Server Recommendations for Small Business

I’m in the market for a server for my business. It will be used for 3 or 4 employees to remote into and work on VM installs of windows. They’ll only be working on Microsoft Office and web browsing. I’ve been looking at the Dell PowerEdge R820 with 4X E5-4640v2 2.20Ghz and 512mb if DDR3 ram.

What are your thoughts on this or is there a better option? I’m trying to keep this somewhat budget since we’re a small business.

This is probably a typo but ain’t no way 512 megabytes of RAM is going to be enough :smiley:

But 4x E5-4640v2 with 512 GB of RAM seems like total overkill for office and web browsing. That would be 40 cores / 80 threads @ 2.2 GHz.

You also need to taken in consideration for windows licensing all the VM’s with that many cores. The RAM choice does seem a bit steep unless your employee count goes up and you need more VM’s. You could stand up an RDP server and go the CAL’s route and it might save you money on licensing. Just need to get with a Microsoft rep and have them layout the options.

Question to help you better: Are you using Microsoft 365 for your business?

My personal opinion: for a small business, this is overkill. Do you actually have a legal or regulatory requirement to keep data on-site, hence requiring some sort of remote-in solution? Employees are going to remote in, which tells me they already have a device that can use for Microsoft Office / Web browsing. Sometimes just because you can do something does not mean it’s the best business solution, especially for an emerging small business.

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If dealing with that server and Windows licensing, your processor and core count will be expensive. Standard licensing seems to be in 16 core packs now (used to be 12 cores). You may also need to look into windows 10/11 VM licensing costs, it’s a different license from normal desktops. You might be able to work in Windows Server VMs, but I’m not finding the licensing for this anymore. Once upon a time, if you bought Datacenter it would allow 4 or 5 more VMs of the same product to be licensed, you’d need to talk to a licensing specialist to see if this still applies.

Also do you really want to use a server that old? The Xeon v2 processors went end of life in 2020. I’m fine with them being in my lab, but not in production anymore, Xeon Scalable would be a better choice for more current product.

I agree with David, do you really need local servers?

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Agree with David and Greg. All you need probably is a data server, which you can host anywhere or self host using NAS cloud sharing like I use synology drive server. Plenty fast on gigabit fiber.