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Small Office Server

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3 replies to this topic

#1 dspaces


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Posted 01 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

I'm looking at replacing 10 computers with new ones and connecting them through a server. I don't know to much about servers.


The budget is about 6000$ and I already have all the software.

What do you guys think about 450$ per computer which will include:


3rd gen i5

micro atx board

small case

128 ssd

4gig ddr3 ram

dvd drive

400-500watt psu

That leaves me with about 1000-1500 left for the server. The server load honestly should be really light since it's primarily just for storing files and running 10 virtual machines. Should I go with a traditional server set up with xeon processors, ecc ram, 4tb 7200rpm (if so what raid set up), and windows 2012 server(I already have a copy)? Thanks in advance.

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#2 goldfist


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Posted 01 January 2014 - 09:39 PM

$1000 to $1500 left for the server that you really need is tight!


If you just needed a file server with Raid that would fit within this price tag, but unless you lease a server from say HP or increase your budget I feel that the hardware you can buy for $1500 will fall short of the requirements. Running 10 x virtual machines at the same time is a heavy load even if the virtual machines are idle. Lots of RAM in use and the CPU's will be busy even with these at idle.


You might be able to get by with buying a refurb server and packing it to the max with say 32GB RAM etc, but its best to buy brand new vs an previously used server that may have a large number of hours on it of operation or taken a few power surges in its time or abuse from a prior owner in an unventilated server closet etc.


Is there a reason why you cant run whatever it is locally on the core i5 workstations that you really require the 10 virtual machines? If the workstations are to be used as dummy terminals with a citrix connection to the server etc, you can get by with cheaper workstations.


At my last IT job as systems admin we were able to extend the life of workstations by installing an HP dual Xeon server running Citrix and so these old Pentium II and Pentium III computers running Windows XP Pro were able to connect over the LAN to this server with the Citrix client and everything the user worked on was server side. Everything they did was as fast as a new computer because the old workstations were just functioning as dummy terminals almost like thin clients, and so the only local processing power used was to interface with the server which did not require much processing power at all. The Pentium II computers were between 192MB and 256MB RAM, and the Pentium III computers were 256 to 512MB RAM locally. We had up to 30 users connected at a time to Citrix, some of which were connected remotely from home working etc. But this server and licensing was expensive! I think it was like $18,000 USD.

Edited by goldfist, 01 January 2014 - 09:48 PM.

#3 josephno1


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Posted 01 January 2014 - 09:45 PM

intel build


more balanced and cheaper build

both system would be great but what will the computers be used for?



However from your description an i5 would be too much and you probs won't have money left over for a server that fits all your needs that you have listed. In that case I would ditch the ssd and go for a 1TB HDD and going for the AMD build which should leave you $2000 for a server for that server because 10 VMs is a lot


Edited by josephno1, 01 January 2014 - 10:32 PM.

#4 dspaces

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:03 AM

Thanks for the reply guys.
I think I'm going to go with the file server set up, since they just need move files back and forth. So the with the file server would I be able to have an application called hotdocs which just has recent law documentation that all the computers will have access to or am I going to need a hotdocs for each computer.
Any recommendation of what to buy for the file server for the budget?

@josephno1 thanks for the builds I like the intel version. Any reason why to go for single 4gig ram as opposed to a dual channel?

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