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    Upgrading/moving SIMS server??

    Hi all.

    Currently, we have Sims running in our primary school, setup quite simply. It's currently installed on one of the Office machines, running as a p2p, with Windows 7 Pro as the OS, using SQL 2008 Express (this was how it's always been since I came here, and the head has never wanted it moving to a separate server).

    Now, the head wants to use eRegister. Currently, there are 5 users using Sims. They all have access to the 3 shares (simsroot, sqlbackup and sdn). Since Windows 7 has a concurrent limit of 20 connections, we are not going to have enough connections... With the current use, they are using 15 connections, which will leave only 5 connections available. Assuming each of the classrooms for eReg only have the 1 connection for simsroot, then we will be 9 connections short.

    My query is, will I need to move the Sims server over to a new server. I would like to push for this anyway, as would prefer this to be on a separate, always on, server... But, just getting costs in. The price for a server is looking at around £900 (they quoted for SAS raid1, whereas could possibly go with a nearline sata raid1 to save a couple hundred?!). But, then when we get the CALs for SQL 2012, it's coming to over £500 for them (22 CALs required, and quote was nearly £25 each).

    The current Sims database is just under 1gb. Number of users will be going up to 22 (14 of these will just be for eReg though, so isn't going to be 22 users online using it all the time as such).

    So, would I need to go for full blown sql server, or could sql express work just as well for us? The only extra item we use at the minute is Sims Discover (how much it gets used is a different matter ). So, thinking should I just go for express and save £600 odd, or whilst he's spending the money, go for full blown sql?

    What would you guys do...

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    creese's Avatar
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    Go for Express. None of our Primaries have needed anything other than that.

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    I would check those prices against the schools agreements. Our schools pay about £5.00 per Cal and £90ish for the server licence for 2012 which allows for 1 physical and 2 virtual servers

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    Go for Express. None of our Primaries have needed anything other than that.
    Received an email from company that quoted us, regarding the CALs and using SQL Express, and got this:

    In regards to the SQL licences, you have too many devices to use SQL Express, so yes a CAL for all 22 devices that connect to SQL will be required.
    I didn't think there was a limit to the number of devices for SQL Express?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcshammer_dj View Post
    I would check those prices against the schools agreements. Our schools pay about £5.00 per Cal and £90ish for the server licence for 2012 which allows for 1 physical and 2 virtual servers
    Those prices were for the SQL 2012 license cals. The prices quoted for the 2012 Server cals were £3.70 each and £110 for the license...

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    Does your school not have a server already. Most primary/small schools use the DC server for sims along with all the other server roles. That would save you £900 at least.

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    Have you checked out some of the EG sponsors, they will do you a good deal on a basic server with the right licences. It's good to future proof, but also remember what you're upgrading from, you probably don't need a high end NAS-RAID setup if it was running fine on a local unmirrored C drive for x years.
    It would be good to get the basics in and if can when it's on a dedicated box, put some kind of virtualisation in place too. Hyper-V is free and gives you some flexibility to have a test setup and the ability to snapshot which is a life saver when upgrades go wrong.

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    @lovelldr - I wouldn't work with them, they don't know about licensing. SQL Express is limited by RAM and cores, not connections. A 1GB db will be fine on Express.

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    Thanks for all the info guys...

    Considering just going with Express for the time being.

    One question though, how easy is it to migrate the database yourself?

    Currently, we have Sims support from the LEA. They charge something ridiculous like £400 iirc to migrate the server... Would it be quite simple to do this myself?

    If so, then can see it getting much cheaper doing it all myself...

    Thanks,

    David

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovelldr View Post
    Thanks for all the info guys...

    Considering just going with Express for the time being.

    One question though, how easy is it to migrate the database yourself?

    Currently, we have Sims support from the LEA. They charge something ridiculous like £400 iirc to migrate the server... Would it be quite simple to do this myself?

    If so, then can see it getting much cheaper doing it all myself...

    Thanks,

    David
    We would charge about half of that.

    Use DBattach.exe it will do all you need. Make plenty of backups (probably goes without saying)

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovelldr View Post
    TThey charge something ridiculous like £400 iirc to migrate the server...
    Sounds about right. Is that just moving SIMS? What about FMS? Will they install Windows Server? Any other software covered like AnyComms? Personally £400 to not have to worry about people not getting paid and the system just working is a bargain lol!!

  17. 2 Thanks to matt40k:

    lovelldr (25th September 2013), vikpaw (23rd September 2013)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Be careful that by migrating yourself you don't invalidate any SLA's and that you'll still be able to get support.

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    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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    As Edu-IT said make sure you won't be breaching any terms of support under your SLA's, however the process of installing Windows Server/SQL Express and migrating SIMS isn't the hardest in the world, it is only complicated by things like Discover, inTouch and Capita's sporadic support for new operating systems/SQL servers across their range of software so tread carefully and read lots of documentation.

  21. Thanks to Homer from:

    lovelldr (25th September 2013)

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