help with a small business setup...

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by FoBZY, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. s3kemo

    s3kemo Member

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    Installation time means next to nothing if it means that support and maintenance is going to be painful/expensive/time consuming.

    If installation time is 2 days and troubleshooting common issues is measured in minutes/hours, then that is far preferable to something that takes 1 hour to install but a couple of days to troubleshoot or find someone who can troubleshoot an obscure operating system.

    I say, as above "choose what you're comfortable with" and extend it with "choose what is easiest to support for the customer".
     
  2. bcann

    bcann Member

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    Small dell server with NBD warranty (~2K depending on how you want to configure it) with sbs essentials.

    at least 3 x identical USB drives (probably 2.5" for the reason of no PSU and easily portable in a handbag by the admin girl for backup, 2 x rotating weekly, 1 x monthly) ~400

    Probably about a day to configure it properly, if you do all the updates for SBS, maybe another half a day to move the data and configure the local boxes (join the domain, setup mapped drives/printer, etc etc)

    I'd probably recommend something a bit more then the standard windows backup, maybe something like backup assist (no i dont work for them or resell it), as it allows individual restores for email boxes and such, rather then restoring the whole damn storage group ~$329.

    And being a MS product you can get support anywhere, whereas with *nix, support is much harder to come by particuarly if your not in a city.
     
  3. s.Neo

    s.Neo Member

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    Short of the owner doing the backup's themselves, isn't this always going to be the case whether it be a local IT support provider or multinational company in the cloud?

    Unless the business is about software development, this would be in breach of licensing.



    :tired::tired:

    If you're after more than a NAS for $0 check out Zentyal.
    http://www.zentyal.org/
     
  4. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    #1 and you'll pay through the arse for MS Server Support (about $400 per incident from memory).

    #2 linux rarely goes wrong. It's the most stable OS out there with only yum upadtes required every now and then. Because of how the backup works if it shits itself you just pop the CD/DVD in, and restore from backup. Up and running from a complete OS corruption in about 30 minutes max.
     
  5. Gunna

    Gunna Member

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    Yes but then you have to learn linux to set it up or troubleshoot it if windows is your thing.

    I'd go with a small entry level Acer AT310 with SBS 2011. Exchange, AD, DNS, file server and DHCP all in one. In the new year they are coming out with redundant power supplies and can be rack mounted as well.

    Backups use an image based peice of software like shadow protect or Acronis to external USB drives, saves on buying a tape drive and also replacing tapes every 18 - 24 months and you're set.

    For a business of around 5 - 6 people you can get away with sata drives as the load wont be too excessive, any more and you would want SAS.

    Box can come with a 4 or 5 year next business day response you would be looking at around $600 - $700 per year for your IT needs when it comes to a server. Set up exchange to either host the mail or pull it down via pop3 connectors to local mailboxes.

    As mentioned above look at your support, if you know Microsoft products, stick with it. Dont be afraid of the $400 per support call mentioned by Mitch01, there is plenty of free support on the net for MS products. If you know Linux then look into it. All depends on what you are comfortable in doing and what you can support. Remember, if you supply the server be expected to take ownership of any issues that arise with it as well.
     
  6. V8R

    V8R Member

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    way too much over thinking going on here..

    get a twin drive nas, use it in raid. set home folders to said nas or setup induvidual pc's to shadow to the nas (take your pick). you could also do this on a reasonably decent workstation, but a nas is plenty for most small business' (and less prone to someone screwing with 'the server').
    when the biggest thing they have is a couple o meg pdf off the office scanner, we dont give much fark for x00000's MB/sec xfer rates and ultra super SCSI-SATA3
    setup another shadow backup that leaves site

    myob is your biggest issue, in that its a pos when it come to running premier, even on a lan.. it will work just fine for years, then one day will be on a go slow, even with a "small" (under 500mb) data file. nothing will fix it (believe me, ive been dealing with it for 10+ yrs)

    MYOB's official advice is to use terminal services. they'll want you to buy something, id just setup up a basic TS server (hell you could hack their best win 7 machine for it) and run LAN clients this way. makes having the odd remote access user for myob handy too..

    yes ive done it this way before, yes it works a treat.. no, i dont allow any other software over the TS login, just myob. M$ licencing can bite me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  7. s3kemo

    s3kemo Member

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    Most/More stable != perfect.

    Besides, disregarding the "when something goes wrong" scenario, there's also the "what if you want a config change" scenario? You're likely to need someone to come in to do something if it's a remotely major change, and getting someone familiar with Windows is more than likely easier than *nix/BSD/whatever. You need to take into account ANY reason you'll need external skills.
     
  8. GillBates

    GillBates Member

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    We have just inherited a new customer because one of those "easier Windows" companies quoted the client $17K to fix their Linux system by offering a new Win Server for 9 clients. What a joke. We fixed the clients system for < $2,000 incl support contract for 3 months. No wonder Microsoft has such a bad name in the industry.
     
