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Old 08-16-2014, 11:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Small Business Server PC suggestions

Hello all. I have been asked to come up with some ideas for my boss on a server computer. This is my first real "IT" opportunity in a business. I really want to make sure that I not only build it capable but also expandable, as his business is growing every year. Here is a back drop...

This is for a printing business. The building holds the following computers:
4 computers running Win XP - used to run printing program that prints on clothing.
2 computers running Win 7 - used to run printing program that prints onto plastic.
2 computers running Win 7 - used for shipping/receiving
1 computer running Win 7 - used for clocking in/out, and varies other tasks.
1 laptop running Win 7 - used by the owner for general management tasks.

All computers currently have dropbox installed on them. All artwork for printing is uploaded to dropbox and then every computer syncs, putting all the artwork on every computer. When dropbox is syncing, the computers that run the printing software slow dramatically and cause production to slow.

The plan is to add a computer as a SERVER. Have all artwork sync to dropbox on the server only and the other computers can grab from the server. The boss wants everything hardwired and not run over a WiFi network. So this is what I was thinking:


Internet - Router - Server - 24 to 32 port switch - out to business computers

So question #1 is... I'm I thinking correctly here? Is this the best configuration for the business need?

QUESTION #2: What suggestions can you give for hardware for the server computer and switch? We have a 1 TB HDD that we will be using for the server. Currently there is only about 200 GB of space taken for all the programs and the artwork, so this HDD should be plenty for awhile. But what will I want to put into this computer? For example:
Case , with how many fans
Motherboard, CPU, amount of memory

Give me as many suggestions as possible. I will want to give my boss some pricing and options on hardware, network configurations, etc. sometime at the beginning of this week.

*PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE BUDGET IS AS SMALL AS THE BUSINESS*

Thanks in advance,
Mark W
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Small Business Server PC suggestions

So this is going to be strictly a file server? Or are you planning on running anything else on it?

Planning on expanding to host multiple dedicated server boxes or VM's for other services?

Also, you really should have a hardware firewall setup there, before the router.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Small Business Server PC suggestions

This is going to just be a file server. We just want to get away from all of the computers having to sync dropbox and the artwork going on to all of the HDDs on these computers. As for a firewall... I really doubt that he would need/want that but I could definitely suggest it. I'm looking for the best layout and best hardware options for the server and switch.

Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Small Business Server PC suggestions

Personally I think your best bet would to have a NAS, have all computers sync to that and have the NAS only sync to Dropbox as a cloud backup. If you get a 4 bay it leaves PLENTY of space to expand and won't eat up as much in space, while also being efficient and relatively silent.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Small Business Server PC suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwwwilson View Post
This is going to just be a file server. We just want to get away from all of the computers having to sync dropbox and the artwork going on to all of the HDDs on these computers. As for a firewall... I really doubt that he would need/want that but I could definitely suggest it. I'm looking for the best layout and best hardware options for the server and switch.

Thanks for the quick reply.
All businesses should have a firewall, especially if you store any type of customer data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
Personally I think your best bet would to have a NAS, have all computers sync to that and have the NAS only sync to Dropbox as a cloud backup. If you get a 4 bay it leaves PLENTY of space to expand and won't eat up as much in space, while also being efficient and relatively silent.
+1 to a NAS for this case.
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