Last Updated: 27 July 2008
In this category of servers the main priority is low cost, with reliability as a close second consideration. Price has always been the number one concern of most Malaysian buyers.
While performance is important, we do not consider it a vital part of building a budget server; it is merely something that is considered when price and reliability have been established. This is not to say that performance is ignored because an efficient server will mean better productivity for the users depending on the server. Platform stability is also a priority and in this respect, many of our clients have always settled for servers based on the Intel® IA-32 architecture. Although AMD's OpteronTM is a strong contender, the lack of a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 is somewhat hampering its acceptance in small business environments.
The server we recommend below would be suitable for up to 20-25 users as a general rule of thumb. However, every company have their own requirements and depending on needs, the number of users connected to the server may be more or less than the above specified numbers.
Software - Network Operating System
Network Opertaing System: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition c/w 5 client access licences
Approximate Retail Price: RM 2,721 (OEM licence - must be purchased with new server hardware) Additional client access licence - RM 550 (5 clients)
Software To Make Your Server Work Harder!
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 c/w 5
client access licences.
Additional Client Access Licences (5 clients): RM 1,645
If you would like to make your hardware investment stretch further, you could opt for the Microsoft Small Business Server Suite to enhance the services that your server can offer. The standard edition of Windows Small Business Server 2003 includes Windows Server™ 2003 technologies, including fax service, firewall service, and remote-access service. Additionally, it includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, enhanced tools for server monitoring and administration, and an out-of-the-box solution for internal Web sites.
With the Windows Small Business Server Standard 2003, you have all the necessary services to get your corporate network off to a flying start. The only restriction for this low priced full featured server suite is that the total number of users allowed is limited to 75.
The Windows Small Business Server Premium Edition 2003 adds the following:
What about Linux Operating System?
Much has been said about the goodies that are available on the "free" Linux operating system. There is no doubt that it is a very powerful piece of software that you can run on your server. It can do pretty much what the Microsoft Windows Server System can do and in some instances, it can do more!
However, for a small business, you will have to weigh up the actual cost of running Linux. although the software may be available for free or at a low cost, technical support can be as costly or even more expensive than that for the Microsoft Windows Server platform. As such, you will need to consider this carefully before you adopt Linux.
If your organisation has the technical capability, opting for open source software like Fedora Project or Mandrake Linux may cut some costs. Linux is also a viable alternative if you do not want to tie your organisation down to Microsoft products. For the time being Linux is also able to support the AMD 64-bit x86-64 architecture that is found on the AMD Opteron™ server platform, a feature that Microsoft Windows Servers still lack.
We have attempted to provide some pointers with regards to the type of server hardware and software platforms that small to medium enterprises such as yours could adopt. As you can see, you can have a real serious server solution for not more than RM 12,000 (only RM 200 per month, if you use your server for 5 years). The recommendations here should be taken only as a general guide. If you need a more detailed look at your organisation's needs, please contact us for a free assessment!
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