Questions

New Server

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New Server

davide
I need to purchase a new server and I wanted to know what you think of this.

These are the requirement
25-50 users
Exchange
3 users with high bandwith needs for graphic files. Currently using 130Gb of data. MS Great Plains
Win SBE2003

Please tell me if this is overkill
- 2 XEON 3Ghz
- 4x1Gb (1333Mhz) RAM
- 4x146Gb SAS or SCSI drives in RAID 5 with 2 redundants drives (room for 2 or 4 additional drives)
- dual nic.
- redundant power supply

Were talking 10-12k.
Opinions? Suggestions?
Thanks
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    0 Votes
    zlitocook

    They will let you buy it, do it. Any Administrator will jump at a great server, most of the time it is the second or third box you have to get because of the cost.

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    CG IT

    Why not opt for something like CRM

    Is this an HP server?

    Might try Dell. Their just as good and less expensive

    if you can get a SCSI onboard instead of an add on card, get the onboard and hotswap SCSI.

    RAID 5 in 3 partitions. 1 for system 1 for data 1 for logs [about 5 GH for log files].

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    0 Votes
    Vetch_101

    I can honestly say that every time I spec out a system, I always check Dell first...
    Then I compare the prices compared to other companies and Dell is always way cheaper...
    More than that, I find that Dell provide fantastic support and ship with an incredible array of diagnostic tools that help in the event of system failure...

    Personally, the spec you've gone for is way more than I'd spend... But then I'm really tight - I aim to get my systems for around ?2000-?3000...

    ... Still, the longer you have it, the more load it will get, and the more applications you'll end up using it for...

    Re: the drives, if I read you correctly, you're talking a 292GB drive, with 2 spares. I'd forgo the second redundant disk and go for size over reliability in that situation, because you'll soon find that it fills up!
    Alternatively, if you're really desperate for the second redundancy, get another disk...

    Just my 2 cents (and I'm English!;)

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    NewBeeAdmin

    At our company we build over own and we use AMD based system's. Currently we built one for less than $8K Cdn with over 900 GB of storage space. Are you going to use the server for both exchange and files if so my recommendation is try to get 2 seprate systems just incase of disk failures or systems failures you dont want to end up with 2 services down. Get a single processor dual core system for file server needs and get a dual processor based system for exchange. Also try SATA they come with 5 years of warranty and they are cheap.


    Just my 2 cents Cdn.

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    bkinsey

    But probably not drastically so, depending on anticipated growth. We run Exchange 2K3 for 150 users with no problems on a PowerEdge 2650 with a single 2.8GHz Xeon and 1 GB of RAM. Cost about 1/3 of what you're talking about. I've never used Great Plains, but it doesn't look like it's suggested hardware req's are much; I'd bet it would run fine alongside Exchange even on the machine we've got.

    That said, I like to keep Exchange on it's own box, and if Great Plains qualifies as mission critical for you, it might deserve it's own server as well. For $10-12000, downsize your specs and get two boxes. Keep the dual NICs and PS's. . . .

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    davide

    Getting a separate box for file sharing or other mission critical applications would require additional licencing.
    I would have to go from 1 SBE licence to 2 - Win2K3 Standard edition, curently running ISA which would push us to move to different hardware for that. The intention is to move away from ISA but I don't think I can get buyin to do everything at once.
    Beefy server would allow me to do everything I have and buy me a year to spend another 2-3k for router and firewall (or suecurity appliance).

    More thoughts?

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    0 Votes

    ISA

    Vetch_101

    If you have spare hardware and licenses that are being taken up by the ISA server, you could probably install Endian Firewall on that box and move the licenses across...

    Endian is an open source security appliance - and extremely easy to use...

    Then you could get your second new server without the extra licensing... (unless it's OEM)...

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    0 Votes
    NewBeeAdmin

    So how many licenses do you really have ? In the case of ISA as firewall there are few small units out there that can acts as great hardware firewall/router. If you are good at linux you make that as firewall mind you i never tried but heard good things about it. Or if you organization only uses one ISP try Sonicwall TZ170 Unlimited node firewall with enhanced OS. The hardware and the os license you free up can be used for something else. But trust me going with 2 MS services on server you are asking for trouble especially if you going also use the box as file server. But i agree make sure to get dual nic's and redundant power supply.

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    TBBrick

    Forget the MS hype, MS Windows servers just can't juggle two big programs like Exchange and GP at once. Sure, you can have your backup program, antivirus software, and Exchange. Or your backup program, antivirus software, and GP. Just not both on the same server, no matter how brand new and hot stuff it is. Keep them separate and you'll have fewer BSOD's to hassle with.

    I'd NEVER run any mission critical program on the same server that's running Exchange or IIS, (or whatevertheheck it's called now.)
    If God forbid, you are currently running Exchange and GP on the <GULP> same server, get the new server for GP ASAP. Include in the quote more RAM for the current server that will run Exchange only.

    You'll find that even without the RAM boost, Exchange will run faster, now that it doesn't have to compete for processing/bus/nic time with GP. And if you can goose the RAM on the current server, so much the better for Exchange. It's better to have the mission critical GP on the hot stuff server and far, far away from Exchange.

