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Which windows hardware server is best?

Posted on 2013-01-22
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Hi,

  We are planning to purchase server hardware (windows server 2008) for development purpose. I browsed websites like Dell, HP and Lenovo, but I am not sure which one to go for.

Usually, what specifications you look for? for example, when I purchase a laptop, I would go for brand, processor speed, graphics card, memory and cost etc..

Similarly, what should be my benchmarks to buy a server hardware for IT development and deployment.

P.S. My manager is looking for something between $ 4000-$5000.

Thanks
Vishnu
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Question by:kvishnusharma
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by:Levi Gwyn
Levi Gwyn earned 668 total points
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This is a really broad topic and there are so many answers.  Spec your server on what it is that you want it to do and how may users it needs to support.  We would need this kind of information to give a better answer.

For example, a database server should have a fast disk system and a lot of RAM.  A email server should have a lot of disk space, etc.

In my opinion, stick with top tier brands so you get the most reliable customer service and tech support.
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by:kvishnusharma
ID: 38807024
Hi,

Thanks for your quick reply. We are planning to use that development server for TFS (Team Foundation), host web applications, and finally, Sql Server database. Currently, our development team consists of 4 people, So anything that supports 10 people should be fine.

This server would be used primarily for development purposes. I think this should give an idea of what we are thinking of. Please advice.

Thanks
Vishnu
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convergint earned 668 total points
ID: 38807074
Dell R520 PowerEdge for rack mount or T420 for tower form.

You don't mention if that budget is for hardware only or hardware and software, makes a huge difference as Microsoft licences are very pricey depending on what you need.

Ideally in your situation, dual Xeon processors (middle of the line to start), 16GB ram, Raid 1 SAS 146GB 15k drives for the OS, Raid 10 SAS (300/600/900 GB) drives for the SQL, you'll have to decide how large you think you need to go.

Basically build one of those systems with the above specs, see what your price is.  If it is over, then start reducing in areas to get it below your budget, ie drop the processor speed a tad, go to 12GB instead of 16GB, use Raid 1 for the SQL, etc.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 664 total points
ID: 38807243
The make doesn't really matter so long as it's a reasonable manufacturer, all servers manufacturers kit perform the same because they use the same CPUs, RAM and disks as each other. Dell go out of their way to produce white papers "proving" that their latest generation of servers are faster than anybody elses previous generation, despite the fact that that's obvious, they're faster than Dell's previous generation too.

Don't buy two CPUs if one will do, and nowadays that's down to how much RAM you need since the RAM hangs directly off the processors. With just 10 users and only 2 applications you're not going to use much CPU power considering that other people are running 20 virtual machines on each CPU.

SQL loves RAM and fast disk but with only 4-10 users it may not have much work to do. Giving developers fast machines isn't all that clever anyway since they'll be tempted to let the fast hardware mask badly performing code.
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