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Small business server components - need some advice


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#1 marcg1910

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 10:18 PM

I'm an IT student currently in the middle of a project for a course. In this project I need to provide a small architect firm with a network proposal.

 

Because I have not had any experience recommending servers before, I am currently a little stuck on finding a server that won't blow the budget and will contain the components I think the server will need. I am hoping to get some guidance and advice from those with more experience doing this sort of thing.

 

This is a list of the services the server will provide:

  • Domain Controller
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • Print server
  • File server

 

There will be 9 client computers (4 x PC's, 3 x Workstations, 2 x Laptops) added to the domain, and there will initially be 6 users, expanding to 10 over time. The server will obviously need to allow for expansion over time, and also be as reliable as possible.

 

I will not be buying a server with an OS already installed as I'm going to volume license the network.

 

Here is a list of the main components I think the server will need (roughly):

  • Intel Xeon Processor E3-1226 v3 (8M Cache, 3.3GHz), Intel HD Graphics P4600
  • 1 x 8GB (1600MHz, ECC, UDIMM)
  • 2 x 2TB 3.5” SATA HDDs (7200RPM)
  • Redundant Power Supply
  • RAID controller
  • 2 x Single Port Gigabit NICs (redundancy)

I have put together a server on Dell's website with the options that were most suitable (keeping the above components list in mind). The quote they gave me seemed quite expensive, so I'm wondering if I could get those components in a server for a cheaper price, or maybe find a better solution that is cheaper and still effective?

 

This is what I put together on Dell's website and the price they gave me:

 

Base – PowerEdge T330 Server, TPM 1.2 FIPS, Common Criteria, Trusted Computing Group
Chassis – Configuration Chassis with up to 8, 3.5" Hot Plug Hard Drives, Tower Configuration
Processor – Intel® Xeon® E3-1220 v5 3.0GHz, 8M cache, 4C/4T, turbo (80W)
Memory DIMM Type and Speed – 2133MT/s UDIMMs
Memory Configuration Type – Performance Optimized
Memory Capacity – 8GB UDIMM, 2133MT/s, ECC
RAID Configuration – C8: RAID 1, H330/H730 for SAS/SATA
RAID Controller – PERC H330 RAID Controller
Hard Drives – 2 x 1TB 7.2K RPM SATA 6Gbps 3.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive
Embedded Systems Management – iDRAC8, Enterprise with OpenManage Essentials,Server ConfigMgmt
Additional Network Cards – Broadcom 5720 DP 1Gb Network Interface Card
Additional Network Cards – On-Board LOM 1GBE Dual Port (BCM5720 GbE LOM)
Power Supply – Dual, Hot-plug, Redundant Power Supply (1+1), 495W
Power Management BIOS Settings – Power Saving BIOS Setting
Advanced System Configurations – UEFI BIOS Setting
Operating System – None
Dell Services – Hardware Support 3Yr ProSupport: Next Business Day Onsite Service
Bezel
Rack Rails – Casters for PowerEdge Tower Chassis
Internal Optical Drive – DVD+/-RW, SATA, Internal
Keyboard – Dell™ KB212-B USB Entry Business Keyboard (English)
Mouse – Dell MS111 USB Optical Mouse
Shipping

Total Cost: $3916

 

I hope I have given enough information, if I haven't let me know. Any help would be greatly appreciated :thumbup2:


Edited by marcg1910, 14 March 2016 - 10:19 PM.


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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 01:39 PM

Better to take at least E3-1230 v5 CPU.



#3 marcg1910

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 11:13 PM

Just an update to where I'm at:

 

After more research I found what seems like an excellent solution that will allow me to save money compared to my original solution, and will give me a great disaster recovery solution. In short the solution was to have a single server with Server 2012 R2 installed on it with only the Hyper V role installed. Then I would create a virtual Server 2012 R2 on the host. This VM will have all of the configurations and roles installed and will be the server everyone accesses.

 

This solution was suggested by the user choucove on this thread (read for more information): http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/354537-28-small-business-server-recommendations

 

Since the Server 2012 R2 license allows for up to 2 VMs there would be no additional licensing cost.

 

I have come up with another server setup with this solution in mind:

 

Lenovo ThinkServer TS140

 

Processor : Intel Xeon E3-1276 v3 Processor (8MB Cache, 3.60GHz)
Operating System : No Operating System
Form Factor : Tower Server, 280W, 85% PSU
1st Memory DIMM : 8GB 1600MHz ECC UDIMM
2nd Memory DIMM:  4GB 1600MHz ECC UDIMM
RAID Adapters and Upgrades : ThinkServer RAID 100 Adapter
1st RAID Configuration: Primary RAID 1 (2 HDDs)
2nd RAID Configuration: Secondary RAID 1 (2 HDDs)
1st Hard Drive: 500GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA, 6G/s, Non Hot Swap
2nd Hard Drive: 500GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA, 6G/s, Non Hot Swap
3rd Hard Drive: 2TB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA, 6G/s, Non Hot Swap
4th Hard Drive: 2TB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA, 6G/s, Non Hot Swap
Optical Device: Slim DVD +/-RW
Video Adapter: Integrated Graphics Adapter
Onboard Ethernet: 1 x onboard Gigabit Ethernet Intel i217 (Integrated)
Chassis Intrusion Switch: Chassis Intrusion Switch

 

Price (inc. postage): $2,497.60 AUD

 

I added more memory just so the VM has plenty to work with, it might be a bit of overkill but at least the RAM is there to grow into in the future if needed. Any opinions on this solution?


Edited by marcg1910, 15 March 2016 - 11:16 PM.


#4 Drillingmachine

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 05:09 AM

Better. Still 12GB memory is not much for two VM's if host is also running some software. I have 2 VM's running and already have 16GB/24GB memory in use (VM's take 4GB both). This is NOT server enviroment however, just home computer. It also seems that host OS Windows is doing some updating that eats 2GB extra ram. Anyway I recommend 16GB memory, that way memory configuiration is also 8+8GB and not 8+4GB, non symmetric memory configurations are always worse than symmetric. Not that it necessarily is problem but still.






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