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Old July 4, 2008, 05:14 AM
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Default Server System? and couple other computers.

So I asked a couple question in the graphics side of things for my dad's business computer, but today he came and said he wanted my to get a couple 3-4 computers for him for the new office.

He's a landscaper and does a lot of autocad/vector works ect. However, the other empoyers's use other 3d apps for design work and things 4d cinema and autocad. He is going to have an online set up though, so that people can purchase and order smaller things online (something along these lines) and he wants to know if a server is a good addition to have.

I've got a pretty good idea for the workstation and workstation cards and componets but no idea about servers or software thats needed.

So any help with the server issue and part suggestions, and OS help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx guys, I absolutely love this forum.
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Old July 4, 2008, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailaw View Post
He is going to have an online set up<SNIP>
Whoa there tex... not so fast. You can not slip "online" into the equation so quickly. Simply put, unless you are a web developer and network administrator you do not want to go hanging your @$$ out on the Internet. There are very bad people out there who will do very bad things to you. You may not even notice it happening. If you want something small I strongly suggest you purchase a pre-buit package/service that fills the needs for marketing and sales.

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Originally Posted by mailaw View Post
So any help with the server issue and part suggestions, and OS help would be greatly appreciated.
It really depends on what you want the server to do. If you just want it to be a central place for backups and/or shared files it does not need to be much more than a normal workstation with extra hard drive space.

For a small business it would be hard to justify much more than that in many cases.
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Old July 4, 2008, 06:14 AM
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Ok, sorry to not clarify properly on the "ONLINE PART" but he just told me this morning he wants the set up. However, one of his workers will be full time on the website and devolping that. There is already a very good basis set up and it is a propper set up, and it wont just be slipped in there.

Sorry for not explaining that part properly.


I also understand the extra back up and told my dad that, but if they are doing sales online is a server nescessary? (his question)
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Old July 4, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Rabbit View Post
Whoa there tex... not so fast. You can not slip "online" into the equation so quickly. Simply put, unless you are a web developer and network administrator you do not want to go hanging your @$$ out on the Internet. There are very bad people out there who will do very bad things to you. You may not even notice it happening. If you want something small I strongly suggest you purchase a pre-buit package/service that fills the needs for marketing and sales.
Agreed, get some professional help. Having an unsecure, fugly web presence does not help out the business..!

If your dad wants to sell online, he'll need :

1. a secure server for web hosting (SSL, encryption)
2. a secure payment mechanism
3. a security certificate from an autoritative organisation
4. a well designed, appealing site

All of the above is not easily DIY for the inexperienced.
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Old July 4, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Ok thank you for the input guys, I asked him and he does have a professional working on the site covering all of that so that is sorted out.

Parts for the Desktops, Server? and OS are what I really need to know.

I'm not a part of the website side of things thats his job, mine is the Hardware and OS side of things.

Thanks though for the advice I did pass it up the chain.
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Old July 4, 2008, 06:47 AM
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Do you need a server? Yes, you need a server. However, you do not need to actually poses that server. For your Internet presence you probably want to rent hosting from a reputable company. They can provide all the services you need (SSL, SQL, PHP/RoR, SMTP, SNMP, etc) in a scalable environment that will adapt to the needs of you business as you start out and as you grow. You can build your own web server but it is very hard to do well.

You may want to look into buying a ready built server from one of the major vendors. They really gouge you on hard drive space but you get the distinct advantage of overnight warranty and OS support.

As for a small but real server built from parts I like the "Intel Entry Server Board S3000AHV". The research I did on it is a little old and there may be better options now but it is along the lines of what you want. These are often called "entry level server mainboards" and you can also use "workstation mainboards" from any major vendor. Throw on 8G or Mushkin RAM and a cheap quad Xenon processor and you have a mini power house that will do anything I can imagine you might need for a small office for several years.

If you are going to get several terabytes of RAID storage for backups and files I strongly suggest a hardware RAID card. Mainly because the fakeraid on most mainboards is really hard to replace if it dies; you usually have to get the exact same mainboard and that can be a real problem in a few years. Plus remember that RAID is not a backup. You need to research and plan a real backup solution that is good enough for your needs.

Make sure they support Win2k3 and SuSE/RedHat Linux as most normal boards do not. If all your PCs are Windows then it makes some sense to use 2k3 for your server. Now is not a great time because the new versions of Windows Server are available (or soon will be) but the have not really had a good run to test them out in the real world. You can go for Linux, but you need to know what you are doing to make that work. You do not get some of the fancy things like Active Directory but that may not be valuable. It all depends on what you want to do with the server.
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Old July 4, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Not sure what your looking for, but try looking here;
http://www.thewhir.com/find/web-hosts/dir/canada.cfm
just pick one, the prices are low enough thatís its not worth doing on your own. not even close really.
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