Design a network: 25 pcs,

Hey all,
I am new user here and new to my job and my background is Software Development, Information System,
, thanks for all of your efforts,

Network Description:

We have a 4 floor building,
We want to implement a network,
The number of computers is about 20 PCs, expected to reach 28 ,

We want to implement Exchange Server, Share Point server, organize Internet access, and store all files in a file server
We have 2 medium programs that are being shared by 4 PCs each softoware,

The size of data to be transferred is small as I estimate,

What kind of Server do we need?

my manager doesn't want to pay for a $3000 - $4000 server, so I have to build my own: so do you think Intel i7 with suitable motherboard, 6 GB 1366 DDR3 Ram, with 2 hard disks : 1 tera enouh as logical RAID? do we need a phsyical RAID support
what modifications needed?

What are the best Switches in cost and effectiveness?
do we need managed ? do we need 100/1000 or 100 is enough?
what layer: 2 or 3?

Any help is apperciated!!
Thank you so much in advance!!
6 answers Last reply
More about design network
  1. Before anything else, what's the distance between the room where the switch will be installed and the farthest PC? You definitely don't need a managed switch for such a small network. For the cost difference, going to Gigabit makes more sense.

    You don't need a lot of processing power (even a P4 3.2 would meet your server requirements), but go for stability. You can buy a very good low-end server for $1500. Build it only if your boss won't blame you if it isn't as stable as it should be. You don't need RAID, but make sure that you have a dedicated disk for the OS and one for data. What OS will you use? Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008?
  2. Remember, when running gigabit, your NICs will be using more power. Your server will want to be 1000mbit, but you may only need to run your PCs at 100mbit

    100mbit is old and costs about the same as a 1000mbit switch. Only get 1gig swtiches

    Some NICs do support changing speeds in real time, so your NIC will drop down to 100mbit when doing slow transfers and switch up to 1000mbit for more demand.

    The difference between 100mbit and 1gig can be about 10-15 watts, at least from the NICs I've looked at. That's about 300 watts and if you're running AC, that means your burning 300 extra watts and spending another ~350watts to remove that heat, so that's an extra 650watts you're wasting.
  3. Do you have a site that has done a test proving that using a NIC at Gigabit instead of 100 Mbps requires 10-15 additional watts? I may be wrong, but that just doesn't make sense.

    I've never heard of NICs that change speed in real time (unless there's a network problem).
  4. Thank you so much for you reply,
  5. well, actually the distances are small,
    the longest one is 15 meters only 3 pcs, most of them are between 3 -7 meters,

    I guess we will buy a server not a PC, we choose an Asus Server, not made by Asus but by the authorized Asus reseller in Syria,
    I will choose Win 2003, most of our pcs are Win XP, you know, and I am afraid of conflicts and problems between 2008 and XP ,
  6. I have no issues with Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP PCs, but Windows Server 2003 also works well.
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