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Making a Server

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April 17, 2009 5:42:26 PM

Hi all! I was wondering if I could get some assistance in making a small business server. All I want the server to do is handle Quickbooks 9 Solutions for around 5-6 users through lan via a shared folder. I checked out the Dell website and customized a server, but if I were to make my own what processor/motherboard would be good? I still want 4 gig ram and Raid 1. Any input is appreciated! Thanks!
Oh and btw these are the specs for the Dell server.

PowerEdge T100 Dual Core Intel® Xeon® E3110, 3.0 GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB
Operating System Windows Server®2003, Standard Edition, Includes 5 CALs, 2008 Media
Memory 4GB, DDR2, 800MHz, 2x2GB,Dual Ranked DIMMs
Primary Hard Drive 250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
Floppy Drive 1.44 Floppy Drive
Network Adapter On-Board Single Gigabit Network Adapter
CD/DVD Drive 16X DVD+/-RW Drive, Internal
2nd Hard Drive 250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
Hard Drive Controllers Add-in SAS6iR (SATA/SAS Controller) supports 2 Hard Drives – RAID 1

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April 17, 2009 6:37:51 PM

I'm gonna say *any* computer would be fine for that; doesn't even need to be a "server" per-se.

I do admit I know nothing about Quickbooks 9 but I can't imagine you need anything more powerful than a standard dual-core and motherboard for 5-6 users.

If I were you I would try this out:
Intel E8500
Asus P5Q-E
4 GB Corsair DDR2
2x Western Digital Caviar's (size of your choice; remember raid 1 halves everything)
LG Lightscribe DVD Burner ($26 on newegg)
Floppy I guess
The Asus has RAID0/1/10 support so no other card is needed

Should run you in the $800 range with a case. Always build your own though, OEM's always put tons of crap on it to begin with and use cheap parts to keep the cost down. Plus it's fun!

Good Luck!
April 17, 2009 7:12:42 PM

A server can be made out a any components you want, a server is just a label for a computer acting in such a mannor.

I suggest at least 4GB of ram but I reccomend more. I work for an IT company that provides service to smaller companies that connot afford thier own IT department. Many times I see servers that lack enough RAM. The company grows more people use it and it gets slow. Memory would stop that from happening. I do reccommend ECC memory for servers though.

That is a sufficent CPU Choice. If you are sure more people won't be using it or you are certain this company wont grow fast you may be able to get away with a desktop type processor. Although if the company grows and more people access it you will want the Xeon for it's better I/O features.

Tyan makes some seriously awesome motherboards for servers. You may also want to look at boards from super micro.

You can save a little money (if that is what you are trying to do) by dumbing it down a notch or 2 on the CPU. OR If like I said if you are not worried about additional users you can save a lot of money buy purchasing a Desktop CPU and motherboard.
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April 17, 2009 7:17:13 PM

If you are going to go the more desktop like route I would suggest what chjade84 suggested. That would be a good system that would easily provide for more than 6 users.
April 18, 2009 5:56:30 PM

Hmm, ok thanks guys! I'll try putting together a wish list on Newegg for the desktop pc setup and show both quotes to my boss. I'm sure he will go with whatever is cheaper, as we don't really expect to boom and expand anytime in the near future.
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April 18, 2009 10:16:14 PM

dark_lord69 said:
A server can be made out a any components you want, a server is just a label for a computer acting in such a mannor.

I suggest at least 4GB of ram but I reccomend more. I work for an IT company that provides service to smaller companies that connot afford thier own IT department. Many times I see servers that lack enough RAM. The company grows more people use it and it gets slow. Memory would stop that from happening. I do reccommend ECC memory for servers though.

That is a sufficent CPU Choice. If you are sure more people won't be using it or you are certain this company wont grow fast you may be able to get away with a desktop type processor. Although if the company grows and more people access it you will want the Xeon for it's better I/O features.

Tyan makes some seriously awesome motherboards for servers. You may also want to look at boards from super micro.

You can save a little money (if that is what you are trying to do) by dumbing it down a notch or 2 on the CPU. OR If like I said if you are not worried about additional users you can save a lot of money buy purchasing a Desktop CPU and motherboard.


jbp916: I'll expand on dark_lord's comments. There is really not much difference between buying a decent single-socket desktop setup and a single-socket "server" machine. About the only thing I can think of is that maybe the server setup supports ECC RAM and if you pay a lot, you can get "server" I/O slots like PCI-X. The processors, motherboards, chipsets, and amount of RAM you can use are basically the same as the desktop equivalents except they carry a longer warranty and are more expensive for what you get. They are a safe bet as you'll be less likely to have one of those go bad on you that you would a cheap madeinchina desktop setup, but I doubt it would do any better than a high-quality consumer setup.

The real server stuff is in dual-socket and above, where you have more cores, more RAM, different chipsets, and unique features that are not present on very many if any single-socket setups. These systems all run registered ECC memory and you can even swap out RAM, CPUs, power supplies, and PCI/PCI-X/PCIe cards on many of them with the machine running. Of course these systems cost a lot more than your average single-socket setup too.
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