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MIS Systems Thread, New Sims Server Spec? in Technical; Hello, at the moment we have out sims server running as a VM (Vmware) we are not happy with the ...
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    mm3
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    New Sims Server Spec?

    Hello,

    at the moment we have out sims server running as a VM (Vmware) we are not happy with the current speed so we have decided to put sims back onto a Physical server.

    i was wondering what spec you would give a sims server these days?

    we have over 120-130 users on sims at once.

    Sims DB size on SQL is 6781.44mb

    Cheers

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Is that the size of the actual MDF? That's the key number.

    HP DL380\Dell R720 seem pretty popular at the moment with SQL 2012 standard, otherwise you'll have alot of free resources

    HDDs are key, hearing great things about SSD so long as you have a enterprise grade and you have good support when they go wrong - they'll die within days of a each others - I've heard stories of them dying within 30mins of each other, still that's when they get to 3/5 year point so worth having at least a spare onsite if you do go down that path.

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    mm3 (31st January 2014)

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    We have a Dell R510 running our SIMS currently, as it matches the specification published by our LEA, (however alot of the newer servers on paper dont match the required GHZ which is complete crap, and to match the speed we would have needed to look at some really really ££££ equipment)

    16GB ram and a RAID 10 X5660 xeon array on 15K disks and its not had any complaints yet, it also runs discover as well its very likely very under utilized but we got a good deal at the time and as such i dont see u needing to replace it for many years

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    mm3 (31st January 2014)

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    mm3
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    mdf is 6.1gb

    at the moment our hdd speed is terrible we currently have our mdf sitting on a SAN SATA 7200 RPM (dont ask!) 2008 sitting on local disk 15k SAS.

    we know this is our issue so its time to sort it!

    cheers for the advise guys

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    One way to improve performance is to split the dbs across different logical drives. I have our MDFs on raid 1 SSDs and the LDFs on the SAS array. Plenty of RAM also helps

    We have an online backup service so we are able to do hot backups to the cloud as well as local daily backups.

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    I've got bags of nice servers and have done a few sims servers for Edugeekers and local NMs.

    Drop me a pm and I'll get you some options

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Might be worth getting Capita to look at tables and the physical sizes @mm3, not saying you don't have a lot of data, it's just I found when I was looking into why a school was so big and trying to come up with a sizing guide, I found a few legacy tables that aren't used any more and few that we keeping data longer then I had hoped - no offence to Capita, but I don't really care that some teacher changed their password in 2004, especially when it's add a 1gb of data. I doubt it'll really help, but it'll help that new server go that little bit quicker.

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    doesnt the daily backup of sims compact/delete certain logs to keep the database a reasonable size

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    Being in a VM vs a physical shouldn't matter. Key to performance is to ensure that firstly the VM or physical is setup correctly, has adequate RAM and a high speed disk subsystem.

    As has been said you want to split the MDF and LDF's onto different physical drives or different LUNs. It should also be a fast RAID type, so typically RAID-10 although RAID-5 is OK. Also look at other SQL performance tuning recommendations. I'm unsure what SIMS does/doesn't support as it's been a while, but typically you want to look at things like ensuring auto-growth (if enabled) is set to grow the database at a decent size (not growing by 1mb, instead growing at 500mb+ or similar) and MDF/NDF/LDF files are split onto different disks.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    @SHimmer45 - the backup will truncate the SQL log file - so the physical .LDF, assuming a few things - like it's under 4gb if it's recovery mode is set to FULL. It won't do anything with actual tables. Like remove old audit logs or removing records that even legally aren't allowed to be held anymore.

    Split log file - MDF on one drive and LDF on another has been supported for a while. Me and Bob got that one pushed through Capita - good old Simon 1.0 @ Capita did have his uses. Growth size is a very good point - dbattach won't set it "correctly" so its worth a tweak and won't anger Capita. This will stop disc fragmentation so you database won't be randomly dotted about the hdd.

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    @matt40k missunderstood what i was reading lol.

    if it was me id be looking to put the sims DB on a fast local server rather rather than having data split across the host machine and a SAN
    also if you have antivirus on a sims server (or any SQL DB) this can kill performance unless you exclude parts of the SQL install from being scanned.
    Last edited by SHimmer45; 31st January 2014 at 02:43 PM.

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