+ 1 Votes Impossible to answer properly without knowing a thousand other things gechurch February 9, 2013 at 10:05pm PST If you are looking for specific advice regarding brand, I suggest you get in touch with the sales people at HP/Dell/wherever. They will be able to run you through their offerings, and make suggestions about which models to buy and give you costings. It's going to be hard for anyone here to offer specific advice based on what you've told us so far. It's a really difficult question you've asked because the answer is "it depends". And what it depends on is all sorts of details that we're not aware of. For starters, you haven't mentioned if there are existing servers in place and whether brand consistency is important, and you haven't how seriously you take uptime. I could suggest a beige-box PCs, and I could also suggest high-end name-brand server gear and both would satisfy your spec requirements. But they would be worlds apart in terms of cost, reliability, remote management, ability to hot-swap components etc. Some of the core questions to ask yourself are: 1) What are your IO requirements? Presumably seek time is important so you'll be looking at proper SAS drives. Presumably with 2000 users you'll also want high uptime, so you'll be RAIDing the drives. RAID5 or 10 might be good choices if you can accept a single drive failure. If you need to handle multiple drive failures take a look at RAID 6. Do you need to be able to swap out bad hard drives without powering down the server? 2) What sort of content are you delivering? If it is static you can get away with a lowly CPU. Since you've got a database I'm assuming it's not static, and that will put a much greater load on your CPU. This may become your bottleneck - you might need to look at multiple high-end CPUs. 3) How are you going to connect the front-end boxes to the SQL box? Are you going to have a single network card and LAN, or will the servers talk on a separate physical LAN (or VLAN)? Or are you having shared storage (like a SAN)? 4) What sort of pipe will your users have to the server? Have you considered going with redundant PSUs? RAID cards? Servers? Do you need UPSes? What sort of run-time do you need out of them? Do they need to be redundant? Where will the servers be housed? Are you going rack-mount? Do you need to buy a rack? What sort of cooling will you have? What sort of security will there be for the room they are housed in? What sort of backup regime are you going to use? Do you want three physical servers, or can you buy one powerful box and virtualise your three machines? Do you really need three servers at all or can the same machine host the internal and external requests? That's a lot of questions, and each of these needs to be considered in-depth. My suggestion is to determine exactly what the hardware requirements will be. The vendor should be able to what similar sized sites have gone with. If its an internal project, do some testing and extraoolate for the larger user base. Once you've figured out precisely what your CPU, IO and network requirements are, you should find your hardware requirements fall into place. Touch base with vendors and let them know your requirements. They might be able to help with some of the implementation details (like "RAID 5 or RAID10"), but it will need to be you defining the overall requirements.