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Looking to upgrade our aging and clunky Windows development server setup. We have a small group (5 people, all working remotely) that do PHP and Javascript web development.

The options are dizzying. Cloud, Dedicated, Colocation, Managed. And the prices all over the place (with Cloud pricing the hardest to nail down).

What would you do? Cloud seems good for things like on-demand scaling and resource allocation but this shouldn't be an issue with our small development environment. It would only be us and clients ever needing to use the server so scaling isn't an issue at all. Additionally, we can manage our own server (and would prefer to, in fact) which makes me think Managed is out. Colocation is probably more expensive than we would prefer so... Dedicated? Any other options I am not thinking of here? Am I off on cloud? Is it a better solution than I am assuming?

We essentially want a linux server (SSH access and all the goodness that comes with managing your own linux server) where we can manage resources ourselves, setup persistent testing and dev environments and have plenty of resources to keep things fast and efficient.

What do you say, Serverfault?

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2 Answers 2

Here is waht I do and did. Get my own machine for my office.

Old version: Amd Phenom / Phenom 2, 16gb memory, 8SATA discs on a raid controller, using virtualization. Havea couple of those (2 actually).

New version: Intel 3930, 32 gb memory, hopefully live today. Only one SSD - will use ISCSI from another box,test / data procssing box andtemporarily windows 8 test machine ;)

You get those into a small box, micro atx based. Small, powerfull. As a dev box it is ok not to be reachable outside, but i run a VPN to a colocated cluster anyway so I can expose individual IPs via reverse NAT if I have to. There the real systems live (32-64 gb, multi sockets).

This gives me all the flexibility I need without the problems of data transfers. It also gives me flexibility to do as I please - another important point.

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At our office the devs runs a virtual server on their workstations for development and testing. When the code is working they push it to our Mercurial server so that the other devs can check the code out.

This is a solution that doesn't cost you anything and after you installed the first machine you can copy it to the other machines.

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