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Choosing the right Server

Posted on 2002-03-04
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Last Modified: 2007-11-27
Let's say the decision maker asks me what dedicated server do we need to put a database on for our users to access it over the LAN.  And I say.....(this is where you help me, please):

Pentium III processor
Over 500 RAM
CD burner and CD/DVD ROM to burn periodic backup files

....
I'm trying to not make it too confusing, but I want the best system to run our database (whether it is Oracle, ACCESS, etc).  Can you help me define the spec's you think I may need based on your experience?

Thanks.
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Question by:jayme9
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by:SunBow
ID: 6839561
Depends on size of load. Yours does fine, I like optical, but p4 also in low price range now. 500 Ram is good start, but may be insufficient down road. Initially you can do with less.

Main two things to add are HD and Multimedia. For mass store I prefer scsi. Research Adaptec.

For multimedia, video etc., recognize this is server, so save what little you can on VGA enhancements and spealers, and put the funds into bigger & faster HDs (and scsi).
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by:SunBow
ID: 6839569
(<ugh,sp> spealers = speakers, audio, not needed)
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by:n0thing
ID: 6839677
Well, it all depends on which database server you want to run on your machine. An Access database and an Oracle is completely different in term of requirements. You also need to know how many users needs access to your database and how big will it be.
Right now hardware prices is so cheap, so it's not a big deal in terms of price from a typical Access machine to a Oracle's machine. ($200-$500)

Typical machine config:
- Pentium 4 1.6Ghz
- 512M RAM (Just try to buy a motherboard/system that supports up to 2 Gig).
- 2 X 40 Gig HD (IDE 100 or SCSI)

If your database dump is less than 700M, a CD-R solution is ok, if will larger in the future. I'd suggest you to buy a DLT backup unit (under $1000). That way, it's easier to backup data larger than 700M and you can do backup scheduling, so you don't have to attend your backup daily/weekly. It's also very easy to do incremental backup, etc. and retreiving data is also easier with included software.






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anormand earned 100 total points
ID: 6840645
Here the product I suggest you but all depend of the application

Server:
Compaq Proliant ML370 (entry level about 250 to 500 users)
1 Processor Pentium III 1.13Ghz (Max 2)
1GB RAM (256MB Ram base + 784MB option) (Ram Max 6GB)
Hard-disk bay (6 Hot-Plug disks)
Integrated Array Controler available (I suggest the option for 3200Array controler minimum)
Rackmounted or Tower

Backup:
Personnaly I really don't like CD-R on servers, it`s not a workstation. It reduces the server performance due the poor I/O datas transfert! Also with CD-R you need to do off-line backups. Please go with a real backup solution like a DLT tape with ArcServe or BackupExec (both with the specific database engine).

Disks: Mirrored or Raid5:
Mirrored Disk with IDE drives even scsi is very cheap and slow due to the OS dependent mirror.
Raid5 is really more secure, fault-tolerant and faster more you have drives. Try to full the drive bay to max. your investement, empty bays are expensive...

Hope this help

ANORMAND



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Expert Comment

by:anormand
ID: 6840646
Here the product I suggest you but all depend of the application

Server:
Compaq Proliant ML370 (entry level about 250 to 500 users)
1 Processor Pentium III 1.13Ghz (Max 2)
1GB RAM (256MB Ram base + 784MB option) (Ram Max 6GB)
Hard-disk bay (6 Hot-Plug disks)
Integrated Array Controler available (I suggest the option for 3200Array controler minimum)
Rackmounted or Tower

Backup:
Personnaly I really don't like CD-R on servers, it`s not a workstation. It reduces the server performance due the poor I/O datas transfert! Also with CD-R you need to do off-line backups. Please go with a real backup solution like a DLT tape with ArcServe or BackupExec (both with the specific database engine).

Disks: Mirrored or Raid5:
Mirrored Disk with IDE drives even scsi is very cheap and slow due to the OS dependent mirror.
Raid5 is really more secure, fault-tolerant and faster more you have drives. Try to full the drive bay to max. your investement, empty bays are expensive...

Hope this help

ANORMAND



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Author Comment

by:jayme9
ID: 6841484
We are using ACCESS, but will migrate to Oracle for 20-40 users.  We are running 100mb/s LAN, but want to optimize our speed and performance for users accessing the database file.
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by:SunBow
ID: 6845536
> Compaq Proliant ML370 (entry level about 250 to 500 users)

Sounds nice, but database size and version impacts number of users. I'll assume most of those users are defined but inactive.

> Please go with a real backup solution like a DLT tape with ArcServe

IMO too many copy too much to tape, and.... tape can be erased, overwritten. Not good for my reliability needs. Too much make-work for small system. But I do agree, that it does have value, does have a place, especially as the system grows over time.

jayme9' numbers are common. It really depends on a lot of factors, just what you'll end up needing. Requirements.
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by:SunBow
ID: 6845638
> to optimize our speed and performance

many other factors involved for that
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