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Do I need a server situation or a hosted server?

Posted on 2008-10-18
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I have a small business.  I have recently started using other recruiters to help me.  We often work on the same documents and need access to the same information.  The data I have is sensitive.  I wouldn't want it compromised.  I have, in the passed just emailed these documents back and forth, but they can end up very long and sometimes get corrupted.  I would also like to be able to work from other locations, such as when family obligations take me out of town.  I have recently purchased a Blackberry curve 8330 and a laptop with pc card to help be more mobil.  If away from my desk, I often use gotomypc to be able to access the information on my computer.  I have been out of the technology loop for a few years getting my business going, but now believe I need more technology to help be more productive.  Can anyone help.  Is a server situation what I need and if so, how do I set that up, how much will it cost, etc...
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Question by:EdytheR
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by:Philip Elder
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The Small Business Server Remote Web Workplace would provide the functionality you need:
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/07/25/443383.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/11/03/remote-web-workplace-rww-part-ii-controlling-portal-access.aspx

The CompanyWeb SharePoint site would provide the workflow control that you need with it facing both the internal network and the Internet via RWW or direct.

Philip
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by:tigermatt
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I would probably suggest for somebody like you that Small Business Server software would be perfect. It costs much less than purchasing the full editions of Microsoft software, yet you get an all-in-one package consisting of Windows Server, Exchange Email Server, Sharepoint Portal and Remote Access using VPN and the Remote Web Workplace (RWW).

By running your own server internally, you reduce the risk of security becoming compromised, because you obviously have total control over everything which goes in and out of your own server. The SBS software is also reasonably easy to configure and manage, using wizards for (almost) all the work.

You would need to purchase a reasonably powerful server to run the software on. I wouldn't even suggest you consider making use of a desktop workstation hardware - you should have a proper server, such as an HP Proliant server, since these will be the best tweaked hardware-wise for running as a server. For redundancy purposes, you should be looking to build your server with a RAID array, at least a RAID 1 mirror. This means you have 2 (or more) hard disks which mirror each other - if one fails, the server can remain running and you simply need to replace the failed hard drive to get your redundancy back again.

I would suggest if you want total security, you get a local Microsoft certified consultant to do the installation work of the server for you. In the US I know this can potentially run into say $1000 - $2000, but it would be worth it if you don't feel you can do all the installation and configuration yourself.

-tigermatt
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by:EdytheR
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Can you recommend where I might go to purchase the hardware.  Does this RAID array require specific hardware, if so what.  Do you have any estimate about the costs of both the hardware and the software.
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tigermatt earned 250 total points
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You'll need to find perhaps an Online Retailer which sells HP, Dell or IBM equipment, since they are the main server manufacturers. Alternatively, you can buy direct from the Dell website: http://www.dell.com/

If you actually purchase something marked as a 'server', it should have RAID array support as standard, but do check the specifications to ensure AT LEAST RAID 1 is supported. Remember when spec'ing the server you need at least 2 hard drives which are the same size, and then I think you choose the option for RAID 1 in Dell setup, if you go that route.

Over here in the UK servers can be incredibly cheap; it's the SBS Software which is expensive. I can't really give you an estimate though, it all depends on where and what you buy.

You may want to hold out until about November 12th, since SBS 2008 the latest SBS is released then.

-tigermatt
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by:EdytheR
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Thank you for you knowledge and help.
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