Server Build - SQL Server 2008 R2 & BusinessObjects XI 3.1

Posted on 2012-08-29
Last Modified: 2012-09-02

I need to purchase a server that will run both SQL Server 2008 R2 and SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1

The server will host a claims management database and an accounting system database(Microsoft Dynamics).  Claims management database is maybe 500MB and accounting database is maybe 750MB.  Growth is maybe 10% or 15% or so per year.

I expect a maximum of five users at any given moment using BusinessObjects or accessing the databases.  For much of the day, maybe two or three users at a time.

I don't expect to add any additional users in the future.  

Potential Server:
Dell PowerEdge T420
Windows Server 2008 Standard
Dual, Xeon E5-2420 1.90Ghz, Turbo, 15M Cache
Software RAID 5
(3) 500GB 7.2K hard drives

Any comments or advice on my potential server?  Would a hardware based RAID setup be worth the additional cost?  Would a switch to software RAID 10 be worth the extra drive cost?

Thank you
Question by:TacomaVA
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    For the disks I'd recommend something like this

    x2 disk RAID 1 for the OS/Windows
    (Best practice is to seperate the OS and database onto separate disks)

    x4 disk RAID 10 for the Database
    (RAID 10 will give overall better read/write performance than RAID 5)

    get a decent RAID controller like a PERC H700
    (cheap RAID controllers will affect performance and can cause problems when rebuilding arrays, dont use software RAID, I've had more servers fail with this setup than I care to remember! software RAID = RAID nightmare!)

    get 15K hard drives not 7200 rpm drives.
    (7200 drives will really slow down the server and will cause bottlenecks with the disks being the slowest thing in the server)

    Of course this all costs $ so it depends on your budget..
    To compromise you could have RAID 1 for OS and RAID 1 for database - use less drives
    And use 10K disks instead of 15K as these might be cheaper
    But dont compromise on the RAID controller

    Let me know what you think?

    Author Comment

    Thank you for the reply.  Will the weak point be the disks?  Do I have enough CPU and RAM?

    Also, for the RAID controller, how would the PERC H310 compare to the PERC H710?

    What about just purchasing one CPU?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    CPU and memory look OK.
    The H310 does not have any cache memory, cache memory will improve performance so in simple terms the H710 is "faster" than the H310. From the number of users you've said I think the H310 would be OK but the H710 will be better.
    Get 2x CPUs to allow for future growth even if you plan to add another CPU later chances are you wont ever get around to it. Also with Dell it tends to be a lot more expensive to add parts to a server later - much cheaper to buy everything new with the server.
    Good luck!

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