How much should we spend?

We are looking into getting a new server, with server 2008 on it.
The server is mainly a print server in an College enviorment.
So we need it for controlling the printing and the lab computers.

I also want to use it as a file server.

Not so much, but the system has to be as safe as possible.

Is there something that can tell me how much we should invest in the hardware, and what can you recommend to get.

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two q's

by ---TK--- In reply to How much should we spend?

How many printer is it going to manage?
and How many people are going to be using the file server?

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by SPC_TCOL In reply to two q's

right now we have around 25 printers and in the average we have around 60 people accessing the files at the same time.

All together we have around 200 computers.

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by ---TK--- In reply to Printers

that is not to many printers, and not exactly alot of people.

I would recommend going with a server that has 4 cores, 8 Gigs of RAM, and some sort of RAID system since you are going to store data. This really is kind of excessive for what you are doing, but always plan for the future!

I would have the OS on a RAID 1, and the data in a RAID 5. Configured with SAS/SCSI drives if you can... But they are a little more expensive.

I guess the next question would be: are you looking to go rack mount or something that will sit on the floor? And what is your budget?

I would also suggest surfing HP's site, they have a lot of options, and from what I have seen (lately) they make a better product than the Dell servers. Also, they seem to last longer and have a better bang (performance wise) for the buck (even if they say they have the same hardware).

**If you go with a rack mount, its going to cost a little more... just something to think about.

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The Budget

by SPC_TCOL In reply to ok....

Right now we have no Budget for it.

When I started here a month ago, I had 3 servers. One was doing nothing then using energy, so this one went already into storage.

The 2nd one I have is used as a file server, and the last one the main one is used as the print server and as network control for Centurion Guard.

I don't know why i have both servers in my office, but that's how i found it.

So we would like to stay as cheap as possible and as good as possible.

It doesn't matter if the new server is rack mounted or stands on the floor, We have space for both versions.

But in order to get some money, I need to get some prices together. That's why I asked here. I still have 3 months before they talk about the new budget, until then I need all information I can get, in order to get my budget.

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Well you need to understand that Education Institutions

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to The Budget

Generally do not pay Retail Prices for anything but get them on a Contract Price.

So any advice that someone not directly involved in Education would give is useless as it's way too high.

So with that in Mind Look at Hardware with Xeon CPU's and a decent RAID Array for redundancy.

I personally only use Gigabyte M'Boards for things like this as they seem to work better than the ones from Intel but that is very much a Personal thing with me. I would however suggest a M'Board that can carry a lot of RAM and with 60 users as a print Server controlling 25 Printers I would be looking at least 6 to 8 GIG of RAM installed in the Correct Manner to give either Dual or Triple Chanel RAM, whatever the M'Board supports.

A single Quad Core Xeon will suffice here so you do not need to look at Multi CPU M'Boards but you do need to look at Top End Server Cases ideally with Space for Redundant Power Supplies.

There are many suppliers of these cases ranging from Intel itself through to the Big Enclosure Makers like Antec and so on. Personally I only use Antec Power Supplies as they have proved themselves superior from my past experience but then again that depends on whatever case you end up using.

So back to How Much price up these components as well as the OEM Software from the Big Education Suppliers and use that as a Base Line to work out your Budget.


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Retail Price

by SPC_TCOL In reply to Well you need to understa ...

Thanks for the advice, I will check with one of our retailer what they would sell me this hardware for.

The 60 user is the average amount of people that use the print and file server at the same time, but this will go up in the next semester.

The software is the only thing, where we pay nothing, because we have MSDN.

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Somehow I just can't see someone from a college

by CG IT In reply to How much should we spend?

IT Department asking this kind of question.

I've know lots of IT guys from educational institutions and they pretty much know pretty much everything about hardware.

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Nobody is perfect

by SPC_TCOL In reply to Somehow I just can't see ...

If they know everything that's great.

I am not perfect and when I am not sure about something, then I will ask people that know more then I do.

I know that a lot of people are to proud to ask stuff like this, and then they end up paying to much, for stuff then don't need.

If I would build server's every day, then I wouldn't ask here, but we build them only like every 5 to 10 years.

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Hi there.

by voldar In reply to How much should we spend?

To answer your question plain and simple : you should provide something around 4000 US for your server (Windows included).
I would go for a HP DL360 G6 with 4 HDD of 142 GB (3RAID5+1SPARE) and one processor quad-core. It is the optimum for what you have in mind. I am not a fan of provinding 6-8 GB RAM when all you'll have to run is a printserver for 20-something printers and a filesever role. Go for 4 GB of RAM. It will be more than sufice.

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Just to add something

by voldar In reply to Hi there.

I have a server like the one I presented in the previous post and it has 40something printers and is Printserver for one site of 600 users. What you need to do is to setup the Printserver so that the spooling should be done on a different partition than the system, and created for the spooling only. And yes, it has 4 GB of RAM. I know there is a tendency of the IT guys to add more RAM on a new server, just in case, but come on, a print server with 5 disks at least (2 disks in RAID1 for the OS partition and 3 disks in RAID5 for the documents), it is way too big for the numbers of the users you say you have.
P.S. If you'll buy more than 4 GB RAM, a W2K8 32bit will see only max 4GB. If you'll install a W2K8 64bit, to see the rest of your RAM, you'll have problems with the 64bit printer's drivers. And pushing those drivers onto the computers is a lot of a headache.
So, my advice: don't go in the direction the others say to go in what concerns the amount of RAM, because I am not sure that they really worked with a Printserver on a 64bit OS in a production environment.

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