Which Server..?

Hi, We are about to dump (not literately) our old Dell server, the question I have is what Server would you recommend instead..?

It needs to be a bare bones tower, I don't want Dell again, had enough of them so am thinking about HP unless others can convince otherwise..?

It is for an office of up to 25 people, it needs to come with Windows Server 2012 not SBS preferably but it does need to come with the software bundled... It will be running the usual suspects, Exchange etc...

Any thoughts (and why)..?
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andyalderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'd much rather cough up a few bucks more and get a ML350p rather than ML350e; don't like relying on chipset based SATA only RAID, feel much happier with a real Smart Array controller even if it's embedded on the motherboard.
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
I will go with HP. I worked on all branded servers in last 10 years and i found HP much stable and less issue.
TunerMLSystems EngineerCommented:
Server brand is a matter of personal preference and past experiences. My clients run both Dell and HP servers and I have never had problems with either. I do recommend HP when I get the opportunity.
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Scott CSenior Systems EnginerCommented:
I also prefer HP.  You didn't provide any kind of budget so suggesting a specific server will be next to impossible.

I would take my budget and use as much of it up as I can.
Why do you need Windows bundled in? You can buy it from HP but I don't think there's a pre-installed offering like Dell do (at least that means the OS won't be on a tiny partition if you install it yourself).
Levi GwynCommented:
ScottCha referenced budget. I second that we would really need to know what numbers you have in mind.  The manufacturer is not as relevant as the configuration.  You mentioned Exchange, etc.  The "etc" part is really important.

If you're going to do Exchange and MS SQL Server for instance, I would not put those on the same server.  This doesn't mean you can't run both apps from the same physical machine but in order not to hose Exchange and SQL Server, put them on two Virtual Machines on the same box.  VMware ESXi is essentially free and can run two or three virtual servers for an office or 30 or less.

The HP ProLiant ML350e is a nice model.  Add 16GB of RAM and 2TB of disk for about $2000.  VMware will run two VMs on this configuration for an office your size, no problem.

You're smart by not going the SBS route - lots of trouble there.
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
> You're smart by not going the SBS route - lots of trouble there.
I disagree.  I think you're unwise to NOT go the SBS route for 25 users ***IF*** you need Exchange (you can still buy SBS 2011; there is no product named Small Business Server 2012).

And why bother with VMWare?  Hyper-V is built in to 2012 and the license allows you to use it WITH a management console on the server (unlike ESXi).  FAR easier and for two servers - even 10 with an appropriately decked out server and any minor performance differences will be irrelevant.

And I agree - it's very unwise to buy the OS with the server PRE-INSTALLED.  You want to buy the license Separately (I'm sure HP or whoever you buy from will be happy to sell you a volume license - THAT is what you should get.  Keep in mind, if you buy Server preinstalled on the system, then that license DIES with the hardware.  If you buy Server separately and load it yourself, you can move that license to other hardware as needed (basically once every 90 days unless there's a disaster).
ServTechAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

Sorry a budget of course, they are looking at around the 2k mark and would like win 2012 server thrown in, hence the reason for it being mentioned..? I didn't mean pre-installed just bundled...

The server runs exchange and serves files, no SQL (at the moment)

No requirement to be able to run VM's at the moment but you never know...

I have always liked HP kit and we've had serious problems with the Dell that we have at the moment, so no to Dell...

SBS - so many problems, never again.!

If we say we will go with HP, which models would be the best value for money and suit our requirements the best, apart from the HP ProLiant ML350e..? Any others...

Basically I need to go the boss and say right this is the HP server we require, this is the cost...
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
> SBS - so many problems, never again.!
I hear that a lot - when you treat the product like a bundling of Server and Exchange.  I did it myself... hated it... Then I learned it, how it was supposed to be used... and once I realized what they did and why, I realized how much of a great thing it was.

If you don't start by making this a Hyper-V server you're shooting yourself in the foot.  Unless you have a GOOD reason to NOT virtualize from the start, you should be.  HOWEVER, that DOES mean learning what's appropriate and not appropriate to do with a virtual server (for example, don't copy the C: VHD and create a second machine and start it up using that.  VERY BAD.  Virtualization does AMAZING things for you - and if you don't know what Hyper-V replica is, LEARN IT.  It's quite possibly the single most important thing to use in a 2012 server, in conjunction with other servers. It can be VITAL to the survival of a business in a disaster - if you use it and use it correctly.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Oh, and Hyper-V Replica... IT'S FREE beyond your time learning it!
Levi GwynCommented:
I do agree with leew on the MS Hyper-V.  I'm a VMware guy and always forget about Hyper-V.  Hyper-V is rock solid in Server 2012.  Virtualization is the way to go for a whole multitude of reasons not to mention disaster recovery.  It will not add cost to the system and will give you a lot of flexibility for growth.

Leew - sorry brother, I have to stick to my guns on no SBS.
ServTechAuthor Commented:
I have played with Hyper-V server and it is impressive indeed, I just haven't actually set it up as a Server 'for real'...  I can definitely see the benefit of VM's in the case of disaster recovery... I'll look into implementing that as well.

Thanks again for all the advice guys, I think I'll do more homework down the HP Server route and see where we get..!

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