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161

Well, let's work this out; 2 x 24 port switches (say Cisco 3750-E's) can output 344 BTU/hr each so that's 688 in total 1 x router (say a Cisco 2921) can output 1260 BTU/hr 1 x VDSL modem (say a Draytek Vigor 2750) can output 120 BTU/hr 1 x Desktop (say a Dell Optiplex 790, with monitor switched off) can output 850 BTU/hr 1 x 4-Bay NAS (say a Netgear ...


29

It All Depends(tm). I'm a little bit biased because I am an outsourced IT provider. I have Customers who are larger and smaller than the company you describe-- some have in-house IT staff and others don't. I'll apologize in advance if it sounds like I'm trying to "sell" you in this posting. I'm really not. We only service Customers who we can feasibly ...


26

Get a small split system AC unit, like the Mitsubishi MSY series (no affiliation, used them before and like them). They're very small, quiet, reliable, and reasonably affordable. Two pipes will have to be run outside (roof or similar), they're small (3/4" and 1/4" roughly). The unit will cost around $2000 USD, and less than half that again for installation ...


19

Move to an ISP that supports the type of traffic you want to generate.


18

You're going to get a lot of nice features from Active Directory that you're not getting with OpenLDAP. Chief among them being both single-sign on (i.e. one user account that works on all client and server computers), and Group Policy. I love open source software, but until Samba 4 matures, Active Directory provides the very best administrative experience ...


17

Maybe the switches were just in awe of your amazing topology? Seriously though, if you can take the time, do it again, but only connect one switch at a time to the Gb switch, and verify connectivity and function at each step. When the network finally halts, disconnect all of the switches, and try connecting that switch first. If it does it again, ...


17

This company charges us around 650 USD / month and we don't feel the service they provide is worth the money. $650/mo is peanuts. A full-time staffer will cost you 5 times that much minimum - 8x or more is more likely, especially when you consider benefits, equipment, payroll taxes, and office space in the mix. From the other direction, a typical ...


15

When keeping things absolutely quiet is the top priority over keeping your equipment in good working shape, and the proper housing of equipment can't be considered, I'd strongly look at outsourcing your server needs or running fiber/high speed connections to a proper data center or facility. Otherwise you risk looking at costing more in periodically ...


14

http://www.spiceworks.com/ This tool is easy to install, and will setup basic monitoring, inventory, and patch levels for you. This will get you by until you have had time to study the network and setup something more specific like Nagios or System Center. As far as tools and processes that I have used in the past I follow this routine. Map physical ...


13

May I recommend you take a look at pfSense. I find it to be capable on a 40 user network and easy to manage. The web interface makes management of OpenVPN an easy task. You wont lose anything by trying it.


12

Stick with the open-source, if I'm reading your question correctly: You don't care about Exchange You don't have a huge need for minute control of XP settings - I love group policy primarily to save the admin/sales staff from themselves, the developers mostly need me to stay out of their hair You're more comfortable with *nix than windows AD is great at ...


11

Get a Virtual Machine somewhere. It's still dedicated, dirt cheap, and you can move it in or out of your control as you like. Backup and Restore is also easy. The day of dedicated REAL hardware is over.


11

pfSense has all of that and more, plus you can scale up to whatever hardware you need: from a simple, 500MHz ALIX-based platform from PCEngines.ch (3 NICs as well, less than $300 all told with PSU, enclosure, and CompactFlash for storage), up to an Axiomtek barebones network appliance with 6 GbE interfaces, Intel Dual Core chipset, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, etc. for ...


10

Unfortunately, the realities of thermodynamics are crashing full speed into your environment. If the closet isn't big enough to absorb and radiate out the heat, then you need to mechanically get rid of it. There are, in fact, some experimental data centers that do simply cycle exterior air without additional cooling, though they tend to be in rather ...


10

The person or persons who are handling system administration tasks are spending a significant percentage of their time on those tasks. The percentage may vary from organization to organization, but it's a tradeoff on that person spending time on system administration versus their primary responsibility. Another factor is the quality of the network service ...


9

You cannot demote the SBS 2003 server, and have it still work as a standalone server. If you do the server will automatically shut down after 60 minutes. The SBS 2003 server must be the root DC in the domain, and hold all the FSMO roles. Once you have more than one user, AD makes things easier to manage. See the KB article below, for details of what ...


8

Well, technically he is dead. This wont work in any way. Reusing the equipment is fine, keeping an office around for that little equipment is - well - making it impossible to make money. This is not even a full rack of stuff. Nice to have - though the servers are crappy, 6gb ram are higher workstation level - but just not worth keeping something running. He ...


8

Small-business-server is designed for just that use-case, it's a very strong product. As for hardware, we can't really recommend anything since needs are very dependent upon just what you do there and how it gets done.


8

As a contractor who provides sysadmin services to small companies, including ASIC and hardware design companies, I have this perspective: A sysadmin's value is not primarily the difference between his direct cost and the direct cost of engineers who are sysadmin'ing rather than engineer'ing. In my experience, most (but not all) engineers are good engineers ...


8

It sounds like a router/firewall Linux distribution would serve you just fine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_router_or_firewall_distributions


8

We've been using pfSense running on WRAP/ALIX boards from pcengines for quite a while. I like the pcengines boards because they are small and low power, but you can use any old PC. Cheap and been trouble-free.


8

I'm liking Canada. Less litigious than the US. Better crypto export laws; OpenBSD is homed from Canada in part because of that. Low crime rates. The taxes aren't the lowest, though.


8

What kind of hardware do we need? Any 64-bit hardware Intel/AMD should work just fine. I prefer AMD for lower costs and energy savings, but it's a matter of taste these days. I wouldn't worry so much about CPUs these days as long as it's the latest releases from Intel/AMD and just make sure to get as much memory as possible. It could be argued that ...


7

I would highly recommend the Cisco 5505 ASA firewall. WebVPN, DMZ, POE port and it's even got Intrusion Prevention with an SSC card. The ASDM interface is super simple to set up. You no longer have to understand CLI completely to set up a Cisco product. A 50 user ASA from CDW is around $600. I also believe that with the latest release of the ASA ...


7

It may be the 'pat' answer, but I've had great experience with APC products.


7

First off, Joel is correct: For competent IT support you're looking at a higher cost. The bottom end of the IT pro market is saturated with self-taught people working from home. The price is good, but the attention to detail, professionalism and consistency isn't there, and there's the tendency to do things 'my way' rather than adhere to best-practices (or ...


6

It might be helpful to talk about the size of the client (though I'd imagine its a small business if they're backing up around 15Gb of data) because that makes a big difference to how backup systems are approached. I know you've said "tape and online backup is not an option" because of the client and that your manager isn't happy with disk images but this ...


6

I won't take part in the debate, but here is the how-to for Postfix - in the main.cf file, add this line: sender_bcc_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/conf/sender_bcc and into the sender_bcc file: @yourdomain.com the_bcc_account@yourdomain.com Thus, every time someone from the domain sends an email, the bcc_account will receive it


6

I also manage several small offices and the resulting experience is that sooner or later the so called SMB products fall short of expectation. It may be vendor imposed software limitations or the hardware limitations. pfSense is more than capable of doing what you want. This is why I stick with either Cisco (when the budget allows) or pfSense (cheaper, yet ...


6

For what it's worth, here is my advice: Don't use a PC as a server. Neither the hardware nor the OS is suitable for the job. If that office is always going to be small, get yourself a smallish tower server and a license for Windows Small Business Server. If the office is going to get larger over time or is a satellite office to a larger company, then ...



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