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MIS Systems Thread, Fresh Install Onto New Server - tips/gotchas/guides in Technical; One of my summer jobs (lucky me) is moving FacilityCMIS and ePortal onto a new virtual 2k8R2 server from the ...
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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Fresh Install Onto New Server - tips/gotchas/guides

    One of my summer jobs (lucky me) is moving FacilityCMIS and ePortal onto a new virtual 2k8R2 server from the creaking heap of crap that it currently sits on. FirstLine has no guides on installing from scratch, conveniently, and support didn't have any either when I asked...

    So: is it just a case of going through as if it's an upgrade? Install SQL Server, configure IIS as per the guide, then install Facility & ePortal and import data from the existing server? As well as copy over various XML files etc.

    Any gotchas I should be aware of? Anything in particular I need to test to destruction?

    We don't use behaviour, DocStore or SMS, just Facility & ePortal (inc. API). No LEA support. I've done upgrades for the last three years so I'm familiar with that process, but this is the first time I've started from fresh.

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    john's Avatar
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    The SQL has some gotchas on how it should be setup, there certainly used to be a guide on Firstline for how that should be setup as I have seen it before so unless it has been pulled it does exist.

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    Apparently it's been pulled then rubbish! Cue conspiracy theories about it being to push people towards consultancy...

    I asked specifically about any requirements with the SQL Server installation and just got told "SQL Server is not one of our products so I don't believe we have a guide for it, however if you have specific issues we can support you with that. Also there is SQL Server help on the Internet in abundance."

    Don't suppose you can remember what needs doing with SQL can you?

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    @michael2k6 will probably remember Hopefully he will see this poke I know he actually wrote that document

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    sonofsanta (16th July 2013)

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    Sounds crap if you pay for support and they can't even tell you how to migrate to a new server!

    Rob

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    Will need to do this really as well, if there documation that work be great! I'm guessing there not supporting SQL2012 and Server 2012 yet?

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritchardavid View Post
    Will need to do this really as well, if there documation that work be great! I'm guessing there not supporting SQL2012 and Server 2012 yet?
    2008R2 on both counts: Facility suite technical specification March 2013.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by twin--turbo View Post
    Sounds crap if you pay for support and they can't even tell you how to migrate to a new server!

    Rob
    It is a paid for service to re-install the SQL to ensure it is done correctly as if its not it can leave you in a very big mess. The document used to have a very large health warning on it that your support contract would not cover you if SQL was not setup right if it was not the SQL install done by them.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    It is a paid for service to re-install the SQL to ensure it is done correctly as if its not it can leave you in a very big mess. The document used to have a very large health warning on it that your support contract would not cover you if SQL was not setup right if it was not the SQL install done by them.
    I wasn't even told that though

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    I wasn't even told that though
    Ahh, well you can pay (well could when it was Serco) for them to come and re-install your SQL and migrate your Facility DB to your new SQL that has been setup by them and thus no risk of them ever turning round saying you have re-done your SQL wrong thus that is why you have lost all your data. I am sure it has plenty of ££££ in the figure they quote

    It wasn't that hard or messy tbh mainly common sense just a few things to check they are set right and boxes ticked and that was it, open CMIS, let it make a new DB and then do a full restore of your DB to it then bin the test / fake one you made and all worked well for us.

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    Found the guide on creating a new database in SQL 2005. Brilliant! thinks I.

    Sorry! The file does not exist.



    There is, at least, a guide on creating a standalone system with SQL Express 2008 - that should be pretty close to the truth, I think...
    Last edited by sonofsanta; 16th July 2013 at 02:48 PM.

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    There are a few rules to follow when creating a new database in SQL. It's changed slightly since the last recommended document which John's right in saying I did write. I'm up to speed on the new bits though so I'll if you both PM me your email addresses i'll send you instructions on Thursday when I'm back at work.
    I used to be the guy who you'd get migrating if if you paid for consultancy, so I can tell you a few of the bits to watch out for too.
    I can also divulge that they do still offer migration as a paid for service. They can do that remotely or on site but there's quite a big price difference. They have a few new guys on support so they may not be up to speed with that yet.

