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small bus help

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by nwronk, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. nwronk

    nwronk New Around Here

    Feb 21, 2013
    Sorry so long... (edited to add server details)

    -roofing contractor
    -4 office/management employees
    -2 desktop Windows 7
    -2 notebook Windows XP
    -2 notebooks and 1 desktop are mapped to Z drive on 1 main desktop and sync to offline files through LAN, but notebooks could also go WAN
    -1 printer accessed thru LAN, but can go WAN
    -1 external hard drive backup on main desktop
    -all users use Excel and Word based files, but one employee suggested using Access which noone else is familiar with
    -1 user uses Quickbooks, but just for internal accounting and payroll. Proposals and invoices are done in Word by 3-4 people
    -we use some Excel-based forms for estimating, no stand-alone programs
    -we currently use no database programs
    -we've discussed getting tablets to do bids off-site, not sure if it would be better to be connected to network off-site or just sync-up when back in office.
    -have had issues 2-4 times a year with not being able to access Z drive from other three computers. Also, get kicked "offline" when wireless, multiple times a day (which is why we stay wired when possible)
    -we've discussed being able to access the network from off-site

    Please keep in mind I am taking these items from their quotes (I am not very knowledgeable myself)

    Had two companies give us quotes:

    Company #1 has been our IT company for two years. Not the best service (many different people sent out and no one knows the background info, so we have to explain EVERYTHING each time. Each person has a different opinion.)
    -off-site backup to their location
    -Cisco ASA 5505 - 50 user network firewall w/ VPN
    -QNAP TS-419 NAS w/ 2 tb storage in Raid-5

    Company #2 we've never used before, but were recommended by an IT guy at a local bank
    -INTELSERVER (Some of the specs:Intel S2400SC2 dual-socket server board, single Intel Quad Core Xeon E5-2407 2.2 GHZ processor with 10MB cache installed, expandable to 32 GB, 1333MHZ registered ECC SDRAM, Inntel P4304XXSHDR 4-U Pedestal Server Chasis with dual 460-Watt redundant power supplies)
    -Gave an option to make RAID-5
    -MS Windows Standard Server 2012 64-bit Open License
    -MS Windows Standard Server 2012 64-bit user client access license
    -Symantic backup exec 2012 and said we should just get 5 external hard drives and keep switching them out
    -Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Services CAL


    -Netgear RNDP4000-100 NAS with 3 WD1003FBYX enterprise-class hard drives for a total of 2-TB RAID-5 capacity


    -they suggested cleaning up our infrastructure (panels, cabling, etc.) and changing our router configuration (said we have a wireless router and a cable modem and we should reconfigure the wireless router because there are too many IP address. I'm sure they would have explained that better) The other guys never suggested any of that. I realize that I sound like I've already chosen a company, but these guys didn't seem to know much at all about NAS devices and really only quoted one because I said the other company did. They were pushing the server pretty hard.

    I guess I'm not sure if we should go the NAS route or the server route. Server is more expensive, and I worry that we won't actually need it for a few years yet, and may be too old by then. Or is there even some other option I don't know of?

    Thanks for the help!!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  2. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

    Mar 13, 2010
    San Diego
    You've listed lots of hardware and solutions... but the way I begin such projects is to get a concise listing of what your IT needs are from a business process viewpoint.
    What do you do today with PCs?
    What do you want to do that would improve your business process?
    Would near real time document retrieval from on-site really help?
    Would near real time document uploads from on-site help?
    Any needs in improved interaction with suppliers or customers?

    and so on, probably for 15 or so items.
    You'll probably decide that half are nice to have but in fact might slow you down.
    Some might help a lot, such as in-field retrieval of prior similar quotes or blank forms - or it may be that it's just as easy to use thumb drives or some such.

    Paramount is an orderly process to control where the single master document is for any given documents that get revised - - and backup, backup, backup- automated, on-site/off-site (theft protection), etc. Esp. your financial records.

    So with a list of functional needs, the proper kind of IT pro can select one or more solutions.

    You don't want to leap into solutions that aren't reconciled to needs.

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