Building A Server

I am going to be building a server for 2-4 users. They will be connecting via terminal services. The operating system will be Microsoft Server 2008 R2. SQL Server 2008 will also be running on the machine. Quickbooks as well.

It has been a long time since I have looked into servers and the amount of motherboards available is rather daunting. Wondering if anyone is fairly current on what is sufficient for my situation. I am thinking at least 16Gb of ram and in the beginning I am just going to mirror drives for redundancy. The main thing I am concerned about is the Motherboard. Any thoughts or suggestions.
tarrigoAsked:
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EMJSRCommented:
I would look at the HP ProLiant series of servers. They are - in my opinion - by far the best and they can be tailored to suit your needs exactly.

The servers come pre-assembled, but you can tailor the specs. Whatever motherboard comes with such a server is usually a quality product, but I cannot give you any particular part/model numbers from memory.
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
For the money it takes to build a computer, buy a brand name server (DELL, HP, IBM, etc. any one of them will do).
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Billy RothTech Team VolunteerCommented:
We have had pretty good luck with supermicro motherboards.  For what you want, you could probably go with something like a dual processor MBD-X9DRI-F-O, that will give you plenty of room for upgrade, in a solid product.

If you are at all looking at a prebuilt Server, I spec out a lot of Dell and HP's for customers, and I like the Dell R620/R720 configs best for small to medium deployments because of better bang for the buck and flexibility in config, especially around the raid controller.  Really you will spend more for a server built by an OEM but you will get the better support for it.
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KwoofCommented:
Depending on your budget, it is easier to buy the HP/Dell/etc servers.  I still like to build them myself.  If you are thinking 4 users, I would consider starting at 32 GB depending on the OS and software your users will run.  I would plan each user at 4GB running Win 7 or 8, which will quickly eat 16GB and leave nothing for your server to run on.  although you can operate on less memory, that will soon affect the responsiveness of each desktop.  I would also start with a minimum of 2 quad-core CPUs, so there are 2 cores available to each user (still not counting the host OS needs...and your SQL instance will probably want 6GB and 2 cores depending on the use?

Hope this helps so far.  For storage, mirroring should be the bare minimum...I prefer more drives to be better prepared for the inevitable drive failure, and put them in a RAID so I can lose a drive and stay operational.  I also like to keep the OS, SQL, and the users on different drives/RAIDs/mirrored sets.  This can reduce recovery time in a failure by having to restore the backups for only set as needed.  Make sure you have a plan for complete failure to get your users back online quickly (in case of MB, power supply, other unexpected host failure)
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