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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Sims server spec

    Just been looking at our current sims server spec as I understand it’s around 5 1/2 years old and I'm thinking about it's replacement.

    Dual xeon 2.4Ghz, 512Kb L2
    Intel SE7505VB2 motherboard
    3GB memory
    Adaptec 29160N SCSI card
    Fujitsu MAP3367NP 36Gb HD 8Mb cache

    It was originally running Server 2000 with 512 Mb of memory but I did a clean install of Server 2003 and increased the memory 3 years ago.



    What sort of spec should I be looking at now?

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    How many sims users do you have? are they finding it slow?

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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamman960 View Post
    How many sims users do you have? are they finding it slow?
    3 sims users and isn't sims always slow

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    Shouldn't need to be that powerful then! Only real reason to upgrade would be that your existing server is probably out of maintenance.

    I'd say for that few users, assuming you don't have a huge database, a quad core xeon, 4gig of ram and 3 or 4 15,000 rpm SAS drives in a Raid 5 should be fine. 8 gig of ram if your going to run a 64bit os on it.

    Steve

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    I'd say for that few users, assuming you don't have a huge database, a quad core xeon, 4gig of ram and 3 or 4 15,000 rpm SAS drives in a Raid 5 should be fine. 8 gig of ram if your going to run a 64bit os on it.
    That's a little overkill if you ask me. I recently built a server for a school based on a Core 2 Duo E8400 3GHz, 1333MHz bus and 6MB L2 Cache, 3GB ECC Memory and two SATA2 disks in a RAID 1 configuration. I can also recommend Intel Server Motherboards.

    SCSI isn't in a league of its own anymore and SATA2 gives similar performance - better than U160 and slightly slower than U320. You also get far greater disk space for your money. This specification supports upto 10 users.

    Sims doesn't even use Quad core and it has been proven many times (not just myself) that disabling Hyperthreading (if it has a logical CPU) actually improves performance. You also have to take into consideration the workstations running Sims.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Sims doesn't even use Quad core and it has been proven many times (not just myself) that disabling Hyperthreading (if it has a logical CPU) actually improves performance. You also have to take into consideration the workstations running Sims.
    Huh? SIMS.net utilises SQL server, which *can* and *does* use quad cores. If you're using the right version anyway...

    But I agree, that is way over spec for 3 users. We have about 40 users on a dual core opteron 2ghz with 2gb ram, and dual 160GB SATA disks, about 2 years old, and it never has any speed issues.

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    For that many users I'd stick with what you've got unless its failing or you plan to expand sims into the classroom for registration etc.

    You could run sims on pretty much any new desktop hardware. I've seen many small primaries have the sims server setup on the secretarys machine(setup by their LEA). It really isnt THAT power hungry until you have many more users using it.
    Last edited by Jamman960; 20th May 2009 at 01:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Shouldn't need to be that powerful then! Only real reason to upgrade would be that your existing server is probably out of maintenance.

    I'd say for that few users, assuming you don't have a huge database, a quad core xeon, 4gig of ram and 3 or 4 15,000 rpm SAS drives in a Raid 5 should be fine. 8 gig of ram if your going to run a 64bit os on it.

    Steve
    That's pretty much what we're running, except with only 4GB RAM & 2 Xeons. Works well, although it's also a file server for all our admin stuff (it's a member server on the network).

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamman960 View Post
    For that many users I'd stick with what you've got unless its failing or you plan to expand sims into the classroom for registration etc.
    SIMS.net is a mission critical system for a school. Running it on a 5 1/2 year old system is not completely prudent...

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    Does SIMS not come with a minimum system requirement, thats usually a good guideline!??!

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    Taken from the SQL2008 migration doc on support net:

    From a SIMS perspective the salient requirements for using installing and using SQL
    Express are:
    • Processor 1.5GHz Pentium III compatible or faster processor
    • Memory 1 GB of RAM or more
    • Hard disk Approximately 1GB of working space + 1/4GB for SQL Express.
    Customers should allow approximately 5 MB per pupil/student. For example a 1000
    pupil/student school would be advised to have 5GB free space for SIMS. (please note
    this is for SQL Express Installation only, the migration of the SIMS database will
    require additional Hard disk space)
    • .Net Framework 2.0 SP2 or higher

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows XP Pro (SP2 or higher, 32bit)
    Microsoft Windows Vista Business (for small Peer to peer networks only).
    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (SP1 or higher, 32 and 64 Bit)
    Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (32 and 64 Bit)
    • Other Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 or greater
    I'd stick with a well spec'd workstation, possibly even one brought as part of a batch destined for classrooms etc - at least then you could easily swap the drive(s) straight into a workstation taken from elsewhere as an emergency fix.

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    Servers are cheap these days. i don't understand why you'd want to go with an unreliable desktop. Warranties with servers far outweigh building/buying a bespoke system that may or may not do what you need it to. Yes you don't have many users at the moment, but who knows what's going to happen in 3/4/5 years time. Think about the future and invest in it.

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    Maybe I just like it to run really really fast :-) lol

    Might be a bit over specced, but I like to try and future proof, especially if you buy it with a 5 year warranty, and to be honest that sort of spec doesn't cost the earth these days.

    The size of the database is also quite relevelant here, i've been in some big(ish) schools that have a 1 - 2 gb sims database, but only 1 or 2 users, while one of my smallest schools has 12 users, and a 250mb database.

    Does the server do anything other than sims?


    Steve

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    I would agree with apoth0r you can buy some very well priced servers these days and most come with next day bussiness support of you can even upgrade to four hours onsite. A purpose built server will be more reliable that a workstation.

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    Huh? SIMS.net utilises SQL server, which *can* and *does* use quad cores. If you're using the right version anyway...
    The database side of things may support multiple processors you're right, but I am not so sure Sims.NET or CMIS does. The Microsoft licensing scheme is a little complicated, as it's based on the number of physical sockets on the motherboard and not the number of cores. A Quad Core CPU = 1 Processor only in SQL terms.

    Intel's CPUs are a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. Xeons vary in the number of cores, bus speed and L2 cache. The Core 2 Duo E8400 is a well priced CPU, a high 1333MHz bus speed and generous 6MB L2 Cache. It's better than many Xeon offerings at much higher prices. This is why I choose this CPU and customers can upgrade later on if need be.

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