be best utilized to have many separate virtual dedicated servers running Commerce Server running on the same physical piece of hardware.

Database Deployment Configurations

If SQL Server is configured on the same box as Commerce Server, either SQL Authentication or Windows Authentication can be leveraged. Windows Authentication is the preferred and default mode. If SQL Server is run on a separate box, it probably makes the most sense to use SQL Authentication as many hosting environments do not utilize Active Directory, which would preclude the use of Windows Authentication. SQL Authentication is also considerably easier to configure and support in an environment where multiple sites are being stored on the same SQL Server.

From a software deployment perspective, it probably makes the most sense to leave all Commerce Server resources in the same database – as there are no inherent performance or logical separation advantages required to have separate databases per resource – and indeed the support cost of such for an Internet hosting provider might be somewhat prohibitive for both the end customer and hosting provider.

Hardware Considerations

The following should be contemplated from a hardware perspective:

· Network – Network is a potentially bigger bottleneck than one might think in this scenario. If there are multiple single servers pointing to a single SQL Server, sufficient bandwidth must exist between the Web Servers and SQL to prevent saturation. Likewise, if multiple servers are virtualized on the same piece of hardware, network bandwidth must be sufficient to handle the traffic of all servers in aggregate – potentially requiring more network interface cards to be installed. Separately, from a security perspective it might make sense to dual home servers if a separate SQL back-end is utilized to provide for maximum security.

· Firewall – It is recommended that a hardware firewall be put between the Commerce Server system and the Internet. It is also recommended that another hardware firewall be put between Commerce Server and SQL Server – if appropriate.

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