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Suggest hardware for Filemaker Server8

Posted on 2006-06-26
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I am currently runnning filemaker server 5.5 on a nt4.0 server within a domain environment.
My domain is a windows 2003 small business server that we use as our file server as well as exchange server.
The clients are using WindowsXP PRofessional XP2
I am in the process of converting all my files to filemaker 7.0 and by the next couple of weeks hope to move my databases to a new server.

I need some recommendations on server/hardware configurations.

Would it be too much to run filemaker server 7 on our small business server?
If so what would you suggest. We have about 30 databases and 10 users who connect.

Can the server run on an Xp computer or does it have to be actual server software.
Appreciate your help!!
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Question by:kcassone
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billmercer earned 500 total points
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FileMaker Server 7 and 8 act very differently than FM Server 5.5. One of the biggest differences is in how functions like searching, sorting, and calculations are handled. With FM6 and earlier, these operations are done by the workstation. The server simply hosts the files, and provides very little functionality. With this setup, network bandwidth is the biggest limitation on performance, since every interaction with the database goes back and forth across the network.

Starting with FM7 this changed dramatically. Now, FileMaker Server is not just hosting the database files for the clients, but actually performing many operations right on the server, more like a traditional SQL-based client-server database. Searching, sorting, and many calculations are now done right on the server itself. This makes for much better performance when working with large amounts of data or complex calculations, but it also means that FileMaker Server 7/8 will create a much bigger load on your server than you've seen with the older version. With Server 5.5, the CPU speed was only moderately important. With Server 8, it's critical.

>I need some recommendations on server/hardware configurations.
You want a real server processor, a P4/Xeon/Athlon/Opteron, not a Celeron or Duron.
You will want fast hard drives and a fair amount of RAM. FMServer doesn't use tons of RAM, but the amount it will use is based on how much there is available, so you'll probably want a gig of RAM. The most RAM you could possibly want would be 4 gigs, but that would only be worthwhile if you've got very large database files. Ideally, you'd be running FM Server on a dedicated dual-processor machine, Server 2K or 2K3.

>Would it be too much to run filemaker server 7 on our small business server?

Generally, I'd say yes. Especially if you are also using the same server for things like web, exchange, etc. If someone runs a big FileMaker report, it might slow down another user's activities, or even cause interruptions.

I would also be worried about stability. FileMaker is a pretty fussy application. It doesn't tend to share well with other applications, especially those that involve lots of file or network activity, and the more different things you have running on one machine, the more things can go wrong.

You mentioned ten users and 30 files, but what kind of users, and what kind of files they are will make a big difference. If the users are doing occasional lookups and data entry during the course of the day, it might be reasonable to put FMS on the same server. But if they're doing significant amounts of data processing, including running large reports and so on, then you really want a dedicated server.

>Can the server run on an Xp computer or does it have to be actual server software.
Yes, you can run FM Server on an XP workstation, but don't try to run it in the background on a workstation that is also being used for other work. If you're surfing the web and yoiur computer crashes, it could corrupt files, so if you do use a workstation, treat it like a server, don't run applications on it.


 For best results, you'll want to use a powerful workstation with a fast processor.
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