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Server Hardware for Server 2012

Posted on 2012-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-09-19
Hi Guys,

What hardware would be recommended for supporting Windows Server 2012 Standard?
Requirments:
-We currently have 100GBs of Data
-45 Users
-Perhaps a need for small business virtualization further down the road.
- Cost effective (Understandably what you pay for is what you get).
-RAID 1 or RAID 5

Specifically what make and model and hardware spec.
There are so many options and i would just like to narrow it down and concentrate on what i need to.

Thanks Guys
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Question by:GECs36711
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Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 38394516
What duties will this server be performing?

File/Print
SQL
Fax
Exchange

That will give us a better idea of what processor and memory you will need.

Also, what is your budget roughly?
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38394590
File and Print
WSUS
Antivirus MAnagement
and Applications; Financial, Pervasive and SQL.

and would like room to virtualize in the future.

Basically i must propose to them how must it would cost.
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 38395254
Virtualization?

Are looking for DR or high availability?

Because then you're probably looking a multiple file servers and a SAN of some sorts.
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by:Pradeep Dubey
ID: 38395990
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38398013
@pradeep08_81

Yup i am aware of the requirements but uncertain of what Server to buy, IBM, HP or Dell and what specs that will surfice for the future as well.

@pgm554We currently have no need for VM enviroments but for the future if the company needs it, will be a added plus because Server 2012 comes with virtual instances.

So im just wanting a server spec that can handle all of that.

Thanks for the responses.
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andyalder earned 1332 total points
ID: 38398129
As far as beibg supported it doesn't matter what manufacturer you use, performance is the same near enough since chips are the same. I would get a two socket E5-2600 model with just one CPU for now, E5-2620 would be enough. SQL likes RAM and 8GB sticks are optimally priced, I'd put 4 of them in to start with although you may get some included with the base server.

By far the most important thing is the disk subsystem, that's where the performance bottleneck almost always appears and that's the most expensive part of the server. Is it possible to measure your current IOPS requirement, if you have a current machine you can run perfmon and get operations per second on all disks you currently have. Withthose figures we can work out what speed disks you'll need.

If possible I'd get a server which has disk compatability with a future SAN, then if you decide to use HA in the future you can re-deploy the disks instead of buying new ones although admittedly that isn't possible with most models.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38398208
@andyalder

Awesome, thank you for the spec.
I will run these and post back to you.
The test will be done on our main server currently. Is it ok to run the test while everyone is working from it? or is it a better bet to do it when everyone is gone?
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by:andyalder
ID: 38398242
Use this to create a log - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/248345/EN-US .

Note you should run performance monitor from a remote machine and point it to the server as target since generating logs adds to disk I/O and you don't want to count the extra load that logging generates.

I'd let the logging run for 24 hours, then you'll see not only the disk I/O created by users during work time but also that created by scheduled tasks such as backup during the night. Logical disk: disk reads per second and logical disk: disk writes per second should do for all instances C: d: e: etc.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38398443
Thanks i will do just that.

Thank you so so much.
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Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 668 total points
ID: 38399045
> Server 2012 comes with virtual instances.

So does server 2008.

But anyhow,the reason I ask about VM,is that if you were to buy server hardware for a future vm setup ,the servers don't need to be anymore than 2 smaller gig disks on the servers (raid 1)just for the OS and then you use the san as a repository for the vms using something like iscsi.

It might be better to start off with a small rack server and a san for data.
Easier to grow in the future and not as wasteful on the server side.

Why buy a hot plug 4 or 5 bay server with a couple of tb's when it might be cheaper and more flexable to go the building block method of rack server,iscsi san with raid.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38404644
@andyalder
Just a quick question.
How do you run the logging from the remote pc and point it to the server?

@pgm554
Thanks and Noted.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38404651
Do you run the tool on the server but put the log file on the remote pc?
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38404835
When you click + to add counter at the top of the selection box it allows you to select local counters or counters from remote computer. So run the tool on a remote workstation and add counters from the server.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38408388
When i try and add another pc it doesn't allow me to. When i put the server's name in it gives me an 'unable to connect to machine' message.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38408916
Troubleshooting at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922775, should apply to normal perfmon issues as well as .NET ones.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38409178
Will check it out and let you know.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38413634
No its not working let carry on without it. What would be the recommended disk subsystem for 100GB's of Data, Server 2012, SQL and Applications.
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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 1332 total points
ID: 38413911
Depends on IOPS, but you could use a mirrored pair of SSDs, bound to be fast enough.
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