+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
MIS Systems Thread, SIMS server in Technical; Hey guys, I'm about the bring SIMS in house (from an external provider) so we have to provide the server ...
  1. #1
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,289
    Thank Post
    112
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28

    SIMS server

    Hey guys,

    I'm about the bring SIMS in house (from an external provider) so we have to provide the server and install the clients.

    I'm looking at putting it on a 6core,8GB server with 2 RAID arrays (one for SQL and one for the Documents) obviously this is being done to a cost so the spec is pretty tight!

    I'm just after opinions from people who run SIMS in house already on a few things.

    1) Are you running SQL Express or the full version (we're a decent sized secondary school so the 4TB limit of Express seems fine)
    2) Do you host the documents on the same server as SQL? We will probably have to to keep the costs down but does this cause any issues?
    3) Whats the best way to deploy the client software onto a virgin (ie never had sims on it) network, SOLUS 3 or manual?

    Just curious to see if this is going to be OK - the server is only expected to last 3 years before renewal.

  2. #2
    jamesfed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Reading
    Posts
    2,193
    Thank Post
    134
    Thanked 340 Times in 287 Posts
    Rep Power
    84
    Don't quote me on this as I don't come into contact with SQL that often but isn't SQL Express limited to one CPU core only (this making your 6 core CPU largely redundant)?

  3. #3

    Edu-IT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,121
    Thank Post
    403
    Thanked 619 Times in 566 Posts
    Rep Power
    180
    1) Are you running SQL Express or the full version (we're a decent sized secondary school so the 4TB limit of Express seems fine)
    Express. Not noticed any issues or had problems.

    2) Do you host the documents on the same server as SQL? We will probably have to to keep the costs down but does this cause any issues?
    Yes. All seems fine in terms of performance.

    3) Whats the best way to deploy the client software onto a virgin (ie never had sims on it) network, SOLUS 3 or manual?
    We push out the MSI's to the machines and then let them auto update when a newer release is applied to the SIMS server.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Don't quote me on this as I don't come into contact with SQL that often but isn't SQL Express limited to one CPU core only (this making your 6 core CPU largely redundant)?
    You're right I believe. It can only use one core at once.
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/For...-31fb7078b0c7/
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 24th October 2012 at 08:43 PM.

  4. #4

    glennda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    7,800
    Thank Post
    272
    Thanked 1,135 Times in 1,031 Posts
    Rep Power
    349
    How big is your Sims DB? Personally with SQL I would put the ram requirements as OS basic +1gb (so 5gb for 2008 r2). Plus for SQL the size of the DB+2GB. This then gives the ability to mount the entire DB in the ram and then some space for sql requests to be processed.

    Plus Yes go for Full SQL (its like 75 quid a year on EES).

  5. #5
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,289
    Thank Post
    112
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    Ahh good point about the multi core processor. Express does 'support' multi core but only in the sense it will use any one of the cores at any time! So there would probably be a performance benefit using the full version, althought that may be difficult to quantify.

    The aim is provisionally to run Express, and upgrade to full in a year or so - purely for cost reasons. We don't have EES so a multicore license is around £2000 on the Select type of agreement.

  6. #6

    3s-gtech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    2,712
    Thank Post
    144
    Thanked 548 Times in 492 Posts
    Rep Power
    149
    I would always factor in the cost of a full SQL license with a secondary (or larger primary) SIMS server - but obviously that is a high cost without EES. Express is a bottleneck to performance. You can upgrade it fairly easily in the future using the built in wizard though.

    As RAM is cheap, I'd look at getting 16GB if possible (not that you'd need it for SQL Express!), possibly when you can upgrade to full SQL. SQL loves loading everything into RAM, and it makes a huge difference. Our SIMS server uses SATA drives in a single RAID 1 array (urrrgghg, it does not sorting out) but it can fit the DB into memory so it's still quick.

  7. #7

    vikpaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    5,848
    Thank Post
    671
    Thanked 1,383 Times in 1,145 Posts
    Rep Power
    350
    In addition to the sterling advice above, i'd recommend virtualising. It really pays dividends when an update goes awry, because you can just undo to the previous snapshot.

  8. #8

    twin--turbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carlisle
    Posts
    2,334
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 381 Times in 340 Posts
    Rep Power
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    In addition to the sterling advice above, i'd recommend virtualising. It really pays dividends when an update goes awry, because you can just undo to the previous snapshot.
    Yep I second the virtualisation. In five years tie when the hardware is underperforming or out of waranty you can either just shift the VM's to a new machine ( don't have to pay somone to rebuild a bunch of servers for you ) or suplement the HOST and divide the load.

    Rob

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    548
    Thank Post
    26
    Thanked 62 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    19
    Your LEA most likely has a guideline of requirements for SIMS and the the SQL host (HCC does)

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    100
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 34 Times in 23 Posts
    Rep Power
    21
    What OS are you using, we currently recommend Server 2008 Enterprise 32 bit to our schools to allow full compatibility with all of SIMS and a decent amount of RAM. Clients are ok 64bit, depending on what the users need, it's good to know that everthing will work on the server though.

    We also recommend full SQL 2008 as 1 cpu and 1gb ram can cause performance issues.

