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Tech Helproom


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I need to buy a laptop to use as a server - I can't find one with the right specs!


Fustbariclation

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I need a machine to use as a pilot test machine for a new green-field set-up. I'll use the laptop as one of the main servers when the site starts - a laptop as a server makes sense, for a small <50 people site, as it's cheaper & smaller than most servers & has a battery.

The specs I'm looking for are:

  • 802.11ac - I need the speed & coverage area to share images (a big part of the work)
  • 1000base-T LAN connection
  • 16Gb main memory - I need multiple virtual machines for different software
  • 1TB disc 7200RPM or greater or.. 1TB disc + 128GB internal SSD or.. 1TB disc + Thunderbolt for an external SSD

Screen, keyboard etc don't matter, of course. I expect it to cost around £1500.

I've been hunting all over the place, but this combination seems hard to find. I can find 1TB discs, but they're slow, at ~5000RPM, which will cause a peformance bottleneck.

I could have an external router for the 802.11ac, but I'd rather use the machine as the main network server - if we had three laptops with 802.11ac strategically placed, we should be able to provide complete coverage of the space - one floor 50m x 40m.

I could have less than 16Gb of main memory, but then a multiple virtual machine will be slow with all the swopping.

I could have a USB 3.0 connection to external SSD, but that'd be half as fast, which seems pointless when you go to the trouble of having SSD.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received!

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BT

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Can't you find a shorter user name. Your current one destroys the formatting on the forum.

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Fustbariclation

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I've shortened it. I didn't select the user name, it was selected when I registered the account. I'm quite happy with the shorter one though...

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Ian in Northampton

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It's not clear to me why this needs to be a laptop. The kind of spec you're looking for will be much easier to find in a desktop - and will be cheaper than a comparable laptop. Laptops just aren't built, I don't think, for this kind of heavy duty server application - which is why you're struggling to find one. What am I missing?

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Fustbariclation

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Well, there's the battery, which means I wouldn't need a UPS.

There's another reason for using a laptop. I'll be doing the set-up and testing in the UK, but the actual project is in Abu Dhabi. I think it'd be easier for somebody to take the laptop there with their hand-luggage than to lug a tower server along.

In Abu Dhabi, I'd be quite happy to have two more conventional servers to keep it company, but it should work as a server reasonably well.

I'm not sure why it's difficult to find laptops with thunderbolt - I have a macbook with SSD, so I don't need an external SSD, but my iMac at home only has a 7200 internal drive, so I have my OS and apps on a thunderbolt attached SSD (La Cie's 256Gb drive) which makes it nicely nifty.

If I had to have a PC, I'd see the need of a fast boot as even more important, so thunderbolt would make sense for builds with only ~5000 RPM drives.

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