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$4k Small Business solution

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I work for a small IT consulting company where most people are working on site all day (as in not at the company office) and a handful stay at the company headquarters working on proposals, HR stuff, and other office duties.

My boss asked me if I'd be willing to stand up their IT infrastructure for them. He would like an exchange server, file server, and webhosting (down-the-road). They currently spend roughly $4k a year to outsource their IT, but at the rate the business is growing bringing IT in-house is starting to make sense. So they'd like to keep the in-house solution costing no more than $4k per year for the time being.

I was a system administrator a few years back, but things change so fast and what I knew then is likely outdated now. So I was hoping the good smart folks at OCN can give me some recommendations!

What they have now:
T1 line
Networking infrastructure
Laptops running Windows 7

What they need:
Server (Boss said he's open to a custom build or just purchasing a prebuilt Dell or HP etc)
Disaster recovery / contingency plan
Host a VM or two (maybe)
Storage/backups
Domain Controller
Mail server (Exchange)
Firewall
Anti-virus /Anti-malware solution
Remote administration
    
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post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Doing some quick Googleing it seems like the ideal OS would be the small business server offered by Microsoft.
    
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post #3 of 15
Don't custom build. Trust me you will love being able to get support and not have to do everything yourself.
post #4 of 15
$4k won't really cut it.

Just for one server for running the VM's will be in the range of $2kish, plus the server for backups and a redundant host will be pricy. Not to mention the security appliance will be a bit too.
    
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post #5 of 15
contact a few companies so they can make you some quotes but 4k will be really short.

custom is not the way to go.
    
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post #6 of 15
Yeah, not enough for a small business infrastructure.

Being a former SA, you should know how much work it takes to maintain servers especially when there are problems.


If they are paying $4K a year on maintaince, why would they think $4K is enough to build infrastructure?
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post #7 of 15
I don't know....

I built the server for my step father's company. He worked for Enron and after that wen't bust decided to strike out on his own. Purchased an oil and natural gas supply company and everything was still being done with pen and paper. They have 7 employees (not sure about the OP's office size) two of whom are off site often for deliveries and sales calls, one HR/accounting/secretary and a various others around the building. Point is it sounds similar.

I built a single CPU Xeon server with 24GB or ram for them and several SCSI drives. Went with SBS 2008 for the networking and exchange. Hosted through GoDaddy (very cheap), and it all backs-up to two places. One is off-site at his house via a NAS with a single 2TB drive. The other is an in office NAS in a RAID 1 with 2 drives.

I don't think I spent 4k?
    
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post #8 of 15
Yeah. It's do able for 4k with the existing T1. I setup a set of company pc's for a family member a couple of years ago, nothing extreme. Spent total of about $2k on hardware and $1k on software. 2 workstations, and a main server pc, NAS for backup and UPS's for all three. All still working hard. Server run's email, webserver, hosts local stuff, hosts an accounting server, and 2 vm's with XP for a few random things. Both workstations have a VM to access the accounting software and vnc's for monitoring the host and vm from the server.

Depending on what "Outsourcing IT" details, Shouldn't be too hard to get a decent setup for under the bill.
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dethredic View Post
Don't custom build. Trust me you will love being able to get support and not have to do everything yourself.
I agree, For servers I will always buy one pre-made because that support is always there.
4k wont get you all the way there. You will be spending about 2k on software and about 700 for a good firewall. when you were paying 4k annually those people were planing on making the money back on their systems in 3years not 1 year so if you could up your budget to 8-12k you would get a decent system.
post #10 of 15
Disaster recovery / contingency plan - right off the bat...there is no way you could cover this with a white box setup.

Go with Dell. If it blows up, melts down, taken away in a hurricane...then you have a whole company dedicated to getting you back online.

Talk to ComGaurds. He is a Dell reseller and he will tell you the same thing. When it comes to your company...do you want to be the one fired when something goes wrong and you can't fix it?
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