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Old 8th Jul 2005, 03:13 AM   #1
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Question Windows 2003 Server vs. Windows XP Pro

I'm considering upgrading my Server from Windows 2000 Server to one of the above, been reading up on Windows 2003 because I've only actually touched using it at work, it seems ok and all but I'm quite ignorant... heres what I'm looking for..

The Server will be used for :

+ Hosting Teamspeak, 24 / 7. As a consequence, the software needs to be -solid- I know 2000 hasn't crashed or gone offline for 178 Days on my existing system (After 178 days I -had- to reboot because I was physically moving the machine that day), I want the same for the new one.

+ Word Processing, I have a gaming and an office machine, I need the software to run Word / Excel etc...

+ Graphics

+ Archiving

+ Downloading (Azureus)

+ FTP Server (Small scale about 10-20 people registered, limited to 3 at a time)

+ Http Server for a small website, mainly just to get files from home anywhere.

+ Backup (From games machine to archive on Second drive)

Given the above, which would be the better OS? Is it really worth the hassle going for Windows 2003 Server when XP Pro I -think- will perform all of the above with the right software?

Has anybody had some significant experiance with 2003?

Ta.
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 03:57 AM   #2
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Why not try out Linux instead? Windows cannot beat Linux's security and stability. Plus, you'll learn loads of new stuff.
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 05:11 AM   #3
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That has crossed my mind, I know you can get a TS Server for Linux but I really am clueless on Linux! Would I be able to run a remote Administration application such as PCAnywhere or VNC on there? This is a major consideration point as I need to be able to login from work
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 06:45 AM   #4
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Yeah, linux has VNC, and of course ssh (secure shell - command line remote access).
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 08:19 AM   #5
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If you're really clueless on Linux, I suggest you use Windows on your main server, but set up a Linux test server (on some old machine, Linux isn't that demanding) to get some experience.
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 09:24 AM   #6
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Yeah, in the near future I'll be sticking the Server into a Shuttle and amongst other things (shown above) I'll be having it as our media centre at home, so we can watch films 'n shit from it's HD through the TV. The old machine I'll try Linux on, I do need to learn it, if only to help with looking for employment!

I know there are many different versions of Linux, and I'm guessing this isn't a simple question, but which is the best?

You suggest Windows... but which version!
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Old 8th Jul 2005, 09:31 AM   #7
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webmin is another useful tool for maintaining a linux server either locally or remotely. www.webmin.com
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Old 16th Jul 2005, 11:51 PM   #8
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We run two servers with w2k3 server on them at work, the software is surprisingly stable () but I really don't see the point upgrading yet if you've already got the capability you want. It's more geared toward businesses.
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 04:27 AM   #9
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I'm going to install Windows XP tonight I think, 2000 Server is good but lacks compatability, 2003 server again, very good, but probably overkill.
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 08:41 AM   #10
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In my experience the windows server versions are more geared towards serving the windows specific stuff like active directory, virtual desktops, that sort of thing. I find them no more stable than normal versions (the kernel is the same) and as long as you don't need fancy features like PAE i really don't see the point installing it. I never needed anything that only a server version of windows could offer me. All it does is eat your precious memory.
XP itself being a continuation of the very stable Windows 2000 (NT5.0) is really suited fine to serving third party apps such as apache, teamspeak etc. However if you also use it as a generic working/gaming box you have to be careful with the software/drivers you install, sites you visit, other people using it, etc. Windows by nature is vulnerable to accumulating all sorts of slack, which version of windows you use matters little, how you use it does.
That's also the benefit of a dedicated server. No matter which OS you use, as long as you only use it for serving stuff it'll just sit there and do what it's supposed to do. By not working on it you can't mess it up, either.

Linux/BSD runs great even on old hardware, it's stable, everything's free, you can tweak everything exactly the way you want it and you can update it to the very bleeding edge of features and performance if you want to. But the learning cuve is steep and it can be very frustrating if you mess it up and you're unable to rescue your installation. I'd say install it on some old box and play with it, see if you like it.

Having a separate box for server tasks matters more than the OS you choose to run on it.
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 03:06 PM   #11
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well...i put Fedora Core 4 on my Compaq ProLiant 3000

since i just started with it, all i can say for it is, its weird installing games like UT and stuff...
the webserver, php, perl, mysql and that stuff was easy because i just followed some online instructions http://stanton-finley.net was easy to get help too, just go to the IRC channel

Only things i don't like about it are:
-no Halo dedicated server for linux <--I don't think you'll even want to run one
-when you upgrade the kernel it leaves the options to start an older version <--might be because sometimes i don't update everything so it leaves the old one so i can go back to it and update them also?
-when i first started out i was trying to access windows shares, and i didn't know about Samba, took me a while to figure out how to set it up, but i eventually got it

this last one may just be for me, but i had some problems setting the firewall and stuff for the server...like i can use https but not http, and no ftp, mayb isp is blocking those ports?

