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Site Server - Commerce Edition Sample Site Architecture Diagrams

September 1999 

Introduction

This document contains three diagrams of the site architecture of a sample Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition (SS3CE) installation. The diagrams are based on a real Site Server Commerce deployment and are presented as an example of how a commerce site should be deployed. The diagrams are:

  • Architecture and Business Flow 

  • Software and Hardware Setup 

  • Network Topology 

The purpose of this document is to show architecturally how a commerce site is planned, developed, tested, and deployed. The actual number of users or shoppers this setup is capable of supporting varies greatly depending on the usage profile (traffic pattern, content, and design) of the site. To determine the capacity and actual hardware needs of your site, refer to the "Creating Usage Profile Reports" white paper available in Microsoft TechNet or the Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition version 2 Resource Kit.

The diagrams do not detail additional resources employed in a high capacity site. In a high capacity setup scenario, the following additional resources might be added for performance, reliability, and management purposes:

  • Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID) and Uninterruptible Power Supply/System (UPS). 

  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provide a redundant link to the Internet. 

  • Two local directories that can be used for dual backup. 

  • More than one Network Interface Card (NIC) can be used for backup traffic, SQL connectivity, Internet traffic, and administrative purposes. 

  • Systems Management Server (SMS), Remote Control, and pcAnywhere can be used to remotely administer the servers. 

Architecture and Business Flow

Figure 1 illustrates the architecture and business flow of the sample site:

Figure 1 Architecture and Business Flow Diagram 

In the architecture and business flow diagram, you see that the sample site has the original catalog and product inventory database on the corporate network, which is run on IBM AS/400 servers. The following table explains the functions of the other sites.

Site

Site at which…

Development (1)

Developers, designers, and feature testers build and test site configuration and performance.
System administrators also manage the servers at other sites from the development site.

Testing/Staging Site (2)

Stress testers validate the new content before it is deployed on the production site. In addition, a stress test is performed to simulate a real deployment load. The test site exactly duplicates the production site in all respects.

Production Site (3)

This is the live site that is connected to the Internet and interacts with users visiting the site. It is deployed only after the content has been validated on the staging site.

Call Center/Order Processing (4)

Orders are entered after they are received from the production site. (Order entry can either be a manual or an automated process.)

The product database is pulled from the corporate network AS/400s database and sent to the development, test, and production sites' SQL Server. This database update is done after midnight daily to synchronize new product and inventory information.

The Web Server and SQL Servers are used to serve Web pages and provide product database information. The Microsoft® Exchange Servers are used to send order information by e-mail. Orders at the sample site are generated and sent to order entry operators to be entered into the AS/400 database. This process can be streamlined so that orders are entered directly into the AS/400 database, thus eliminating the need for the Exchange e-mail server and manual order entry.

Software and Hardware Setup

Figure 2 shows how the software and hardware is set up at each of the sample sites.

Note Some of the software listed below may be outdated. Please see the current Site Server Installation instructions at http://support.microsoft.com/support/siteserver/install_ss3.asp .

Figure 2 Software and Hardware Setup 

All computers are equipped with two Compaq Netflex 10/100 Ethernet NIC, Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0 SP3, and Microsoft SQL Server™ 6.5 with SP4.

Site

Hardware/Software

Corporate Network (New York, San Jose)

IBM AS/400s are located at both of the corporate sites.

Development Site (1)

The development site is equipped with the following software and hardware:
· Microsoft Exchange 5.5/WINS on one 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)
· Microsoft Site Server 3.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 on one 4 x 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)
· SMS on one 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)
· Product database (Microsoft SQL Server 6.5) on one 4 x 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)

Test Site (2)

The test site is equipped with the following software and hardware (an exact duplicate of the software and hardware located at the production site):
· Microsoft Site Server 3.0 on four 4 x 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)
· Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 on two 4 x 400 Mhz Xeon (1G RAM 53G SCSI)
· Microsoft Exchange 5.5 on two 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)

Production Site (3)

The production site is equipped with the same software and hardware as the test site.

Call Center/ Order Processing (4)

The call center/order processing is equipped with the following software and hardware:
· Microsoft Site Server 3.0 on one 4 x 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)
· Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 on one 4 x 400 Mhz Xeon (1G RAM 53G SCSI)
· Microsoft Exchange 5.5 on one 400 Mhz Xeon (512 MB)

For information on site capacity and performance planning and management, see the Capacity and Performance section of the Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition Resource Kit, located in Microsoft TechNet.

Network Topology

Figure 3 shows how the network is set up at each of the sample sites.

Figure 3 Network Topology 

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