General networking advice

I'm thinking of expanding my companies computer infrastructure, and am considering how a network could be used. I have a limited budget, basically inititally I need 3 computers to work on. If I buy a server, initially could I use this to work and be a server as well, under Windows 2000?
Also, would I need to have Windows 2000 server installed, or initially could I run a kind of peer-peer netowkr as in '98?
YanwooAsked:
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evertdConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can also install Windows NT Workstation 4.0. with this you also have a peer -to-peer network and all security features of NT. But if you enough performance Win 2000 is perfect.
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jjeff1Commented:
Yes, all those things will work. What you want to do with the network is where this gets fuzzy.

If you want centralized printing and file sharing, the using a workstation as a server is probably OK, as long as the performance doesn't suffer. For this, you would use win98 fine.

If you plan on installing exchange for email and a proxy server and other stuff like that, then you will probably want a stand alone server. Then you want win2000.

Also, keep in mind that win98 only allows 10 connections. If you have nore than 10 clients, you need a server software. Something to keep in mind down the road.

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YanwooAuthor Commented:
If I purchased Windows 2000 proffessional for the three machines, with the future intention to purchase windows 2000 server, would I be able to network now with just professional?

If I purchase a server (I'm looking at a Dell Poweredge at the mo) could I use this as a normal workstation with professional, until I upgrade to 2000 server - when from what you say I assume it would have to become a dedicated server
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YanwooAuthor Commented:
I forgot to mention, one of the reasons why I'm dubious about '98 is the security thing. Setting up users and stuff doesn't seem very secure, I really need to restrict who can get on the network and the access priveledges they have.
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YanwooAuthor Commented:
I forgot to mention, one of the reasons why I'm dubious about '98 is the security thing. Setting up users and stuff doesn't seem very secure, I really need to restrict who can get on the network and the access priveledges they have.
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Tim HolmanCommented:
Have a look at www.homepclan.com
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evertdCommented:
i think nt workstation is good
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apaduaCommented:
Actually, even the Server can be used as a workstation. It's just that it was optimized to provide services, and not to be used as a WS. For example, if you're using Photoshop and a user is trying to check their e-mail, e-mail will probably get priority and your local user will suffer performance bottlenecks.

What you can do right now, since you only have 3 PC's, is to use Win2000 Professional on all of them.

You can still create users, integrate all 3 PC's into one network. You pick one PC to have the printer connected (if you have only one, that is), and share it from there. What you can do is create a folder on your machine with the most available hard drive real estate, and call it company. Share it, and put every single document, either from the user sitting on the machine of from one of your 2 peers, in this folder. Keeps duplicate files down, and makes backing up extremely easy. (I mentioned Win 2000 Pro, but WINNT 4 does the job too).

I think this would definitely be your cheapest solution. (If you wanna go really cheap, the other two PC's can be Win 95/98). But network integration isn't that good if you do that.

Good luck,

Andre.
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