Help with picking servers.

Discussion in 'Computer Programming, Emulation, and Game Modding' started by DragorianSword, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. DragorianSword
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    DragorianSword GBAtemp's #1 Gunter

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    So for our French economics lessons we had to start a fictional company so we could learn what things need to be done, arranged, etc. inside a company.

    Our fictional company develops websites and for one of the assignments we need to 'purchase' something so a new server to host our sites was a logical choise. So the server we have right now is 'full' and we need an extra server.
    Problem is that I don't know anything about servers, so I hoped someone around here could shed some light on it, because I got easily confused while searching the internet.

    So what I need is a suggestion for a server to host our websites on.
    We have a (fictional) budget of 4000 euros (5280 dolars).
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    There are single server companies out there but most web dev outfits will pair up with a hosting company that does nothing but servers or become a reseller for some of the bigger companies.

    Likewise are you going for customer websites, customer intranets and what sorts of sites are you proposing to build; what hosts a video site is probably different to what hosts a file store which is again different to what hosts a remote processing/database/sales type site.

    4000 Euros..... enough to possibly get something done with in the single server world if you are doing it properly but would cover a fair bit on a lot of reseller packages. Having dual servers for backup purposes could get tricky. Going a bit further there am I going to need proper switches/routers, firewalls and such like to go with it?
    Similarly are you including power costs in this? Air conditioning and simple electric (this server could easily hit 1000W though there are less greedy ones) adds up. Your outbound internet might also warrant looking at -- the €50 or so you pay for home internet is nothing compared to something with a service level agreement and if I am hosting with your outfit you bet I am going to ask about this if Johnny reseller down the road has uptime guarantees and refunds if I am down.
    On the flip side is this a simple development server in which case you might want to buy one as http://www.uniformserver.com/ or a VM with centOS in only takes you so far.
    Also is maintenance of this server factored in? Going further there are standardised servers and layouts for it (see rackmount). More importantly my master of PHP, SQL and apache/nginx is not the same person I would call to get their hands dirty swapping out cards at 3am (it might be in your small company though) and it might also be a different person than the one that makes pretty pictures and knows all about the latest and greatest SEO techniques and layout/monetisation theory.

    Of course if you are now costing a year of service somewhere rather than an asset with maintenance costs which is what you started this with.
     
  3. DragorianSword
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    DragorianSword GBAtemp's #1 Gunter

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    Oh no you're making it too complicated.
    It's just a minor assignment so I just need to 'buy' a server for my fictional company.
    The company makes websites for stores with online shopping possibilities.
    We already have a server, but it doesn't cover the needs (not enough space or can't handle enough internet traffic, we can still pick the reason why we need to expand it or buy a new one).
    For the assignement I just need to pick a server, give the specifications and explain why we had to buy a new or extra one and why we chose that specific model.
    The 'money' our company had left was 4000€.
    I tried searching on HP and Dell's websites but couldn't make out if it was what I 'need' because I don't know anything about it.
    So I don't know, would we be better off replacing the server or buying a second one? Theoretically speaken ofcourse.
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    [hard drive] space... most server class systems you can more or less drop a new drive in* (though they are far more pricey than the average consumer, especially if you want a proper one with a nice warranty) so space is probably not a troubling issue.
    *this assumes local storage and no SAN or something.
    Traffic... this one varies and though it can be a case to grab a new server it could also be the time for you to further optimise your code (if you think it is fully optimised you are wrong). Likewise you could have a separate database server if you wanted.
    You might also need a fatter pipe going out to the internet.

    Off the shelf servers are fine, sometimes a bit more pricey and may fail to quite meet your needs but they often also come with big boy warranties and such things are highly desirable for certain companies (to the point where they are as or more important than the things they are for).

    Short version is enterprise class servers and their handling is a profession unto itself with lots of reasons for doing things, lots of requirements and quite far removed from "we just got a new working in the office so call Dell and get a machine for them the boss me and they can have my old one, also call the sysadmins to have them add some new login credentials".
     
  5. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Well, I have heard HP servers have heat problems and therefore the Dell PowerEdge would be the ones your fictional company would want to go with. Can't help much beyond that, other than say it should have enterprise-class hardware (enterprise HDDs in RAID 1+0, mainly, and possibly dual quad core Intel Xeons as they seem to be a popular choice for real high-end servers) for reliability.
     
  6. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    I'm don't know much about server, but do you really have to buy one? For small company perhaps leasing one is a better option? You do also get technical support from leasing.
     
  7. DragorianSword
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    DragorianSword GBAtemp's #1 Gunter

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    Thanks!
    Based on what you said I think I'm going to pick this one: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-m910/pd?sc_err=noocs
     
  8. The Real Jdbye

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