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  1. Capt'n
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    Which Server to purchase


    My Fiance has recently gone in with some folks and bought a bridal shop. Their PC's in the office are PII 450's with Windows NT 4 on them. They are looking to upgrade a bit since we're not entirely sure if these boxes are properly licensed.

    Anyway, one item I have convenced them of is getting a small office server to track inventory and all that good jazz. I am going to set up either a Linux or FreeBSD based system using OSSuite for the commerce gateway. Aka, it will run much like webserver and their PC's will use MSIE to connect to the lan. The server nor the PC's will never be connected to the internet, a complete closed system.

    Now my great debate is where to get the server. As much as I would like to just get a white box with a 1.3Ghz duron and 256MB of Ram and be done with it, the group of investors that are backing them are willing to spend a little extra money and buy "a real" server.

    Really I have narrowed my choices between two: A Dell PE400SC
    with 2.26Ghz P4 processor/512MB ram, dual 40GB harddrives RAID config that is about $2250 with RH Linux preinstalled and an IBM xSeries 255 with 2.4 Ghz Xeon, dual 36GB SCSI hot swapable drives in RAID config for about $1800 with SuSE preinstalled.

    personally I am leaning towards the IBM. I have an xSeries now hosting websites (1.7Ghz Celeron, 512MB ram and RH 7.3) and like it quite well, plus I have had good luck with them in the past.

    The new PC's are going to be $600 Dell specials of the week. They won't need a lot to process orders and stuff and then I will use my exisiting iBook while in the office.

    Anyone else have any kind words of advice?
    Why? Because Forms just look cooler in OS X...

    Dutch, it's like German...but not!
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    Contributing User
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    Dell is over rated i like the ibm and HP better.
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  5. Capt'n
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    HP, I need to look them up as well. I still have a quad ALPHA 500 box here in my apartment that I got for like $400 when the company I was working for was "upgrading" their render farm.

    Thx for the recomendation.
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    The Dude Abides
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    Just build your own, it will be better and easier to replace components than a manufacturered one. You don't need to spend a ton of money to get a good server, and the prebuilt ones from Dell/HP aren't anything great.
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  9. Capt'n
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    Originally posted by thedude
    Just build your own, it will be better and easier to replace components than a manufacturered one. You don't need to spend a ton of money to get a good server, and the prebuilt ones from Dell/HP aren't anything great.
    As much as I would love to do that, the group of investors that are backing them want something with a logo and support behind it and are willing to spend the extra money.

    I think I have decided on the IBM. The xSeries I already own is great. I might search ebay for a used Sun Coblat Raq and see if I can find a deal on one.
    Why? Because Forms just look cooler in OS X...

    Dutch, it's like German...but not!
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  11. Big Daddy
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    IBM, baby! Yeah!

    Chris
    Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!
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    The Dude Abides
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    Well, they may be investors, but they don't know diddly about computers. That's why they hired you. As for support, get used to being on hold and listening to tech support people that just read off of a script. Most will know far less than you.

    The biggest problem with prebuilt servers are the upgrades and replacing components, everything is generally proprietary.
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  15. Capt'n
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    I've decided on the IBM. Total cost is about $2200 configured with tape drive and all. The IBM xSeries are all pretty much off the shelf x86 hardware. Its not like an AS/400 or whatever its replacement model.

    Again, we are talking about a system to handle a small lan and Point of Sale software, inventory tracking, at a small bridal shop here, it won't even have a pipeline out to the internet.

    Professionally I use coloed IBM's or Sun's because people see those names and know it has value. Much better than just, "I host off some boxes I made" in a pamplet.
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    Quite honestly I think you are spending way to much for a server running inventory/other misc information for 2(?) computers.

    Ask you investors if they care more about the warranty then the support. Support sounds like it could certainly be andled by you, whats Mr Dell or Ms IBM going to tell you that you don't already know? What important is you actually have parts warranty from the place of purchase incase things go bad in the hardware.

    That in mind, you could probably cut either of those machines iprice in half by doing a little shopping around. For example try configuring this server with a 2.4 P4 (much less then the 2.26, do to off the line production) I think you may be suprised. And thats just one quick example (I got your specs to about $1050 on that one), do a little pricewatch.com-ing and you could maybe do better.

    thats my 2 cents
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  19. Capt'n
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    I agree its the hardware reliablity and warranty that we are most interested in having and if it breaks, IBM comes to fix it. I've delt quite a bit with IBM in the past, granted with very large AS/400 datacenters (we only have 3 of the top 5 largest AS/400 centers in this town to my understanding, Bass Pro Shops, O'Reily Automotive, and Jack Henry & Associates).

    As far as day to day operation and configureation, yeah I know more than most in the town especially dealing with *iux based systems. To my knoweldge, I am the only indie technology consultant down here that doesn't charge $200 an hour.

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