General Question

the100thmonkey's avatar

What's the most appropriate server OS for my needs?

Asked by the100thmonkey (11245points) September 3rd, 2010

My company needs to deploy a Windows-based server for secure administration of testing.

It needs to be Windows 2000 or 2003.

I’ve looked on-line (albeit briefly), but was confused by the veritable plethora of server options and the widely varying prices. I know next to nothing about Windows server, and know that there are people here who can set me on the golden path.

Price is an issue, as this is really only going to be a small-scale deployment of 10 networked machines initially with 20 machines planned for late next year.

Everything else is pretty standard, I believe – 100mbps ethernet connection, 80MB of network drive space, multicast enabled.

We have a PC that’s plenty capable of such specifications just sitting unused and unloved in the basement.

Thanks muchly in advance!

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6 Answers

wgallios's avatar

If it needs to be Windows Server 2000 or 2003, I believe windows 2000 has reached the end of its support lifecycle. Therefore you’re kind of stuck with a 2003 R2 server. What is it the server is going to be doing that is “has” to be a windows server?

A Red hat/CentOS might be a cheaper, and more viable solution.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Normally, I would go for a Linux server – I have a little experience in running LAMP stacks, so I’d prefer to go with what I know.

However, the software to be used to serve the assessments to client computers is Windows only, so I’m SOL.

wgallios's avatar

Ah Gotcha, I would say probably at least 2003 then, unless the software is written to run on Server 2000.

I’m sure the last thing you want to happen is an update for the software come out that requires the latest .NET framework or something which Microsoft might not release anymore for Windows Server 2000. Then you might be in between a rock and a hard place. I’m sure a 2003 server is also cheaper than say a 2008 server so thats always good, plus it will probably be supported for a few more years as well.

That would only be my real concern, the rest would just come down to hardware, choosing whatever specs you need for the machine.

jaytkay's avatar

What services will be needed?
Application server? Database? Email? File? Print? Domain controller? Terminal Services? IIS?

the100thmonkey's avatar

Only one application will be used, which is for language assessment tests . An example of the kind of tests we will be running is BULATS.

As you can see, they keep their technical specifications pretty simple.

However, for other exams, the specifications include a Win2K+ server. I believe this is in order to ensure that the client PCs used to run the tests have limited connectivity.

Skyrail's avatar

Well it will be interesting to see how easy it is to get Windows Server 2003 seeing as whenever I try and find some information on it on the Microsoft website it redirects me to the 2008 version of the page.

I don’t know what information to give or where to start I have to admit, I’m certainly no expert but I’ll try to point out some things. The testing software, is it run through a web server? How is it accessed, do each of the client PCs connect to the server and it works through that or do they access the test via a web interface? Because that may help you decide what version of 2k3 to get (Web edition or Standard). It may also help you consider whether you need to buy CAL’s (I don’t know how they work, it’s per user or per device or something like that, I don’t know how that affects you, or what it considers a connection to the server etc.)

Here’s the Server2k8 page on licensing that might help understand the model:

I’m more than willing to help search for more information but I don’t have any experience sorry!

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