    Virtual's are fine for SIMS, just make sure that the host is setup correctly and well specc'ed, we've seen poor performance with bottlenecks caused by the hosts.

  11. #11

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    In the Calamatorium.
    Posts
    1,954
    Thank Post
    109
    Thanked 482 Times in 331 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    281
    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    ... SQL loves loading everything into RAM, and it makes a huge difference.....
    Indeed it does. Sometimes it gets greedy, to the detriment of the operating system.

    In theory, SQL service should release memory on demand when the OS comes under memory pressure. However, this sometimes doesn't happen, and you get the strange situation where an SQL server with a ton of memory is performing unexpectedly poorly.


    You might need to sign up to sqlservercentral.com to read the articles, but I recommend subscribing to their newsletter.
    Suggested Max Memory Settings for SQL Server 2005/2008 - SQLServerCentral

    It is pretty important to make sure you set the Max Server memory setting for SQL Server 2005/2008 to something besides the default setting (which allows SQL Server to use as much memory as it wants, subject to signals from the operating system that it is under memory pressure). This is especially important with larger, busier systems that may be under memory pressure.

    This setting controls how much memory can be used by the SQL Server Buffer Pool. If you don’t set an upper limit for this value, other parts of SQL Server, and the operating system can be starved for memory, which can cause instability and performance problems. It is even more important to set this correctly if you have “Lock Pages in Memory” enabled for the SQL Server service account (which I always do for x64 systems with more than 4GB of memory).

    These settings are for x64, on a dedicated database server, only running the DB engine, (which is the ideal situation).

    Physical RAM MaxServerMem Setting
    2GB 1500
    4GB 3200
    6GB 4800
    8GB 6400
    12GB 10000
    16GB 13500
    24GB 21500

  12. Thanks to jinnantonnixx from:

    3s-gtech (25th October 2012)

  13. #12
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,289
    Thank Post
    112
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    Good advice - thanks to all!

    Virtualising would be the ideal, but the budget will restrict that as we simply don't have the infrastrucuture in place to add VMs - and to start with SIMS would be too expensive. In 3 years time when its due for renewal then it might be a different matter! We still have the single server model which works fine but does take a decent initial investment to move over to VM's

    I'd be running Server 2008 R2, with SQL Standard (if I can stretch to that!) and a min. of 8GB of RAM, but 16GB if I can get it. Hardware is cheap but when you have to add in backup devices and software, licenses etc then it gets expensive!

  14. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    524
    Thank Post
    34
    Thanked 87 Times in 77 Posts
    Rep Power
    39
    My only input (sorry if its off topic) is that if you are buying in a server from the likes of Dell etc (I buy dell servers as they do seem quite reliable)

    DO NOT go with the pricing on the dell server website.

    Spec up your system on there and then get a number of suppliers to quote on it for you... I've sometimes seen a drop of about 30% from the dell webpage

  15. #14

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    In the Calamatorium.
    Posts
    1,954
    Thank Post
    109
    Thanked 482 Times in 331 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    281
    If you're tempted to put everything on one volume - Windows, data files, log files and tempdb files - DON'T!

    Here's why.

    "Everything on One Disk
    Some subscribe to the theory that modern hardware can act like a shock absorber for whatever the worstworkload you can throw at it: just build a single LUN with disk in some type of RAID configuration and just put theentire database on it. This is just not the case. Thoughtful planning and testing is still mandatory. Mixing tempdb,transaction log and data together can and will cause performance problems. There are other considerations in this,too. For example, by putting log and data on the same physical volumes, you have created a single point of failure.Lose one RAID volume and you have lost log and data. What’s more, the performance penalty for calculating theparity bit on the log and/or tempdb can be a significant factor in disk latency (response) times. This can be seen inthe DMV’s and ::FN tables. (We’ll look at this in the monitoring section of the paper.) Effectively when we co-mingle workloads on the same physical disk (mixing log, tempdb, and data)—you are reading and writing to thesame disk at the same time which aggravates the situation. For example, you run a SELECT statement with anORDER BY that is not indexed well. You will be reading off the same disk that you will be writing to with thetempdb. The same can be said for backing up to the same volume that you have your database on: reading/writingto the same disk and a single point of failure (lose the data and lose the backup at the same time). Regrettably, thisis a common configuration we see often enough."


    Poor Disk Performance, Time Outs, Database and the SQL Server Error Log
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 25th October 2012 at 10:36 AM.

  16. #15
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,289
    Thank Post
    112
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    No it would most likely be an HP server - with the system and SQL on a RAID 1 array (300GB), and the documents on a larger RAID 5 array (around 650GB)

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [SIMS] SIMS Server Hardware for a large School
    By Johan in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 26th June 2011, 11:04 AM
  2. [SIMS] SIMs Server Migration - Documents Server Issue
    By Andynonymous in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 29th May 2011, 07:16 AM
  3. [SIMS] New SIMS Server RAID 5 or 10
    By fiza in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 15th May 2011, 03:12 PM
  4. [SIMS] SIMS Server query
    By Cache in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 23rd January 2011, 02:30 PM
  5. [SIMS] SIMS server reducancy
    By Newton in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 13th January 2011, 09:08 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •