My client was in the process of purchasing Paprika the accounting, job costing, resource management system.

With remote offices in Singapore and Toronto they needed a way for the remote staff to be able to access the system.

I explored the option of getting our own Citrix installation but the costs were very high for the small number of users that needed it. We were also looking to purchase a server to run the actual Paprika software.

I was settled on the idea of just getting the standard Microsoft Server 2012 Remote Desktop Service but wanted to test it to be sure. I wanted to do a proof of concept so ordered (from eBay) a Dell server for £450, it arrived the next day.

Luckily the server was already setup with RAID5 so I did not have to wait for a RAID to initialise or spend any time setting that up.

I downloaded demonstrations of Windows 2012 server software, burnt a DVD and installed a basic installation of Windows 2012 with Hyper-V. From there I setup three virtual machines of Windows 2012, one running AD and DNS, one running Remote Desktop Service and one running MS SQL Express and Apache Tomcat for Paprika.

It was all pretty much running within around 6 hours, I had someone in Singapore test the performance and it was fine.

After a bit more testing I realised the £450 server was actually probably good enough so we kept it! Just bought the software and the server has been running without any trouble for coming up to two years.

We backup the server a couple of ways, one to a Presstore Virtual Tape library at Hyper-V Level using volume shadow copy service and also at database level with scripts. Every other month I export the Hyper-V virtual machines and upload to Google Drive for safe keeping, the database are backed up separately so in the event of failure we would recover the Hyper-V virtual machines and then restore the most recent database.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well Hyper-V and Windows 2012 worked.