We are in the process of setting up an E-Business Research service and would value your advice & expertise.
Let me start by providing you with an sight on the service that we are intending to offer. Simply we have a database hosted on MS SQL that contains 8-10 million records and is approximately 2.5GB in size. The service we offer is simply to allow registered users access to this database through our web site, by executing reports & searches.
The database is very dynamic with approximately 1.5 million records added & deleted on a weekly basis. Therefore it has been agreed that the ‘web server’ database will only be updated on a weekly basis to improve performance (i.e. indexes, stats etc..).
For hosting the Web Site, we have two options…. (1) In House (2) Outsource it. The costs to Outsource this are extremely high due to (1) Bandwidth Required to update database (2) MS SQL Database. Estimated costs are approximately US$ 400-US$ 1,200 per month. I fully agree there are tremendous benefits of hosting a web server with a third party (scalability, realiability etc..), [re: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Hosting/Q_20566051.html
] however being a startup organisation, funds are extremely valuable. Therefore we have decided to host the web site ourselves.
The question I have for you is, based on the above, what server specification should we purchase. We are from an IT background (programmers), but regarding server capacity requirements, we are new! Our doubts are:
1) Network Connection – is 1.5 MB Broadband sufficient?
2) Web Server – What is the difference between a performance PC and a ‘web server’
3) Operating System – Any recommendations (except Linux due to lack of experience)
4) Multiprocessor – Due to the Database, we expect this a requirement
ANY help will be much appreciated - can anyone point us the right direction to any good sites offering advice.