March 1, 2006 By Miriam Jones
We had our IT staff install Windows Server 2003 on the Gateway server and provision it as our temporary print server, BlackBerry server and dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server.
This model came with an Intel Pentium D 820 2.8 GHz processor. Memory starts at 256 MB and is expandable to 8 GB.
We previously used a Dell PowerEdge 2400 with a single Pentium 3 533 MHz processor and 1 GB of RAM for these functions.
We have 150 total users on the network, of which 18 tote BlackBerries and three work remotely. Hardware-wise, the network supports 25 printers and three digital color copiers.
Needless to say, the Gateway server blew our previous server out of the water. Users connected to printers and activated BlackBerries in about half the time, and retrieved IP addresses from DHCP much faster than when it was set up on the Dell server.
Our only complaint is that it came with Windows Small Business Server 2003, which we couldn't use since Small Business Server was convinced it should be everything in the domain -- it wanted to be the domain controller, e-mail server, DHCP server, etc.
As a result, we had to load it with Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. Also we would have preferred a rack-mounted server.
Since it was a desktop, we had to keep it in our shop on the bench.
At the time, Gateway offered us tower servers instead of one from its rack-mounted series. We specified the server software we wanted, but the request probably got lost in the swarm of e-mails. However, Gateway offers Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition as an option.
We were disappointed that we had to return the server since it was performing so well. In the end, we housed the BlackBerry software and DHCP on another server, and made the original Dell server the print server. Since the Gateway performed so well, we didn't feel we could put all three back on the old server, as the performance would have been inferior to the Gateway.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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