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Servers...starting from ground zero

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, i don't have the least of the ideas when it comes to servers, better yet im not even sure if they're meant for what i think they are. I apologize in advance for the noobness but i came here to get some help as i've always done before. What i want is to set up a "server" lets say for an office so i could back up files to it and mainly have important files there to be shared or accessed by other computers around the office. I have no clue what im supposed to do. I do have a very good understanding as far as building my own PC's, overclocking and sharing a few files on a home network, i just dont really know the difference. I've read that servers usually dont even use a regular OS but a UNIX based one, no monitors...? Im not sure if i should do the sharing wirelessly or wired. I want to be able to transfer and access files as fast as if they were being read from the same PC's HDD. I know this is a whole world on its own but i just wanted little by little start learning about this. I really appreciate any and all advise you guys can share. Thanks a lot in advance.
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post #2 of 16
wall of text

anyway, do you want to use windows or linux? thats always a good start, if you never used linux stay with windows
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post #3 of 16
How many client PCs will there be, and what operating system are they running?
Will the office plan on adding any client PCs down the road, or will the number of clients stay pretty much the same?
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
The office will be adding client PC's but not many at all, the PC's will most likely be using Win 7 pro. I rather use Windows since is what im mostly familiar with. Im not sure like i said if what i want is a server or (now that i've read more) a NAS. Keep the postings coming please. The NAS's use an OS just like a pc? Thanks for your replies, i'll continue doing my research as well. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 16
If you won't have more than ten PCs, an HP Datavault would be ideal and easy to work with.

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en...6-4021709.html

The Data Vault is a business-oriented version of HP's MediaSmart Windows Home Servers. It's easy to set up, and (unlike other Windows solutions) doesn't require that you have Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate versions of Windows 7.

You can create folder shares that are easy for people to work with (e.g., one share for each user so they can store documents, a share that lets all of them share files with each other, etc.). It can hold up to four drives internally, and has an eSATA port so you can connect an external drive to back up the server with. There's also a number of free add-ons (kind of like plugins, easy to install applications for the server) for great things like antivirus (I'm using ClamWin) and UPS support.

You can bare-metal backup any PC on the network, so that if it dies, it can be restored by booting from a CD and connecting to the server. It's a great solution for someone who isn't a network guru, provided you have ten or less workstations. And unlike other WHS boxes, the HP will support a mixed PC/Mac environment as well.
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sounds good, i'll take a look at it and keep doing my research. I need to learn about this before spending money on anything. I really appreciate your help and time.
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Corsair
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Samsung UN40KU6300 40-Inch 4K TV EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Corsair 400c 
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i5 6600k ASrock Z170m extreme 4 Ballistix Sport LT 8GB 2400 Adata SU800 256gb 
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post #7 of 16
Admittedly, there are other ways to do it, other good ways. But they cost more.

You could load MS Small Business Server 2008 on a box, and (provided all your clients are either Pro, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate versions of XP/Vista/7) create an Active Directory structure. That's the way it would be done in, say, a 25-50 person network most likely, and you get some e-mail/web-serving features too.

However, the learning curve is certainly higher, licensing costs more, and you'll need to do a lot of additional evaluating to make sure you have a good backup solution. Most small businesses are reluctant to shell out the kind of money that will take, and it's more than a business of less than 25 people will usually need.

You could do Linux as well. While that would be cheaper than Small Business Server, the learning curve is higher yet IMO for someone who is just starting out. You'll need to set up users, SMB shares, and possibly an LDAP directory, among other things, so for someone new to this, that option could be quite a handful.
Edited by LoneWolf15 - 6/10/10 at 2:41pm
LEVIATHAN
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HP Microserver Gen8 HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller with 512MB c... MacAlly USB3 enclosure with WD Red 4TB (backup) APC BackUPS ES 750 
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LEVIATHAN
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BORGCUBE (Server)
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Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 HP Matrox G200eh (linked to iLO4) 16GB (2 x 8) Kingston DDR3 ECC unbuffered 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
2x Crucial M500 240GB SSD in RAID-0 4x Western Digital Red 2TB in RAID-5 Matsushita UJ-862 DVDR@ Windows Server 2012R2 Standard 
CaseOtherOtherOther
HP Microserver Gen8 HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller with 512MB c... MacAlly USB3 enclosure with WD Red 4TB (backup) APC BackUPS ES 750 
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomny View Post
Hello everyone, i don't have the least of the ideas when it comes to servers, better yet im not even sure if they're meant for what i think they are. I apologize in advance for the noobness but i came here to get some help as i've always done before. What i want is to set up a "server" lets say for an office so i could back up files to it and mainly have important files there to be shared or accessed by other computers around the office. I have no clue what im supposed to do. I do have a very good understanding as far as building my own PC's, overclocking and sharing a few files on a home network, i just dont really know the difference. I've read that servers usually dont even use a regular OS but a UNIX based one, no monitors...? Im not sure if i should do the sharing wirelessly or wired. I want to be able to transfer and access files as fast as if they were being read from the same PC's HDD. I know this is a whole world on its own but i just wanted little by little start learning about this. I really appreciate any and all advise you guys can share. Thanks a lot in advance.
Technically, a "server" is any computer that is configured to provide access to network resources in a centralized location. That is, instead of having shared files stored on individual user workstations, the files are collected to a central repository and "served" to the various users.

