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Thread: Looking for a Server

  1. #1
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    Looking for a Server

    I work for a small company, roughly 20-30 workstations. We're looking to upgrade from basically a peer to peer network, into a server environment. I haven't networked in a while, but I was given the tast because of my background with 2000 Server. The company is looking at Server 2003. From a functionality standpoint, I haven't really noticed anything different in the Server O.S.'s other than the preinstalled Services on 2000 Server.

    Which Server would you all suggest? I have worked with Solaris a while back and actually suggested some sort of Unix based Server archietecture, but the company is determined to stick with Microsoft, so Bill Gates it is. With everything considered (most importantly price), would 2000 Server be a better way to go instead of Server 2003?

    Also, I have heard a bit about Server 2003 SBS. I love the fact that it has SQL Server built in, even though our company opted to go with an Access Database. Has anyone here installed S2003 SBS? What are the CALs like? Is there a limit to the amount of CALs authenticated by the Server? Are the CALs cheaper? Per Seat/Per Server or Per Device/User / Per Server?

    Truthfully, all I really know is 2000 Server, but I don't want to end up getting a Server that will be obsolete in the next couple of years.

    Forgot to mention, the Server will be primarily used as a single point of access to shared files; database; and I plan on hosting shared print devices.

    Also, the database will constantly be updated through an FTP client between three more more States.

    Thanks a lot for your help

  2. #2
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    Server 2000 vs Server 2003

    This is just my opinion but, if I were you I would go with server 03 simply because while I am still in college I have taken some Server 2000 classes and some Server 2003 classes. but, now things are starting to migrate over to the server 03 areas. I wouldnt say my server 2000 knowledge is obsolete but, things are heading away from 2000 I think. There isnt really THAT many differences between server 2000 and 03 mostly graphical stuff but, there is some security differences etc... Personally I do like it more than 2000 it just seems to run a little smoother and have more bells and whistles but as for cost im not quite sure. I wouldnt think that its much more expensive to implement. You said you had 20-30 workstations on your network so that is more than a peer-peer network which has a maxium capability of 10 connections. So, knowing that I would suggest going with Server 2003 Standard Edition or Enterprise but, once you get into the Enterprise size that is quite a bit bigger and most likely more expensive.

    MS white paper on Server 2000 and Server 2003

    goodluck,tyler.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, we're having problems with all the new workstations coming in. The company has been growing so fast lately that we even had to convert a lot of our storage space into Office space. What a pain! Had to add in a new circuit to the circuit breaker; new outlets for the additional offices; network jacks; VOIP phone Jacks (basically network jacks); and I don't want to get started with all the dry wall and construction.

    We've already been having trouble with shares; connection; you name it. We're really going to need to get a server in there pretty quick.

    One huge problem that I'm still trying to address, many of our workstations are still using Windows XP H.E., which from what I have read, isn't able to be added to a network implementing Active Directory. I've already checked all the hardware on the workstations and everyone fits the HCL for XP Pro, but upgrades don't come cheap.

    For now, I'm simplying planning everything. Gotta make sure I get everything I need before I show them the big fat bill.

  4. #4
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    Ya if you want to get good networking tools( Active directory etc...) your gonna need at least XP Pro because XP Home just wont cut it and XP Pro is able to get the networking tools you need. but like I said above Server 2003 is a good choice I think... check out that link I gave you, its got alot of good info in it.
    Git R Dun - Ty
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    Thanks for the link. I'll weigh the advancements against the cost and see what's the best way to go.

    As for security. It just looks like it's easier to lock down than a 2000 Server box, but nothing incredibly new.

    I remember when everyone was migrating from Windows NT to 2000, now those were some serious changes. I still believe that Microsoft owes just about everything it has to Novell. If I'm not mistaken, they copied their active directory archetecture from Novell. I'm not complaining though, who can afford Novell now a days?

    How many of you have DHCP and DNS running on your server? Right now, we have DHCP running off the router. I've been looking into having it run off the server, but I don't plan on being around the entire day and I'm afraid if something happens, there wont be very many people in the office who will know what to do.

  6. #6
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    In my class ( mind you its just a college network ie, test network) but its realistic we have DHCP and DNS running off our teacher's main server 03 box and it seems to work out well. As for your problem of not being around all day my suggestion would be this: If there is someone in your company that has admin qualifications besides yourself then put them in a computer operators group ( I think that is the term) or in the administrators group and give them permissions to remotely connect so that they can troubleshoot the problem or, you can do that for yourself so that you dont have to go all the way into the office just to fix the problem.
    Git R Dun - Ty
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  7. #7
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    I think I took the same exact class as you, except a couple of years ago and in Hawaii. Now I'm back in school learning software programming while working for this company. Thank god I still have my class assigments to go back and look over.

    For now, configuring is on the back burner until I finally get the equipment. Sometimes I wish I could work for the Deparment of Defense, have you seen the types of budgets those guys work with? Man, it's a pain worrying about all these costs.

    I know I just said I wouldn't even think about configuring the server until the equipment comes in, but I was wondering about my CAL set up. Is there anyway for Microsoft to know if I set up my server as Per Server and just key in 40 users when I only have 10 Cals? It's just funny how they never put a cap on the amount of devices that can be authenticated on a Per Server Installation.

  8. #8
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    MS Cal's

    MS Cal's

    That is a link about MS's Cals- I think microsoft will know if you exceed your CAL limit if im not mistaken there is some kind of error message that pops up and wont let you exceed it.
    Git R Dun - Ty
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  9. #9
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    The SBS2003 is a great server.... and deal.....for your enviroment.

    Can grow to 75 users.
    Exchange,
    Sharepoint
    SQL
    IIS
    ISA
    All cheaper then you can buy and license seperately.

    Because the apps are all on one box......you will require serious hardware.

    On one site we run a dual Xeon, Hardware RAID 5, 2 GIG RAM, redundant power VXA 2 tape drive, dual NICs...
    40 users with 1 SQL, database, and old FOX pro database, exchange, sharepoint and everything else... 10 sql, 12 foxpro.....no issues.

    definately something to consider.

    I usualy recommend the SBS for sites in exactly your shoes....peer to peer with more then 10 users

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  10. #10
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    Do you know of a cheap place to purchase Windows 2003 SBS, along with CALS. I've noticed that I have been able to purchase upgrades and complete O.S.s with COA from retailers for a lot cheaper than what I would have spent at Microsoft.

    Also, I use to have evaluation copies of Win2KPro that would last for a year before asking for an upgrade Does anyone know where I can get an evaluation copy of WinXPPro? We purchased a few older computers and I want to install and run a bench mark to make sure an upgrade would be worth it.

    I have a copy of an evaluation copy of Server 2003 that lasts 6 months. Does anyone have a copy like this, only for Server 2003 SBS? I want to get practicing before the network is configured.

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