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Can you please advise me on a server?

I need to buy a server that will run an e-learning intranet. And your advice on what to buy would be greatly appreciated.

Or even at least if you can direct me to the correct source of information online this would be greatly appreciated.

The server must be capable of running an intranet which has been built using .net technology (win 2000/2003 server) and its data source which will be on the same machine will be sql server 2000. The web sites primary function is to serve up flash movies and at the same time track & train 100's of individuals. I am in a company that has approx 7000 employees so there could potentially be thousands logged on at any one time.

My problem is I know very little about servers and dont want to buy something which will be inadequate for the job.

If you could suggest a spec that would be suitable this would be excellent. My company generally uses Dell but I will look at other options if you think they are better.

I know this is not strictly a network question but I wasn't sure where else on this site to post a question about servers, and generally network geeks have a reasonable knowledge of servers so there you go.

Regards

Paul G
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pgilfeather
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pgilfeather
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4 Solutions
 
pseudocyberCommented:
That's a pretty tough call for us to make online, or for you to figure out through online advice and/or literature.  You really have to evaluate your Network infrastructure, the application, the business demands, expected utilization, etc.

There's a lot to think about - how much bandwidth are you going to need, can your network take it, do you have physical security, redundant power, what kind of uptime do you need (how many 9's?), a data backup strategy, what kind of support staff, how big the app is, how big the data portion is expected to be, etc., etc.

My best advice, hire a consultant.
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Yea, probably a good idea (consultant).  But, I will take a stab at this...  

Consider a dual processor system (probably Xeons), a couple Gigs of RAM (high quality), a high end RAID 5 array running on a good SCSI card (10,000 rpm drives).

And as ps mentioned, bandwidth will be a big concern.   You can get Gigabit NIC cards, but remember that you need a high end switch to support this.  And if you are running a large domain, consider switches with VLAN support so you can cut down on broadcasts.

FE
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luv2smileCommented:
Well with over 7000 employees and a web server and running sql server...then I would highly suggestion MORE THAN ONE server especially if you will be running a 2000/2003 domain.

So that is my next question. Are you planning on running a 2000/03 domain?

If so then you'll want ATLEAST 2-3 servers. 2 at the minimum because one will have to be your domain controller (and you should really have 2 domain controllers for backup and reduncacy purposes).  And with that kind of network and load, you will NOT want to install SQL or even the web server on the domain controller(s).

So I hate to tell you, but you're not looking at just setting up one server or a simple network...you'll need some knowledge and probably experience to be able to setup this kind of complex setup. And as said above, you need to evaluate lots of other things as well.
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pseudocyberCommented:
Yeah, I meant to mention that you might need more than one server, especially for redundancy purposes.  So, you might be looking at a server farm with some kind of network load balancing thrown in.  I think a consultant is called for even more.
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Me too...  missed the part about 7000 users..  LOL, eh?  Way too much load for one server.  But if this is going to be eLearning, you probably don't need a Domain build, but multiple servers will be required.  
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Thanks!
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