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Windows Server 2003 Processing Platform?

Posted on 2005-04-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Experts:

I want install install Windows 2003 Server Standard running these applications for 25 users:

Terminal Services (running a Clarion file-based database)
SMB (local workstations running the same clarion database)
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

Based on this application list, will a Xeon-based system provide any benefit oover a hyper-threading P4? If yes, then why?
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Question by:Thunnus
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by:vico1
ID: 13791488
If the Xeon is hyper-Threaded it will perform a lot better than the P4.
The Intel Xeon processor provides high memory bandwidth, high memory capacity, and high I/O bandwidth resulting in better performance.

P4 HT will work also but it depends on Cache memory. Regardless the system will use The P4 HT as a Dual CPU.

I would Definitely go with the Xeon. When it comes to server applications there is no comparison between Xeon and P4.
you would at least have the peace of mind that the system is Capable and Scalable.

Good luck!
vico1


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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 13796548
Although I am not an expert with Clarion based databases, I do know a few things about combined services on a Server 2003.

Will this be an additional server in your network?  Or is it your Domain Controller?  If it's your domain controller, then you definitely want to go with Small Business Server if you have less than 50 total client accesses.  SBS includes Exchange as part of its configuration... so that parts easy.

You may find this link interesting as it suggests that converting to a btrieve database will increase performance substantially and is a rather easy conversion from Clarion:  http://tinyurl.com/bbb3s

Attaching non Windows workstations to an SBS is usually no problem at all.  The lowdown on connecting Macs is here:  http://blogs.msdn.com/sbsdocsteam/archive/2004/11/24/269407.aspx  attaching any other Unix based client works just about the same.

Full networking info for Small networks is here:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/smbiz/mits/ci/mit_cich5.mspx

If I mistunderstood any of your configuration, just let me know...

good luck!

Jeff @
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:Thunnus
ID: 13797075
Jeff:

Thanks for your insight. SBS does not "officially" support Terminal Services, and is very restrictive in a multi-server environment- so therefore I tend to avoid it.

It is an excellent product and a great value for many people, but I guess that the intended market is "small business, single server".
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by:Thunnus
ID: 13797081
Vico1:

"higher memory bandwidth" - is it greater than a hyperthreaded Pentium with a 800MHz FSB?
"higher I/O bandwidth"- how so? disk access, PCI bus access, instruction size?
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vico1 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13797483
Intel Xeon also comes 800 FSB.

If you are using a 32 bit the I/O Bandwidth is Up to 4.8GB/sec  and  up to 14 GB/sec with a 64 bit

Beside the CPU you have to make the right choice of hardware, other wise your system will be limited to the weakess hardware.

I don't have all the specs that would pleased. However Intel Xeon runs a lot cooler than intel pentium 4. (comparing my servers to my workstations)  

I have a small Dual 2.8  Xeon Processor HT running on a windows 2003 enterprise I get 600 Simultaneous Exchange connections with no problem at all. In fact my average CPU usage is  10% per CPU. I don't know if a pentium 4 would perform as well as the xeon, The fact is I never tried.

I am not using Terminal service with that many users but I get as much as 10 simultaneous TM Clients, Plus Trend Micro for exchange running  as antivirus for exchange. This server is also used  as an SUS server and few other small Database applications.

Check these links maybe that will Help:

http://www.intel.com/products/processor/xeon/index.htm
http://www.intel.com/products/processor/pentium4HTXE/index.htm
http://www.intel.com/performance/server/xeon/platform.htm

I hope that helped

Vico1


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Author Comment

by:Thunnus
ID: 13797854
vico1:

Question- how do I enable "dual" CPU with a Hyper-threaded Pentium 4? I have an Intel S875-WP1E? Is it done in BIOS?
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by:vico1
ID: 13797888
It has to be enable from BIOS. Most intel board has that option.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 13803000
Thunnus,

SBS DOES officially support Terminal Services... but just not on the same machine.  See this:  http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/5/2/75219da3-8c11-496c-978f-e6892762e874/ADS_TermServ.doc

Also, it's not VERY RESTRICTIVE in a multi-server environment -- it is just not appropriate for an environment with more than 50 clients.  There is no restriction on the number of servers in the network (other than the 50 max).  The restriction is on number of domains.

This still may not be appropriate for your environment, as you haven't stated the total size of your network environment.

Jeff
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 13803019
P. S. here's the full overview of Windows Server interoperability:  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/interopmigration/default.mspx

And you HP has a ton of benchmarking tools available at:  http://www.hp.com/go/activeanswers

Jeff
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