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Small office network?


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#1
NHPete

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I need help trying to figure out what to do with the network in my wife's office.

She has a Dell Poweredge 800 running small business server 2003 and about ten PC's on the network. It is just a file server.

It has become cost-prohibitive to have 'professionals' maintain the system so i have taken over the day-to-day stuff (updates, backup, adding users, etc.)

The server is almost 5 yrs old. It has 2 HD's (RAID 1) and has been flawless but I have been told we are living on borrowed time.

It it true the server needs to be replaced? If so, what are my alternatives? The Dell servers with small business server 2008 is quite pricey.

Do I have any alternatives? How long can we reasonably expect the current server to last?
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#2
amw_drizz

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Regular maintenance, having plugged into a UPS to aid in a safe shutdown during power outages helps or for short ones keeping the system online. Keep the system clean is another big one.

I have a dell PowerEdge 2650 2u Rack mount that I picked up cheaply that came out of a business that was running for 4yrs straight and it is still going. The first to go is usually hard drives, esp if they loose power they may not spin back on line. If I were you I would look at picking up a used server to have a back up in case yours fails. But I wouldn't spend a ton of money on it.

My server handles Files, SRCDS, DHCP, DNS, WINS, AD, 3cX PBX, Media Streaming, IIS, MySQL, TS-MAN 2009 Server, Firebird Server, if maintained properly you should get a few more years out of it. That and now I hardly log in to my server, I have it to auto update on its own. After proper configuration I wouldn't think you need to log in to it every day.

Edit:

IMO Here are the following parts that may fail since it has been on so long. Hard Drives, Power Supply(s), Ram. I don't know if the 800 has chipkill or not, but the 2650 kills the bad ram so you don't have the instability caused by loosing ram and to give you enough time to shutdown and replace it.

Edited by amw_drizz, 06 June 2010 - 09:34 AM.

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#3
NHPete

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IMO Here are the following parts that may fail since it has been on so long. Hard Drives, Power Supply(s), Ram. I don't know if the 800 has chipkill or not, but the 2650 kills the bad ram so you don't have the instability caused by loosing ram and to give you enough time to shutdown and replace it.



So is replacing the power supply and HDD's something that people do instead of replacing the server?
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#4
amw_drizz

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Most of the time it is cheaper to replace those parts as opposed to replacing the server. If you can have them on hand for when the parts fail then that is your best bet.
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#5
Troy

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I have an Acer Altos G500 server, I think it's from 2001. It has two Pentium III processors, 2GB ECC RAM, 2x 10,000rpm SCSI hard drives in RAID 1.

I won it on eBay for a dollar, I just wanted some parts out of it. Instead I got it up and running quite cheap overall, overall replaced the motherboard and one hard drive for about $150 all up.

I have just finished installing Server 2003 R2 on it, and previous to that it was sitting at home with SBS 2000 on it for months. It has been running like a charm. Obviously it would get trashed a bit with 10 computers connected to it, like your setup, but my point is it's old and still runs like a charm.

So yeah, just chase up cheap replacement parts and bookmark the websites that stock them. And if you haven't already, set it up to email you a daily report. That way it's simple to check things out as they happen. And make use of manufacturer utilities that help manage the server, if they're not installed already, get them and use them.

Troy
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#6
diabillic

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Also, I would recommend some sort of system monitoring. There is an excellent robust free program called Spiceworks that will monitor your server and workstations.

Speaking of Dell, if your machine ever gets completely hosed, worst case scenario they offer refurbed machines for pretty cheap and you can use the same server license.
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#7
dsenette

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make sure that the maintenance agreement on that server is kept up to date. you have to pay for extended service, but dell will continue to service the machine as long as you're willing to pay for the contract.
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