New server required - spec suggestions and quotes?
We have just run an online exam using the SecureAssess software (a Flash based, IIS hosted app with ASP.Net extensions), for a group of 15 students. The student software, other than being a bit flakey, has performed okay, but the server was maxed out at 100% load (w3wp.exe process) while they tried to work, so the clients timed out, failed to advance the tests, etc etc.
To try the tests, the server software was installed on an old dual P3 Poweredge, with 1GB of RAM. This would obviously be the weak link - it's a little under the min specs but not a lot, and has worked fine in small test groups. It's old and slow, but reliable.
Basically, we'll need to spec a new server to do this role, reluctantly. I hoped we'd be able to re use some older kit, but I guess the strain on the machine is too much, and I have nothing else going spare. So - what sort of specs would you go for, for a web application server such as this. I can provide info about the software, which runs on SQL Server Express and IIS 6.0 and ASP.Net 2.0, but it'd be handy to hear from other schools that do similar tasks.
Any quotes from suppliers too? It doesn't need massive storage space for this, but if practical I could virtualise the new server to fulfill some other roles. Max budget would be as close to £1000 as possible really, unless I can consolidate a lot of other machines onto this one.