Server needed for MS Dynamics GP 2013 and Management Reporter 2012: 1-3 users

RickNCN
RickNCN used Ask the Experts™
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I am trying to spec a server for an SMB - a small construction company office with two admins and a sales guy that needs to run Great Plains 2013  and the newer Management Reporter 2012 software.

* 1-2 users for the forseeable future, probably no more than 3
* no more than 5 AD users total, 2 daily users most of the time
* SQL server is needed for MR 2012
*light file server usage
* NO other services  like Exchange will be used.

Dell sales specd out a Precision T320 server with 2x4GB 1333 ram, Xeon E5-2430-L CPU,  Server 2012 Standard, PERC H310, 2x500GB 7.2 3Gbps RAID1 for OS and 3x1TB 7.2 3Gbps RAID5 for database, dual PS.  for $4000

and that didn't include SQL I don't believe

I'm really thinking we don't need that much of a server. Maybe it can be scaled back a bit, OR maybe the T110 server is a better fit. I DO like the option of mirrored OS drives and RAID5 database drives, but I dont think the T110 can accept 5 drives. I could be wrong.

Also, SQL licenses are needed. What about SBS 2011 Premium with 5 SQL CALs instead of Server Standard 2012 + SQL separately

Thoughts? suggestions?
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Get sbs 2011 standard ,it comes with sql 2008 r2.

premium gives you another server instance for about a grand more and since it's such a small install ,not needed.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the input. However, I want to use Dell for the purchase and they currently do no sell servers with SBS.

I did spec a T110 with:
Windows Server® 2012,Standard Ed,
16GB Memory (2x8GB), 1600Mhz,
Intel® Xeon® E3-1230v2 3.30 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, Quad Core/8T
PERC H200 Adapter Internal RAID
(2) 1TB 7.2K RPM SATA 3Gbps RAID 1

for about $2000.

So, my main question is: What SQL software and licenses do I need to buy, specifically? What SKUs? 3 CALs
So you want everything preinstalled from Dell?

Minimum SQL for GP is sql 2008 r2.

You can get the workgroup edition ,but you are limited to 3 gb of ram  and limited replication (hot standby db),about $800.

Standard is $1900 bucks for a 5 user and unlimited ram.

Stay away from the h200 ,it's a piece of garbage.

Get a real raid card.
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Author

Commented:
Ok, thanks for the info

Author

Commented:
I did some reading on the H200 and people agree it's not good:
PERC H200 - Performance issues?
They suggested the H700 instead. Looking at Dell's offerings, that's not an option on this server. The options are H200 or S300. Apparently H= hardware and S = software RAID, however the article above states they hide their specs on the H200 so CPU/RAM is unknown.
Would I be better off with the S300 even if it is software RAID?

Author

Commented:
to clarify, the offering on the T110 II  per Dell tech specs:
RAID Controllers
Internal Controllers:
PERC H200 (6Gb/s)
PERC S100 (software based)
PERC S300 (software based)
External HBAs (non-RAID):
6GB/s SAS HBA

Author

Commented:
Specs on the T320 include an H710 and (P) models:

RAID Controllers
Internal controllers:
PERC S110 (SW RAID)
PERC H310
PERC H710
PERC H710P

External HBAs (RAID):
PERC H810

External HBAs (non-RAID):
6Gbps SAS HBA
The h710 is a decent controller,with battery backed cache, it should be more than enough IO for what you are doing.

Folks just look at the price tag and say it can't add that much to the performance.
I would take a real HW RAID controller over a faster cpu any day of the week.

Author

Commented:
I went back to the T310 and selected the H710. Came out around $2500 (specs at bottom):

Two questions I have to get answered:

#1 - SQL:
I see Dell has an option for installed SQL:
Microsoft®SQL Server™2012 STD,5USER CALs,NFI,Downgrade Media Incl [add $1,943.58]
That seems to give us what we need and more. (We will only have 2-3 users)
BUT
Our Great Plains partner said we can buy licenses for SQL through Great Plains for $200 each. If that's possible and we did that, what do we need? The SQL Server 2012 STD  license itself only? Then we get 2 CALs from Great Plains? Or do we HAVE to buy 5?