  9. bubblegoose

    bubblegoose Member

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    You just come on here to troll, and slander Microsoft?... Mr Gill Bates.
     
  10. GillBates

    GillBates Member

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    Or are you Mr Bubblegoose defending Microsoft at the expense of perfectly reliable and value for money Linux systems?
     
  11. s3kemo

    s3kemo Member

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    Which idiot chose a Microsoft shop to fix a Linux problem? It's pretty obvious what would happen...
     
  12. bubblegoose

    bubblegoose Member

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    I'm not defending anything at anyone's expense...
     
  13. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Not at all. We aren't talking about a command line operating system here.

    Mitel SME and ClearOS are as easy as:
    1. Download ISO.
    2. Burn ISO.
    3. Boot from CD and follow prompts.
    4. Reboot and complete mini setup (GUI asking stuff like server name, IP addresses, etc).
    5. Reboot again and leave at login screen.
    6. Fire up web browser, point to relevant location (e.g https://servername/server-manager), and add user accounts and any other settings via web browser.

    To be honest it is a hell of a lot simpler than Windows Server, even with it's many wizards.

    Acer? Yuck .. Ensure you get extended support as you'll need it if you opt for Acer. Worst ... Reliability ... Ever!!!

    As there is for Linux. Thing is, we have Mitel boxes out there going on 3 years without a reboot. If something goes wrong in goes the CD, and you restore the last nights backup.

    That's the thing, you do not need to know much about Linux at all to install, and administer Mitel SME Server / ClearOS. That is their major drawcard (simple setup, solid reliability, and little linux knowledge required).

    I'm certainly not discounting Windows Server, but people are overlooking things here.

    Any machine accessing the server (even just for files), requires a CAL (Client Access License). The if they want to use Exchange it's another CAL per login. If they want Terminal Services it's another CAL. If they want to use Office via Remote Desktop Services, they have to buy VOLP licensing of Microsoft Office 2010 and it is not cheap.

    Compare that to a $0 software cost, meaning you can spend money elsewhere.

    As mentioned we do both operating systems. Linux is traditionally a LOT less maintenance, and far more robust/reliable.

    We recommend to our clients unless they have a need (now or in future) for Exchange/SQL/Software that requires Windows, then Linux is their best bet.
     
  14. bobrandom

    bobrandom Member

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    Clearos also offers full support if you require it via clearcenter
     
  15. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    True that.

    Upon reading my comments again I just want to clarify that Linux has come a LONG way since the days of Red Hat and Debian where everything was command line, and shouldn't be brushed off as "too hard", "too complicated", etc.

    The truth is that for bugger all investment it offers a damn good alternative to those who require a server but not Exchange/SQL.

    If you have a spare machine floating around give it a crack and have a play.
     
  16. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Vanilla 2008R2 can be setup and running from a USB key in under 30 minutes.
    Run the roles wizard, reboot a few times, and you have a server.

    SBS takes a bit more time, but so would any os running dhcp, dns, file server, mail, ldap, etc etc
     
  17. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    You seem to be mistaken, as modern windows OS is about the same, and 400 per incident?

    If you cant fix a server issue without calling microsoft, there is more wrong then just a misbehaving os...
     
  18. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    I got a giggle out of this statement. Many bearded Linux fans would argue that Linux distributions sold their souls to the devil for a GUI. Especially for server roles.

    Anyway, I want to add to my post earlier - I think the OP should be identifying all software & hardware the business needs to support on the server & take that information & use it to design the server with help from a top tier provider like Dell or IBM.
    I don't think you'll get much change from your budget however, especially when you should be planning into the server design any business growth (are you going to support six users forever, or will the business grow to 30 users in three years time, and are the demands on the server likely to change in that time, data use definitely will), upgrade points & when the server is decomissioned.
     
  19. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I think you are right on the money there. What hasn't really been explored is what they want to achieve.

    If it's just storage + backup then an off the shelf multi drive NAS unit may very well solve the problem. (Bonus points if the device supports versioning). Assuming the internet connection is up to it, buy two and setup remote replication. That said, USB backup is fine providing it's actually done and taken off site.


    If they want to centralise their email, manage internet access and set policies for the connected computers something more complex is going to be the answer.
     
  20. Grom Hellscream

    Grom Hellscream Member

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    You'll need a Windows based setup, otherwise you can't run optimisations or the like on the MYOB file, and upgrading the database between versions over the network is going to suck.

    Also, if there are any programs that interface with MYOB you need the server to run ODBC drivers to allow access to the MYOB data file. You don't want to have to fuck with that sort of thing in Linux.

    I'd suggest a low-end branded server with SBS installed. Has pretty much everything you need - Exchange, user management, proxy/internet control, domain security etc.
     

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