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Small Bussiness Server

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey, I need to build a small business server, for my mother's company, the current requirements are:

Manage data transfer from 5 sales points and should be powerful enough to handle more computers accessing the server as well and more sales points as the company grows..

The system basically just manages a software that handles, Sales, inventory of each sale point as well as inventory on the production side.
And might host a small chat client in the near future as well as a web page.

Everything should run off this server as well: Exchange, core business data, etc. It has to run 100% of the time if possible with minimal down time.

Any input on what a build should be like would be appreciated.

As I'm unsure on which parts to use
Edited by Brianmz - 3/30/12 at 9:18pm
post #2 of 12
Sounds like you need to start reading up on VMware and build a suitable ESX server.
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post #3 of 12
Buy a Poweredge or Proliant. I wouldn't want to be held responsible for something that I built to have 100% uptime.
    
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post

Buy a Poweredge or Proliant. I wouldn't want to be held responsible for something that I built to have 100% uptime.

True, I definitely recommend factory built servers for production environments. Take a look at Dell's server site or HP's. They're more expensive but they include the warranty and the guarantee that building your self will not.
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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post

Buy a Poweredge or Proliant. I wouldn't want to be held responsible for something that I built to have 100% uptime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZFedora View Post

True, I definitely recommend factory built servers for production environments. Take a look at Dell's server site or HP's. They're more expensive but they include the warranty and the guarantee that building your self will not.

this for sure, especially for SMBs and enterprise uses smile.gif
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post #6 of 12
confused.gifconfused.gifconfused.gif

What is with you people. This is OCN. Build the damn server, it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper. I agree with using VMs. My preference is Hyper-V or ESXi.

Grab a SuperMicro barebone at the least. It'll have a great MB and redundant PSUs. Plug in 8-32 Gigs of RAM and two Opterons/Xeons and all the drives you need. There, done, and it'll be cheaper/faster than an HP or a Dell.

EDIT: Since this is a high-availability scenario, I'd recommend TWO identical servers, running off separate breakers with separate UPS systems.

If that's too expensive, build one good server for main load, and a smaller cheaper server for when the big one goes down. Only do this if there are applications that DON'T need high-availability. (Exchange is down? You can survive a day without email.)
Edited by RussianGrimmReaper - 4/4/12 at 7:22am
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post

confused.gifconfused.gifconfused.gif
What is with you people. This is OCN. Build the damn server, it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper. I agree with using VMs. My preference is Hyper-V or ESXi.
Grab a SuperMicro barebone at the least. It'll have a great MB and redundant PSUs. Plug in 8-32 Gigs of RAM and two Opterons/Xeons and all the drives you need. There, done, and it'll be cheaper/faster than an HP or a Dell.
EDIT: Since this is a high-availability scenario, I'd recommend TWO identical servers, running off separate breakers with separate UPS systems.
If that's too expensive, build one good server for main load, and a smaller cheaper server for when the big one goes down. Only do this if there are applications that DON'T need high-availability. (Exchange is down? You can survive a day without email.)

While you might get away with building one (or two), just think, you are really busy and the server fails. Cause is unknown. Every minute that server is offline your client is waiting for a reply. You try to resolve the problem:

Home Built Server:
- Check BIOS etc for errors.
- Find Problem
- Find part to fix problem
- Hope part works.

Branded server (Dell, HP, IBM etc)
- Call out support team.
- Fix server under warranty or replace.

This is my experience when someone went against my advice and built a server for commercial use. You pay more for branded servers for a reason, time has been put into testing and pairing components together. Also while warranty packs can cost a bit, you have to value the role of that server.

BTW: I am not against building systems, I love building home systems, but I would not risk my income or the income of anyone else, for the sake of saving a few hundred dollars.

This is all in my opinion of course.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim Shady View Post

While you might get away with building one (or two), just think, you are really busy and the server fails. Cause is unknown. Every minute that server is offline your client is waiting for a reply. You try to resolve the problem:
Home Built Server:
- Check BIOS etc for errors.
- Find Problem
- Find part to fix problem
- Hope part works.
Branded server (Dell, HP, IBM etc)
- Call out support team.
- Fix server under warranty or replace.
This is my experience when someone went against my advice and built a server for commercial use. You pay more for branded servers for a reason, time has been put into testing and pairing components together. Also while warranty packs can cost a bit, you have to value the role of that server.
BTW: I am not against building systems, I love building home systems, but I would not risk my income or the income of anyone else, for the sake of saving a few hundred dollars.
This is all in my opinion of course.

It doesn't matter how or when the server fails, if a server is down, a server is down. You should be not put yourself in a situation where a downed server causes issues. In high-availability scenarios, it doesn't matter why a server is down, one can be brought up in it's place, or the workload can be balanced to it's fail-over brethren.

FYI, many enterprises are moving away from branded server systems and going to custom built ones where THEY chose the hardware to fit their need exactly.
post #9 of 12
They choose the server hardware but it is assembled by the big companies. I have good friends in many large enterprises and they all choose the hardware for their servers but it is assembled by HP and/or Dell who then provide a warranty on the machine and parts.

I agree there should be a fall over server sitting there, on a separate power and internet supply but that may be out of this company's budget.

Anyway, I am recommending that the OP goes with branded equipment from one of the big companies. I am not telling him, only recommending.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post

FYI, many enterprises are moving away from branded server systems and going to custom built ones where THEY chose the hardware to fit their need exactly.

FYI, enterprises that do that have an IT staff that amounts to more than one guy who posts on OCN for advice and they also have a budget that allows for a substantial stock of replacement parts and machines that can be swapped in at a moment's notice. Adding to that, they have environments where one dead server results in no loss of service.

I love building PCs as much as the next guy, but one guy building a "server" for a business that apparently needs 99-100 percent uptime is just suicidal.
Edited by Oedipus - 4/4/12 at 9:21pm
    
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