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Swerved
06-25-2010, 07:51
Ok, our company is about to expand a bit. We are moving into a new facility and will be adding more employees. The boss has asked me to look into our needs for a server and a system to back up data. I'm pretty savvy with computers but I don't have a lot of experience with server applications and I'm not exactly an IT guy.

Basically, we're not looking for anything super complicated. There's going to be at most, 20 work stations. A backup system of some sort will be needed. Most of what is to be backed up will be users' documents, etc. We also plan on storing process parameter data from the automated equipment in the production area.


I guess the questions I'm asking are:

1) Pre-built or build from scratch (wouldn't be a problem)
2) Recommended backup system.. local (tape or hdd), off-site, etc
3) Operating system .. It will likely be a Microsoft system so that narrows it down. Please guys, lets not turn this into a Linux vs. MS war.
4) Any other useful information


Anyway, sorry for being so vague but for now it's all I got to go with. Thanks in advance for your answers..

TuxthePenguin
06-25-2010, 12:48
Ok, our company is about to expand a bit. We are moving into a new facility and will be adding more employees. The boss has asked me to look into our needs for a server and a system to back up data. I'm pretty savvy with computers but I don't have a lot of experience with server applications and I'm not exactly an IT guy.

Basically, we're not looking for anything super complicated. There's going to be at most, 20 work stations. A backup system of some sort will be needed. Most of what is to be backed up will be users' documents, etc. We also plan on storing process parameter data from the automated equipment in the production area.


I guess the questions I'm asking are:

1) Pre-built or build from scratch (wouldn't be a problem)
2) Recommended backup system.. local (tape or hdd), off-site, etc
3) Operating system .. It will likely be a Microsoft system so that narrows it down. Please guys, lets not turn this into a Linux vs. MS war.
4) Any other useful information


Anyway, sorry for being so vague but for now it's all I got to go with. Thanks in advance for your answers..

1. IBM, Dell, HP along with a support contract. Don't build your own.
2. Yes, all three (Backup to Disk, Tape, and then another copy off site).
3. Windows Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2
4. I would recommend a few servers:
-Active Directory
-DHCP & DNS
-Backup
-File Server & Print Server
-Application Server if you have any in-house applications you use

Also go with a RAID 5 configuration on all of these servers, so min. of 3 drives for each physical server.

Might want to look at virtualization.

And as a side note, don't let users store any files/documents locally on their computer. Your backup plan goes to nothing if you let them do this.

srhoades
06-25-2010, 15:34
For 20 users and for what your needs are I don't see the need for anything other than a Windows Smalls Business Server. It's easy to configure folder redirection so everyones My Documents and Desktops are actually stored on the server. Get a tape drive and Backup Exec, neither are cheap but Backup Exec is proven plus it will backup to an external hard drive as well as to tape.

Pierre!
06-25-2010, 16:35
Hello Swerved,

If I knew something that could help you out, would you wanna know???

(I think I heard you say YES)

Brother, I have been called to the business behind guys like you who *fled in the night* when they screwed something up and lost data for the company... At least a dozen times. Some of these guys I bumped into later... and they were still bumming out about having to get outta Dodge City in a HURRY...

Sure, it's all good now.. but then the computer guy comes in, and they will be called some day, and tells the truth about what should have been done, and despite your best efforts you end up looking like yer stupid when you aren't stupid - simply not prepared! The business put unreasonable demands on you (you seem to know alot about computers, what do we need here?) and you are seeking to "rise to the occasion"...

So DO - DO Rise To The Occasion - Find out who the *BEST* Server company in your town is, and give them a call! Get a quote that includes onsite service... Then call 2 more places and get the same info.

Then present THAT info to your boss, and kick back and relax. Regardless of what happens, YOU will not be the target - The professionals are on the hook, and your job is safe.

If you have a wife and kids would you really want to be out looking for work right now? Even if you are single, trust me - You don't want to go *unemployed* in Louisiana right now - RIGHT???

So be wise - don't get your butt in a wringer, help stimulate the economy and take the BULLSEYE off YOUR back on this project.

Does that make sense to you???

And hey, if you *love* working on computers, go for it! Just make sure you understand your responsibilities before hand, and what it will do to your rep if you screw something up big time...

Take it from someone who HAS screwed stuff up and worked for free at times. It ain't always pretty...:supergrin:

I hope that makes sense to you...

glock75
06-25-2010, 17:45
For 20 users and for what your needs are I don't see the need for anything other than a Windows Smalls Business Server. It's easy to configure folder redirection so everyones My Documents and Desktops are actually stored on the server. Get a tape drive and Backup Exec, neither are cheap but Backup Exec is proven plus it will backup to an external hard drive as well as to tape.

+1

I started with 5 users and a NT4 server with internal tape backup that was the best setup for our company and use at that time. As we started to grow to average between 12 to 21 employees, I upgraded to a HP server running Windows 2003 R2 Small Business which came with MS Exchange.

We still have this system, but are planning to upgrade to 2008 Windows Server Standard. The old system will be shipped off to a one person office we have elsewhere for backup.

We also now have two other servers that have specific uses.

So, starting with a Windows Small Business 2008 server is a good start that you can always add other servers/domains as your needs grow. You get a lot of features for the price.

Raid 5 - yes
Backup Exec - yes, absolutely

I now prefer Dell Servers exclusively. Particularly their Poweredge 1GB switches. I also have their 16 tape backup system. Very sweet.

As we replace our servers, we are also going rack mount servers. Saves room. Also plan on a good UPS battery backup.

Sgt. Schultz
06-26-2010, 12:49
And as a side note, don't let users store any files/documents locally on their computer. Your backup plan goes to nothing if you let them do this. :agree: Move all of their data and change all of their programs defaults so that they look at your file server.

Swerved
06-26-2010, 22:11
Thank you all for the input. I'll likely get someone to come in and set the system up when we're ready. For some of the reasons above, and not to mention seeing as I have other duties to take care of for the company. I don't really need the responsibility of being the computer guy as well, it's not what I do. Budget doesn't look to be much of a problem either so no worries there.