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Help select server items


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Hi all,


I'm trying to build a server for the first time, first my main aim was to buy Synology 1515+ for NAS but i found out that i cannot install vmware on it.

My aim is:


1- Nas server 5 HDD + 1 SSD for OS

2- Domain server

3- IIS server for my home lab (.NET Developments , Sharepoint, TFS server , tomcat)

4- Able to run Visual studio 2013/2015 ultimate.

5- home media streaming

6- File sharing and backups

7- Since i will use RAID, do you think i should buy RAID controller, or use the built-in one? 


I don't want to spend much money, i just need something in the average level.

I can have one free copy of any windows server from my work, so Essentials is not a must

If possible low power consumption

Please help me with some url to find the right MB, RAM, RAID controller, CPU ... etc

Thank you very much for your support and sorry for my bad english



Your list of things you want it to do seems a bit long to me, while those can all fit into one box, I don't think I'd want to put them all in a single OS install.  I think you're definitely looking at using VM host with multiple client images.  Here's a rough pass at how I'd break it up (I have something similar to it running at home already).


Guest 1 - Server 2012 R2 Standard w/ Essentials Role

  1 - NAS Server

  2 - Domain Server

  5 - Home media streaming

  6 - File sharing and backups


Guest 2 - Development Server (Server 2012 R2 Standard)

  3 - IIS Server for my home lab

  4 - Able to run Visual Studio (shouldn't this be on the computer you normally work on?)




- I'm not sure exactly what you mean for home media streaming, are you thinking about just the DLNA capabilities of various programs, or more along the lines of Plex?

- If I remember the licensing correctly, you can run two copies of 2012R2 Standard under a single VM host.  If work with give you Datacenter, then the limit doesn't exist from my understanding.

- It sounds like you might have access to MSDN, which to my understanding allows you to do pretty much what you want for development work.  You should probably buy the OS that is under Guest 1, but IMHO Guest 2 is a development/test platform and using an MSDN key makes sense.


The main driver behind what I suggested is that I do not think that your domain controller and home lab IIS server (which sounds like a dev server to me) should be running as a single install.  It's too easy for a misconfigured program to foul up the environment you (and maybe others?) rely on to keep things running.  Separate hardware is nice in case you need to do major rework, but I think that at a minimum they should be separate VM's.  As far as hardware, I'd agree with the others that at least 16GB of RAM and a Xeon should work pretty well.  You should definitely look at having (offsite) backup in addition to any RAID capabilities, as said often on here, RAID is not backup.

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As i mentioned, i'm able to get any version however only one copy of the server for example if i selected windows 2012 standard than i have to live withit, i cannot change my mind later.

Then it depens on the way you're getting the license here. 

The normal licensing for Server 2012R2 Standard (I think for 2012, as well but I'm not sure), gives you rights to two VMs of Standard. Also, it gives you downgrade rights to Essentials (install it via the eval key and then use the standard key to activate it).  


This way, everything is done "kosher" and within the licensing. 

Otherwise, Standard with the Essentials Experience role technically requires CALs for the server (26 minimum).


And this is why I asked, specifically.



Datacenter gets you rights for an "infinite number" of VMs... but I'm not sure about downgrade rights to essentials.

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Thank you all for your support,


I googled a lot of why using Xeon over i7,i5 or i3 but not a lot of results most telling xeon = more cores and threads also something about memory correction

According your advices i will do

i found some cpu's (source below)

if you think i should put more money in cpu and get more powerfull one (not listed, please let me know


E3-1220 Soket 1150 (259€)

E3-1231 Soket 1150 (261€)

E5-2603 Soket 2011 (269€)

E3-1240 Soket 1150 (340€) 

E5-2609 Soket 2011 (384€)



source: http://www.alternate.be/html/search.html?query=xeon&sortOrder=PRICEASC&filterManufacturer=Intel%C2%AE&filterCategoryPathROOT=Processoren



Memory: ok minimum 16 GB



Ok i will have a look at these applications



Thank you alot for taking the time and write these information

I will follow your advice and use multi servers, i will use one host server (win 2012 R2 Standard) and 2 client via Hyper-V (win 2012 Datacenter, win 2012 essential)

maybe first a couple of weeks to experments since i'm totally new to this.

Now my problem is selecting the right hardware for that .


Answering your question (yes visual studio should be indeed in the client) however, with my experince with Sharepoint, sometimes sharepoint debuging can be pain in the ass, that's why an advice from one of my colleagues was to install viusal stuodio on the Dev server directly.


Drashna Jaelre

Great point, with you help i red more about licening and found out that i can use 3 clients in Hyper-V




Finally i would really appreciate your help selecting the right CPU (if possible with gpu built-in support)

Thank you all

Edited by mike009
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  • 2 weeks later...

Drashna Jaelre

Great point, with you help i red more about licening and found out that i can use 3 clients in Hyper-V

No, it's the host and two VMs.




Standard edition is ideal for those customers that want to have a physical or lightly virtualized environment. This edition will now enable a customer to run up to two virtual instances of Windows Server with each license and provide all of the same features as Datacenter edition. The licensing for Standard edition will change with the release of Windows Server 2012 and will now be the same as Datacenter edition. The licensing for Standard edition will be processor plus CAL, where each license will cover up to two physical processors on a single server.






As for the CPU, it really depends on what you plan on doing.


If you want a VM lab, then an Xeon E5 would be ideal (more CPU cores, so you can run more VMs at the same time).


Also, Xeon's support "ECC" memory, which is more resilient to errors in memory. 

It's good if you're running VMs, or other memory sensitive stuff (like compiling, for example).



Though, I have a Xeon E3-1245v3 CPU and it's fantastic for what I use (VMs and media transcoding). Though, I'm running into an issue... I don't have enough CPU for both. I am finding that I need to divide the system tasks or get an Xeon E5.

So, just a heads up.


Also, the "12x5 or "12x6" CPUs have onboard gfx, which may be important to you, as it would mean that you don't need a dedicated graphics card.

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