Server Replacement

Bill2802 used Ask the Experts™
At the church I work for we are trying to plan long term for IT expenses.  We replaced our network server in Sept. 2012 with a Dell PowerEdge T410 running MS SBS 2011.  What we are now trying to consider is what the time frame we will need to be looking at that we will have to replace the server again.  We use the server for file storage, we have several programs on the file server that use it for database storage, we run MS Exchange from the server, and we also run SharePoint Foundation from the server.  We have over 60 computers that connect to the network, but only half of those are office computer that use it a large amount of time.  Any information you can give me so we can plan for future replacement of the server would be greatly appreciated.
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Network Administrator
It's hard to predict replacement schedule. Optimum replacement schedule is 5 years and definitely not more than 15 years.

You may need to optimize your server frequently.

Just adding enough memory, routine cleanups and defragmentation can make a lot of difference

If everything just works beautifully, what's the point for your church to upgrade the server?

If not, what are the current issues in term of applicaiton support, stoage, performance, security and user experience?

Any upgrade or replacement should be for addressing the current issues not just for keeping up to date or spending money.
Andy MIT Systems Manager
As far as I'm aware SBS 2011 will be supported by Microsoft until 2017, after which point there will be no further updates, service packs, etc.

Microsoft have already effectively started killing off the SBS route - in fact, I'm not even sure you can buy SBS anymore. The newer versions are the Essential range but these are limited to 25 users only and you have to either used cloud-based email or get Exchange separately (which I believe you need to purchase Server 2012 Standard as well) which can cost a lot of money.

As noted by Akinsd it's difficult to say when you should start replacing it but I would recommend looking to replace it in the next 2-3 years providing it's running fine at the moment, but start preparing/planning as it will likely be a more costly change next time around.
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just contact manufacturer like Dell,HP..IBM and povide them your capacity detail,

they wikk suggest you the best one..check the cost comapring with multiple vendor and go for the best option
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Some misunderstood/incorrect information and information that I disagree with has been posted:

1. The support life of SBS is based on the individual products, not the product as a whole.  SBS 2011 uses Server 2008R2, released in 2010.  It's support won't come to an end until 2020.  Likewise Exchange 2010.  Support becomes more limited over time, but security updates and technical support CAN be obtained until these dates.  See: and the link provided there to "Select a Product for Lifecycle Information"

2. You CANNOT purchase SBS 2011 anymore - it was pulled from sales at the end of last year (you might find copies on ebay and clearance places, but officially, Microsoft pulled it from distribution.

3. The OPTIMAL replacement time for a server is when the warranty is up.  IDEALLY, you'll never have a server - a system absolutely critical to your business - that runs on hardware NOT protected by a warranty with 24x7x4hour response.  That said, MOST businesses will push the life of a server to 5 or 6 years.  Some may repurpose older servers for less important tasks or turn them into backups of a sort.  I don't know of ANY servers that would be left in place for 15 years running Microsoft products.  MAYBE 10, but that would be it.  (Though I think 15 years was meant as an exaggeration).

4. Instead of purchasing Essentials AND 2012, you would purchase JUST 2012 and use downgrade rights to install Essentials in one VM (which means you would need to virtualize).  So ONE copy of 2012 would cover BOTH Essentials and a VM for Exchange.

5. If SBS was purchased preinstalled on the server, then you need to move to a new OS when you move to a new server (and in my opinion, stop buying the OS pre-installed).  Pre-installed OSs and software are permanently and inextricably linked to the hardware they are sold with - they die when the machine dies.  Retail and Volume licenses can be moved and continue to be used.  Yes, they cost a little more, but if if SBS has been continued, then, for example, your server might have cost you $3500 + $750 for OS pre-installed = $4250.  Your next server might cost the same, total cost for 2 servers in 10 years = $8500 (and that excludes CALs).  But if you bought your licenses as volume or Retail copies, then it might have been $3500+1000 then $3500 = $8000 - a $500 savings... PLUS the savings on CALs which for 60 users can be significant.

6. LEARN VIRTUALIZATION.  IT will save you money.  Server 2012 offers TWO copies for the price of one when installed virtually on one physical machine.  Plus virtualization can offer MANY other benefits including easy migration, improved disaster recovery, and the ability to make copies of servers to run tests.  (WARNING - DON'T MAKE COPIES OF SERVERS UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND HOW WINDOWS NETWORKS WORK - AD CAN BECOME CORRUPTED IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING).

(Sorry for the yelling, but it's an IMPORTANT POINT!)
Bill2802AV/IT Tech


We do have virtual servers on the physical server.  Thanks for all the information it is a great help in our planning.  I have been pushing for us to go to volume licenses since I started here, I think I am starting to make them see the logic in it.

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