    As far as the specs, if you can get it all for the new GP server, go for it. One can never be too rich, too thin, have too much RAM or a high enough clock speed. I also agree with going for a Dell server and using the dual nics.

  • +
    0 Votes
    zlitocook

    They will let you buy it, do it. Any Administrator will jump at a great server, most of the time it is the second or third box you have to get because of the cost.

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    Why not opt for something like CRM

    Is this an HP server?

    Might try Dell. Their just as good and less expensive

    if you can get a SCSI onboard instead of an add on card, get the onboard and hotswap SCSI.

    RAID 5 in 3 partitions. 1 for system 1 for data 1 for logs [about 5 GH for log files].

    +
    0 Votes
    Vetch_101

    I can honestly say that every time I spec out a system, I always check Dell first...
    Then I compare the prices compared to other companies and Dell is always way cheaper...
    More than that, I find that Dell provide fantastic support and ship with an incredible array of diagnostic tools that help in the event of system failure...

    Personally, the spec you've gone for is way more than I'd spend... But then I'm really tight - I aim to get my systems for around ?2000-?3000...

    ... Still, the longer you have it, the more load it will get, and the more applications you'll end up using it for...

    Re: the drives, if I read you correctly, you're talking a 292GB drive, with 2 spares. I'd forgo the second redundant disk and go for size over reliability in that situation, because you'll soon find that it fills up!
    Alternatively, if you're really desperate for the second redundancy, get another disk...

    Just my 2 cents (and I'm English!;)

    +
    0 Votes
    NewBeeAdmin

    At our company we build over own and we use AMD based system's. Currently we built one for less than $8K Cdn with over 900 GB of storage space. Are you going to use the server for both exchange and files if so my recommendation is try to get 2 seprate systems just incase of disk failures or systems failures you dont want to end up with 2 services down. Get a single processor dual core system for file server needs and get a dual processor based system for exchange. Also try SATA they come with 5 years of warranty and they are cheap.


    Just my 2 cents Cdn.

    +
    0 Votes
    bkinsey

    But probably not drastically so, depending on anticipated growth. We run Exchange 2K3 for 150 users with no problems on a PowerEdge 2650 with a single 2.8GHz Xeon and 1 GB of RAM. Cost about 1/3 of what you're talking about. I've never used Great Plains, but it doesn't look like it's suggested hardware req's are much; I'd bet it would run fine alongside Exchange even on the machine we've got.

    That said, I like to keep Exchange on it's own box, and if Great Plains qualifies as mission critical for you, it might deserve it's own server as well. For $10-12000, downsize your specs and get two boxes. Keep the dual NICs and PS's. . . .

    +
    0 Votes
    davide

    Getting a separate box for file sharing or other mission critical applications would require additional licencing.
    I would have to go from 1 SBE licence to 2 - Win2K3 Standard edition, curently running ISA which would push us to move to different hardware for that. The intention is to move away from ISA but I don't think I can get buyin to do everything at once.
    Beefy server would allow me to do everything I have and buy me a year to spend another 2-3k for router and firewall (or suecurity appliance).

    More thoughts?

    +
    0 Votes

    ISA

    Vetch_101

    If you have spare hardware and licenses that are being taken up by the ISA server, you could probably install Endian Firewall on that box and move the licenses across...

    Endian is an open source security appliance - and extremely easy to use...

    Then you could get your second new server without the extra licensing... (unless it's OEM)...

    +
    0 Votes
    NewBeeAdmin

    So how many licenses do you really have ? In the case of ISA as firewall there are few small units out there that can acts as great hardware firewall/router. If you are good at linux you make that as firewall mind you i never tried but heard good things about it. Or if you organization only uses one ISP try Sonicwall TZ170 Unlimited node firewall with enhanced OS. The hardware and the os license you free up can be used for something else. But trust me going with 2 MS services on server you are asking for trouble especially if you going also use the box as file server. But i agree make sure to get dual nic's and redundant power supply.

    +
    0 Votes
    TBBrick

    Forget the MS hype, MS Windows servers just can't juggle two big programs like Exchange and GP at once. Sure, you can have your backup program, antivirus software, and Exchange. Or your backup program, antivirus software, and GP. Just not both on the same server, no matter how brand new and hot stuff it is. Keep them separate and you'll have fewer BSOD's to hassle with.

    I'd NEVER run any mission critical program on the same server that's running Exchange or IIS, (or whatevertheheck it's called now.)
    If God forbid, you are currently running Exchange and GP on the <GULP> same server, get the new server for GP ASAP. Include in the quote more RAM for the current server that will run Exchange only.

    You'll find that even without the RAM boost, Exchange will run faster, now that it doesn't have to compete for processing/bus/nic time with GP. And if you can goose the RAM on the current server, so much the better for Exchange. It's better to have the mission critical GP on the hot stuff server and far, far away from Exchange.

    As far as the specs, if you can get it all for the new GP server, go for it. One can never be too rich, too thin, have too much RAM or a high enough clock speed. I also agree with going for a Dell server and using the dual nics.