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Hardware Thread, Is this more then i need? in Technical; I have been given a quote for a new server. The spec is as follows.. It's an NEC Xeon Quad ...
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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Is this more then i need?

    I have been given a quote for a new server.

    The spec is as follows..

    It's an NEC
    Xeon Quad Core X3330 (2.66GHz)
    4GB DDR2
    5 x 146GB SAS HDD
    Megaraid SAS RAID Controller
    then the usual, DVD drive, USB Floppy Drive, Keyboard & Mouse
    3 Year on site warranty

    We are a 3 form entry Primary school about 100 client computers and a lot of staff. It is going to be are only server for the curriculum and i want it to do everything you use a good server for and future proof.

    So, are they trying to get more money out of me or do you think this is suitable? This isnt some random company this is someone our council recommends we use.

    Be nice!!

    Thanks

  2. #2

    teejay's Avatar
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    Sounds about right, although I would be tempted to put the memory up to 8Gb depending on what you are going to run on it. How much are they asking for it?
    Also, how are you going to back this up? Might be worth getting a tape drive in it.

  3. Thanks to teejay from:

    Little-Miss (16th June 2009)

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    Looks more than up to the job for a 100 machines, RAM's cheap i stick in 8 and install 2003/8 enterprise.

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    Little-Miss (16th June 2009)

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    john's Avatar
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    I would also not buy NEC Computer hardware with them pulling the desktops and notebooks out of the UK sector I personally, despite what they have said, not buy any server kit either as if that doesn't take off well (which lets face it HP, Dell & IBM are the top dogs here talking overall servers) they will be the next to go and could leave you with a box with dodgy warranty support.

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    CPLTD (16th June 2009), Little-Miss (16th June 2009)

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Ah, thanks for pointing that out John. My supplier says they do the NEC repairs as well so i might double check this situation with them. If things were to go tits up Link2ICT are there to back me up too, but i will check this out.

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    BrianG's Avatar
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    it's definately a good server, just seems a little over priced for a primary school, but if you have the budget then fair enough. The cost you've been quoted would wipe the budget out in our school for the year.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I don't think I understand the question: There exists the possibility for a computer system that is too fast?

    Anyhow, how may students does your school have and what kind of applications are going to be running on it, any possibility of database driven central apps, VLEs, Exchange.

    Personally I would be looking for redundant PSUs and as suggested a chunk more RAM incase you want any shared DB stuff or VMs for VLE/Monitering Linux VMs. I would also be making sure that the RAM is ECC for acceptable stability. I would also seriously look at the RAID controller as this will be the great decider in data access speed and data reliability. I would be looking at a RAID controller with an absolute bare minimum of 128mb of cache, prefferably more and battery backed.

    I would also be inclined to find out how much a dual CPU socket variation would be just in case. About 5 years ago when specing for a school we ended up getting a couple of hp ML350s with dual, dual core xeons and upgraded raid controllers. One pretty much handled exchange and the other files and ds/printer roles. This worked out about right for just over 100 workstations so the four cores will probably do it but I would investigate having the easy ability to add four more with a dual socket board.

    In the end it does depend on your budget but I would suggest getting the system as fast as the budget allow now because it will only get slower (comparitivly) as time goes on and it is easier to add the upgrades or support for them at the start than attempting to tack them on afterwards in most situations.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 16th June 2009 at 08:32 PM.

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    Spec sounds plenty for a primary with 100 pcs. You should only think about 8GB RAM if you're going to virtualise a couple of PCs (ESXi is free and pretty good) or will be installing 64bit server software.

    How much have they quoted and which company? (PM if you dont want to shout it out) I've not always been too impressed with Link2Ict's "recommended" companies / products.

  12. #9

    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Budget - it wont completely wipe me out, but it is a very large chunk of it. But it needs doing, if not this financial year then next (if our current one will carry us that far!). So i dont think i have a choice.

    Back up will be a 1TB NAS device

    Looking at the spec the Raid has 128mb Cache!

    BrianG. Hope you dont think i didnt trust your opinion, just wanted to open it up to the whole forum.

    Feeling a lot better about it now...lol

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    whats wrong with the likes of Dell, ( Not sure about HP ? ) or maybe IBM ?

    Think there was mention of sun servers a while ago on edugeek - dunno - just thought I would throw a few things in there to mix it up a bit lol

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    lol this is what i've been quoted, im going to mention the whole NEC thing to them tomorrow, see what they say.

    Lol when i say is this more then i need, i meant i didnt want to be paying for something that was too highly spec'ed for our needs!

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    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    whats wrong with the likes of Dell, ( Not sure about HP ? ) or maybe IBM ?

    Think there was mention of sun servers a while ago on edugeek - dunno - just thought I would throw a few things in there to mix it up a bit lol
    Nothing overall that I know, I'm a HP fan myself (being converted slowly over to Sun ) my concern is over the overall risk of NEC removing the server business from the UK market as they did the desktops and laptops business due to the falling sales. They have said they want to focus on the Servers which is fine except I've never seen an NEC server anywhere I've been, so they are not popular in SME and Education that I've seen. I am sure the spec is good and its probably well built, the desktops certainly were that I've come across, but my view is the long-term risk of the investment in the Server that may 2 years down the 3 or 5 year warranty be then problematic in getting support and any specific parts for it if they pull that out of that sector as well.

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    Looks like a good spec, I'd consider getting a 2nd CPU in there, the hdd space is probably more than you'll need so if money's an issue it may be worth dropping a drive, 438Gb should be ok for a long while yet(or atleast it has been in nearly every primary I've been to)
    Last edited by Jamman960; 16th June 2009 at 09:08 PM.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Miss View Post
    lol this is what i've been quoted, im going to mention the whole NEC thing to them tomorrow, see what they say.

    Lol when i say is this more then i need, i meant i didnt want to be paying for something that was too highly spec'ed for our needs!
    Little Miss , how much have you been quoted , would be great for your school if we can beat the price with say a HP or Dell equivilent , again I would be careful with NEC with there current state of business.

  18. #15

    teejay's Avatar
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    It would probably be worthwhile getting some quotes for HP/Dell/IBM equivalents off our friendly suppliers on here
    If you want to go rackmount, then you could also try Andy @ Cutter (Linescanner) for a Sun box.
    Personnally I would stick with HP/Dell/IBM/Sun as they all have good rep and a lot of people on here use them, so help would be at hand.

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