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Building A Small Business Server - Questions

Last response: in Networking
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December 15, 2009 3:40:50 PM

I'm preparing to build a new server for my business. We currently have 4 computers networked with an outdated computer.

We generally work in programs like ACT! (database), Word Perfect, Outlook, and some specialized progs. Our Word Perfect reports generally have a lot of pictures and are many pages long. We store/access everything from the old 'server'. Everything else we access are just database files, music, misc docs, etc.

For reference the 4 computers, excepting the 'server', are newer systems, gigabit ethernet, C2D cpu's, etc, all running Vista Ult 32.

I'm looking for the fastest setup for reading/writing these files.

What would be the best option for me:

-Use a regular C2D cpu computer running vista 32 with maybe a seperate LAN card?

-Build a computer with a server mobo/cpu?

-NAS?

There's just so much I'm getting confused. I'd like to run a RAID 0 setup (with remote backup), so I want to make sure I've got enough Network Throughput to take advantage of this.

I just don't want to build a server, then find out I spent a bunch of money on a fast computer and my network is the bottleneck.

Thanks for the help!
Vince







December 15, 2009 5:52:59 PM

You will need Cat 5e cabling or Cat6 cabling to realize gigabit speeds. You'll also need a gigabit switch 10/100/1000 to see the speeds.

Onto the server, you could build yourself a base model. You could even buy a low end model from Dell since you don't really need much power to do what you're doing.

Even another PC could handle what you're asking to do.
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December 15, 2009 5:55:43 PM

Thinking on it more, you're probably better off buying a basic computer running your RAID setup. Anything today will easily be powerful enough to operate and handle a few computers.
You could go the server route, pay more money and have something that could support far more computers.. 20-30+ computers.. but its over kill.

I'd recommend grabbing up the smallest, cheapest brand name server though. I would not run Vista on it - Windows 7 or maybe Win2k3 Server if you have it available, even Win2k8 server.
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December 15, 2009 8:48:35 PM

Thanks.

I've got a newer PC at the office not being used, I'll use that.

Two more questions:

Software or hardware RAID?

How about Windows Home Server? (wait, won't do RAID will it....)
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December 16, 2009 1:15:38 PM

Windows Home Server.. I don't see why it wouldn't support RAID. Windows XP support raid.

Hardware is always better than software with RAID. Software will take up additional resources and has the software aspect of screwing up. Hardware has to have the hardware itself fail.

On-board motherboards will have RAID built in or you can buy a PCI card to do the same thing.
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