Server or Desktop???

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by benhasajeep, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Just before I left for my trip overseas. Our 6 year old Gateway desktop failed again (last of many, believe hardware this time). Anyway I am not going to screw with it any more, been a pain since we have had it. Can't believe I pushed it this far along.

    So, we both use laptops for most computer use in the house (both less than year old). I am really the only one who used the desktop for photo work. Now I am thinking of getting a server instead of a new desktop and setting up a network (no network now). I would also like to access the server when I am away and stop carrying an external drive.

    I have seen the HP servers with Microsoft Home Server and Dell has some inexpensive servers with no software (or $1,000 additional for Microsoft Small Business Server).

    Basically I don't need a big desktop anymore and if I did I would still probably just try and network to it?

    So to the computer guru's, what's the suggestions? Server and software choice (???). Or stick with desktop??? And can you network usb printers through a server? Right now I have 3 printers and 2 scanners that I would like to have in the network (all USB).

    Suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hardware wise .Stick with a desktop or laptop... and a good monitor. The features that distinguish a server are of little use in a household.

    Server versions of windows can still be run on desktop systems but I haven't found them necessary unless u are specifically interested in doe of the additional features... at he added cost of a license

    You can share a USB attached printer on desktop versions of windows. Server is not required
     
  3. t00sl0w

    t00sl0w TPF Noob!

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    if you or your family are the only people accessing your network, then a desktop will be fine....just remember that you are going to need ram, and a decent processor to keep lag down, also, a larger harddrive would be nice...if the desktop is going to be the dedicated server...

    if you plan to host a website, or direct people to your home network to look at pictures, get a server, a home pc will not be enough for like more than 15 visitors a day...or less if they are looking through your pictures
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    not true.... even the most meager desktops can handle 15 visitors/day.

    When you think servers, you are looking at redundant power supplies, beefed up hardware, RAID controllers, scalability, remote management, etc.. all of which are not that important in a household. If you are running a web based business, then there are number of services that can provide that with reliability.

    If you are frequently accessing remotely, you may want to consider the internet connection to your home. Its very convenient to have the option for a static IP address.
     
  5. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    I agree with usayit. You can network your printers quite easily, and a desktop will handle all of what it seems that you need, networking included.
     
  6. t00sl0w

    t00sl0w TPF Noob!

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    i didnt literally mean 15visitors/day....but, if he is going to host a website, or direct people to images held on his network, a home pc wont be enough in the long run
     
  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Only my wife and myself would be the ones with remote access. I pay for hosting for anything I post to the web. Just looking for a decent way mainly so I can access the files while I am away. My wife would actually only do it so often. I on the other hand travel about 2/3 of the year. And bouncing between drives and computers is getting old. Thought I would join the current generation of computer users. ;)

    I have not checked into static IP. I currently have cable internet service through Time Warner. Not sure what they have / offer.

    If I were to go with desktop again what version of OP sys software?
    Laptops are Vista, old desktop and laptops XP.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    You should be able to make your network keep a Static IP with settings in your router. Worst case, it will stay dynamic, but TW doesn't refresh them very often. You could periodically check it to make sure the IP hadn't changed (before you went out of town for example), or if you were away and couldn't connect, have your wife hop on and verify what the new IP is for you (simply visit IPchicken or similar).

    If you were going to buy a pre-built desktop from someone, aren't they pretty much all coming with Win7 now? If you could still get XP, it would probably be easiest just because it's better known and what your laptops are already running. Skip Vista. Networking XP with Vista was a royal pain. I haven't tried doing so with Win7 and XP, but I believe they've made it much easier. I have one box running Win7 for Lightroom and what not, the rest running Linux, and was able to network them together fine (with Samba).
     
  9. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Desktop, Ubuntu server ed and a static ip from your isp
     
  10. t00sl0w

    t00sl0w TPF Noob!

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    if you cant get a static ip, just setup something to ping your current ip all the time so it doesnt change
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since it is not for business, you do not need a static IP. You can use Dynamic DNS service.

    The technology behind the Dynamic DNS is...
    You will be assigned a FQDN such as benhasajeep.dyndns.org. You will need to install a little software agent (Win/Linux/Mac) and that software will update the DNS server if your IP has change.

    For example, your current IP address is 24.123.6.71 and that resolve as benhasajeep.dyndns.org. So when you try to access your home network resources from outside such as FTP, you will need to FTP to benhasajeep.dyndns.org.

    Now, your home internet connection IP changes to 24.123.6.98. The software agent will update the DNS server with the new IP address. I found that they usually set the TTL (time-to-live) as 15 seconds. What that means to you is, after 15 or so seconds when you try to FTP to benhasajeep.dyndns.org again, it will point you to the NEW IP address.

    There are a lot of free dynamic dns services out there, just google "free dynamic dns services".


    As for getting a server or desktop, it depends on your experience. Hardware wise, some of those servers out there (i.e. Dell PE) are cheaper than buying a desktop when they are on sale. But they usually shipped with no OS and their Video performance is not great.

    If you are a Windows Desktop person, I will say just stay with Desktop PC. Can a Desktop PC act as a server? Of course YES. I works at a Data Center that host thousands of servers and some of the customer owned boxes are desktop PCs. For most of the server applications, you will not see a different in terms of performance.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you should research your ISP.... When I brought up the topic of static IP, what I was eluding to goes much deeper. Certain ISPs do not want you to run any type of server. Short IP leases, port blocks, and bandwidth monitoring are just some of the things they do. Depending on them... no router setting change nor constant ping will maintain an IP address.

    Why do they do this? They want to charge a premium to run such services. Simple as that.

    Again... check your ISP. They hold almost all the keys. There are services to work around like Dao pointed out. I used to use "no-ip.com". Worked fine until the ISP started to block ports which again the workaround is to move to a non-standard port. At that point, it wasn't really worth it.



    AND YES... a desktop level machine should handle a small to medium website.
     

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