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Starting a project

By zodiac_99_99 ·
I'm starting a project in school where I need to come up with a plan for a business. My business is a business that fixes and updates computers at home and for small businesses. I need to decide what kind of computers to buy, how many to buy, servers I need and networking equipment, along with a security and backup and disaster plan. I'm not sure where to start. I don't know how I'm supposed to decide what computers to buy and how many servers I'll need. Another more specific question is in a small business can you have one server that holds all data for the different departments ie. accounting, sales etc? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Well without spending the day doing this for you..

by Chris.. In reply to Starting a project

1. How many employee's?
2. How many locations?
3. How many Mobile users?
4. Use the KISS rule, don't over complicate your computing environment if you don't have to.

In small environments 1 server or a couple of PC's can usually handle anything you really need. Count on using a Hosting service for e-mail and a Website.

As for type of equipment, well you'll more than likely see that a major manufacturer..bleck!!.. like Gateway or Dell will be your best bet for getting started.

Count on having a tape backup solution and as a Disaster planning, just count on taking the tapes home with you everyday and have good insurance!

Networking... again, depends on the number of users (employees) and the type of outside connection. More times that not a SOHO firewall and SOHO switched hub should cover what you would need.

Hope that Helps

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Summary or detailed?

by matt_falenski In reply to Starting a project

Without additional details, its tough to know what you are looking for. Are you looking to write a business plan or are you looking to just provide a detailed materials list?

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The starting point is

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Starting a project

First decide how many people will work there, what their equiptment actually are and what hardware/software is required within the allocated budget.

Most really small business don't have a "Server" par say but only rely on a peer to peer network aragment which while not the best or most secure is what is affordable by their budget. You then have to decide what is the most cost effective backup solution and while I prefer tape a lot of very small business prefer CD's for Data Backup because of the more rugged structure of their design and speed of recording as apposed to tape backup which is slower and more prone to possible damage from stray magnetic fields. I know it is not the best idea but with CDR's being only worth a few cents they are both affordable and fast.

When you build the network {on paper} for this business you will have to keep a very close eye on costs and then depending on exactly how many computers are involved is it worth you're while in having Volume Licencing and Software Assurance from M$?

These questions may seem basic but are important when dealing with the real world outside of school/coledge or whatever as there are some very hard truths that come into play and what is best is not necessarly what is desirable or even possible in real business. As an example I have a small customer with only 4 computers that run mostly M$ products that work on a peer to peer network and are connected to the net by a brodband connection which feeds a hub that feeds all the computers in the place. I know it's very insecure but it is what they can afford and when they come to replace one of their aging computers I'm just going to load it with Linux and set it up as a gateway to improve security as it will be an improvment. But when I first walked in there they where e-mailing everything to each other as that was how the so called professional had setup the system. All computers had net access but could not talk to each other and this was acceptiable to that company even though I tried to explain just how cvostly it actually was they thought that was just a necessary of doing business. They only had 1 printer in the place and they used to e-mail whatever to the computer with the printer to print off any work required. Not only was it time consuming but it was a waste of resources and expensive as well. Now they have 2 printers networked and can send print jobs to whichever printer that they require and while not the best solution it works for them provided that their Accounting package isn't upgraded following the suggested methoid as this always creats a mess that I have to go over and fix up and this should not be necessary for something as simple as a 6 monthly upgrade.

Anyway when you can give more details I think most poeple here could give you a better idea of how to proceed and you can always contact me via the peer listing e-mail if required.

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