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Server building / buying - Suggestion


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#1 Sasi Kumar

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:17 PM

Hi Friends i am in the process of identifying server for a small "web development firm" and would like to get some input on how to go about it. I need help on selecting a server that best suits the firm and their needs for present and to an extend at least 3-5yrs from now. And i am especially looking for HP servers or IBM no DELL but i am open to other servers manufactures too if they are good. I have bad experience with DELL thats why also i feel HP and IBM are more experienced in server manufacturing if not less than DELL.

 

Details :

Server Type - Tower

 

Firms work profile - This firm develops web application in different platform ASP / SQL / Apache they also use XAMPP to host site/application for clients to view and decide[provide feedback] so it can be improved as requested by them. Also they need Redhat as they are in coming month going to explore some new business possibilities may be we can use visualization ? 

 

Storage - Firm needs huge storage as they are going to store client information and all applications developed for various clients including database and other critical assets related to management. Whats main difference between SATA and SCSI

 

Backup - Firm will backup their assets every week to an external HDD and and periodically to physical media[cd/dvd] for critical datas. What i want to know is how about implementing RAID[mirror] which is best s/w or h/w ?

 

OS : Windows server 2012

 

Load - There will be at-least 4-5 website or applications that will be running on server at any given time with maximum of 10-15 users logging in each site or application hosted that adds to minimum of maximum of 75 users accessing server HDD requesting various applications.

 

Others :

- Firm has close to 100 users and will grow in coming years every user must be given domain login / Users must be divided into groups per team with separate user rights and policy guiding them

- In coming months we plan to implement Proxy server and [Mail server or File server]

 

I put as much that came to my mind guys if i missed some please do ask and i dont expect you to answer all the points i am happy even if i of the point i posted is answered :) And sorry for making it long thanks for helping everyone.

 

And for the record by coming week we must get the server.

 

 

 



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#2 Sasi Kumar

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:21 AM

!! Bump !!

 

Any one ??



#3 Kilroy

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 03:49 PM

Why are you wanting a tower and not a rack mount?  My recommendation would be to go with a rack mount.  As the company grows you're going to go to rack mount equipment, much easier to manage space.

 

How much is huge storage?

 

You are planning on backing up to an external hard drive.  This isn't a backup plan, it is a plan to fail.  Check out the 3-2-1 Backup Rule.  The largest external drive I have is 4TB, which I don't consider to be huge as my main machine has over 27TB in it.

 

RAID should always be done in hardware.  RAID is not a back up, it only protects you from hard drive failure.

 

You're going to have to get RAM specs from someone with more knowledge in this area, but as much as you can afford is usually a good number, if anything it will be less.

 



#4 Sasi Kumar

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:38 AM

Hi mate thanks for reply exactly thats what my local friends told me go for RACK mount, I am not big fish in server setups not even close but i am a fast learner.

 

1) I am ready to go with Rack mount i said tower as i want to minimize cost and maintanance.

2) Huge storage i was taking about close to 8TB of datas and not more than 2-3 TB of critical datas. i went through the link provided and will try to implement those when needed.

3) I agree on RAID

 

Now can you please tell what will be the best IBM server that will suit us ? As you are in that field it would be more helpful to know from you before i approach other consultancy for buying and implementing.



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

I haven't dealt with servers in years so I can't recommend a specific model.  You might want to think about virtualization, again not something I am versed in, but it seems to be the trend.



#6 TsVk!

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:36 PM

We don't buy Dell workstations (junk), but have found.... after many years of experience, that Dell r720 rack servers are extremely reliable and well priced.

 

We have 3 racks each with 2 r720's that run VM clusters, mirrored.

 

Never had a problem in years of implementation, always had high performance... Not in the same league as their consumer products.



#7 Sasi Kumar

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:32 AM

Yes thanks will look virtualization options once we set up bare minimum working server dont want to jump the guns into fancy server technology, More over as i said this is for now just going to be web server no other role for virtualization for now lets see.

 

@Tsvk the problem with Dell is there is no reliable System Integrators in our location yet and most of those who i asked who i know have worked with server atleast in base level says they run IBM and some say HP very little told they had DELL

 

I checked many review and found x3650 is a good option for startup any idea on those ? It's a Rack server

 

Also i have a small doubt can we club together X3650 x 2 into one rack and make them work as a single server with more processing power ? So in coming years if we need more processing power we can just add another unit to it.

 

Thanks a lot guys for any help



#8 TsVk!

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:22 AM

Yeah, Sasi, I get that... we had helping hands on the first one. A major thing you need to consider is which hardware servers support the software you want to run. We run vShpere and Linux servers and almost every rack server works out of the box, but I've read that this isn't always the case with MS servers. So you might want to use your crystal balls a bit and try and envision what you might like to do with your servers in the future, and what the hardware capabilities actually are that you may require now, and future.

 

Definitely worth getting some local advice and sitting and discussing the project with a project developer/salesperson, across a table. Then do it with a second and third, and then cross reference their answers... It's not so much about the cost, but about the hours, days and weeks you are going to spend trying to fix and configure your system if it is not designed correctly for your situation.



#9 Kilroy

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:10 PM

It's not so much about the cost, but about the hours, days and weeks you are going to spend trying to fix and configure your system if it is not designed correctly for your situation.

 

Amen.  I can't tell you how many people try to save money and end up spending more in the long run.  Saving a couple grand up front doesn't mean much when you spend tens of thousands to get it working.



#10 Sasi Kumar

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:22 PM

Thats great help of you guys i have started talking to local system integrators now with little knowledge that i got from here, Thanks a lot guys and what about the following is there a concept like that ?
 

 

Also i have a small doubt can we club together X3650 x 2 into one rack and make them work as a single server with more processing power ? So in coming years if we need more processing power we can just add another unit to it.

 



#11 TsVk!

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:36 PM

 

Also i have a small doubt can we club together X3650 x 2 into one rack and make them work as a single server with more processing power ? So in coming years if we need more processing power we can just add another unit to it.

 

As theses racks have a quad core cpu, each processor could easily host one server (depending on load, and depending on the server details). I really recommend you look into vShpere. Your servers will auto balance and share and migrate server loads depending on stability, using this technology. Our network here runs 6 servers over 2 rack mounts and doesn't even stress it in the slightest. If one server was to fail the other would take all the load. If both were to fail we have a mirrored backup server rack in another building that can take over all processes, losing only 15-30 seconds uptime. We are in an industrial situation and downtime costs about $40000 an hour (when the factory runs for half the year), but for what the technology costs there is no reason for all businesses to have this type of protection.

 

It all comes down to what you use (in terms of software), what your demands are (in terms of load), what your expected growth is.

 

You can always add more servers, change processes over to other hardware and modify your systems when you grow. BUT, if your system is not set up for this you will find yourself in a tricky situation, where you require network, storage and resource management reconfiguration & development. Rather than just being able to add another rack you will have to build again.

 

I really recommend you talk to several people about your plans, face to face. We can't really tell you what is going to work for you, here.



#12 Sasi Kumar

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 02:12 PM

Great help TsVk! and RKilroy will work on those points and once all are implemented i will post here what we did and how so may be others in future with no knowledge like me can take their first step in their small office. And again thanks for the help guys really was worth ith.






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