Point and Counterpoint is a weekly column feature for the Support Republic. Its purpose is to present a balanced discussion among our members regarding hardware, software, and any other topic that our members wish to debate. If you have a suggestion for Point and Counterpoint, feel free to send us a note.
Should you go cheap or spend some cash?
A small problem recently hit the company where a friend of mine works. Apparently, one of its previous network administrators built the DHCP server that served the corporate offices using parts not designed for a server. Instead, he built the DHCP box out of standard workstation parts, using things such as EIDE hard drives and cheap memory.

Last week, the DHCP server crashed hard, leaving the company’s employees in the corporate buildings scrambling for network access when they came in for work that morning. After my friend told me about how the DHCP server was built out of cheap parts, I decided to ask you, the TechRepublic member, what you think about saving cash by using cheap parts versus spending a bit of money for a well-built machine. Below, you’ll find reasons why you might choose one option over the other.

The cheap machine

  • The parts for the cheap machine are just that: cheap. Why spend more money when basic motherboards and EIDE hard drives do the same things that their expensive counterparts do?
  • There can be issues when using SCSI cards and/or SCSI hard drives on some operating systems.
  • What’s the point of having that expensive memory if PC100 does exactly the same thing?

The well-built server

  • You get what you pay for. Server parts are designed to take the load set upon them by users.
  • SCSI hard drives have higher performance rates compared to EIDE hard drives. You can also have more SCSI hard drives in your server than you can EIDE hard drives.
  • Servers need as much memory as possible. The better the memory, the higher your server will perform. It’s money well spent!

The Point
Do you believe that a business’ server can be run using non-server components? Is it worth saving the money by using EIDE hard drives over expensive SCSI parts? We want to know your opinion. Feel free to leave a post below or send us a note with your thoughts. Remember, you’re trying to make a point here, so make your answers clear and concise.

The Counterpoint
So you think that servers should be running SCSI components and dual-processor motherboards? You probably think that these server parts are worth the money. If so, we want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a post below, or send us a note. Remember, since you’re making a point here, be sure your answers are clear and concise.
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