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Hardware Thread, Server Spec for Small School in Technical; Hi Everyone, I'm looking into migrating our curriculum and admin network. Curriculum server is just an uprated desktop. i7 with ...
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    Server Spec for Small School

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm looking into migrating our curriculum and admin network. Curriculum server is just an uprated desktop. i7 with 8GB ram, 2x 1TB SATA drives in RAID 1 (2K8R2). This serves around 20 desktop machines (AD, File, DHCP, DNS, Print, WSUS)

    Admin network (5 PC's) doesn't have a domain and SIMS is just run off one machine, with a shared drive setup for the other 4 computers to access files.

    Could anyone recommend a reasonable spec also capable of running SIMS?

    Thanks

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    You can do so much with so little in reality - 25 desktops is certainly not a lot and the majority of servers will be exactly the same processor as what you've already got but called "xeon" instead of i7.

    However you'll gain warranties, reliability, uptime assurances and what-not.
    Aim for the same sort of processor as you've already got, but do look to the future - perhaps a dual processor capable system will aide futureproofing. RAM - fill it up. 16GB, 32GB, it costs pennies.
    Storage will be the main difference - there's little wrong with SATA on a decent RAID setup - we run *everything* on SATA drives on well over 500 stations. Best to separate curriculum processes from admin with the storage, so a pair of RAID arrays would suit best. This means that SIMS and the ever power hungry SQL won't cause bottlenecks on the curriculum file store side of things. Make sure the RAID controller has battery backup.
    Backup solution - for something that small I wouldn't hesitate in suggesting an RDX based solution.
    Obviously make sure there's a beefy UPS for it.

    You won't have to go overboard for that size school - you could probably build something yourself for around a grand. Something off the shelf from HP/Dell will be significantly more however it'll be well worth getting in touch with some companies to see what refurb stuff is around.

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    Get2theChoppa's Avatar
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    could run sims off any decent spec dell servers...xeon processors preferably...for 150-200 each you can pick up two refurb servers use keep one for spares and implement server 2008 r2 on one. works a treat.
    Or I have also been told that you can run sims on a virtual server?... but you will need to clarify that with the capita techys before you start buying any servers and license?

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    @geohanson sounds like your knowledge and ability are one as is the advice above. What about the future expansion of the school though? I'd be tempted to ask your SIMS provider if their local server installer caries out cost free Network Health Checks. If they do see what their thoughts are. I have had our local Capita chap in at a couple of schools to do this. His in depth and current knowledge proved invaluable and as a result I still have a full head of hair!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Get2theChoppa View Post
    Or I have also been told that you can run sims on a virtual server?... but you will need to clarify that with the capita techys before you start buying any servers and license?
    No problems running SIMS in a VM. We do it at all our sites here, makes maintenance a breeze.

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll talk to the LEA about VM's and SIMS and see what would work best. Would a Dual Xeon server be overkill? We do have around 35 laptops as well which are all currently standalone, but will be putting these onto the domain and setting up remote access when I've got time.
    Thanks again

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