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Pointless server sitting on my desk

Pointless server sitting on my desk

(OP)
Hi Guys (Quite long)

I started my own business about 4 years ago and my friend suggested I buy a server. I did some research and bought a HP Proliant ML 110 G7. I purchased Windows Server 2008 R2 and installed it fine. I set it ip by reading books on the subject.

To my dismay I cannot get the thing to work. It's hooked up by Ethernet cable to my router. I have 2 other PC's running on the network fine. All with internet access. I've pinged the Server from desktop PC all good. Problem is I just use the server as a backup PC because I can't find any use for it. I've done the add roles and add features thing. Probably not right. Basically I don't know how to use the damn thing. I tried DHCP and various other methods but I wanted to know if you could point me in the right direction.

Is it possible for me to use my server to... well...serve web pages to the www? If so where can I find information online that expalins this first in laymans terms. And then in further detail and instructions. Ive checked youtube and it shows me how to set it up but as I have already meddled with this maybe I need to do a fresh install? I can't even seem to be able to do this. I am more of a creative multimedia guy but I do enjoy dabbling in the dark world of servers. I've searched the internet like a million times but the results I get back are rubbish.

hope you can help.



RE: Pointless server sitting on my desk

It sounds like you bought a "server" just for the sake of having a server. In my opinion that's a bad business decision and a waste of money. It's also a waste of your time if you don't have a clear need for it.

A server is just a tool. It doesn't just start doing things when you set it up. You have to set up what it does, and that means you have to have a clear picture of what you want it to do. I consider it bad advice if someone suggested a server and didn't explain why you needed it, or what you needed it for. You should only spend time on things that will support or enhance your business.

Right now the best thing to ease into it would probably be to set up the file sharing services and create a couple "shares". This will let you easily have documents available that all other PCs can access. You can also put backups of your other PCs on the server. This can make your work a little more cohesive and maybe simplify some things.

If you have a printer, you can attach it to the printer and make it a print server too. You may not actually need this if your printer is attached to the network, but it is an option.

I would NOT recommend you start with a web site on it. You would have to open up incoming web traffic to it which has all kinds of security concerns. You'd be opening up your business to being raped and pillaged by hackers. A better solution for your first web site would be a low cost or free hosting solution. I use one called ICDSoft.com and it's only $6 a month ($10/mo if you need more traffic). You could use your server to develop and test your web site (assuming you're doing it your self), then copy it up to the hosted site. The hosted site will have proper security and will make sure it's available 24x7.

You didn't mention what your business is, but I assume you have customers. A common use of a server is maintaining a customer database. This is something that you can keep track of how much business a customer gives you. You can create mailing lists for special sales or offers. You can use it for all kinds of things to get more business from old customers, or even new business. The only problem with this is that you can't learn how to set this up by watching a handful of YouTube videos. You may need some trained help.

Regardless of what you do with the server, I hope you have a decent firewall/router between your network and the Internet. That's where you need to make sure you are really protected.

Hope this helps.

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