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Do I really need a server?

Have a small business with several computers

     
8:49 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I run a small business, i have about 3 laptops and 3 desktops. 2 of my desktops have large hard drives (over 250 gb) which are barely used. My question is this...

Do I need a "server"? Like the products that Dell sells? Or am I good with just networking all my machines together? Dedicated one as the file sharer?

I've never done this, and am just confused on the terminology and technicalities.

Do I need a server? Advantages - Disadvantages to having one?

Confused.

Hubes

5:38 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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depends if someone is going to use that machine while it's acting has a server or not

DaveN

6:43 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes....the machine can be used as a computer too. Someone would use it once in awhile as a computer, not just a server
6:48 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I have a about five users and a small "server". Its not specifically designed as one but does the job I want it to just fine. I use it for central storage and a test box for websites.

All the users have their own folders on there and all marketing documents etc. etc. are linked to from an intranet page ( the home page for all users ). I like it as it keeps things organised and everthing to be backed up is one place. I doubt though a power edge would make a lot of difference . I would not like to be the user of the machine though when things are being accessed on it. My guess is it would slow things down a lot.

7:51 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My suggesting is that if you are asking if you need a server, then the answer is probably no.

You can use a share on one of the desktops for simple file sharing needs.

Try it for a while and see if it meets your needs. If not, get a low end server, or use a spare PC.

1:35 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My suggestion is to do this:

1) Go out and buy a wireless gateway. They don't cost much. Plug the broadband line into the gateway.
(about $200)

2) For each computer in your network, buy wireless cards (about $50 per card)

3) Buy a server. Since you only got 4 computers in the network, you can use something like a AMD Athlon processor based system. Get minimum 200GB ATA hard disk. Buy a wireless card, cheap monitor and video card, CD/DVD drive, floppy. Have at least 512MB of RAM. (about $800)

4) Install on the server Apache 2.x (free), mySQL database (free), PHP, and install any intranet applications that you feel would help improve your business. You'll be surprised by how more productive your organization can be. Go to hotscripts.com for some ideas on scripts/applications you can run on the server.

Use the server as a file sharing and backup device.

1:55 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As a followup to GeeWhizzler, I think that's great idea.

My previous post was from the mindset of "do I need a file server to share files."

Do you need a server? If you are going to take the passive approach than no. If you are going to take a more proactive approach, like GeeWhizzler suggests, then it's a good idea and can certainly help your business.

5:55 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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5) Employ someone so you dont spend all your time fixing stuff :)

Keep It Simple

Do I need a server?

What do you need to be doing that you cant do with your current setup?
11:46 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have about 4 computers accessing my main desktop for a large access 300 MB database continually throughout the day and I don't experience any slowdown. I have a middle of the line Dell with 2 GB RAM. I also have Windows Server 2003 available, but use Windows XP because I get pretty much all the features I need with XP. It would be easier with Server 2003 to set up users for access, but then the whole maintenance becomes a little harder.
12:06 am on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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a wireless card? on a desktop? is that possible?
1:23 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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a wireless card? on a desktop? is that possible?

Sure. Seach an online electronics vendor and you'll see some choices.

best,
a.