How to buy a small Windows server for home use in the UK ?

EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Member Posts: 114
I'm in the UK. I have a small Windows server at home that I use to study things like SQL Server, IIS and AD. Previously, I've just bought small servers from the Dell website, with a budget edition of Windows Server installed.

My current server is a Dell Poweredge T110 with Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation and 16GB RAM. It's now too slow, but Dell no longer seem to sell servers with Windows Server pre-installed in the UK. I want to be legally licenced, and I'd prefer not to get the licences through my employer's MSDN subscription, which is a bit unreliable. The server is on 24x7, electricity is expensive, so I'd prefer a brand-new small efficient server, rather than a second-hand monster.

How do other people buy small Windows servers these days, and what's the best edition of Windows Server for home study?


  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Unless you enjoy dealing with the hardware, you may want to consider using a cloud based solution instead. That way it's pay as you go and you can suspend the server if it's not in use. And on the plus side, it can give you exposure to one of the cloud providers.

    If you don't already have an account - you could even be eligible for 1 year of free access.

    check these out:
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,077 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Why does the hardware need to come with a server license? Why not build your own PC and toss a server license on top of of it? I'll go out on a limb here but I assume Microsoft Dreamspark / Imagine applies in both the US and UK.
  • yoba222yoba222 Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Came to suggest AWS or Azure, but I've been beat already.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
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    In progress: OSCP
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Member Posts: 114
    Thanks for the replies. The server runs 24x7 because I use it for some fairly large (but single user) non-commercial side projects. I think running them in the cloud would be more expensive than "on-prem" in my house. I'm not in any kind of educational institution, so I suspect no eligible for Dreamspark/Imagine. As I will probably be relying on the server for at least 5 years, I would prefer to buy a non-revocable Windows licence upfront, rather than have it tied to my MSDN subscription, which might go away.
  • Chris.Mackenzie01Chris.Mackenzie01 Member Posts: 36 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Have you looked at the HP microServers? they can handle up to 32gb of space and 4 disk bays. Not sure on the licensing side of things with them though. I've only ever bought them to use with freenas or something.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    For licensing - you could try the Microsoft ActionPack program, from your description, it looks like you would qualify. It's not just for companies since you have some side projects.

    As for a server, if you have already checked out cloud pricing and your use-case doesn't support a cloud solution, what type of specs do you need for on-prem solution? A lot depends on your budget. You mentioned you are hoping for a 5 year lifespan so that may mean a higher end server.

    I upgraded my primary system a few months ago and like you - I was looking for about a 3-5 year lifespan. I did quite a bit of research. And I ended up with a new Supermicro based system which I customized to my own use-case. But in retro-spec, I wouldn't recommend Supermicro unless you get one that doesn't use a proprietary form-factor since customization and upgrades are a lot more complicated.

    Chris.Mackenzie01 is a good option too if you are budget conscience.

    Again, it really depends on your needs and budget.
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