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Help on the hardware requirements for a new company?

By dickdeguzman ·
I need info regarding hardware requirements for a new small - medium company.

Assuming that the company will need an Internet Access & Email (Lotus Notes), about 10 users, what are needed? What are the latest trends in the market?

Thanks.

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Provided that you don't exceed 10 Workstations you can use

by OH Smeg In reply to Help on the hardware requ ...

A Simple Peer to Peer Network and have everything that you asked about.

However if you want to maintain internal connectivity and external connectivity to the Internet and E-Mail and need more than 10 workstations you may have a problem.

For an OS I would recommend XP Pro as it's proven and works with all available software which is something that can not be said about Vista Enterprise which is what you would need. XP Pro is also markedly cheaper as well which doesn't hurt at all.

As for Hardware this depends on what it is that is being done provided that there are no massive CPU intensive Tasks a basic workstation will suffice but I would make sure that you get ones with a DVD Burner as they offer better versatility over a CD Reader or Burner and if you are using Vista you'll need a DVD Reader at the very least as Vista comes on a DVD.

If you need more than 10 workstations you'll need a Server of some description and if you stick with all M$ products that would be 2003 Small Business Server R2 + 1 X 5 Pack of CAL's which will cost you about half of the cost of the 2003 SBS version. Naturally you'll need more CAL's if you have more than 10 workstations and once you get to the stage of purchasing 2 X 5 Packs of CAL's for a few hundred $ more you can purchase 1 X 20 Pack CAL CAL = Client Access License and allows the workstations to connect to the server.

If you plan to buy these computers you will need to get what you want as a OS preloaded but if you build them you can buy a Volume License of the OS and Office Product directly from M$ or their agents this depends on Local Laws about Anticompetitive Practices. A Volume License is much cheaper than buying individual OEM Licenses but you only get the 1 set of Install Media and you buy the number of Licenses that you require and get an E-Mail confirming the Product Keys and the number of computers that you can install the product to. This is a mininum of 5 Computers with no upper limit. If the need arises you can buy additional licenses as required.

Your other alternative for a server is to run some form of Server Linux on and this will be as powerful as a Windows 2003 on lower end hardware, but depending on what you plan to do this may not be an option and you are better off buying more powerful hardware for any server and lots of RAM and HDD Space and setup some RAID Devices to incorporate Redundancy for when a HDD fails.

Most Server's can be configured to run as Mail & File servers so that all the files are stored on the Server in separate User Accounts and the incoming E-Mail is picked up here and distributed around the business.

For a basic workstation a Intel Dual Core CPU and 2 X 1 GIG Sticks of RAM which sounds like a lot but as RAM is really cheap now will not cost you much at all. I try to keep all the RAM the same Make and use Corsair or Kingmax both of which are good and proven. The M'Board that I would recommend is one of the name brand ones like Gigabyte, ABit, ASUS or MSI and I really prefer to not have an All In One M'Board that incorporates Video as these slow the system down dramatically and when they break require the complete replacement of M'Board and possibly all the other components fitted. I would try to buy all the hardware at once and make sure that all the M'Boards are identical same Make & Model and you can use faster or slower CPU's depending on the work that the particular workstation will be doing and perhaps if you have a Graphic Intensive Job a higher end Video Card with more RAM on it. But other wise keep everything the same as much as possible as this makes it easier to maintain. I would also recommend a good Name Band Power Supply like Antec they are the ones that I use but obviously there are others and while these may be more expensive initially they will offer superior protection to the internals of the computers.

Also if you have Iffy Mains where these computers will be situated you'll need some decent UPS to make up and prevent any deficiencies in the mains and stop any Power Spikes reaching the computers and killing them off.

If you setup a system like this you can transfer files internally and not run the risk of loosing control of your Data by E-Mailing it from one workstation to another and running up the ISP Bill at the same time and have some decent Router between the Network and Internet. Or if you go with a Server still use a decent Router and configure the Server to have security built in as well. It just makes it harder to break in though to be perfectly honest if you get hit by a Professional Hacker nothing is going to stop them gaining access but if you make it harder you will stop the majority of amateurs.

If you want to use Linux on a Server I would tend to point to SUSE or Red Hat Enterprise both are easy to use and have a fast turn around for software problems and a good support network though you do pay for this but to be fair you would pay for the M$ offering and then pay again for support Again this depends on Local Laws but if you purchase either of the above Linuxes they will come with a 12 month Service Contract.

Another possibility is Mandriva Linux but while some consider it easier to work with it doesn't have as fast a turn around as either SUSE or Red Hat for Kernel Problems though it may be worth the time & effort to use if it suits your needs and they do have a massive Application Library available that you can access either after buying a Copy of the Server Application or you can download a free copy and pay an access fee for access to the Application Library. That one would be your call.

Lets know if you need any more info.

Col

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SBS

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Provided that you don't e ...

May just be me but having all those services in a one box solution just does not do it for me. I would rather have two 2003 servers if this was the case.

Also misses the SBS box breakout hassle should you expand later.

Just an option.

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No it's not just you and that's not my first option either

by OH Smeg In reply to SBS

But for a small company with just 10 computers and maybe a few more it should do the trick. I don't think that they would be willing to stretch their IT budget to a better setup that may not be necessary in the Owners/CEO's eyes.

Maybe I've been stuck with too many skin flints recently too. But it really depends on what they want to do and what is expected as Lotus Notes was mentioned I tried to Keep It Simple.

Col

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