New Server for SBS 2008 Standard


Here are the specs for a new server we've purchased. It is a rack server and I'd like to get a second opinion on the purchase. One consultant I brought in suggested the following. Can you second his opinion or revise it, and secondly, if the HD are too slow, what specs would be better?:

"To take full advantage of the 2008 Small Business Edition server software the newly purchased rack server already requires four new hard drives. These hard drives would be configured as raid pairs to provide redundancy for protection from down time due to hard drive failure.  The two drives purchased with the Server are too slow to take advantage of your new server software.  Based upon my review of your current office configuration the rack mounted server is not the best choice for you.   If possible I would  recommend return/exchange the rack mount Server for a Tower type Server.  The newly purchased rack mount type servers are always loud, because rack mount servers have small very fast and very loud fans.  Offices with rack mount servers almost always have dedicated rooms for their servers, because of the noise they make is distracting to the staff working near them.  A tower style server allows for future flexibility, can hold more than four hard drives, and utilizes larger (and thus slower quieter fans) for cooling.  You will also need to purchase another 10 Client licenses for the new Server, for a total of 15.  

....Migrating control over your existing Domain to a new Server is complicated process. The instructions for this operation from Microsoft is an 81 page document....."

224-8690      1      PowerEdge R410 Chassis w/ up to 4 Hot-Plug Hard Drives,LCD diagnostics
330-4137      1      Shipping Material,PowerEdge R410
317-7351      1      8GB Memory (2x4GB), 1333MHz Dual Ranked RDIMMs for 1 Processor,Advanced ECC
317-4112      1      Intel XeonE5620 2.4Ghz, 12M Cache,Turbo, HT, 1066MHz Max Mem
311-3928      1      No Second Processor
317-1277      1      Single Processor Only
341-4158      1      HD Multi-Select

330-7657      1      PERC 6/iR Cable, R410
341-6175      1      PERC6i SAS RAID Controller Internal with Battery
420-6320      1      No Operating System
313-7837      1      iDRAC6 Enterprise
313-7834      1      Optical Cable R410
313-9126      1      DVD ROM, SATA, INTERNAL
313-7839      1      Bezel
330-4148      1      Electronic System Documentation and OpenManage DVD Kit
330-5280      1      Dell Management Console
342-2708      1      RAID 1 for PERC/SAS 6ir, PERC H200/H700 Controllers
342-2098      2      1TB 7.2K RPM Near-Line SAS 6Gbps 3.5in Hotplug Hard Drive
Who is Participating?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I think I'm largely agreeing with RickEpnet, but in my own words...

You haven't illustrated how you expect to use the server.  I will assume your usage is "Typical" as I define typical from my experience.  In which case, the drives should be fine.  Keep in mind, drives are the SLOWEST major component of any system, so slow drives WILL affect overall performance, but the question is, for your company size, will you notice it and if you do, will it be significant enough to matter.  In my opinion, not likely.

I would agree, 8 GB should be fine, but I'd try for 12 if I could.  In general, I think I would add 512 MB of RAM per user (given that SBS 2008 maxes out at 32 GB, at that rate, 15 users = 7.5 GB of RAM and for BASE systems, I wouldn't install an SBS 2008 system with less than 8 GB and though 8 SHOULD be enough, I'd still probably push you to 12 GB.  (more is fine, but my preference would be 12).

Finally, keep in mind that SBS 2008 is now the old version - SBS 2011 is the current version.
Looks like it would function fine depending on how many users.

You could set these up as a Raid 1 and have 500 GB C and D Drive. These are not the fastest drives but you may not need th fastest drive. If you were going to get new Drives I would recommend SAS. A raid 5 config would be fine. Raid 10 is much faster but it is all a mater of balancing budget and need.  

Noise hmmm I have tower server and I have worked with Rack server did not notice any difference. Then again that is HP not DELL. If it is a true server it will be noisy they are not made to work right next to users.  

o take full advantage...I am wondering what features you would not be able to take advantage of with out the changes?
ymehrAuthor Commented:
Part of it was not having partitions? I think he had 4 in mind. 7.2k vs 15k. Double. Partly because of running exchange (which we are currently not running)?

His quote on hardware:

EST. TOTAL HARDWARE: Four 15K SAS Hard Drives, $2000
EST. TOTAL SOFTWARE/LICENSE:   10 Client License for Small Business Server 2008, $800
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Well back in the day of Exchange 2003 and before I/O was a huge deal. It is still nice to have fast drive but not nearly as important as it used to be.

See this

Also you need more memory. I would give yourself minimum of 12GB to be safe. You can run with 8 but you would be better off with 12.
Another benefit in Widows 2008 and beyond this include SBS 2008 the disks partitions are automatically aligned.

You put all these things together and you get a much more tuned system. Still faster drives are always welcome.  

I understand where he is coming from he does not want to hear it if you are unhappy with the speed.

I have a SBS 2008 running in a company 2 - 250 GB drives and 8 GB of ram. (I know I said 12) About 10 -12 users and they are perfectly happy. At least for the moment they are not doing their backups and I have told and told them to get a new back up drive.  

That reminds me be aware Windows 2008 this induces SBS does not support Tape Drive natively.

QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
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