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windows 2012 foundation sever

Posted on 2012-12-20
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Last Modified: 2012-12-21
i have a small network with HP Proliant server and 5 clients.
It runs windows 2000 server on a five year old server pc
I dont need Microsoft exchange as the email runs thru Google apps

I need a new case mangement software program on the clients which stores data on the server and the software company says that the program is not supported by such an old server as windows 2000. Why would this be as it is just a repository for data ( the program itself sits on the clients). Is the management software co just being cautious.

So i got a quote from a separate network company for a new server and they have reccomended Windows foundation server but I liked the look of Windows server 2012
Essentials (which is available as a download but not yet on ready to go machines) which I think would be easier to install myself and maintain.

Essentials is billed by some as being capable of being installed by the "man in the street" to run and maintain his own network server. Foundation is not billed as user friendly for DIY

as my network company ( a different company to the case managment company wants £2900 plus vat at 20% (tax) to install a new HP server (Quad xeons seem to retail at about £600) with Foundation plus £800 per year for maintenance,would it be a good idea to wait for Windows Server Essentials 2012 to be more available ie on ready to buy hardware before upgrading the server.

(in the meantime the case management company says the data for their software can sit on a spare network computer at £400 rather than necessarily sitting on a tradidional server and the data can be transferred easily when I upgrade server should i wish to defer doing that)

Is someone b-s ing me here?
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Question by:topUKlawyer
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Expert Comment

by:Tribus
ID: 38711408
Personally I would wait because Server 2012 is really nice and it would be better down the road for you.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is basically the new version of SBS.
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Author Comment

by:topUKlawyer
ID: 38711437
Do I need Active domain etc if is basically just a data storage box (no email)
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by:Tribus
ID: 38711444
No I wouldn't promote to a domain until you needed too.  You can always go forward just not back....:)
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Author Comment

by:topUKlawyer
ID: 38711475
could | just use a windows 8 computer as a workgroup server. Would that do better than server essentials
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Expert Comment

by:Tribus
ID: 38711537
You could but it would depend on the requirements of your client application I suppose really.  And you would need Windows 8 Pro to do that.
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Accepted Solution

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Lee W, MVP earned 1200 total points
ID: 38712319
Server Essentials MUST be a DC and the FSMO master DC - this means you DO NOT want it in a workgroup.

Microsoft wants you to believe (and maybe some reviewers too) that you can install Essentials yourself - if they couldn't convince people of that, sales would be lower.  But I think most professionals are going to advise you get it installed by a qualified technician.

Many people think they should do it themselves - but a CORRECTLY done install can take 8-24 hours depending on the needs of the network.  And that's by a person with experience.  As someone without experience and who is not an IT Professional, I would think if you wanted to get it done properly, it will take you 32-60 hours when you factor in the time to learn what you're doing.  I tell ANYONE who has never installed something, install it at least once if not 2-3 times to get an understanding for the process - BEFORE the final install.  That's learning time.  Further, an IT Pro (a good one - hopefully you have such a person) can (and should) show you some of the new functionality in the new product so that you can increase your productivity - they know it because they have (or should have) been trained in it.  

If it takes you 10-60 hours getting it installed and your data transferred over, is that saving you money?  Don't you have BILLABLE hours you could be doing something for a client?  I don't know what UK rates are, but in the US, it's common for an Attorney to make 2-3x what an IT person charges per hour.  So (using dollars and the ratio I mention) if it takes you 16 hours to get things setup properly and you bill out at $200 per hour while the IT pro charges you $100, you've LOST the opportunity to make $3200 but saved yourself $1600... Good savings... until you realize that you would have MADE 1600 by HIRING the Pro who does this all the time.

As for Foundation vs. Essentials, if you like workstation backup, then by all means, get Essentials.  If you do remote work, then the remote access features of Essentials are quite useful.  Both products don't use CALs but Foundation has more limited growth potential (max 15 users; Essentials 25 users - though Essentials 2012 can be upgraded, not recalling about Foundation).  Foundation is in many ways just like standard server but with limits to it's usable hardware and user count.  It's cheap (probably half the cost of Essentials, as a software component itself), but it's only sold on new servers.  Essentials can be bought separately (and in my opinion should be).  

But your IT Pro should be able to explain all this - if he can't, he's no good.  If he won't, then you should find someone else.  Like you should be a trusted advisor in law, HE should be a TRUSTED advisor in technology - a partner.  If he's not trusted, find one you can trust.
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Author Comment

by:topUKlawyer
ID: 38712524
leew

which would be most expensive to install for 5 to 6 users essentials or foundation
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38712548
Short term or long term?  Are you looking at JUST costs out of your bank or are you looking at COST OF OWNERSHIP and overall productivity and enhancement?

Essentials will likely be more expensive since there is configuration necessary on them which means more time. Plus it does more, so more time setting the things up that it can do.

There's definitely a point at which features won't be used and you'll pay to get things that won't help you - but Essentials was designed to provide features MOST small businesses can use... so if you're trained and your business model permits (most would), Essentials may likely cost more to install, but the PRODUCTIVITY gains through proper usage will easily make back what you spent and help you make more money and work more freely.  The problem is, if you cannot abstract the benefits and/or aren't willing to learn them, then you're wasting your money and missing opportunity.  At least that's my opinion.

Basically, are you taking the short term vision or the long term vision?
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38712551
In the grand scheme of things, when you look at the costs and the billable hours and the time involved... the cost difference for implementation shouldn't be a barrier to a small business of your size.  But again, that's my opinion based on very limited information I have about you and your business.
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Author Comment

by:topUKlawyer
ID: 38712584
leew, trbus

final question and thanks for your input both

as there are only a few of us here and we just use the server as a file store, is not a domain  unnecessary? as I say we are not using it for email and I dont see remote access as an issue as we tend to use logmein for such as this.

What benefits do I get for using a domain? as opposed to a workgroup?
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Assisted Solution

by:Tribus
Tribus earned 800 total points
ID: 38712701
Group Policy and AD and a slew of other tools are why you would use a domain.  Mostly user and computer control and security reasons.

Here is a link to a MS TechNet article that may help you better than I can explain:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc739052%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:topUKlawyer
ID: 38714213
thanks guys
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