The first thing you need to do is to evaluate your needs, as well as come up with a budget. If you want to do something at home as a project, what I'd suggest you do, is take a look at your existing set up, identify and make a list of the improvements you'd like to make on your network, and then prioritize them in terms of importance. Or if you prefer, at the top of the list, you have something like "This is something I MUST have", and then at the bottom of the list is something like "This is something that would be nice to have", and then go from there.

Once you've done that, re-post the list here, and we can give you more detailed suggestions and where to start
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well see the thing is that i have no clue what i must have or may want since i dont know what this involves. Thank you for the server description that makes things a lot clearer. Network resources: what would some examples of these be. Isn't like a NAS, which stores files and other things and is shared with other computers through a network. Eventually what i would like to do is install software like office 2007 and other business software on a computer along with backups and other resources and be able to have other computers access these files and even run the software(i think this is virtualization). Little by little but mainly for now i just want to have a centralized storage device from which i could access/read/write files to from other computers, as well as save all computer backups to this device. Thanks alot for your help.
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Samsung 950 Pro m.2 512GB Noctua NH-U12S 3x EK Vardar F4-120ER Win 10  
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Samsung UN40KU6300 40-Inch 4K TV EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Corsair 400c 
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Corsair
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Wife's
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-6800K @4.5Ghz w/1.38 Asrock X99 Extreme4 EVGA GTX1080 SC -SLI- Crucial Ballistic LT Sport 2400mhz 16(2x8gb) 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Samsung 950 Pro m.2 512GB Noctua NH-U12S 3x EK Vardar F4-120ER Win 10  
MonitorPowerCase
Samsung UN40KU6300 40-Inch 4K TV EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Corsair 400c 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5 6600k ASrock Z170m extreme 4 Ballistix Sport LT 8GB 2400 Adata SU800 256gb 
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Corsair H115i Win 10 Samsung tv 4k 40" Logitech k400 plus 
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Thermaltake SMART 500W Fractal Mini C 
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post #10 of 16
If this is for a small organization, I don't recommend virtualizing your apps. Coincidentally, ComGuards and I were having this discussion with a user in another thread --the issue is that you have to buy a lot of (expensive) licensing to be able to do this.

You're better off just having a shared folder on the network from which you can install software to your client machines.

Possible roles you'll want to provide client computers in a small/entry-level network:

File Storage
Backup
User authentication (that is, requiring a username and password for login security)
DHCP and DNS (assuming you don't just use a router to provide your clients with IP addresses)
System control (limiting users' ability to change their systems or install software)
Client-server antivirus solution


There are certainly other options, though those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. You may not need all of them either, or may wish to look at "Need to have" vs. "Nice to have".
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Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 HP Matrox G200eh (linked to iLO4) 16GB (2 x 8) Kingston DDR3 ECC unbuffered 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
2x Crucial M500 240GB SSD in RAID-0 4x Western Digital Red 2TB in RAID-5 Matsushita UJ-862 DVDR@ Windows Server 2012R2 Standard 
CaseOtherOtherOther
HP Microserver Gen8 HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller with 512MB c... MacAlly USB3 enclosure with WD Red 4TB (backup) APC BackUPS ES 750 
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LEVIATHAN
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BORGCUBE (Server)
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 HP Matrox G200eh (linked to iLO4) 16GB (2 x 8) Kingston DDR3 ECC unbuffered 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
2x Crucial M500 240GB SSD in RAID-0 4x Western Digital Red 2TB in RAID-5 Matsushita UJ-862 DVDR@ Windows Server 2012R2 Standard 
CaseOtherOtherOther
HP Microserver Gen8 HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller with 512MB c... MacAlly USB3 enclosure with WD Red 4TB (backup) APC BackUPS ES 750 
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