At my workplace, we’re looking to replace a 12-year-old Dell PowerEdge 2900 running Windows Server Standard operating system (Properties dates it as ‘copyright 2007’ … it seems to be neither 2003 nor 2008 but something in between?). It’s on Service Pack 2.
Other high-level specs:
Processor - one single (I think) Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5430 at (up to?) 2.66GHz. These machines are supposed to accommodate two processors … but Properties only lists one.
**Memory **- 8 GB. Not sure how it’s allocated within the twelve available DIMM slots.
Internal storage - 1.4 TB. This model of server was supposed to ship with just over 1.7 TB on six SAS and four SATA drives of varying sizes. Maybe one or more of the stock drives were switched out in the past for smaller drives. BTW – the abbreviations ‘SAS’ and ‘SATA’ mean nothing to me. I can and have Googled, yes.
32- or 64-Bit? - 64-bit operating system
Anyway. We’re looking to replace it with a server of comparable function, but with
(a) an up-to-date, currently-supported Windows operating system (not looking for a Mac or Linux OS), and
(b) more internal storage. We’re growing, and are close to using up the entire 1.4 TB we’ve got. Would like to get at least 3 TB in our next server purchase … 5 TB or more would be ideal if the price difference isn’t too great.
A refurbished server would be fine … it’s just that we want something for which both the hardware and the OS will be supported for a few more years to come. In my mind, I’m thinking around 2014-15 would be about the oldest we’d want to go.
So, anyway … anybody have any advice for how to go about evaluating servers? Comparing the pros and cons of new machines vs. refurbished? How a semi-technical staffer (me) can do a good job of searching for the best balance of function and price possible? I can readily find spec sheets online, but the number of models available from so many vendors … would like a way to narrow the search.
A natural question is “What do we use the server for?”. The answer is “everything” – e-mail, file storage, hosting (?) the VPN, etc. This is still a small business … 12 local employees and a changing number of employees at other sites (typically around total 25-35 employees at any one time). We aim to expand to something around 80-100 (mostly remote) employees in the next 2 to 3 years, so any new server would be hammered more often from remote users than our current server has been.
Making things a little tougher is that I haven’t been given a budget … no number to shoot for. I know that refurbished old servers just like the PowerEdge we’ve got are still being sold and re-sold, going for around $500. That makes me curious as to what we can do for, say, $2,000. My spidey sense is that much more than $3,000 may cause sticker-shock from the higher-ups – but then, maybe a good case at $3K+ can be made for the right machine with the right amount of expected longevity.
I know this was a lot to read through. Thanks in advance for any advice.