Advise on Server,softwares required !!


        Iam looking to host a web based .NET application which uses MS-SQL as database. I need to what type of hosting should i choose.

1. Application Type - Billing and internal Operations
2. Number of users at a time - 100 to 300.

Hosting Types - Which is preferred ?

1. Cloud Based ?
2. Dedicated ?

Resources Required ?

1. What should be the Processor ? - Single , Dual , Quad or XEON ?
2. What should be Minimum RAM size.
3. Storage - 1 to 2 TB is sufficient ?
4. What should be Firewall preferred ?
5. What should be the Best Antivirus to protect Server ?
6. Which MS-SQL db server is preferred ?

Questions regarding Fail over -

1. How it should be managed ?
2. In server level or the database or application level. Please advise ?

Best Dedicated / Cloud servers as per your experiance ?

Thanks !!
Who is Participating?
Scott Fell, EE MVEConnect With a Mentor Developer & EE ModeratorCommented:
I have been using CrystalTech/NewTek for about 14 years and for about 5.  For shared windows hosting, I still like NewTek and for dedicated/cloud I like Liquid Web.  Liquid web sticks to one thing and they do it very well and have great support.
David Johnson, CD, MVPConnect With a Mentor OwnerCommented:
a database is simply a repository of information that an application can query and retrieve this information.

The provided information is far from being complete.  The SQL server and the application can reside in different servers or server farms.  The data can exist wherever the sql server can access it (speed and latency is a concern  here).

if the sql server and the application server are in different areas then speed and latency could come into the equation as well.

I'd start with the cheapest hosting plan that combines the application and sql server database and then scale up as required.

How much data is going to be passed from/to the application server and how many transactions per minute are we talking about?

You have asked an open ended question sort of like.. which is the best form of transportation.. each and every form of transportation get you from a source to destination location.. distance/speed/convenience/price/usage pattern not being defined means that no real answer can be provided.
Scott Fell, EE MVEConnect With a Mentor Developer & EE ModeratorCommented:
The 100 to 200 users is not so much a concern as the type of queries against the db.  With billing, you may end up with a million rows of data in some odd query that slows things down to a halt. That may be more of a programming issue then ram or processor.  

Your biggest bottleneck is going to be the database.  If you go on a small dedicated plan with the db and webserver on the same box, 4 gigs of ram is about the minimum you would want to start out with.   I have tried smaller applications  on a vps with 2 gigs of ram on ms sql server and it crashed a lot because of maxing out memory.  

If I was starting out something new today, I would look at cloud based or  I have a dedicated box at liquid web and they have a newer service called storm servers where you can start out small and quickly upgrade or downgrade servers via a control panel.  However, in that case, if you know your traffic and usage is constant, I was told it is best to stay with the true dedicated box.

I would also start with your budget as well.  Getting into a fall over synced database can be expensive vs having continuous backup.  

I have custom applications running on cheap shared servers and dedicated box where the client relies on the web based system to run their business and have not had any real issues that were directly related to the web/data server.
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codeoxygenAuthor Commented:
Please advise any good rated Dedicated servers provided by any companies, If any of the expert uses them for long period , we feel it would be good reference ..
codeoxygenAuthor Commented:
I'm still waiting for more inputs for other experts..
codeoxygenAuthor Commented:
I'm still waiting for more inputs for other experts..
Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Start with the smallest rackspace windows 2012 server and put SQL express on it. About $120/mo. You can easily scale up to a bigger one if your run low on resources.
codeoxygenAuthor Commented:
I'm still waiting for more inputs for other experts
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
What specific information would you like more information on?
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