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hi, i wondered if i could bother you all for some help, i haven't got much knowledge in this field although it's something i seem to need at the moment.

basically i was wondering if you could make me some suggestions on hardware/software/retailers

ok first off, i'm in need of a server, the server will be based in an office and will be used to share/serve files (Word Documents, Spreadsheets, etc) as well as serve the internet connection, i also need to make sure that the afforementioned files can be remotely accessed off-site. so i guess my first question would be what sort of/what server should i go for? and what sort of configuration am i looking for?

the second part is really software based, i would like to run on the above server a database for tracking members, liason with said members and all related information, this will also need to be remotely accessed and i would like to have as simple an interface as possible, as not everyone in the office is very computer literate, especially when it comes to collating, searching through and printing the information that will be stored. so i'm wondering if you could recommend some software that would cater to my needs.

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Last Post by masimk2003
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There are so many possibilities you'll have to use other criteria to narrow down your search such as price, availability, and plausibility. Narrow yourself down further by specifying if you want stuff like serviceability from the company who installs it (warranty and tech support), what your price range for spending (open source? corporate unix/linux?, windows?). Do you have the facilities for this server? i.e. an internet connection and other connecting computers? If so, what do the other computers run on them for software...and what type of cable connection do you have.

Just know that when you design a network that all of these questions should have answers and that if you do go with a company to network you, they should ask ALL of these questions and more. If they don't, they're only after the money and don't care about servicing you as a client. Get me some more info and I'll hook you up with an estimate.

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spending (open source? corporate unix/linux?, windows?).

Speaking of corporate Servers Aka Security,my company deals with corporate americas needs everyday. UN*Xlike systems eg AIX are more secure than UN*X and feature more advanced designs of microkernel architecture they tend to run on hardware out of reach for most people. Hell, Sun servers, do you really have the cash for these. Let's take this at a realistic approach. ;)
I think if he had the money for such hardware/OS's he would not be posting this for one. Let's just take a gander at the prices real quick, just for SUN servers and the likes......
http://sunsite.uen.org/prices/USEUPL/Config/ch_cf_highend.html
Those will be the cheapest, leaving out more advanced system hardware. ;)
I'll wait to give some input on the hardware & such, but I will leave you a Security guide to go by after all is said and done.
http://itsecurity.com/tutor/asecuritymanagersfirsttasks.htm
But as TKS from(Seymour Johnson) points out, we really need alot more info. PS: TKS, My uncle is a engineer, he works on "bunker buster" technology at Eglin's base, the biggest in the country. He's not DoD ;) make sense? You sure that your DoD still?

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In terms of serviceability, I would like to make sure that all hardware was under warranty should anything go wrong, however tech support is something we're not really in need of.

We would like to run the server on site and using a Windows OS, the building already had cabling although would probably need some modifications done to it to support the server and growing number of computers (20) and staff. The other computers all either run windows XP or windows 2000 and at present use a computer to serve an ADSL 512kbs connection, the server would take over this role.

the main purpose of the server other than that of the internet connection is for file sharing, we're about to merge several databases into one want to be able to share this data around the network, we'd also like to access the database and files from outside of network (from one of our satellite sites).

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

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hi, i wondered if i could bother you all for some help, i haven't got much knowledge in this field although it's something i seem to need at the moment.

basically i was wondering if you could make me some suggestions on hardware/software/retailers

ok first off, i'm in need of a server, the server will be based in an office and will be used to share/serve files (Word Documents, Spreadsheets, etc) as well as serve the internet connection, i also need to make sure that the afforementioned files can be remotely accessed off-site. so i guess my first question would be what sort of/what server should i go for? and what sort of configuration am i looking for?

the second part is really software based, i would like to run on the above server a database for tracking members, liason with said members and all related information, this will also need to be remotely accessed and i would like to have as simple an interface as possible, as not everyone in the office is very computer literate, especially when it comes to collating, searching through and printing the information that will be stored. so i'm wondering if you could recommend some software that would cater to my needs.

I maintain a couple of servers where I work, so here's what I would recommend:

Hardware:

Try to get redundant components; redundant power supplies, redundant hard drives, etc. The level of redundancy will be determined by your budget.

Memory.... minimum of 1GB.

Can you afford to get an external RAID storage unit? If so, get one to store your data. Servers eventually die, at least your data will be safe on the external RAID unit. If not, it might be possible to setup RAID-1 drives on your server. Whatever you do, put your data on redundant drives.


Also, invest in a UPS unit.

Software:

Go with Windows Server 2003, either Standard or Enterprise Edition. You can set up NAT to share your external network connection.
Server 2003 comes with Windows SharePoint Services, which is a team-sharing web portal, and it's a free download! SharePoint is quite easy to setup and use. One nice thing is that it has document versioning control. It also has online forms, so you may not even need to run a full database.

Antivirus software....you'll need one.

Again, it all depends on your budget.

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Backups are a must. Redundancy is useless without a good, clean backup! :) If you go with Windows, I would recommend an SDLT drive for large ammounts of data. (up to 320gb compressed) For the software, use Veritas Backup Exec for Windows 9. Maybe you can get by with an older DLT drive. I would recommend using Symantec Anticirus Corporate Edition. IMHO it is an excellent AV solution. The client installs right off of the server, and can integrate into Outlook and Lotus Notes. For being able to access the files on the server remotely, I would look into a Cisco PIX firewall. It is an excellent firewall/vpn solution. Everyone else may have a different opinion, but this is what I have seen work the "best."

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Ok, first off you would probably want to go with a router to serve your internet connection rather than the server. The Cisco SOHO series would probably give you enough of a router for 20 employees, I currently have a Cisco SOHO 71 at my work place and we have about 15 computers using the internet, but another 100 being assigned IP addresses by the DHCP services. The SOHO has some good firewall protection proceedures built into it and some pretty good filtering capabilities. It may not be a PIX, but it is a cheaper alternative. I have to agree with i686-linux that a PIX is by far the best solution, but the SOHO series is a good cheaper alternative.

Backup is a definate must, well before redundancy. I would even say that for smaller offices redundancy is a nicety not a necesity. Veritas Backup Exec is the ONLY backup software I would ever recommend.

All new hardware you purchase will have some level of warrenty, the question is what level of warrenty do you need? You mentioned that you don't require tech support, does this mean that you have an on-site technician? If so do you keep an inventory of parts? Given the size you stated, I doubt it is worth your while to have any parts inventory, so you would probably want quick turn around on replacement. I would suggest you write up a Request For Quote and send it out to your local business computer vendors. An RFQ will get you some ideas on what you are looking at, most vendors will let you just state what your requirements are and they will provide you with the specs they recommend.

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Dear Sir,

I am Asim Khan from Iphlux Networks & Communication, Karachi, Pakistan. We deals in Servers, Networking
and Communication Products. We buy/Sell Cisco Switches and other Networking Products.

Please send me details with prices that you have in stock. If you have any query please reply us.

Regards,
M. Asim Khan
Iphlux Networks & Communication,
Odeon Centre,
Karachi, Pakistan.
asim@iphluxnc.com
092-0321-2447813
092-0321-2363722
092-021-32767623

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