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Wireless Networks Thread, Which Server to buy? in Technical; Hi All This is my first post, so apologies if it is in the wrong section. We are a small ...
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    Which Server to buy?

    Hi All

    This is my first post, so apologies if it is in the wrong section.

    We are a small primary school, and are currently looking into buying a server for our 30 computers. We want it to be a domain controller and run active directory. At most, there will be the potential for a maximum of 30 concurrent logins at any one time, but this is most likely to be less, somewhere in the region of 22/25 users logging in at once. The Server will also provide group policy to the clients. Itís anticipated that it will most likely run Server 2008, as 2003 seems to be disappearing.

    I was just wondering if anyone could recommend any server specs for this workload, or a server capable of this for less than £900, is this do able?

    I appreciate your help.

    Andy

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    clarky2k3's Avatar
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    Could get a HP Proliant G5 and buy extra RAM and HDDs, would work a treat for little money!

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    Thanks clarky2k3, that server looks excellent for the value.

    Cheers
    Andy

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    Couldn't agree more with clarky2k3 - great little boxes. Get a bit more RAM, some HDDs and upgrade the warranty (as it's your only server, you'll want it fixed pretty quickly *if* anything goes pop).

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    Hi Pantscat

    How much RAM would you recommend?

    Cheers

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    Hi Andy,

    All depends upon what exactly you'll end up using it for... you may start off with quite basic requirements/plans... but these may blossom in time!

    As a rough guide, if you're just doing Active Directory and Group Policy then 2GB is fine.

    If you're going to do file storage then I'd go for a bit more and perhaps 3 - 4GB.

    If you're going all out and going for Windows Small business server (or having multiple roles on one box, e.g. Exchange for email and ISA for firewall) then I'd go for 8GB +

    Feel free to ask if you've any other questions!

    Ant

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    Agree with the G5, but don't forget about the additional M$ licensing costs.

  8. Thanks to djm968 from:

    andyk (28th June 2010)

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    Hi Ant

    Thanks for that.

    Primarily the server will be used as a domain controller and active directory. We were planning on buying a NAS device for storing network files etc. Would this mean we would require 3-4GB, or as the data is stored on to the network storage, would the 2GB be sufficient on the actual server?

    We are planning on putting on Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard on the Server.

    I am sorry is these are basic questions, and I appreciate your help.

    Andy

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyk View Post
    We are a small primary school, and are currently looking into buying a server for our 30 computers.
    The HP mentioned above seems just fine, or the equivilent Dell machine would probably be thePowerEdge T110 - again, get extra RAM (8GB?) from crucial.co.uk and extra harddrives (3 1 or 2 TB drives?) from wherever is cheapest. Same goes for Windows Server licenses - don't buy Windows Server from HP/Dell with the machine, get it somewhere cheaper at education prices. Check whether Small Busines Server is right for you - personally, I'd go for Windows Server Enterprise and have the capability to set up four virtual machines to keep everything split up nicely. That way you could have a seperate DC, print server and file server, giving you some room for future expansion.

    --
    David Hicks

  11. Thanks to dhicks from:

    andyk (28th June 2010)

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    David has some very good advice there - splitting the roles into virtual boxes is a nice tidy way to keep things separate.

    If you're only doing active-directory stuff on the box then 2GB as a starter is fine. As with all of these things though, if you can afford it get more as you'll always use it in the future.

    Beware of cheap NAS boxes - I find that they don't perform well when there are more than a few users connected... (I'm thinking of Buffalo terastation type things).

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    buzzard's Avatar
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    I use the HP ProLiant ML150 G6 (AFAIK the G5's are now unavailable? G7's are now coming out) for similar situations, again becareful of RAM and version of Server, we're unable to use x64 versions due to some application software but use Enterprise version (x86) to get the most out of the memory in our machines (6Gb) something like this is what we use with more RAM and HDD chucked in or something like this

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Have you taken into account that you will need to buy the server OS and the Client Access Licenses as well?

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    I'd say wait for another few months until the new HP G7 tower servers come out - if they get the same rating of energy efficiency as the rank mounted G7s then you should be doing well.
    Personally I'd say a spec like this should do you well-

    Intel/AMD Quad Core @ ~2.2ghz
    4GB DDR3 RAM (if you are just running AD/Logins/GPOs/File Storage)
    4 SATA hard drives (capacity of your choice) in hardware RAID 5
    1Gb Ethernet network controller
    Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit Standard Edition (look into licencing as others have said)

  16. Thanks to jamesfed from:

    andyk (29th June 2010)

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    Hi All

    Thanks for all your reply's, I appreciate your help.

    Cheers

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