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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Server quote

    I asked our LEA to quote for a new server for one of my primary schools. It will need to run everything from Exchange 2007, ISA 2006, SQL 2005, SIMS, DNS, DHCP, print server for 5 networked printers and of course store all the users data. The school is fairly small with only 40 machines 4 of which run Sims.

    This is the estimate from the LEA:

    Dell PowerEdge 2900
    Dual Quad-Core Xeon Processor 5310 1.6Ghz, 2Gb Ram, 5 x 73Gb SAS Hard Disk drive, 1 x 73Gb SAS Hot Spare HDD, 16xDVD, 3.5" FDD, Raid 5 config, Redundant PSU, PERC 5/I Controller, 17" LCD Flat Panel Monitor, 3 Year On-Site Warranty

    The above come to £2100 for hardware only. Installation is extra.

    The tape drive is itemized separately which is helpful as we backup to a NAS box in a remote building so wouldn’t need that .

    What concerns me is the amount (or lack of) memory. I would have put in at least 4Gb and is the raid overkill? What would you specify?
    Last edited by Jobos; 13th March 2008 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Forgot the SQL!

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobos View Post
    I asked our LEA to quote for a new server for one of my primary schools. It will need to run everything from Exchange 2007, ISA 2006, SQL 2005, SIMS, DNS, DHCP, print server for 5 networked printers and of course store all the users data. The school is fairly small with only 40 machines 4 of which run Sims.

    This is the estimate from the LEA:

    Dell PowerEdge 2900
    Dual Quad-Core Xeon Processor 5310 1.6Ghz, 2Gb Ram, 5 x 73Gb SAS Hard Disk drive, 1 x 73Gb SAS Hot Spare HDD, 16xDVD, 3.5" FDD, Raid 5 config, Redundant PSU, PERC 5/I Controller, 17" LCD Flat Panel Monitor, 3 Year On-Site Warranty

    The above come to £2100 for hardware only. Installation is extra.

    The tape drive is itemized separately which is helpful as we backup to a NAS box in a remote building so wouldnít need that .

    What concerns me is the amount (or lack of) memory. I would have put in at least 4Gb and is the raid overkill? What would you specify?
    That's not a bad spec for a general purpose server. RAID 5 is not overkill, the 5i perc controller is very good. The more RAM the better and speccing 4GB is a good idea.

    What i would question is not putting Exchange 2007 on a dedicated server or at the very least on it's own VM. As it's for a primary are you thinking of going with SBS.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I thought Exchange couldn't go on a DC?

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    button_ripple's Avatar
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    up the processor to 2Ghz and i would go for 4gb or more for ram.

    we have about that spec and we could do with a bit more ram!!

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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Iíve never used SBS before so I canít say but I understand itís an all in one package. All the servers Iíve setup have used individual installs of OS and Exchange.

    Running Exchange on a DC is not recommended by Microsoft but I've done it for years without ill affect.

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    Cmd.exe's Avatar
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    Exchange 2007 requires 64bit windows server.
    Which is fine if all the other apps can handle 64bit.

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    Cmd.exe's Avatar
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    i've just purchased a HP DL380, 2x quad core, 8GB, 4x140GB SAS for £2600.
    We are running VMware, virtualising 4 servers and i would highly recommend it. We are able to run Exchange 2007 on 64bit windows and leave our other servers 32bit for compatibility.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    You won't get SIMS.net and Exchange running on the same box like that, as exchange requires 64bit windows and SIMS.net requires 32bit.

    The easiest method of solving this problem is to have a second machine just for exchange.

    Also, you'd want 4GB memory in that machine, and I'd advise going for dual 2ghz processors at least.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I thought Exchange couldn't go on a DC?
    It can go on a DC it is just not recommended, it does silly things like make the server take 15min extra to shutdown because of dependencies and such. It is doable just not recommended.

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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You won't get SIMS.net and Exchange running on the same box like that, as exchange requires 64bit windows and SIMS.net requires 32bit.
    Just checked on Microsoft and Capita websites and you're right. Someone at the LEA has not done their homework!

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobos View Post
    Just checked on Microsoft and Capita websites and you're right. Someone at the LEA has not done their homework!
    Maybe they were expecting you to buy two of them ;-)

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    Virtualise!

    Running all these services on one server may be asking for it but there are ways round it. We have 2x 8 core Dell 2950s with 16GB ram (one on each site) and run several virtual servers on these (we use VMware and are happy with it but you may have your own weapon of choice). We can back up a whole machine as a file once its powered off (allowing us to roll back if an update fails) and we can reboot individual servers when they need it without taking down the other services (eg reboot printing without loosing the dc/dhcp). We got the boxes with 2+ years of gold warranty for slightly more than you are paying there from Prodec in Reading (~£5k saving on the new price). Service has been excellent although because its refurbished stock its hit and miss as to when stuff is available and at these prices it usually goes quick!

    HTH

    CJ

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I agree with what's already been mentioned, especially upgrading the RAM. I wouldn't bother increasing it upto 4GB, but just 3GB. Windows in a 32Bit environment will never use more than 3GB.

    An alternative (to get round the 32/64Bit issue), is to downgrade to the more mature Exchange 2003, which is natively 32Bit and will still be supported for a few more years.

    In an ideal world, my recommendation would be to buy two cheaper servers. You'll get much better performance overall.



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