Building A Server?
You Will Need Parts


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Hardware to Build a Server?

Hardware - you know pieces and parts...

Thinking of having your own server to share files, to share and monitor your printers, to increase your security on your network?

For a server you should consider this before you start.

The parts consists of:

  • Computer
  • Network
  • Switch
  • Router (optional)

If you already have some existing computers and parts you may want to conserve your money and use that, however a mission critical server should not be second hand parts. To increase the operational reliability of your computer you should consider purchasing a new computer.

A couple of scenarios for building a server.

Used hardware scenario:

You have on hand an older computer that you upgraded from, it has:

  • Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz processor,
  • 2 Gig of Ram, two embedded network cards
  • 500 GB hard drive.
  • The case is in good shape, the power supply is 650 Watt.
  • You have an old 15" LCD monitor that still works.
  • You need a Server OS that has a 25 CAL (Client Access License )

New hardware scenario:

You have a budget of $3000 and are willing to build the computer for your server. Your spec's are:

  • i5 Quad Processor, it can be either a workstation processor or a Xeon processor
  • 8 GB of Ram
  • 2 TB of drive space, you would like to use Raid 5 on the storage but it is not a high priority
  • A 15" LCD monitor
  • The Operating System hard drive needs to be mirrored (Raid 1) for recovery purposes.
  • You will need a backup system of either another storage device or a Tape drive.
  • You need a Server OS that has at least 25 CAL license.

Need a server? You can build your own!

For a test or a home server you could use the old computer and upgrade the processor, memory, and add a second hard drive (depending on your storage needs for size), If you go this route remember that you are using old parts and it could fail at anytime, there is not guarantee on them. Also there isn't any backup systems in place if you are putting valuable documents on the server, so consider a backup solution also.

For a mission critical business server always use new computers with a minimum of three year warranty, buy an extended warranty if possible. Stay away from no name brands. A server will last over ten years if quality parts are used.

As for the Operating System always buy a server license that will allow for expansion with the CAL, if you have ten employees then a 25 CAL will be sufficient. But if you have twenty employees then you would want to get the 50 CAL license. Why? Because a printer is considered as a client. With twenty employees you are going to have at least three community printers, a 25 CAL would only give you two spare CAL's.

So planning out the computer systems before you start will insure that you don't fall in to any traps or miscalculate the cost.

As one of my favorite bosses used to say: "Plan your work. Work your plan."

Next you will need to consider your network, wired or wireless?

If you are interested in building a server I have an e-book that may interest you Build a Server Guide.

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