Hello, I recently got contract from Pearson VUE for taking online CBT Exams. My number of exam delivery computers are around 400 and they download/upload exams from File Server in work group environment. My question is should I go for Server Computer like “Dell T610, “HP Z800, “? As we know now days they both uses Dual Xeon Processors Quad/Hexa, SAS RAID, ECC-RAMS and I going to install Server 2012 R2 OS , Server Computer costs a lot but Workstation costs really lesser than Server. As you know my business now, so what setup should I opt for? Please be realistic and suggest me the best option. If you suggest Server Computer then also tell me its pros over workstation computer. Thanks in advance and your guidance will help me.. But IMO Workstation now days uses same processors, ram, raid as technology grew up so fast. Can High-End Workstation with Dual Processor setup and RAID-5 will be enough for my business?
To support 400 clients?
A proper server – no question about it. The extra cost goes into high availability (redundant PSUs, RAID-preferably tolerating multiple failures-server class hardware and RAM etc)
What would the cost to your business be if this system goes pear shaped?
IMHO I would have multiple physical servers running the exam delivery server as a VM using one of the HA technologies so you have reduced the possibility of downtime to a bare minimum. I would also look at redundancy of supporting equipment, particularly network switches and (assuming you have multiple test centres) the connection to each.
Basically, if something goes wrong, you have students who have paid $$$ per exam not able to do so, and (from experience) they WILL go somewhere else if you can’t deliver