Windows Server 2012r2 Essentials hardware recommendation for 10 users with no growth in number of users

Would anyone care to comment on the specs for an essentials server for 10 total users, more likely 5 users at any one time / very light usage.  They had been using SBS 2003 and are over due for replacement.  May do virtualization of the server.

I'd like to build a 'good' server but not throw money away on this.

Dell OptiPlex T110-2?  It's be in an open office so shouldn't be too noisy -

RAM - 16?  or 32.  32 is overkill for this number of users, right?  would you say 16 is just right or also overkill?  What if we don't virtualize?

RAID - hardware PERC H200? Or S300?  the S300 isn't really hardware, right? We are thinking we'd do raid 1 with a hot spare.

Hard drives? They have about 50GB of data after all these years.  I was thinking 2 drives, each 1 TB in a RAID 1 configuration. Would you use SATA or SAS?  Again for the few users, SAS seems overkill?

Thank you
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Hi, what kind of virtualization are we talking about? Hyper-v, VMware, other...?

Depending on your answer the recommendations can be different because for VMware, as an example, you need to make sure your hardware is on the list of supported hardware or you might be having issues. A supported RAID controller is already required (unless you're going to boot from USB and use external storage).

16Gb might seem to be overkill at the moment, but seeing the price of memory I don't think it will matter too much. You might have enough with 8Gb though. Just remember that you'll have a little overhead for the virtualization, so this will influence the available memory for the virtual machine.

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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
virtualization would be hyper v. but again, we likely won't do that anway.
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
If you're looking not to go overboard any small office server would suffice surely. That being said I'd opt for SAS drives and a decent RAID controller (no need to be too decent but still). Often times disk access will be more of a bottle neck than CPU or memory. While 16Gb is nice 8 might be enough, but think about the fact that your server OS might need something like 3 to 4Gb for itself, depending on the roles it will be running, so that leaves only 4gb to work with in theory. So 16Gb for a Windows server can be nice to have, I'd consider it.

For a CPU, if you're not working with CPU intensive software an entry server CPU might suffice again, something like a Xeon E3-1275 for example.

Also think about a decent PSU if the server has the option and a UPS to protect the server for sudden power interruption or things like that.
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
You haven't indicated what OS you plan for the server?  Server Essentials 2012R2 ?
 Anything else to actually run on the server?

If no, 8gb is good, 16 would be plenty of breathing room and always hardware raid.  Have you considered Small SSD for OS and Sata for data?
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Chris - yes 2012 R2 essentials (in the title of the question?!   : )  nothing else running on the serve

e3-1270 is low end CPU?

that's the best one they offer for the T110-II

 Intel® Xeon® E3-1220 3.10 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/4T (80W)
 Intel® Xeon® E3-1220v2 3.10 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/4T (69W)      
 Intel® Xeon® E3-1230v2 3.30 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/8T (69W)      
 Intel® Xeon® E3-1240 3.30 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/8T (80W)      
 Intel® Xeon® E3-1240v2 3.40 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/8T (69W)      
 Intel® Xeon® E3-1270v2 3.50 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/8T (69W)
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
It's not a low-end CPU really, it's an entry server CPU if you want to give it a name, the 1270v2 is not the latest in the line, there's a 1270v3 if I'm not mistaking, but for what it will be used it will be plenty, you have a Quad core with 8 threads for a server that is not going to do anything heavy regarding CPU, so it will work out fine, even if you're planning to virtualizing later on it still will do the work without a problem.
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