What would be the ideal budget server configuration for 25 exchange users in one office?

Posted on 2009-12-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-08

we are about to upgrade our server (which is currently a simple P4) hardware-wise to accomodate 25 users? The server would be running Exchange and would be a file-server as well.
I'm just simply not sure I can justify "real" server components (Xeon cpu etc).
we are currently using a P4 machine with 3GBs of RAM and running SMB2003 with Exchange off it. it also acts as a file server and obviously it would be the same role later on. We already made our peace to purchase the new SMB (2008 I think) along with the new Exchange.
I know its not a classic problem so to speak but it is a head-scratcher nonetheless. Thank you.
Question by:justcase
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    by:Ady Foot
    Hi there justcase,

    To run SBS 2008 you will need a fairly decent CPU and a fair wack of RAM.  I'd recommend a Core 2 Duo that runs at at least 3GHz.  If you can afford a Core 2 Quad core processor then all the better (low end Xeons are Core 2 processors in disguise in any case).  RAM wise you will need an absolute minimum of 4GB to run SBS 2008 but I recommend 8GB which gives you excellent performance and some room to manoeuvre for future upgrades etc.

    The other thing to consider is storage as this can have a dramatic effect on your server performance.  Even with desktop level IO you can achieve good results with your server performance running SBS 2008.  Try and go for a RAID solution which not only protects your data but also yields a slight performance increase.

    Hope this helps?  Please let me know if you need any further information.



    Author Comment

    Thanks. the current amount of data on the server is about 250GBs (work files and mailboxes together).
    so you recon that with  strong desktop variety we can get away for the next two-three years? currently we are 15 but expect to be 20 by the end of next year. So a decent Intel mobo with 4 ram slots (2gbs each) and a quad-core cpu. plus 2+2 hdd in raid?
    is SBS2008 significantly different or can I expect just a simple migration from SBS2003?
    thank you
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    Yes - most low-level servers are just desktop components that have been put together under the auspice of providing low level server functionality.  I think you've highlighted your ideal system - a Quad Core CPU, 8GB RAM and 2 + 2 in RAID 1/5.

    You can migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 but that's a different question and there is a lot of help available on Experts Exchange already - take a look with the search feature but please do shout back if you can't find anything and I'll help.



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