    I'll give you a few tips now though so you can get building your boxes -

    Once thing to consider which i'll mention now is please, please don't put your database files in a virtual drive on a SAN full of other virtual drives, you'll kill it. Bear in mind it uses tempdb a lot too so make sure that you set the default install path in 2008R2 for data files to go to a non SAN disk. You find that the DB runs better on disks physically attached to the host, but if you've something like an EMC SAN which is running several RAIDS, people tend to put the O/S on a mirrored RAID and the DB on a RAID 5 array. I'd keep them on their own disks if you can though, a RAID 5 attached directly to the host works best. Make sure you're using SAS 10 / 15k too, don't use SATA.

    Also bear in mind that tomcat will only use one core, and dataserver will use a core (and a maximum of 2gb RAM each as they're only 32bit services), then if possible have 2 for the O/S too. So 6gb RAM for ePortal box is plenty. If you stick SQL on the same box, try and give it 6 - 8 cores, if you're putting SQL on a different box, give it 4 cores or more. If SQL is on the same box, try and give it 8gb RAM upwards, if it's on a separate one, give ePortal 6gb and SQL 6gb upwards.


    Mic
    Last edited by michael2k6; 16th July 2013 at 04:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael2k6 View Post
    There are a few rules to follow when creating a new database in SQL. It's changed slightly since the last recommended document which John's right in saying I did write. I'm up to speed on the new bits though so I'll if you both PM me your email addresses i'll send you instructions on Thursday when I'm back at work.
    I used to be the guy who you'd get migrating if if you paid for consultancy, so I can tell you a few of the bits to watch out for too.
    I can also divulge that they do still offer migration as a paid for service. They can do that remotely or on site but there's quite a big price difference. They have a few new guys on support so they may not be up to speed with that yet.

    Once thing to consider which i'll mention now is please, please don't put your database files in a virtual drive on a SAN full of other virtual drives, you'll kill it. Bear in mind it uses tempdb a lot too so make sure that you set the default install path in 2008R2 for data files to go to a non SAN disk. You find that the DB runs better on disks physically attached to the host, but if you've something like an EMC SAN which is running several RAIDS, people tend to put the O/S on a mirrored RAID and the DB on a RAID 5 array. I'd keep them on their own disks if you can though, a RAID 5 attached directly to the host works best. Make sure you're using SAS 10 / 15k too, don't use SATA.


    Mic
    Thanks Michael. I'll PM you my email momentarily.

    Storage was going to be on the SAN RAID6 array - I think I have a couple of spare slots on the SAN though so I'll create a new SAS15k RAID1 there - not enough slots for a RAID5. I can't do directly attached storage as HyperV runs in a failover cluster. It'll all run on one virtual server, I was going to go with 4 cores and 8-16GB RAM (dynamic allocation).

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    Sounds OK to me. Bear in mind that during peak assessment times etc you might want to keep an eye on the cores assigned and (I don't know HyperV all that well) potentially assign extra processor to it dynamically? I'd recommend you run nearer to the 16gb mark -the recommended spec is 8cores and 8gb RAM as a minimum - dependant on how many students you have, datasets in the database and staff accessing it, whether you've got Behaviour Management installed and how heavily you use it for assessments - if you're a school with 800 kids and no behaviour management, 4 cores and 8gb will be fine, but if you've got 1600 kids and use all of the above heavily, you might need to assign it more. Obviously if it's on something currently really outdated and poorly spec'd, the only way is up

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    1200 kids, no behaviour management at all, just registers & assessments. About 70 staff concurrent on ePortal, half a dozen on FacilityCMIS. 98% of the time the server will run with the 16GB (if it asks for it), I only set the range so that everything can run on one server if needs be but when everything is hunky dory and running across both physical servers, the VMs can stretch their legs.

    Current server: Xeon 5050 DP - hyper-threaded dual core @ 3GHz from 2006 with 4GB RAM on x86 Server 2003. With not enough space to install Windows Updates anymore. It was underspec at the time Facility was installed on it (it started out as the SIMS server before the school switched, under a previous NM). The only way is up

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