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Hardware Thread, new server or bits of server upgrade? in Technical; ok in the next week or so i need to decide whether we should buy a new server or just ...
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    amyr's Avatar
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    new server or bits of server upgrade?

    ok in the next week or so i need to decide whether we should buy a new server or just upgrade ours. i have to admit i am not so good with knowing what we should have as a good server as i am with workstations. we've currently got a cc3 network and not sure if we want to go cc4 yet or not. but the school has recieved some money for this current financial year and we've been told to put in our bids so long as we can have everything invoiced before 31st march as our budget is likely to be cut next financial year.

    so we've currently got a cc3 win2k server with the following hardware:
    cpu: pentium 4 Xeon 3.06Ghz
    ram: 2Gb
    hard drive: 2 x 73Gb scsi's
    motherboard: rm intel sbr2 server mainboard
    backup: sony sdx-500v ait-2 drive
    ethernet: 10/100/1000 intel integrated

    so do i go whole new server now, cc4 upgrade if we decide to. or do i just upgrade hard drives & ram now? if we do go complete new server, i think we need to get as high as spec as we can afford as it will need to last for at least 3 - 5 years +

    any ideas?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    Why not buy a new server and split the load/services between them?

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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    I agree with Geoff.... go for a new server and split the servcies. I would also forget CC4 and migrate away from RM but thats just my opinion.

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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    Check out the other forums to see at least 2 reasons to move away from RM (ks3 online testine and RMEasymail)

    Buy a new server we recently bought several rack mounted Dell Poweredge 2950, brilliiant kit we got 3 times 73 Gb hard drives, 4 Gb of RAM and 2 quad core Xeon processors all for £2.5k per server they are lightning fast and the best thing is all the technical support (if needed) is UK based.

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    amyr's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    ok the reason we're sticking with rm at the moment is that we are a primary school and its easier for a new tech to walk into an rm system rather than a vanilla build or other sort of build. i'm not sure how much longer i will be staying in this job (however i have been here over a year and have had some quite big projects to do in this time).

    so what i am trying to work out is whether to buy a new cc3 server or to just upgrade my current one. this is not a should we or shouldn't we move away from cc3. sorry. that's just not up for debate as i am quite happy with our current setup, i've just been asked to look at server upgrades.

    i do know about easymail - i am currently suffering with lack of email facilities (luckily i'm able to use my personal email accounts at work).

    the benefits of buying a new cc3 server now is that it will have 2k3 on it and i'll be able to say what packages/options/applications i want installed, rather than my inherited current cc3 server. although we have a pretty good server sitting here already. i think i need to look at having at least 4gb ram, 160gb + on hard drive as a lot more photo storage is required now, and probably 2 processors but still undecided on that one. although i do like dell servers/workstations.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    It's easy for a tech with prior rm experience to walk into an rm powered school and get going.

    A vanilla tech or a rasberry one for that matter may struggle to start with.

    If CC3/4 is installed on windows server 2003 standard the most you can use it 4gb anyway.

    Ben

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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    amyr

    You don't need to migrate away from RM just to install your own server. Its not too difficult to install a 2nd DC running Windows 2003 alongside your current server. You can then transfer the FSMO rolls and other services to the new DC as required.

    There is loads of support on this site if you get stuck and AFAIK this will not invalidate any RM support contracts.

    The main advantage in going this route is you can spec your own server hardware and save a few quid at the same time.

  8. #8
    amyr's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    ok, only want 1 server running, the other server may be redeployed to the school office or might be set up as a webserver. not sure yet. need to think about that one. this has all been sprung on me at the last minute! (as per usual)

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    amyr's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    i was a tech from vanilla build schools (in fact i set up 5 vanilla build schools in 6 months and supported them) and i actually found it easier learning the rm way of doing things than the vanilla way - even though i set up the vanilla way. what i'm trying to work out is whether we can buy a server from somewhere else and convert it for use on the cc3 network.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by amyr
    ok, only want 1 server running, the other server may be redeployed to the school office or might be set up as a webserver. not sure yet. need to think about that one. this has all been sprung on me at the last minute! (as per usual)
    Speaking from bitter experience you might want to reconsider the single server approach as having a second one that shares the roles properly would be a real lifesaver if one dies (for whatever reason).

    My primary has 2 servers with shared DNS and AD... Once I have hard drives organised I'll be using the distributed file system to essentially provide a rolling backup for all data so if one gets nicked (happened before when I wasn't there) or suffers a hardware fault the other can just keep it all up and running without so much as a blip.

    No idea how feasible that is with RM but for nilla Server 2k3 it's working well.

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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    I'd be interested to know what server RM offer - and the price. I looked at their website a couple of weeks ago and the spec. was old and the price was high. We went elsewhere - although we're not tied to CC3.

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    I'd have to disagree with Plexer I think a vanilla tech would find RM very easy to work with seeing as CC3 is just a bolt on over windows they could use their existing experience and just use the MS Active Directory and associated tools, understanding a web front end from RM doesn't take a long time and I was up to speed inside a week I.E. able to do everything using RM tools.

  13. #13
    amyr's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    exactly...although it took me 2 weeks as i started a week before the christmas holidays...after 2 weeks i was capable of doing everything rm's way.

    i could go down the route of setting up vanilla builds but i would have to document it so well as if a new tech came in they may not be as competant as i was when i joined. that would mean i would probably spend at least 6 weeks writing documentation on how to do everything, whereas RM already have that documentation written along with a large knowledgebase.

    anyway, still not sure what spec i should go for with the server, how many processors minimum? how many hard disk's minimum? i think i would like to have 4.0gb ram though. that much i know. and i think i would probably want 2 160gb hard drives in. now its just the processors (and i have to admit i don't know much about processors although i usually hazard a guess when it comes to deciding!)

    so how many and what speed processors would you have in a new server?

  14. #14
    amyr's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    just had another thought...would i have to upgrade the current 2k client access licences if we got server 2003?

  15. #15
    wesleyw's Avatar
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    Re: new server or bits of server upgrade?

    Yeah all of them would need to be upgraded.

    Wes



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