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norm1320
01-04-2011, 07:21 AM
I've got a small business client who wants to set up a server. For the most part it will only be a file/print server, but they would also like to use it for a distributed access database. There are only 5 people in the office, and rarely will there be more than two people connected to the network at the same time.

Home server will not work since they want to run access on it, but Server 2008 would not be cost effective given the rather modest needs that the client has.

Would any of you foresee a problem with using windows 7 as the OS for a server in this sort of situation?

MobileTechie
01-04-2011, 07:43 AM
I can't foresee a problem with it. Should work just fine. It's not like you need the of the server-specific features of 2008 for this.

Out of interest, why won't WHS work? Is it because of the Disk Extender system spreading the data around? If so then I believe that only kicks in when you have more than one disk. Of course this would limit the server to one disk making it slightly pointless.

I assume what you mean by putting Access on is just putting the backend on it? Since this is just a file you share then wouldn't a NAS work just as well?

dipper
01-04-2011, 10:37 AM
Should work all ok.

Have you thought about using Windows Foundation Server?

norm1320
01-04-2011, 04:04 PM
Out of interest, why won't WHS work?

It's always been my understanding that in order to put the back end of an Access DB on the server, the Office suite needs to be installed on it, which according to MS can't be done on WHS.

norm1320
01-04-2011, 04:06 PM
Should work all ok.

Have you thought about using Windows Foundation Server?

I thought Foundation Server was only available for select servers made by certain manufacturers. Will the license allow it to be used on a custom build?

wimwauters
01-04-2011, 08:43 PM
When my clients need a file and print server, I just setup a *nix box with samba. It is very straightforward these days :cool:

norm1320
01-04-2011, 09:36 PM
When my clients need a file and print server, I just setup a *nix box with samba. It is very straightforward these days :cool:

Have you tried doing split access databases in that environment? They can be rather tempermental under the best of circumstances, so I'm reluctant to try it.

MobileTechie
01-04-2011, 10:30 PM
It's always been my understanding that in order to put the back end of an Access DB on the server, the Office suite needs to be installed on it, which according to MS can't be done on WHS.

As I understand it, there are a number of different ways of sharing the database, some require Access but other ways can be done using SQL server or just sharing the tables in a file. I seem to remember doing it via a network share with no Access installed on the server but it was a very simple DB.

norm1320
01-04-2011, 11:26 PM
As I understand it, there are a number of different ways of sharing the database, some require Access but other ways can be done using SQL server or just sharing the tables in a file. I seem to remember doing it via a network share with no Access installed on the server but it was a very simple DB.

Thanks MobileTechie. I was unaware that it would work that way. It's been a long time since I've messed around with any split DBs, and that was always for businesses that already had servers with SBS and Office on them.

So WMS probably would work in this situation then. I guess the next question would be whether WMS would actually offer any advantages.

iptech
01-05-2011, 12:15 AM
I've got a small business client who wants to set up a server. For the most part it will only be a file/print server, but they would also like to use it for a distributed access database. There are only 5 people in the office, and rarely will there be more than two people connected to the network at the same time.

Home server will not work since they want to run access on it, but Server 2008 would not be cost effective given the rather modest needs that the client has.

Would any of you foresee a problem with using windows 7 as the OS for a server in this sort of situation?Given you only need access for five people, it should be fine. I have a customer who use a similar setup using an XP Pro desktop as an Access database server. Windows 7 will allow 20 concurrent connections as opposed to XP's 10.

datadatau
01-05-2011, 12:31 AM
One othe option would be a Mac mini server. Easy to set up, and as discussed earlie, you don't have to have access installed on the sever, just the client's pc's.

The file server capabilities on the OSX sever works well in the windows environment.

norm1320
01-05-2011, 12:47 AM
Given you only need access for five people, it should be fine. I have a customer who use a similar setup using an XP Pro desktop as an Access database server. Windows 7 will allow 20 concurrent connections as opposed to XP's 10.

Thanks IPTech. I think I'm leaning toward doing it this way. Since it will allow for the running of applications down the road it will offer a bit more flexibility than WHS, while still keeping the cost far lower than SBS.

Have you had any problems with bottleneck when concurrent users are using it?

norm1320
01-05-2011, 12:49 AM
One othe option would be a Mac mini server. Easy to set up, and as discussed earlie, you don't have to have access installed on the sever, just the client's pc's.

The file server capabilities on the OSX sever works well in the windows environment.

Thanks for the suggestion datadatau. I think I'm going to steer clear of this route, simply because I'm not comfortable supporting an OSX system down the road, and I don't think there are really any local options for them to get OSX support from anyone else.

iptech
01-05-2011, 12:54 AM
Thanks IPTech. I think I'm leaning toward doing it this way. Since it will allow for the running of applications down the road it will offer a bit more flexibility than WHS, while still keeping the cost far lower than SBS.

Have you had any problems with bottleneck when concurrent users are using it?

They haven't complained of bottlenecks and they've been running this way for 4 years, previously they were running the same database from a shared folder on a user's Celeron desktop and they managed OK! The machine they're running the database on is about 6 years old now and was not a high spec. when new.

I would go with it and explain to your client that it may not be as fast as a dedicated server, but the cost of a server in terms of hardware, software, licensing, install & support costs is not likely to be cost-effective, especially in tough economic times, for many small businesses.

norm1320
01-05-2011, 01:40 AM
They haven't complained of bottlenecks and they've been running this way for 4 years, previously they were running the same database from a shared folder on a user's Celeron desktop and they managed OK! The machine they're running the database on is about 6 years old now and was not a high spec. when new.

I would go with it and explain to your client that it may not be as fast as a dedicated server, but the cost of a server in terms of hardware, software, licensing, install & support costs is not likely to be cost-effective, especially in tough economic times, for many small businesses.

Well, this is going to be an Athlon II quad (or perhaps Phenom II), so if your client hasn't been having problems I feel pretty confident.

dipper
01-05-2011, 01:43 AM
I thought Foundation Server was only available for select servers made by certain manufacturers. Will the license allow it to be used on a custom build?

As far as I know you are correct in that you have to by a brand name server for Foundation Server.

wimwauters
01-05-2011, 08:20 AM
Have you tried doing split access databases in that environment? They can be rather tempermental under the best of circumstances, so I'm reluctant to try it.

Sorry, my bad: I missed the Microsoft SQL/Access requirement in the OP :o

As far as I know you are correct in that you have to by a brand name server for Foundation Server.

Be careful with these cut-down/neutered entry-level server licenses, they are often a cut too far and bad value for money.
I'd start with a Windows 7 business/enterprise/ultimate box, and then move to SBS-with-SQL when needed.