The fun part is figuring out how to use it

It may not be easy to set up like Microsoft stuff, but i'm sure once you get it set up its worth it

Don't forget you can also turn a linux box into TiVo ,
A shuttle..thats what my brother wants i think, its so small O_o
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 03:22 PM   #12
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Cmon Mach, be a man!
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 06:09 PM   #13
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Real men build their own god box.
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 07:08 PM   #14
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Well, I hear they sell the case as a barebones kit too. Plus it has Frag in the name

Edit: Ah yes, here we go.
http://www.falcon-nw.com/fragbox_case.asp
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 07:03 AM   #15
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Oh don't worry Creator, my games machine is built piece by piece by my fair hands... very garish, very bright, It's black with silver trim, window on the side with a blue neon at the bottom of the case and a total of 8 fans, 5 of which glow blue, and 1 of which which glows green! LoL, I'll get a picture sometime...
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 09:14 AM   #16
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Cool, wow 8 fans...this one has 1 side fan that lights up blue and red, its a all sliver expect the side with a fan which has the fan in the center of it and a blue plastic like window, the front has what looks like a speaker at the bottom, but when you look at it closer its just bumps on the plastic, the front has a plastic blue cover , two silver buttons a reset button and a power button, also got a headphone plug in thing and a mic plugin, with 2 usb ports

i'm not sure if u count the power supply fan as a fan though

So who here has a computer that has 6 usb ports in the front

(well i would, if you turn the computer around )
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 09:25 AM   #17
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I currently count 5 fans. CPU, GPU, PSU, and 2x case. But i have an external scsi box with another to Noisy as hell, next box will be water cooled and have a fanless, possibly wc'ed, psu. I don't care for weight, and with some knowledge on what to get you can compensate the cost by buying a slower cpu/graphics card and oc the hell out of it
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 10:35 AM   #18
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Yeah Pest, my next box, which will probably be the next TS Server will be watercooled, it's certainly a big project for me, I want it to be as silent as I can possibly make it, so fanless PSU, Watercooling, rubber bungs on all the drives & sound proofing...

I'll post a thread when I start it for real (saving cash & researching parts at the moment). I might even try a step by step pictures included storyline
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 02:42 PM   #19
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I'm not sure i would want watercooling on a box that runs unattended for extended periods of time. With water cooling, being designed to cool hotrod gaming rigs, reliability is at the very least unproven. I'd go for good silent fans on such a box, not overclock it, possibly undervolt the cpu and try to cool things passively if possible.

A decent harddrive with fluid dynamic bearing is whisper silent, at least mine is. I'd say cooling it is more of a problem, especially if you want 7200rpm. Some blade servers and sff's are even using 2.5" drives nowadays. http://www.storagereview.com/ should be a good place to start out, they also have a good database that gives some real world reliability data (the one spec a manufacturer will _never_ release).

Sound proofing is one of those things i've never seen a very positive review of. But i don't follow all the usual sites for this, either.
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 10:16 PM   #20
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Yeah, my compaq proliant 3k, wow that thing is louder than all my computers put together including the hub!

Directions to hear what it sounds like:
-go out and buy 5 vacummn/vacume/vaccumn/vaccum/whatever (however u speel it), too lazy to open google
-plug them all in and stick them all in 1 room
-turn them all on


yes, its that loud (maybe a little quieter... )

when u open it up you can see 4 fans, i dunno why they did this but they did it to all 4 fans they stuck 2 fans together in the same place

better airflow?
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 12:50 AM   #21
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2 case fans, a psu and cpu fan... and my machine still runs quietly enough.
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 02:26 AM   #22
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In a silient room, I don't want to be able to hear -anything-. It might be a case for watercooling, but I'll have to research the reliablility of it, if could be air, but again, I need to research silient fans.

Then again, I have seen a few elaborate passive cooling devices hit the market, toms hardware had a number of them up for review a while back.
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 03:26 AM   #23
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I have substantial experience with water cooling systems at work -- I've found them to be as reliable as fans. Actually, I think I've seen more fans die and slag a system than I've seen cases of water cooling fail. That's hardly statistical, though.

It's a bit expensive, but it's darn quiet.
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 03:58 AM   #24
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Money is of little object, I would like to build it myself however. So if you have any intresting links, specificly products availible in the UK I'd love to take a look.
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 08:29 AM   #25
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Are those PC water cooling systems, wildbill? Or something Uber like an overclocked IBM Power5.
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Old 23rd Aug 2005, 02:48 PM   #26
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 Originally Posted by The Creator:
Well, I hear they sell the case as a barebones kit too. Plus it has Frag in the name

Edit: Ah yes, here we go.
http://www.falcon-nw.com/fragbox_case.asp
geez, talk about an overpriced novelty act. Fragbox is all about the word "Frag" because no way would I pay $125 for a 520w PS, $75 for a cheap little duffle bag to carry it in, and $299 for an empty shell of sheet metal and plastic. Funny how a full size tower, which has more material in it costs so much less. They got good selling gimick. but its too overpriced for me. (but i want one!)
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Old 23rd Aug 2005, 02:54 PM   #27
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All these high end PC builders are overpriced, if you buy that you're unimaginative and far too rich, imho.

I wanted to start a high end PC building business with a friend but he pulled out because other duties took too much of his time. We'd actually try and provide value for money though, and not aim at gamers.
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Old 23rd Aug 2005, 05:35 PM   #28
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 Originally Posted by Pestcontrol:
Are those PC water cooling systems, wildbill? Or something Uber like an overclocked IBM Power5.
These were normal -- although very high end when built -- PCs that were used for development. After fan failures killed a few, any new machines had water cooling. Wish it had been something really shiny, though, compile times were still fairly long.
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Old 23rd Aug 2005, 08:37 PM   #29
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Hmm, a fan failure really shouldn't be able to kill a cpu these days, iirc only the Athlons up untill the Thunderbird were vulnerable to it, and later models if the motherboards are cheap. P3's never got very hot, and P4's have protective circuitry...

At least it's good to hear high end WC can be reliable.
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Old 23rd Aug 2005, 08:43 PM   #30
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 Originally Posted by Pestcontrol:
Hmm, a fan failure really shouldn't be able to kill a cpu these days, iirc only the Athlons up untill the Thunderbird were vulnerable to it, and later models if the motherboards are cheap. P3's never got very hot, and P4's have protective circuitry...
This was several years back, with older Athlons -- any new machines for quite a while after that were water cooled, I don't think fans returned there until Athlon 64s got released.
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