Question What spec server system is really needed for my business?

Jul 19, 2020
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I need to buy a server system for a small / medium size company but am not sure what I really need.

We are a training business with a building with lots of network points installed and wired back to a cabinet from a past tenant.

We will have a small office staff of about 5 people working on desktop workstations and using a shared file server with various levels of access and permissions, and we will have around 5 to 10 instructors delivering powerpoint style presentations at any one time, streaming files (presentations, some videos and other media) from a file server. We need very reliable data storage and back up for all the digital records we produce when training and assessing customers and I want to have onsite server rather than cloud, to avoid lagging.

I received a specification and quote from a supplier but I feel like the spec and cost is way more than I expected.

I just don't have the expertise to really know.

Server option suggested by my current supplier:

  • Fujitsu TX 2550 M4 Tower Server
  • 1 x Intel Xeon Silver 4110 2.1Ghz
  • 32GB RAM
  • 5x 600GB SAS 15k Hard Drives
  • RAID Controller
  • 3 Year NBD Hardware Warranty
  • Windows Server 2019 Standard with 5 CALs - €6000 + tax
Extras required:
  • Netgear 24 Port Gigabyte Switch
  • APC 1500 VA Server UPS - €600 +tax
  • 100GB Offsite Backup - €450 + tax per year
Installation and commission:
- 3 days work (1500 euro + tax)

Is this about right? Way off? Overkill? Can anybody advise / help?

Thanks! TomIRE
 

Flayed

Honorable
I need to buy a server system for a small / medium size company but am not sure what I really need.

We are a training business with a building with lots of network points installed and wired back to a cabinet from a past tenant.

We will have a small office staff of about 5 people working on desktop workstations and using a shared file server with various levels of access and permissions, and we will have around 5 to 10 instructors delivering powerpoint style presentations at any one time, streaming files (presentations, some videos and other media) from a file server. We need very reliable data storage and back up for all the digital records we produce when training and assessing customers and I want to have onsite server rather than cloud, to avoid lagging.

I received a specification and quote from a supplier but I feel like the spec and cost is way more than I expected.

I just don't have the expertise to really know.

Server option suggested by my current supplier:

  • Fujitsu TX 2550 M4 Tower Server
  • 1 x Intel Xeon Silver 4110 2.1Ghz
  • 32GB RAM
  • 5x 600GB SAS 15k Hard Drives
  • RAID Controller
  • 3 Year NBD Hardware Warranty
  • Windows Server 2019 Standard with 5 CALs - €6000 + tax
Extras required:
  • Netgear 24 Port Gigabyte Switch
  • APC 1500 VA Server UPS - €600 +tax
  • 100GB Offsite Backup - €450 + tax per year
Installation and commission:
- 3 days work (1500 euro + tax)

Is this about right? Way off? Overkill? Can anybody advise / help?

Thanks! TomIRE
Sounds like you could meet your needs with a high-end NAS would be way less expensive
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Is this just for file storage and serving up?
The 5-10 instructors all have individual client systems?

If so, the above recommendation for a reasonable quality NAS box can do this easily.
My 4 bay QNAP TS-453a wouldn't even break a sweat doing this.

$450 for the box, another $300-400 for whatever drives you want to put in it.
All you need, well under $1000.
Installation and backup routine extra.
 
Jul 19, 2020
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Thanks USAFRet and Flayed

Is this just for file storage and serving up?
The 5-10 instructors all have individual client systems?

Yes, I would only expect the server to be serving up a central repository of files with each user working on a basic workstation with windows running whatever programs they are using to teach a session or complete day to day admin tasks.

It sounds like a NAS solution may be a more sensible route for our needs.

But I would like to understand what the system I have outlined above, that was pushed by my supplier, would be actually needed for to try and understand if they have just misunderstood our needs, or whether they are being unfair and trying to exploit our lack of technical knowledge.

What kind of task would require a server system on the scale that has been suggested by my supplier? (the Fujitsu system)

I did mention during our discussion that I would like a system that could be expanded in the future (a year or 2 from now) so we could add a small 'computer lab' type training room, which would have up to 20 students working at simple workstations learning to use email and basic MS Office suite. My supplier suggested this required hardware suitable to run a virtual server.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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That Fujitsu is both overkill and underkill.

Overkill for the basic file sharing you need to do now, and not enough for your potential future "lab".

5x 600GB SAS drives? Why? That config makes little sense.
32GB RAM is good for now, but possibly not enough for that future "lab" of unspecified requirements.
Server2019 + 5 CALs. Well...5 is not enough.
Server2019 Essentials would probably work for this box, for 1/2 the price. 25 users, 50 devices. Or Linux.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/pricing

For the possible future expansion, don't try to squeeze all functionality into one box.
 

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