#2 - Hardware:
I want to make damn sure the server hardware meets their spec suggestions. The info from our partner dictates that for Management Reporter we need:

APPLICATION SERVER:
¿ 2.4 GHz dual core processor or higher (x64)
¿ 1 GB available hard disk space
¿ 4 GB RAM or higher
¿ Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
-or- Windows Server 2012


PROCESS SERVER:
¿ 2.4 GHz quad core processor or higher (x64)
¿ 1 GB available hard disk space
¿ 12 GB RAM or higher
¿ Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
-or Windows Server 2012
¿ Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010
Redistributable

Would the specs below cover that?  Particularly the "Xeon® E5-2420 1.90GHz," 6-core? it's not 2.4 or better.



 SYSTEM OPTIONS

PowerEdge T320, Intel® Xeon® E-24XX v2 Processors      edit
Processor
Intel® Xeon® E5-2420 1.90GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, 6C, 95W, Max Mem 1333MHz      edit
Memory DIMM Type and Speed
1600 MHz RDIMMS      edit
Memory Capacity
4GB RDIMM, 1600MT/s, Low Volt, Single Rank, x8 Data Width      edit

  OPERATING SYSTEM

Operating System
Windows Server® 2012,Standard Ed,Factory Install,No MED,2 Socket,2 VMs      edit

  HARD DRIVES AND CONTROLLERS

Chassis Configuration
Chassis with up to 4, 3.5" Cabled Hard Drives      edit
RAID Configuration
RAID 0 for H710P/H710/H310 (1-4 HDDs) with Cabled Chassis      edit
RAID Controller
PERC H710 Integrated RAID Controller, 512MB NV Cache, Full Height      edit
Hard Drives
(2) 1TB 7.2K RPM SATA 3Gbps 3.5in Cabled Hard Drive      edit
Additional PCIe Cards
None      edit

  NETWORKING OPTIONS

Add-in Network Adapter
On-Board Broadcom 5720 Dual Port 1Gb LOM      edit

Warranty & Service
3 Year ProSupport and NBD On-site Service      edit

Author

Commented:
If I did upgrade it to a 2.4 Ghz CPU, they offer 2 6 core CPUs:

Intel® Xeon® E5-2440 2.40GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, 6C, 95W, Max Mem 1333MHz [add $405.83]

The slower FSB is more than the faster?

Intel® Xeon® E5-2430L v2 2.40GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, 6C, 60W, Max Mem 1600MHz [add $236.14]

but, strangely the 2.5 Ghz is less than the 2.4's:
      
Intel® Xeon® E5-2430 v2 2.50GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, 6C, 80W, Max Mem 1600MHz [add $134.33]

Then there's a 2.2, faster 1600 FSB that's $3 more than the base CPU:
      
Intel® Xeon® E5-2420 v2 2.20GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, 6C, 80W, Max Mem 1600MHz [add $2.83]

Thoughts as it pertains to GP and Management Reporter?
Our Great Plains partner said we can buy licenses for SQL through Great Plains for $200 each.
Which licenses?

I can see workgroup going for that as a 5 user is 800 bucks,but then again it would be wasting all the ram you bought.

As for CPU,a 4 core will do nicely,your issue will be IO ,it always is.
I would go hotswap backplane if I were you.

As we speak ,I am installing a SBS 2011 using hyper v ,SQL standard and GP 2013.

I am running two SBS servers ,one is using Sage and the other is using GP,two different companies,one shared server.

I'm using a T320 with h700,4x2tb hot swap RAID 5 disks and 32 gb ram with a 2.66 quad processor.

Author

Commented:
Our Great Plains partner said we can buy licenses for SQL through Great Plains for $200 each.
Which licenses?

oh, the user CALs

it would be wasting all the ram you bought.
do you mean SQL Standard would waste the RAM and Workgroup wouldnt as it only uses 3 GB?

The spec sheet I have says SQL 2012 Express is fine. This MS article Says that Express uses 1GB of RAM
Says that Express uses 1GB of RAM

The SQL would only be able to address 1 gb of ram.
All the other ram would out of bounds.
So things could get quite slow.

Author

Commented:
I'm just going by what the GP partner forwarded us. That indicated the office of the size we're talking about - 2 maybe 3 users could use Express. Is that not your experience or recommendation? Maybe 2008 Workgroup is a better idea at 3 GB?
Better to be safe then sorry.

It would cost you time and money if you had to reconfig.

If I spend a few hours having to redo things ,it's a couple hundred off the ledger.
Plus down time.

Their choice.

Author

Commented:
This one comment is the best answer to the question, however, anyone trying to find the right answer for them should look at all the advice you gave and some of the questions I raised. Thanks for the help.

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