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Help an IT noob on bussiness server costs

Last response: in Business Computing
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December 7, 2011 12:48:12 PM

Hello all,

I'd like to see if anyone can help explain some things to me about big business servers.

My company is buying an SQL server for internal use, for a traffic of no more than 30 people, and about 1 TB of data.

Our IT department and our suppliers gave us a price quote of about US$40,000 , for which 50% is for the server rack, and 50% for the hard drive.

The costs seem exhorbitant for such a relatively simple server for small traffic and disk usage, and the hard drive requirement is only 1TB, one guy from my department was arguing that SQL server hard drives are very different from normal desktop/laptop hard drives that's why the cost is so high, although i know a lot about normal home computing, i don't have a lot of experience in business computing, yet business hard drive technology is unknown to me, so i decided to investigate a little, hence i'm posting here.

I understand server racks are expensive, but US$20,000? for a less than 30 people usage? , and is there really a way 1TB of server hard drive would cost US$20,000?, is the supplier trying to scam us or am i missing something?

I yet don't know the exact specs, as the IT department hasn't given it to me yet, but based on that outline, is that cost ridiculous or is it possible?
Any help would be greatly appreciated
December 7, 2011 1:00:39 PM

Odds are;
*50% for support/warranty
*25% for licensing
*25% for hardware

It does seem a lot for a single server though (can't be sure without the full specs and service agreement). Its worth getting a quote from the likes of Dell or HP just for reference.
December 7, 2011 1:14:29 PM

You are getting screwed. Call Dell's Enterprise sales department. For only 30 users, you could use a Dell R210 and hang an MD1000 disk array with a few 1TB drives in a RAID 6 off it, even rack and UPS included, you should be WAY under 40k, even including an onsite service contract and you licensing for SQL.
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December 7, 2011 1:24:04 PM

If they are selling your company an integrated solution that includes a FC SAN, networking and expandable blade servers it seems reasonable. Based on the size of the SQL database it does seem you could find a much less expensive solution. When I read your post again I do think you are purchasing a server and probably an iSCSI SAN. It is a fast reliable way to run a SQL DB server, but is usually used in much larger organizations. How important is fault tolerance and high availability in this environment?
December 7, 2011 1:34:34 PM

Jim_L9 said:
If they are selling your company an integrated solution that includes a FC SAN, networking and expandable blade servers it seems reasonable. Based on the size of the SQL database it does seem you could find a much less expensive solution. When I read your post again I do think you are purchasing a server and probably an iSCSI SAN. It is a fast reliable way to run a SQL DB server, but is usually used in much larger organizations. How important is fault tolerance and high availability in this environment?



Please explain fault tolerance? , u mean reliability?, as for availiability, it's very important, if not primordial, it's a small bank, so reliability and availability is important, but its for backoffice use for an analysis department, not client client data.
December 7, 2011 1:43:15 PM

Jim_L9 said:
If they are selling your company an integrated solution that includes a FC SAN, networking and expandable blade servers it seems reasonable. Based on the size of the SQL database it does seem you could find a much less expensive solution. When I read your post again I do think you are purchasing a server and probably an iSCSI SAN. It is a fast reliable way to run a SQL DB server, but is usually used in much larger organizations. How important is fault tolerance and high availability in this environment?


December 7, 2011 2:59:22 PM

As somebody said, talk to a Dell, HP or Fujitsu business salesperson, describe what you want and get a no obligation quote.
December 8, 2011 11:11:35 AM

dricenx said:
Please explain fault tolerance? , u mean reliability?, as for availiability, it's very important, if not primordial, it's a small bank, so reliability and availability is important, but its for backoffice use for an analysis department, not client client data.


High availability. Depending on how the environment is designed, you could go elaborate or very simple. It would seem you could get a single server with onboard drives (no NAS/SAN required). In your case, keep it simple. Contact Dell or HP for reasonable prices. IBM (Or go through CDW) can probably supply a very good system well under $40k.

Depending on how the previous quote was given, if it was a RAID5 setup, you'd lose one disk to parity and a disk could cost $800-$1500 or more each, including a hot spare, etc. A basic PCI raid controller would run you about $1000, the disk could be $3000-$5000 alone, plus whatever else what added in on the quote.

Overall though it sounds like quote was piecemealed together by your guy, as opposed to having the company doing the quoting telling you what you really need.
December 8, 2011 7:39:57 PM

40K seems pretty high for only 30 people. My company just brought a 80K SAN server for the whole company, but it's for 1600+ employees (in 7 different sites around the country). It's mostly used for backups and running virtual machines in place of the retired servers.

I'm pretty sure you can find a server at a much cheaper price. However, you need to take into acccount the cost of support, licensing software, installation, warranty, etc. because it could be the reason why the total is around 40K.

You can probably shave off 10K or so if your IT department did more research. They could be looking at "Enterprise Solutions" when all the company really need is "Medium Business Solutions".
December 28, 2011 12:57:54 PM

Let's be realistic.. $5k for a server with 3 years of support is all that is needed. :) 
January 9, 2012 11:57:08 AM

Look on DELL R510 model
It has 8 3.5” slots for HDD and you can use SAS 600Gb 15K rpm very fast HDD
2 56series CPU.
Only problem it only 8 memory slots and if you are use 8Gb modules 64 GB is maximum.

But it is significant cheap with 2x5630 64Gb and 8 x 600GB SAS - $8000 on DELL.com.
I’m sure that the configuration overvaulted for 30 user database.
!