View Full Version : Massive Upgrade

10-03-2010, 12:24 AM
When i say massive i am really just talking about getting rid of 8 old workstations and 1 old server for a local church (massive for them)

This church has been using Windows Server 2003 from the day it came out. It was recently using Exchange on the same machine until that hard drive it was stored on failed and now they are using an online email provider.

I work for the church part time and run my computer repair company part time as well. They want me to keep it under $10,000 budget.

they have asked me to come up with a quote to scrap their whole set-up and start a-new.

Here is there current (old) set-up:
1 Windows SBS2003 with Exchange 2003(broken)
8- "low performing" level desktops all with Windows XP Pro (all about 6 years old)
- a great new building with gig-ethernet built through the walls :)
- 2 macs networked to each other using a network 1TB hard drive (newer and irrelevant to this story)

my plan:
8 - new custom built high quality workstations (windows 7 pro) around $700 each (good specs.. no use to list that right now)

1 Server- Windows Home Server 2010 (64bit when it comes out)
with built in storage 2TB+

anyway- the church does not use their current SBS2003 for anything but file sharing basically. File sharing and some using remote access to their desktops. email is all online now so that's out of the picture.

- am i going the right rout for them?
- should i even set-up a server for them or just use network storage devices?
- WHAT WOULD YOU DO? ($10,000 max budget)

have fun with your reply- but keep it real plz. :cool:

10-03-2010, 01:03 AM
With $10,000 you should be able to get them some serious equipment. If you buy the software through TechSoup.org you should have about $9,850 or so left over for the rest.

10-03-2010, 03:10 AM
A lot of my small business customers (including 3-4 churches) have similar setups. If the church is now using outsourced email, aren't going to exceed 10 workstations and don't have any requirements that absolutely require a Windows Server OS, then all they need is a PC doing file server duties.

I'd probably setup a PC running Win 7 Pro to do the file serving and, since all PCs will be Win 7, put all the machines into a Home Group to simplify the networking.

Using NAS devices might suffice, but I've always preferred a real machine managing the shared disks in order to provide a single point of control, ease of backup, etc. A file server PC also makes it easier to change the size and location of shared files without getting the end users involved.

10-03-2010, 03:19 AM
Why are you building custom computers? Yea, it's fun, but they have no need for it unless they are all multimedia PCs. You will save them money buying 8 business line PCs from Lenovo or something.

WHS only supports 10 clients, so you better hope they don't grow at all.

Again with growth, a real Server OS will allow central management of all the computers (Group Policy). 8 isn't too bad, but the central management is always nice. So the money you save by not building custom workstations you can purchase a nice backup system.

10-03-2010, 05:27 AM
You have to have scalability so I would rule out anything that limits you to 10 connections.

10-03-2010, 09:10 AM
Why customs builds? Get a NAS for the file sharing with RAID inbuilt. Maybe get them onto google apps to.

10-04-2010, 04:03 AM
Thanks for the replies. The nonprofit is a new area for me so i think i may start a new thread for nonprofit help (like that amazing "TechSoup.org" i never knew about till now)

I am a fan of the NAS or a simple fire share computer. they do not have an IT manager (other than myself helping one day a month) So when it comes to having an actual server and the price of server OS etc... it's not worth it if all they do is file share and not much "central management" is necessary.

If anyone else has any other nonprofit tips that would be great- i will look into finding some business level computers - my reasoning for custom builds is because i have a handful of stock on my shelves that i would love to get rid of and give to the church as a better deal- but we shall see.

10-04-2010, 05:03 AM
I do a lot of volunteer work for my church as well.
Focus on reliable hardware that will last. Unless it's a big church - churches don't often have the budget for upgrading computers and generally only replace them when they fail catastrophically.

I'm slowly convincing our church leadership of the need for a upgrade plan and maybe a central server (they're using a peer to peer network and using an external hard drive on the office administrators pc for backups at the moment).

10-04-2010, 05:26 AM
So far i am more and more leaning to not having an official server at all for the church.

Possibly just some network hard drives with good back-up plans (or a storage PC like glricht above said)

I am so new to the whole google app for nonprofit stuff (and nonprofit deals in general for software/hardware) i need to read up on this stuff :-p

10-04-2010, 11:16 AM
This is what i would do:
8 x Business computers + 19" wide screen monitor + Ms office = 4064 ex Vat
1 x HP ProLiant DL380 = 3000 (6GB ram + 4 TB HD for a 2TB mirror raid)
You will need you server OS / Exchange and CALS possibly costing about 500 ish?
This will leave you with about 2.5k to add any extra stuff you want.
I would use Exchange server 2010 / Windows 7 Pro
As its a 2TB mirrored raid this will give you plenty of space for emails including growth and a good recovery point in case it decides to fall over on you.
Some thing else to remember is you will need other backup for file and Exchange, it wont be that big, you could back all up to an external HD once a week and take it off site, or pay for offsite hosting which will be a monthly cost.
But 7 computers / 20 exchange account probably wont be that big in size.

Don't forget Educational / charity / church discounts!

Hope this helps.

Paul Rodgers
10-04-2010, 12:13 PM
Not exactly on-topic with the original question but document everything from start to finish with pictures. This could make a very nice story for your local news.