Planning Your Proxy Server Implementation
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Your Proxy Server Implementation
A key factor in determining the success
of any installation is planning. Planning involves several phases-from
understanding your current capabilities, to determining your current needs,
anticipating your future needs, and, ultimately, finding a viable solution.
We have all been in situations where the immediate need surpassed the need
for planning and the installation was rushed. More often than not, the
installation had to be repeated to correct problems. Microsoft stresses
successful planning techniques, both to ease the initial installation and
as a preventative troubleshooting task.
The Site Analysis Process
A key consideration of planning future
network capacity is determining what services, users, and data will be
present on the network. Take the time to complete a thorough site analysis.
A bit of formal analysis now will ease the process of upgrading and configuring
the system later. Don\'t succumb to the "easy way out." Planning can be
a long and arduous task that is overlooked far too often, but one that
pays off ultimately. Network Capacity Analysis
The capacity of a network is that network\'s
ability to support the amount of data transmitted over it. A network that
can support the activity of your organization today may not be able to
support the increased activity level when Internet access is offered via
Proxy Server. You need to carefully consider the performance ramifications
of adding new information services to an already overtaxed network.
Although Proxy Server\'s ability to cache
resources saves on performance over the Internet communication link, it
does not decrease the amount of data ultimately transferred to the client.
Even if 100 percent of requested data is stored in the proxy server\'s cache,
it will still be sent across your local network to the client computer,
increasing network traffic significantly.
The first step in network capacity analysis
is to define a baseline profile of the performance levels of your current
network by using Performance Monitor and Network Monitor. This involves
sampling various aspects of your network over several days. Examine these
readings to decipher what is normal and abnormal about how your network
performs. This includes pinpointing which areas of your network experience
the heaviest load, which users or applications cause the most traffic,
and if there are failure points (for example, broken cables, bad connectors,
failed links, or misconfigured protocols). Compare the actual traffic and
performance levels on your network with the known capacity of the hardware
that composes your network.
For example, if you\'re using 10Mbps NICs
and hubs on your network and the average network load is around 7 or 8Mbps,
you have little room for additional traffic. A network consistently operating
at 70 percent of available capacity would experience severe performance
degradation if Internet information services were added to the existing
As mentioned earlier, adding one or more
Internet services to your current network will increase network traffic
levels significantly. Often, adding Internet services requires an increase
in the capacity of your network. Some considerations involved in expanding
the capacity of your network include the following:
ä The number and type of services
provided by the proxy server
ä The number of users accessing those
ä The restrictions that will be implemented
(particular users or groups, time of day, or amount of data)
ä The number of users that may be
added in the next year
Determining your current needs involves
making a list of services and features required on your network to improve
or expand its current capabilities. This list can range from information
services, to security restrictions, to content sources. To help you focus
on this process, the following questions related to this process have been
included. The needs analysis questions are divided into three categories:
ä Why do you need Internet access?
ä Connectivity What hardware do you
have? Does it need to be up-graded?
ä Security What type of access will
you allow through Proxy Server?
Why Grant Internet Access?
If you\'ve come to this section of the
book, you\'ve probably already decided to connect to the Internet using
Microsoft Proxy Server. However, the following are some questions to help
you justify this implementation:
ä What are the top three reasons
you need to add Internet access to your network?
ä How will your products and/or services
be improved with Internet access?
ä Is Internet access just today\'s
latest business fad or does it really offer solid, tangible benefits?
ä What exactly are you expecting
to happen once Internet access is added to your system?
ä What capabilities and services
are you expecting to deploy or derive from Internet access?
ä Will the majority of information
flow out from your