Primavera Expedition 9.1 - Server Configuration - Looking for Input

Hey Guys, a client of mine is using Primavera Expedition 9.1 which is a pretty serious Web Based contract mangement program.  The previous version (8.0) was console based and since the switch they've been very unhappy with the lack in productivity with the software.  Naturally there are more steps required to perform the same task in a web based program than console which they understand. Even so, they're an expanding company and the software is becoming increasingly slower.  1st problem other than the obvious software being slow is the hardware in the server. Currently it's a single Xeon 1.4 with 1gb a memory in a server which multi's as the File Server, the Expedition Webserver, the Domain Server, the DHCP server, Backup server and print server. So this poor server has a lot of tasks. The server is running in a Raid 5 array if that makes a difference to performance ( I would assume it's slower)  They have a second server which is of the same spec but that is only running Citrix Metaframe Server and an SMTP server.

My proposition to them is to use the 2 exisitng servers and configure a new server for expedition to use solely.

1 Server would be Domain, Print management software, Antivirus server, Citrix (old)

1 Server would be File Server, Print Server, Backup Server

New Server would solely be expedition.

Specs of my newly proposed server are listed below.  I'm looking for the fastest possible for web based software.

What I came up with:

TYAN "Thunder K8S Pro(S2882UG3NR)" AMD-8000 Chipset Server Motherboard for Dual AMD Socket 940 CPU -RETAIL - NOTICE RAID IS BUILD ON MOTHERBOARD

DUAL PROCESSOR (x 2) - AMD Opteron Model 244, 1MB L2 Cache 64-bit Processor - Retail

2 GB  (x 4) CORSAIR 184-Pin 512MB ECC REG DDR PC-3200, Model CM72SD512RLP-3200 - Retail

RAID 1 (x 2) Seagate 37GB 15,000RPM SCSI Hard Drive, Model ST336753LC, OEM Drive Only

Enlight Black Server Chassis Case with 450W Power Supply, Model "SR-5032" -RETAIL

LiteOn Combo Drive

Any comments or changes to this would be greatly appreciated.  THANKS!
Who is Participating?
Gaud-woConnect With a Mentor Commented:
That is one bad *ss server!

I would use the existing 2 servers and try to upgrade one of the 2 - using 1 as file server, the other as web-based server. As the other tasks don't require that much of the system - imho (but perhaps antivirus & firewall, but there are external solutions).

If you really want to make an additional server, you don't need that expensive hardware to build what you want. If it is just web-based software, you're going to need fast and good network acces (upgrade to gigabit lan - both NIC and switch/router/...), paired with good memory.

As a more budget solution you can use a AMD socket 745 with NForce3 - this chipset features a gigabit LAN that works independant from the PCI clock. This gives best LAN performance! Pair it with a good PCI 33/66 RAID controller, and you should already get quite far.
Or, you can opt for a socket 949 AMD, with PCI-x, and get a PCI-X RAID controller, some good memory, ...

These days you can easily build a well performing low to mid-range server using "desktop" or "workstation" parts. We have 5 servers: one file server/domain controller, 1 file server/web based database software, 1 file server/workstation, and one Terminal Services Office server.
The only one that has specific server hardware is the file server/domain controller, and it's 3y or more old (has an ISA slot!).

This leads me to the conclusion that general desktop mainboards can perform really well.

If you need more efficient read/write operations, do go for PCI-X and a decent RAID controller. RAID5 is best for those situations (faster than just a bunch of disks, slower than RAID1 striping but it has fault tolerance).
I don't know how Intel performs in that market segment, but it's losing ground to AMD.

The case: get a case without PSU, and buy a GOOD A-brand PSU, rated about 500 - 550W. You will need this in top performing systems with lots of hard disks!

As you probably noticed, I don't have much experience or knowledge about how server hardware performs. Your Tyan choice looks ok, but I'd still go for a separate PCI-X SATA Raid controller, with Fulcrum technology, and some good recent drives. SCSI and SATA are almost equally performant these days, but SATA costs 1/2 to 1/3rd of SCSI.
As SATA hard disks, WD Raptor 10.000 RPM are good drives.
Fluid Imagery -> I'm curious, what have you chosen as config for the server? Too bad noone else replied, quite puzzles me too - I though there were some more experienced server builders out there!
Fluid_ImageryAuthor Commented:
Hey Gaud,

To be honest, I haven't quite decided what OS is going on that, I'm leaning towards 2000 server because that's how the other 2 servers are setup. I might do 2003.  HDs will be RAID 1 since the only thing that will be stored on the server is the database for expedition and that'll be backed up daily.  RAID 5 would be nice but it's a little slow and expensive to setup the right way.  I priced the server at $3000 for the client and am waiting on hearing from them to accept it.

If there is anything else you're looking for let me know.

Yes, I'm a bit disappointed with the response myself, I thought there would be some real top notch server guys in here.
Well, if you'd like to, I can look some things up. But most things are quite available to public, and I don't know your level of experience.

I got most storage (raid, sata) and overall hardware knowledge from Tom's hardware guide: .

Some good articles:

Cheap and Reliable RAID 5 Storage Compared :

RAID 5 Scaling Tests With Up To Eight Drives :

You can get a RAID 5 card (200$) and 6 SATA drives (360$) for the super price of $560, and get close to SCSI performance. It is slower then striping, of course, but there are some newer technologies that push the envelope...

Too bad you can't PM someone in here, I know some ppl that can give some more insight. Will post something in Lounge area.
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