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Two Servers or One?


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I'm not sure if I posted this in the right section. My friend is looking to start a LAN Gaming Center/PC Repair Shop. He will have around 20-25 PC accessing a server that hosts several dedicated software game servers. He will need an exchange server as well as somewhere to run Point of Sale software. The question is, should he have a single server running as Domain Controller, Exchange server, POS Database, and Game server with extra RAM, CPU speed etc. Or would it be better to go with two servers, one for gaming, and one for Exchange, POS with less hardware involved in each server. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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I would most definatly recommend 2 unless you've got a really killer server. I say 2 as the game server will most likely constantly be 'lagged' and you wont want lag when dealing with cumstomers on the POS. Like you said I would have a server for gaming and then another less hardware intensive machine for POS transactions and Exchange.

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purely from a security point of view, i would seperate the gaming server from the one running the day to day business/sales/email.
Taking that point of view (which I completely agree with) the Exchange server should be on it's own server as well. :)

You could do it this way:

--Domain Controller / Exchange Server (recommend SBS2003)

--POS Server

--Game Server

If budget is an issue then I would do two servers...one as a DC/Ex/POS server and the other as the Game Server. If you're basing the business on people coming in to play MP Games then the last thing you want is a laggy game server.

As for the "less hardware involved"...definitely max out the game server as much as possible. You can start with a base for the DC/Ex/POS server and then upgrade as necessary. If there aren't that many employees accessing the DC/Ex/POS server then it won't need to be that powerful (i.e. a Hyperthreaded P4 system may serve the purpose just fine).

Edited by nmX.Memnoch
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