Windows Server 2012 Essential for small dental clinic

Hi,

I am thinking of deploying a windows server 2012 essential for small dental clinic. In the clinic, there are 5 PCs and one of the PCs which is running on Windows 7 is acting as a server.

So, I am going to remove the windows 7 from the PC and install windows server 2012 essential for better management. Would this be worth going with server 2012 essential?

The features I am looking to provide for them are file sharing, RDP and VPN. is it normal to use windows 7 desktop acting as a server in a small environment?
EducadAsked:
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
RDP is not possible with Essentials directly.  It can provide a gateway to your workstations PROVIDED the workstations are NOT running Windows Home editions (those versions do not come with RDP access).  Essentials as a DC should not be run as an RDS server.  VPN should be possible.  Essentials provides a remote web interface, domain, and something that could be quite useful, workstation backup (especially if any of these systems has special software that might otherwise require a vendor to restore if the system crashed).  

Since you're unfamiliar with this kind of setup, I would encourage you to speak to a consultant or a few consultants to get their opinion on your SPECIFIC environment (we can't do that from here - I would need to visit the location and evaluate your needs in a true conversation, not just a few questions here.  Knowing a budget would also be helpful.

These days, servers aren't universally considered a requirement, especially with cloud solutions, but HIPAA compliance can complicate that.  I PERSONALLY feel servers in most environments can be justified and prefer having things easily under my control as opposed to someone elses in the cloud.
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Dirk MareSystems Engineer (Acting IT Manager)Commented:
You will find this, it is common but not recommended.

What you what to do will work but while you are busy consider adding a RAID array for redundancy.

The desktop, is it powerful enough to run as a server? Have you considered installing a server?

DirkMare
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EducadAuthor Commented:
The desktop spec:
CPU i7 3.4
RAM 16 GB
C: 60 GB
D: 2TG

I would need to replace system drive with bigger one and put them in at least RAID 1. Or would it be better to get a small server instead of using the current desktop? I can see only problem with HDD.
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
Depending on your budget a server may be better but if you have no budget for it then you have to make do with what you have. I do agree with your assessment that you need at least RAID1 so can the PC you have take that many drives. I would recommend you consider server 2012 standard edition--I just tried essential for a 1 server 5PC office and essentials installed a whole bunch of stuff (install wizard you must complete) that I don't want or need. With standard though I could uninstall what was initially installed (roles and features) and just add want I really need. And standard is just a few 100$ more and can provide the remote access you want. I found a great deal on a Dell server in their outlet store for the above mentioned office since they had a small budget. dell.com/outlet
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
Questioner was given several different answers to his/her query, so definitely enough to provide enough enough for the question asked but they did not respond to any of them.
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