what hardware needed to store huge databases?

hello Sirs

I would like to ask about the hardware needed {Servers and their featurs......other H\W} for a filling System developed for a company that consist of 18 department which all have files that want to store, retrive,and Search from the database .
The system is written by delphi programming language and the tables are created using paradox ,the application is CGI (Common Gateway Interface).
The idea is that :to let those who are responsible from files in their department open the application through the net of the company.
 _The number of files are unlimited and increase continously
 _Most of the company files are writtem in MSword.

thanks in advance
Sahar Elsadig Elamin
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intheConnect With a Mentor Commented:
just to mention msword files are quite big so you will need to work out an average size of the documents and approx how many documents are going to be made over say a year and * that together to see the bare minimum size harddisk you will need.
youll probably want to at least double the result then add the size of the operating system and software needed to run the db including your delphi app.
with harddisk sizes these days it shouldnt be a problem to stick at least a couple of 40-50g disks in a server..
heathprovostConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Just my humble opinion, but I dont think paradox is at all suited for such a demanding task.  If I understand correctly you are wanting to store ALOT of BIG files in BLOB fields inside of a database correct?  Paradox in my experience suffers for index corruption problems in even small litely used multiuser applications, and it is a pain to keep reparing things. And it is sssslllloooowwwwwww.  I would highly recommend going with a full blown DBMS such as Interbase, Oracle, or MSSQL to do this kind of heavy lifting.  As for hardware, I would say that would end up depending on the chosen DB.  Paradox can really only scale to a certain point both in maximum table size and memory use, so throwing big iron at it wont help a whole lot.  On the other hand the big DBMS's such as I mentioned LOVE having gobs and gobs of memory and big, fast hard drives...  If I were specking a system for this I would probably choose the following:

At least a 900Mhz processor, preferable 2 (if not on paradox, paradox wont get much benefit from a dually) Of course the faster the better...

Either an IDE Raid controller or a SCSI Raid controller - IDE is much, much cheaper, but is also a tad bit slower for this kind of stuff and the SCSI stuff is usually hot swapable so that is a plus.

Lots of memory, at least 512MB, preferable 1 Gig or more. With memory as cheap as it is now you might as well max the motherboard out... Again, if you stick with paradox I doubt any more than 512MB will do you any good.

at least 2 80 gig drives.  If you get 2 than set up a mirror using the raid controller.  If you go the scsi route it is much more cost effective to get 5 40gig drives and setup a RAID5 array.  Then replacement costs are not as high when you have a failure.

I would also recommend get 2 NIC cards that do load balancing so you can boost your network throughput as much as possible.  This is a pretty cheap way to get better network performance.

A system like this can be had for about 2k to 3k US dollars depending upon options chosen

Of course the above is strictly for the database server.  I would highly recommend putting the web server on a seperate box to maximize performance.  Running the web server on the same box as the DB isnt a good idea if the web site gets alot of use.  The two services will tend to fight with each other for memory bandwidth and cpu time.  The web server doesnt need to be much, just enough to handle the expected load, the DBMS will be doing most of the work if you code everything properly.  Of course if you are not expecting high utilization then putting them both on one box is an option.

simonetConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First of all, forget about Paradox. Paradox is simply for you to GET STARTED in LEARNING doing some DB programming. It's not at all suited for a full-blown professional application.

If you're gonna stick with Paradox, than ANYTING will do, as long as you have a HD large and fast enough to hold all the files you want and has a fast network.

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FrodoBegginsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, I agree PARADOX can't get the load. The same for using os like Windows 98. Just not done for server.

I suggest you the folowing:

Oracle or SQL Server (I prefer Oracle. it's more secure). IBM DB2 can make it too, but it costs more and it is slower than Oracle. SQL Server is esaier for administraton, Oracle is well-known world leader.

Use SCSI RAID controler. It may be more expensive, but my test server got 6 to 10 times (!) faster after is changed the configuration from (2 SCSI 80 IBM disks) to (4 SCSI 160 RAID 1+0 IBM discs) with no other config change.

OS: Windows NT or 2K - they all can handle te load. Use the latest servicepack. Linux can do it too.

VSFConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Why not using INTERBASE it's free and can handle the task!

How many computers are attached to the network!?

<edited by PashaMod>
Russell LibbySoftware Engineer, Advisory Commented:
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

Split points between inthe, heathprovost, simonet, FrodoBeggins, and VSF

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.
Thank you,

EE Cleanup Volunteer
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