Using PC as a server ?


   I plan to use a PC for my office as a server. Its config is 8 GB RAM and 500 GB hard disk. I plan to add one more hard disk of 500 GB and use RAID 1. I will install Windows server 2012 (SBS ) for it.

This server is intended only for file storage and for running a customised MS access application.

Do you feel any downside for this approach ? I actually asked for HP proliant quote , but that is too high (close to 3000 Dollars)..

Can I keep such PC server on from Monday to Friday and shutdown only on weekend ? Any risks ?
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Server hardware is characterized by reliability.   Choosing a RAID1 over single disk is a good start, but make sure the disks are both designed for 24x7x365.  Don't just use cheap SATA disks designed for 8x5x300, which is what you get with desktop disk drives.  Read HDD specs in detail.

I'd also look for ECC memory and switch out the parity memory you probably have.
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
I work with small clients (5-10 computers) that never buy server grade hardware so I'm forced to use PC's as servers. It works.
Points to remember:
1. don't cheap out on cooling: if your system will overheat you're going to have problems.
2. if the "server" will be kept on an office, search for quiet fans, or the people there will complain about the noise.
3. don't use hardware RAID. Since you can't afford a server, you can't afford to buy redundant controllers. If your RAID controller dies, you're going to have to pay to recover your data. On software RAID, just put the disks on another computer, install the same OS and keep working.
4. use a quality UPS. APC's are good, but pricey. Any UPC you buy should have overcharge protection.
5. just because you use RAID1, don't think you're safe. Backup, backup, backup.


PS: @dlethe: most consumer motherboards cannot use ECC memory.

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andyalderSaggar maker's bottom knockerCommented:
Get a ProLiant MicroServer, they're cheap as chips.
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
@andyalder: You're sure buying some expensive chips :)
A Proliant Micro will be at least $500 for 2 GB RAM, no HDDs.
andyalderSaggar maker's bottom knockerCommented: . Of course you'll have to up the RAM and disk but it's still as cheap as a PC . Or there's over £100 cashback on the gen8 one, not sure about cashback elsewhere in the world.
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
My bad, was looking at prices for 8th gen on HP site. Did not think to search for older stock.
Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
Also look at sites such as for great deals
Here's a Dell solution that includes the OS for under a grand.
Add a 500 gig drive and yer good to go.
or go to a local used PC dealer.   Servers don't hold much of their value
I have seen this several times, the use and dependency on this desktop/server increases and now it should be in a data center with a UPS and Air condition.    
  Look on ebay or amazon for a used HP Proliant G5 server with redundant powersupplies.  Connect each powersupply to a seperate UPS and each UPS to a seperate circuit.   This way the cleaning crew won't shutdown your box when they trip a breaker with a vacumn.  Find a cool place to keep, make sure they don't turn off the AC on the weekends.
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