Data Center

Posted on 2003-03-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
What does a Data Center need? i know that depends on what business i am doing, and to make it clear:

-It is an e-Learning project.
-I need an unlimited storage system capacity.
-Linux OS.

1- How many DB servers do i need, what Brand and Specifications?
2- How many Webservers do i need, what Brand and Specifications?

3- How many Application servers do i need, what Brand and Specifications? and what is the difference between Application and Webserver.(i used to hear these terms a lot).
4-How many Mail servers do i need, what Brand and Specifications?
5- What about the Rack?
6- What about Load Balancing Hardware?
7- What about Load Balancing Software?
8- Do i need routers?
9- Do i need Firewalls?

To make it short, i will have a space for a Rack that carries 8 servers, so please try to make your answer fit these 8 servers.
If you think that this question needs more points just ask.
Thank You Folks
Question by:buhareb
  • 2
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Expert Comment

ID: 8056835
1. Depends on estimated simultaneous users.

2. Sam as 1. Has done some load testing there.
With old apache seemded to even out at 512 started apache server. That means the server can only answer 512 simultaneous http requests.
This server was compaq dual 800 and 1Gb ram.
Apache 2 is supposed to do better, but it gives you a picture.

3. Depends heavily on which app server you choose. And of course simultaneous users. Tomcat 3 wasn't very good here.
On same machine that could handle about 512 http requests.
Tomcat could handle about 200.
Don't know on Tomcat 4.

4. If going with linux environment I'll recommend Qmail.
www.qmail.org, very scaleable can handle virtual domains with some addon software and also good imap server supporting qmail.

5. You should get 19" rack, not much difference between them. Just buy rack from same place you buy computers so you know they will fit.

6. I'd defnitley recommend hardware load balancing if you anticipate many concurrent users.

7. Well you would still have to have one single machine doing nothing but load balance. So a true hardware balance solution isn't much more expensive but much more stable and efficient.

8. YES!
9. YES! Unless you wan't anyone hacking and being able to destroy everything.

It all depends on aticipated number of users.
If elearning and let's say you have 4-6 simultaneous classes with something like 100 student's in each, this is 'only' 400-600 possibly concurrent users.

I think you will do good on this setup to begin with.

Start with following hardware.

1. Firewall.
2. Router.
3. 3 machines for elearning site and 1 for mail.
4. Skip load balancing to begin with.
5. Install RH and appache on 1 machine.
6. Install preferred OS and mail on 1 machine.
7. Install RH, MySQL and Tomcat on two other machines.
   Either replicate MySQL between the two machines or
   onyl install MySQL on one and make application connect
   to this.
8. When setting up apache connection to tomcat setup a loadbalance connection so they will use both application/db server.

Monitor CPU/MEM usage on app/db and web server to see if it's enough.
If not you can easily scale up by getting another web or app server or add hardware load balancing.

Hopethis helps a little.

It would be easier to advise if one knew how many is working in company and how many students you anticipate there will be.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg

Author Comment

ID: 8057069
Thank you heskyttberg,
But i would really like to know what servers specifications do i need, What brand? and i prefer you tell me about IBM servers or HP.

What is the difference between 'Webserver' and 'Application server'? "Tomcate and Apache"

On Which Server 'Web' OR 'App' the PHP scripts are going to run?

What load balancing hardware? "Brand & specifications"

What load balancing software? "Brand"

The expected number of users is 'Unlimited'.

Employees "6"

Thank You

Accepted Solution

heskyttberg earned 1200 total points
ID: 8057280

When it comes to hardware load balancing and firewall I'd say use CISCO.

As switches 3COM has really good ones.

PHP scripts will run on webserver, app server is to run JAVA/JSP. I just thought you were interested in that but if not skip that.

If you intend to build php app, you might want 1 a ltiile bigger DB server and two webservers.

Well when it comes to server to choose I'd do like this.
Call a few of them.
And ask if you can borrow a 1U server with dual CPUs and at least 1Gb RAM for one week in order to load test it.

I would call IBM, HP, Dell and any other you can think of.
Do the load testing, you would need 3-4 workstations in order to really load the server to see how well it performs.

I'd buy the one that performs the best.

Or as in my case when I did this only one company actually lended me a server so that's the company we boght servers from.

HP Servers I don't know much about.
IBM and Comapaq is very good servers. IBM somewhat better since IBMs hardware raid allows for raid setup in BIOS on raid card, this not so on Compaq, HP I know nothing about.

Dell has very good servers when they are delivered.
They lack a little in support, geting better thoguh.
They also have delivery problems at times.

I can strongly recommend IBM servers. Just buy their latest 1U model when it's time.

Make sure to by with two HDs and hardware mirroring in order to minimize downtime.

Same goes for CISCO buy their latest product that doeas what you want when it's time.

I think you would manage with a CISCO 2600 or 3600 if you need VPN and some other goodies.

As firewall get a CISCO PIX, again which model depends a bit on what you need, how many DMZ you need.

I woul put MAIL in one DMZ, webservers in one DMZ and DB servers in another DMZ.

If you really anticipate unlimited users I'd go for IBMs eServer blade center and fill it with 3-4 blade servers to start with and when you expand and see you need more buy and put in more blade servers.

On theese I would run web,db and application.
For mail get this one xSeries 360 from IBM.

As I said HP I don't know much about they also have blade servers.

An alternative would be to go for IBMs:
iSeries 825 and run a few virtual server or one very quick server.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg

Author Comment

ID: 8057534
Thank You Hans - Erik Skyttberg,
That was amazing

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