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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Server setup

Good morning,

We are a small software company (<10 developers), and so far, we've survived without having a central server. However, we are now considering getting a server to for source control (you DONT want to ask how we used to manage source control before!). Our core development is in .NET. The questions I have are the following:

1. Which server software would you recommend for a setup such as ours, where we only need to run a file server + subversion as source control?

2. Does it make sense to consider a Linux server?

Gunther "its too cold right now" the Panther
Gunther the Panther Send private email
Thursday, December 06, 2007
You could consider using an offsite Subversion host which will mean you don't have to worry about setting up all this infrastructure.

<shameless plug>
</shameless plug>

If your not so keen on hosting offsite then i would definatly consider using linux, i think Ububtu would be my distro of choice, it takes about 20 mins to install and installing svn is as simple as calling:
sudo apt-get install subversion.
Floyd Price Send private email
Thursday, December 06, 2007
> 2. Does it make sense to consider a Linux server?

Not unless you have in-house skills in setting it up and administering it.

If you are all .NET developers you will find a Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server very easy to configure.

Currently on Dell UK, Windows SBS (OEM with 5 cals) adds £189 to the price of a new server. Redhat Enterprise costs £240 and Suse Enterprise costs £71.

There isn't much in it from a cost point of view. Yes, you could install it yourself if you want to feel really geeky but wouldn't you rather spend several hours improving your application instead?
Thursday, December 06, 2007
IMHO, SBS is not worth the effort.  Just plain old Windows Server 2003 would do the job for you.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
For those recommending Windows 2003, is there any reason not to use XP (assuming you have/can get a license)?
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I host my SVN on an old WinXP box.  Drop in an online back up solution (like Mozy.com), and you've got yourself a safe, (relatively) secure SVN host.
Jon Chase Send private email
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Just a few guys who need a file repo and SVN?

Three simple questions:

Want to go offline?  Pick any number of hosts.  Codespaces probably works well (we've considered it, but are happy enough with the command line and Dreamhost at the moment, with a few backups on other systems).

Everyone has windows knowledge, and zero linux knowledge?  You either go with Windows SBS, Windows Server, or Windows XP and share a few folders.  I personally would just choose [cheap - XP] over [pain - SBS].

Have a few geeks with linux knowledge (note:  I am a geek)?  Fire up ubuntu or freenas or fedora (latest version is pretty slick) with a samba server and svn.

Poof.  Problem solved.
Anthony Presley Send private email
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Err, "offline" should be "online".
Anthony Presley Send private email
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I run source control just for myself.  I don't know how you live without it, especially with several developers.

Since theres only a handful of you and you most likely don't need to run a domain there, just grab some old hardware and run windows xp.  That would be your cheapest and easiest option.  Throw subversion on it and your done.

You could also look at running linux.  If your planning on doing this, check out clarkconnect.  This is what I use.

The only issue here is the backing up of data (and storing it elsewhere).  If you pick an offsite host, you don't need to worry about this.
Greg Send private email
Thursday, December 06, 2007
There's probably as many solutions as there are members of BoS.

I use Debian Linux. Just search Google for step by step tutorials on how to set it up. I used to use Subversion, but I'm going to replace it with something else. Subversion just gets annoying with hundreds of .svn folders everywhere. Also when you move a folder into (or out of) your source tree, svn chucks a wobbly and you spend 4 hours trying to fix it! Grrr...
Version 1.4 Beer
Friday, December 07, 2007
People, people.  "run it on old hardware?!"  Hello!  This is your core business, this IS your business, it goes down you'll be screaming and kicking yourself for using "old hardware!"

Drop the $1000 on a NEW desktop box with a simple RAID1 in it.

You can go with Windows XP Pro (avil from Dell still), but remember, you can only connect 10 people to it at a time, this is a limitation of XP so that "could" be an issue.

Alternate, if you can afford it, get a bottom end Dell Server with windows 2003 server OEM.  Setup a simple domain and put all your computers on that domain.  This will make any security & file sharing SOOOOOOO much simpler and will also grow with you as you grow.

If you have no experience with Linux, don't use it.  Sure 2 weeks and you could know enough to likely get subversion going, 2 weeks you could have been coding (vs 2 days for a windows box likely) and again, when Linux dies, it dies hard so hope your disaster recovery is up to snuff.

Stay away from Windows Small Business server, its a pain, and when you outgrow it, its a bigger pain to get away from.
Friday, December 07, 2007

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