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Hardware Thread, Server Requirements for Sims Remote Access in Technical; Hi, In conjunction with revamping our server infrastructure at present ( here ) we are also looking at providing a ...
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    Server Requirements for Sims Remote Access

    Hi,

    In conjunction with revamping our server infrastructure at present (here) we are also looking at providing a terminal server so staff can work on SIMs from home without the limitations of using SLG.

    Due to the high level of processor overhead involved with such a solution I have decided this will be a dedicated box rather than a virtual segment of one of the other servers we are currently investigating (also, the need of Sims online this summer and the fact that we are not quite ready to update our servers yet necessitates this).

    Basically I wondered from school who have already investigated and implemented this what server requirements I will need to support a maximum of 20-30 concurrent connections. I am hoping to keep the hardware cost to under £3000 and appreciate for this kind of price there will be some kind of speed impact when we have 30 users on the system but I would expect this to be only rare occasions.

    Here is what I have specced so far but I have been out of the server hardware game for so long it could be miles off. Will RAM be enough? If I go higher isn't their a huge jump in cost up to Server Enterprise Edition???:

    DELL PowerEdge™ R510
    2 x Intel Xeon X5650 (second one free at the minute!)
    32gb Low Volt R-DIMM RAM
    Perc H200 Raid
    2 x 300gb 10k SAS Drives in RAID-1 config (would 2 x 500gb 7.2k SATA drives be good enough???)
    Server 2008 R2 Standard

    Total £2,798.00

    Also, is SIMs discover supported via TS in any way what-so-ever?

    Any help would be very much appreciated... feel overwhelmed with decisions at the minute and all the help I have been getting here has been fantastic!

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Discover uses allot of graphics so wouldnt be very good for this. You wont need Enterprise Edition. I would get more than one server so you can have some HA. Have you also considered the cost of your RDS cals? I would stick with your SAD drives. They are allot better for this purpose. You should have enough RAM for 20 - 30 users.

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    cheers!! i thought discover would be a long shot as I know it is extremely demanding on the local machine.

    I thought you needed EE if you go over 32gb RAM, or did you mean that the 32gb will be plenty? Seems like a pretty good price to me! I dont think more than one server is an option at present unfortunately but this will not be classed as a mission critical server! Will keep the SAS in! comes to around £3000 with 3 years support (once you have taken off the various discounts dell are offering). Seems quite good for the money and RAM was my only real concern but if you think 32gb should cover it then fingers crossed we should be good to go!

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I thought you needed EE if you go over 32gb RAM, or did you mean that the 32gb will be plenty?
    Sorry you are correct dont know what i was thinking there!

    Our servers are a similar spec with more users and we dont have any issues.

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    I don't have any issues with a virtual server with 5 gigs of ram serving sims to 30 people as a remote app. I plan to load balance it next year just for availability during patching etc but not particularly for performance. Your spec server will be more than adequate.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I used to run a VM for remote access for staff with 10GB ram running 2k8 R2. You will be surprised at the performance from it!

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    While I've been rebuilding our physical TS's I've used 2 virtual ones with 4gb RAM on dual xeon E5607. Only around a dozen or so concurrent users but we run SIMS, Office 2010 and Adobe masters collection from them and have no performance issues. One of them is also the connection broker and licence server. As said you'll be surprised how well TS runs.

    SIMS is basically just a DB frontend, so very little CPU demands on the client. To that end I'd reduce your CPUs to E5607-E5620 and put the money into a proper RAID card and 4 15k SAS disks in RAID 10. Why a R510 and not a R410/R420? They may work out cheaper and (the R410 certainly) have dual socket with 8 ram slots and iirc 4 HD bays.

    Do you have access to a Dell premier account? £2700 seems high to me for what you have specced.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 10th July 2012 at 08:37 PM.

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    R510 was picked due to the fact that they are offering a free second CPU (either 5650 or 5620) on that particular model... kind of negated any saving which could be made with the R410/420.

    Don't have a premier account but will certainly look into tomorrow!!! Do they still offer all the website offers (free second CPU etc.), just with more discount?

    Does it really seem that expensive? Have looked around and looking at like for like seems quite a good price! Quite happy to make savings if I can though.

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    also... thanks to everyone for the info about TS not being that demanding. I know SIMs is only a db front-end but from personal experience local CPU can easily be the bottle-neck and regularly used to cause large reports etc. to fail and upon investigation it was due to the local CPU running flat out (admittedly on much older machines). good to know it runs well on a TS though!

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    Talk to @CyberNerd about TS he runs clusters of them off desktop hardware using SSD's and lots of ram - if you have a farm at a fraction of the cost and even if the odd component pops you have saved a lot. Just create an Image for a TS and reimage a new ssd.

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    No there isn't free 2nd CPU on our site but you can get;

    R410
    2x E5620
    32gb ram
    2x 15k 300gb
    H200 Raid
    £2178

    Its the free CPU which throws it (didn't realise how much the x5650 cost). TBF I'd say the E5620 is more than enough

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    ok, knowing next to nothing on virtualisation at present do all servers in a cluster have to be identical spec?

    I know it makes sense for them to have the same amount of RAM and similar processors in the event of failover but if I bought the R510 with X5650 processors would I be able to, when we look at our servers next year, add a couple of similar servers to make a 3 node cluster? Just thinking if we go with the R510 it has a 64gb limit and in the event of failure two nodes at 128gb would be more than sufficient to support our whole network including our Sims remote access solution.

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    No they don't need to be identical. They do need to be the same processor supplier though, so you can't cluster an AMD box and an Intel one or so I have read. I have HP 380s G5-G8 all in one cluster and they fail over fine.

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    We have our SIMS server running as a virtual server in a clustered Hyper-V setup. I have then created a RDS server, also virtual server, using RDWeb I have made SIMS available to the staff that require it.

    Have you looked at RDS and/or RDWeb?

    We make Remote App (Rdweb) and full remote desktop available to staff

    if this sounds of any interest then I can try and put it out in better english

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    I don't want to take this thread off topic but with Sims as an Remote App, staff here have a tendency to run reports that require word which the web app can't handle and freezes because it is calling Word and failing I believe. So our staff can do either remote in or use a webapp.

    Also i didn't mention it earlier but get the R510 with the 6 core, 12 thread processors if you want to cluster in the future.

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