It is often the case I will be asked to perform a relatively minor computer repair task and that will lead to more substantial work. One client in the automotive industry had an ageing Windows Server 2003 server running on a 10 year old Tyan motherboard which required a new Power Supply. This server’s primary task was to run specialised software called Autosoft which is an advanced business management software suite designed specifically for the automotive trade. They accessed this software both locally at their central office & workshop and in addition had remote branches which accessed this software via remote desktop.
The replacement of the power supply was simple enough however it was obvious that this machine was on borrowed time. After the initial computer repairs the client required other simple configuration tasks such as setting up and configuring new printers and within a few months my role had changed to that of a System Administrator.
It was apparent that no maintenance had been performed on this server for a very long time and that despite it’s age basic things such as;
Hardware Monitoring – Raid Monitoring – Hard Drive Health – File System Checking – Defragging & SQL Server Optimisation had not been performed.
These quite basic tasks had their system running more efficiently but it was clear from the system logs that their were recurring errors which had their root in the limitations in the speed of their system. While other improvements such as increased RAM and SQL server database cleanouts provided an increase in performance the overall effect was slight.
The regular day to day operation of the system always seemed to involve the logging off all users and the reboot of the server and it was no more than a year from that original simple repair job that I was entrusted with delivery an up to date system with both new hardware and an updated version of Windows Server.
Given their needs the jump from Windows Server 2003 to 2012 seemed dramatic and at the time Windows Server 2008 was still available at very reasonable prices. Initial decisions as to whether to try an upgrade the system were discussed but it seemed wasteful not to go with 64 bit operating system and in addition as there were in total less than 10 users it was best to start from scratch and go with a clean install.
The timing of the purchase of a new Server was also optimal as Dell were doing really great prices on their PowerEdge range of servers and I opted for a Dell PowerEdge T110 II Compact Tower Server with the following specs
- Intel C202 Chipset
- Intel Xeon E3-1230v2 3.3GHz
- 2 x 4GB 1600MHz UDIMM (2/4),
- 4 x 500GB 7.2k RPM SATA in 2 RAID 1 configuration
- 305W PSU
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