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Old 04-22-09, 10:03 AM   #1
Tr1cK
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Default Vista Business vs Windows Server

My company is needing to revamp their whole network. This includes new server hardware.

They currently have about 20-something people on an open network. The 'server' is an OLD Win2k machine that just has folders shared out with no sort of user access limitations. They want me to help them revamp the whole thing with new hardware and higher security.

Our basic needs for a server will be central data storage with backup capability and some database serving as well. I think all the databases are SQL based.

We currently are in a pretty remote location and have a small DSL pipe coming in, so there will no web serving. We may look into having our own exchange server there though. If they decide to get more bandwidth (prob more $ than they want to spend) then we will most likely go for Web and FTP serving as well.

My #1 question is will this small business server be able to work with Vista Business or will something like Windows Server 08 be required?
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Old 04-22-09, 11:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

I would go with Windows Server 2003 Standard or 08 Standard. It will be a bit more cash up front, but it will be well worth the price if you need any flexibility in the future. Depending on what your budget is, I would buy a beefy server and through ESXi on it. Everything really depends on your budget. I assume that you are going to want to bring up Active Directory, as well, right?

If you need any help when its time to talk specifics, let me know.
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Old 04-22-09, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

Vista Business may work for you but I would go with Windows server 2008 for maximum flexibility.
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Old 04-22-09, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

I will probably persuade them into Server 08 then. I'm not the most knowledgeable network guy out there Q, so I will probably have some questions.

They have been going with Dell mostly, but I know they want the most cost effective solutions. I will probably build a server, anything to look out for? Any pre-built (non-rack) out there I should consider?
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Old 04-22-09, 03:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

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Originally Posted by Tr1cK View Post
I will probably persuade them into Server 08 then. I'm not the most knowledgeable network guy out there Q, so I will probably have some questions.

They have been going with Dell mostly, but I know they want the most cost effective solutions. I will probably build a server, anything to look out for? Any pre-built (non-rack) out there I should consider?
I trust Dell for the most part, especially with the low end. If you had money to spend I would recommend IBM, but I administer a bit over 20 Dell Servers right now and they are all fairly solid. Mine are rack mount, but I have one tower in a remote location that's doing alright.

While I've custom built plenty of PC's, I've never had the luxury of building a server from scratch. If you are going to piece one together, I would recommend that you take a close look of how the motherboard implements RAID. If you have to buy a separate controller and expect decent performance, you will need to spend another $250 to $500 for a low-end controller. Dell's PERC controllers are decent for what they are, IMO, and come standard for the most part.

You said about 20 people are going to use the system? How many people will need to access the database product? MySQL, MSDE, MS SQL? Depending on what performance your users expect, you'll have to be careful on what RAID solution you get. You might have to setup a RAID 1 for your OS and a Raid 5 or 10 for your database. Or you might be able to get away with a single RAID 5 if your end users don't need killer performance or if the database operations are relatively light weight.

A bunch of IFS.

I could go with a vendor for support. It's nice to have one company to turn to when something goes wrong hardware wise. Just imagine having to break out receipts for several different vendors when you server starts flaking out. None of them will want to diagnose the problem since it could be other vendors problems. Dell has (relatively) solid hardware support and they will take care of the hardware one way or another.

I sound like I'm preaching Dell, but it really is good for the low-end server market.
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Old 04-22-09, 04:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

A problem is the low end Dell towers are looking to run about $2000 more than a comparative custom build. These guys are all about saving a dollar, hence why they are running a 7 year old machine with nothing but shared folders. They don't even have a large switch, there are 2 or 3- 10 port switches daisy chained just laying around.

I'll see if I can get some cell phone pics tomorrow, it really is quite humorous to look at.
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Old 04-22-09, 05:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tr1cK View Post
A problem is the low end Dell towers are looking to run about $2000 more than a comparative custom build. These guys are all about saving a dollar, hence why they are running a 7 year old machine with nothing but shared folders. They don't even have a large switch, there are 2 or 3- 10 port switches daisy chained just laying around.

I'll see if I can get some cell phone pics tomorrow, it really is quite humorous to look at.
If you have an account manager and can figure out a custom solution, you may be able to get a pretty decent price on the equipment (top to bottom but you are obviously looking at a more cost-effective solution).

Let them know that you have to look at the BIG picture. If they are looking at an investment for 5-7 years, you have to look at TCO (TOTAL Cost of Ownership).

You CANNOT quantify the TCO of a project by looking at just the initial cost. If the end cost of the unit, including support and services is within the dollar-figure that has been assigned, you are good to go. But you cannot possibly allocate a figure without forecasting out.

Get on the phone, talk to a rep, get their TSR (technical sales rep) on the line and figure it out. If you don't want an upfront cost for the whole thing to be invoiced in one shot, look to setup a net30 account or a lease or some kind of terms of payment and voila, you are all set

But let me re-emphasize, look at TOTAL cost of ownership. This is NOT the same as just looking at a price up front. From a TCO perspective, Dell does provide good value.
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Old 04-22-09, 06:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

Hp ML350 G5 probs suits your needs and not too expensive. We have many Hp servers of one kind or another and very good and reliable. Their laptops are pretty bad, but desktops and servers are still the best.

Server 2008 is a bit more flexy and will configure mobile devices a bit easier than 2003.
But both are good operating systems.
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Old 04-22-09, 07:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vista Business vs Windows Server

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tr1cK View Post
A problem is the low end Dell towers are looking to run about $2000 more than a comparative custom build. These guys are all about saving a dollar, hence why they are running a 7 year old machine with nothing but shared folders. They don't even have a large switch, there are 2 or 3- 10 port switches daisy chained just laying around.

I'll see if I can get some cell phone pics tomorrow, it really is quite humorous to look at.
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...-deals-servers

Start here.

You can build a heckofa nice server for under $2k. Also, Sazar has hit it on the head. Dell will slash prices to get their foot in the door. Also, Dell ****ed up an order my boss put in a few months ago. They screwed it up bad. For months. So we called, explained our situation to the manager in that department. We got 2 Fiber NICS that would have cost us $1800 a PIECE under STATE CONTRACT (big discount) for absolutely free. With overnight shipping.

You are talking about building a enterprise class machine, right? Server class motherboard, hard drives, etc?
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