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Network Workgroup Operating System choice
stevetag Jan-15-01 01:33 PM
I have a doctor's office that wants me to install a network where no IT guy will be employed. The billing software usually calls for NT but will work on 2000.

The layout for the building has no room for a server room and the doctor was told by the software guy that he could use the "server" computer as a workstation - yikes!.

Anyway, I was going to install Windows 2000 pro in a workgroup environment (no dedicated server) or should I go with Win 98 or ME considering that MS support will be very little if any.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I will need an access to the net to send medical claims.

Or, should I bite the bullet and try to convince the doc that we should go with a dedicated server - thanks.


1. RE: Network Workgroup Operating System choice
lbyard Jan-15-01 07:42 PM
In response to message 0
There are dedicated and non-dedicated file servers. A dedicated server is a computer that functions just as a server and is not used as a workstation as well; although, the software may be capable of doing so. Windows NT Server can be used as a non-dedicated server, if desired. You can have a small peer-to-peer workgroup network with a dedicated server and that server can be running Win 9x or 2000 Pro. It does not have to run the server versions of NT or 2000. Of course the server versions of NT and 2000 have more security features and they can do other things, such as mirror disk drives. On the other hand, they are generally more expensive and more complicated to maintain than Win 9x and non-server versions of Win 2000. A file server (Win 9x, etc.) for a small work group does not have to be a powerful computer. All it essentially does is serve files—share a disk drive and/or printer—sits there most of the time. Put the oomph in the workstations where hefty applications are executed. The slowest AMD Duron (or even an obsolete K6-2) will work fine. My accountant has eight or nine people on his network. His file server has a 350 Mhz AMD K6-2 (mine still has a 166 Mhz Pentium). He just bought a 1 Ghz Athlon workstation and felt no pressing need to upgrade his file server this year. A server does not have be put in a closet and one certainly does not need a wiring closet, patch panels, wall jacks, etc. for a small network; a corner in the office will do just fine. Just run the cables directly (or through the basement, etc.) from all of the computers to a hub, switch, or broadband router/switch (and share the Internet at the same time). I would not put my billing or other accounting functions on a non-dedicated server. Remove the monitor and hide the keyboard so people won’t be tempted to play with it. Larry

2. RE: Network Workgroup Operating System choice
stevetag Jan-16-01 06:59 PM
In response to message 1
Thanks Larry, that was a terrific reply jam packed with useful real life experience - thank you.

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