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server and 5 pc's setup

Posted on 2014-03-23
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Hi,

We are about to move from our serviced office premises and will need to have our own server to run our access db emails and share files. We will be having 5 pc's connecting via LAN to the server.

Can anyone recommend what server spec we will require? And the best way for our pc's to connect to the server. For example via a simple network share or terminal services client. (We wish to have a windows based server and will also require ms sql express to run).

Many thanks
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Question by:andrewpiconnect
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ZTeck earned 300 total points
ID: 39948752
Hello,

Not knowing exactly what you want is hard to give you any specific recommendation. Based on your quick description, I think the following should work for you:

1) get a PowerEdge T320 tower server (or Rack server)
2) Get A windows server 2008 R2 (or Windows server 2012 of your current software supports it) standard OS version
3) Get at minimum 8GB of RAM
4) get server hard drives configured with RAID 5 (or RAID 6 if you can) , How much storage is depending on what your current data usage needs is then add at least 30%-50% more (at minimum) to allow near future growth.
5) Get extra NIC if you plans to run virtual environment or later on.
6) Get a Dell warranty for the server, 3 year is recommended. If it is a critical system, get 24x7 , 4 hours response time (hardware replacement only).

I think that should do it. Let me know if you have further questions.
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by:andrewpiconnect
ID: 39948784
Thanks for that. Thats a good start for our server spec.
Have you a preference on how to network the pc's to the server....should we use terminal services client or traditional networking?
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39948791
I agree with zhongke. I've setup multiple small networks for clients and have used Dell servers in all locations. The only point I would mention is not to size the server too small. I had one client with the entry level Dell server and it was terribly slow and could not be upgraded to a Raid5.

Also, I don't suggest purchasing Small Business Server (any version). It generally runs slower than most servers because it has everything built in and it has built in limitations.

Server 2008 R2 is a great platform and has worked the best from what I've seen. Make sure you put a good UPS on the servers, switch and router.

Hope this helps!
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by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 200 total points
ID: 39948794
Terminal services will always be more expensive. it requires TS licenses on the server along with more ram.  For a small network, traditional networked pc's are the way to go unless you have the budget for a TS server.
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by:andrewpiconnect
ID: 39948811
Many thanks guys. Much appreciated.
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by:ZTeck
ID: 39949234
I think terminal server is good solution only if your environment can take advantage of it. For example, if your application can use TS's application server function which does not gives user full desktop environment access to server. I do not recommend use terminal server for users on a single production system unless you get another server. You might be exposing the production server's security by giving direct server access (either the normal desktop TS desktop environment or as a application server). It is also a little expensive, about $100 per user/Device CAL license.

Once you configure the server with a RAID it can not go back to adjust for another raid configuration unless you delete the existing RAID (that will delete all your data stored on the drive.)
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