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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Old Server Uses in Technical; Hi, We have a win server 2003 that was once used for hosting sims for the schools LAN. We upgraded ...
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    Old Server Uses

    Hi,

    We have a win server 2003 that was once used for hosting sims for the schools LAN. We upgraded to a new server over the summer and I have been considering the best use of the old server.

    I am interested to learn how several of you have made use of old servers, monitoring, backups , virtualisation? cool creative alternatives? Or any ways which would provide extra functionality or increased efficiency in a school network setup?

    Thanks!

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    When we retire a physical server we dispose of it. We don't run anything that is out of warranty. If you do decide to use it, i would advise against using Server 2003. The support for 2003 is finishing very soon, meaning you won't get security updates etc.

    Thanks

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    BFCIT (13th January 2014), speckytecky (13th January 2014), zag (14th January 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFCIT View Post
    I am interested to learn how several of you have made use of old servers, monitoring, backups , virtualisation? cool creative alternatives?
    If you have any spare disks, or a bit of money available, stuff the server full of as many harddrives as possible and use it for either backups (a live file server that people can get versioned backups from) or a storage area for large media files. As pointed out above, either upgrade the version of Windows Server used (now might be a good time to try out Windows Server 2012 if you haven't already), or install Linux and set up a Samba server.

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    Thank you to you both for your replies. I agree, it would be wise to eliminate server 2003 due to ageing issues and lack of MS support. We do use server 2012 on our new SIMS server however I do not think we will want to be paying for additional licenses.

    If we were to go down the Linux route, is there a particular distribution you think would be best matched to a server with:

    500GB Hard disk
    Intel Xeon E520 1.86Hz
    4GB RAM

    I am also intrigued about the live file server whereby versioned backups can be stored and retrieved. I know very little about this, are you able to point me to an article detailing this process? - Would this still be possible using a Linux O/S?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFCIT View Post
    If we were to go down the Linux route, is there a particular distribution you think would be best matched to a server with: 500GB Hard disk, Intel Xeon E520 1.86Hz, 4GB RAM
    Is that an Intel Xeon E5520? If so, it has hardware support for virtualisation, and (depending on motherboard support) should support a fair bit more RAM - you can probably pick up 16GB or so cheap from eBay. Some more harddrives would be good, too. If you want to use this as a production file / backup server of any kind you'll want to have a RAID array of some kind, not just a single disk. Does the server itself have hardware RAID support, or at least room for additional harddrives?

    I generally go for Debian Linux - it's well known, stable, and you can generally find specific examples of how to set stuff up for it somewhere on the Internet. Pretty much all Linux distributions will do a software RAID array for you if you don't have hardware RAID support, and they will also act as a Windows-compatiable file server if you install and set up Samba.

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    Run a PHP development server for IT students? Did that here with a retired DC that was still a decent spec. Did pay to update the OS to 2012, and I'm not much fussed if it dies as I could rebuild it in a morning (copious notes were made, as written up on my blog here) and the files are backed up daily. Doesn't need much grunt, but it's made a big difference to the way the IT course can be taught now they don't need to rely on external hosting.

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    retired a couple of Dell Poweredge 1900's a while back and they are still being used to test hyper-V and other virtual bits (only 1.6Ghz Xeons but have virtual support)
    you dont always needs the latest and greatest kit to achieve a task, good for learning on

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    we use old servers for samba shares or pfsense servers for learning. What ever really. We do have a few 2600's kicking about for anyone wanting to learn how to build web servers etc on Linux (namely CentOS).

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    It is the E5320 David, I think it does have native support for virtualisation. I would like to thank you all for your input on here, some interesting ideas. Definitely worth giving something a go when I get a bit of free time. It sounds worthwhile playing around with a Linux distribution on here in order to provide users with a bit more shared space in the form of a samba server?


    For now back to HP support for wireless issues.

    Thanks once again!

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    We have a bunch of old HP ML350 G5's that run a test environment on 4x XenServer ( 2 running XenDesktop win7's 2 running Servers ) and a fifth running openfiler.



    Rob

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    zag
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    I don't re-use any old servers.

    All our servers are the same hardware level and I wouldn't keep older stuff to mess that up.

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    Bit of a boring answer here, use it as an image archive incase someone deletes any of our deployment images :/

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    Depending on what connections I Have available on the server I also use old servers for wiping drives or fixing drives, or even use it for BackTrack. I have used old servers for training in the past also.

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    We've used a few older servers for backup using freenas. Nothing critical but useful all the same

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    How about Nagios monitoring software? Runs on Linux. I prefer Ubuntu, as like Debian there's a wealth of knowledge online about how to achieve pretty much anything, if you look for it. I'm also currently looking at WPKG as a way of deploying exe based software across the network.

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