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MIS Systems Thread, Recommended Spec For Sims Server in Technical; At the moment we are runnng SIMS .net on the admin DC, this is an old Dell server with 2 ...
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    dezt's Avatar
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    Recommended Spec For Sims Server

    At the moment we are runnng SIMS .net on the admin DC, this is an old Dell server with 2 x Xeon processors - 2Ghz, 512Mb Ram and a 120Gb Raid 5 array. It is running Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

    After upgrading to SQL2005 SIMS and PARS has started to run very slow, so i'm looking at getting a new server for SIMS.

    Now, not knowing the best setup, I thought i'd ask here for advice, should I carry on using 1 server for the admin DC with SIMS, PARS and sql2005 installed on it? Or should I have a seperate DC and a seperate SIMS server?

    Ideally I would like to have 2 servers, 1 as DC and 1 as SIMS. What spec should I be looking for, for both servers?

    I know that I have to upgrade to server 2003 for SIMS to be supported in the future so i'm looking at replacing the old Dell as soon as possible.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Split the tasks - 1 as your admin DC, and 1 as the SIMS server. Then I'd be looking at an HP Proliant DL360 G5 with dual quad core 2.66Ghz (min) processors and 4GB ram in each. Stick a suitable amount of hard disks in each and I think you'd be good to go.

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    Jawloms's Avatar
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    I assume you're using full SQL? If you're not then you can have as many processors with as many cores as you like, but SQL Express will only use one of them.

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    dezt's Avatar
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    We're using full SQL2005 here.

    @localzuk - i've just looked at misco's price as a guide for the DL360, and they are doing a 2.33Ghz quad-core with 2GB Ram for 998, but HP are offering free second processor and free double memory until 31st Jan. Would this spec be ok or should I see if I can find a 2.66 or 3Ghz processor on the same deal?

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    that is more than is currently recommended by SIMS, so it should future proof you for a while too

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dezt View Post
    We're using full SQL2005 here.

    @localzuk - i've just looked at misco's price as a guide for the DL360, and they are doing a 2.33Ghz quad-core with 2GB Ram for 998, but HP are offering free second processor and free double memory until 31st Jan. Would this spec be ok or should I see if I can find a 2.66 or 3Ghz processor on the same deal?
    That'd be a good deal, yes! (I may go and see our bursar about it too, as we need a couple more servers and buying now may save us a bundle!)

    Also, remember to add hard disks into the equation.

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    Remember SQL server is licensed on a per processor basis so if you up the number of processors you may have licensing issues

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
    Remember SQL server is licensed on a per processor basis so if you up the number of processors you may have licensing issues
    It isn't always by processor. It is sometimes Server + CALS. But still, you may need to check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Split the tasks - 1 as your admin DC, and 1 as the SIMS server. Then I'd be looking at an HP Proliant DL360 G5 with dual quad core 2.66Ghz (min) processors and 4GB ram in each. Stick a suitable amount of hard disks in each and I think you'd be good to go.
    I've just bought the exact same server last week for our new SIMS server. If you buy before January 31st you get a free RAM and processor upgrade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Split the tasks - 1 as your admin DC, and 1 as the SIMS server. Then I'd be looking at an HP Proliant DL360 G5 with dual quad core 2.66Ghz (min) processors and 4GB ram in each. Stick a suitable amount of hard disks in each and I think you'd be good to go.

    You could easily run both machines on this server if you virtualise them. Things like DC's are very low load.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    You could easily run both machines on this server if you virtualise them. Things like DC's are very low load.
    That depends entirely on how many users you have, and whether you want to start to introduce some resilience in your network...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    That depends entirely on how many users you have, and whether you want to start to introduce some resilience in your network...
    Absolutely. 1800 users, 600 workstations, hourly lesson changes - no problems with a couple of P3 1200MHz with 512MB (with DHCP,DNS etc).
    It's Very easy to fall into the trap of 'needing' the very latest hardware for technology that hasn't changes very much in the last 7-8 yrs. (Active Directory). The SIMS is a different story - but I believe that network speed is most important here because much of SIMS is done on the client. One of the best ways of ensuring resilience is with Virtualisation (with redundant physical hosts)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Absolutely. 1800 users, 600 workstations, hourly lesson changes - no problems with a couple of P3 1200MHz with 512MB (with DHCP,DNS etc).
    It's Very easy to fall into the trap of 'needing' the very latest hardware for technology that hasn't changes very much in the last 7-8 yrs. (Active Directory). The SIMS is a different story - but I believe that network speed is most important here because much of SIMS is done on the client. One of the best ways of ensuring resilience is with Virtualisation (with redundant physical hosts)
    Yep, SIMS.net is the key thing here - it is quite a resource hog.

    And virtualisation at this low level isn't really appropriate - as it would lead to having a single machine. 2 machines is the best solution to this problem (or actually, it should really be 3. 2 DC's and the SIMS server, virtualised on top of its own dedicated box so that it can be moved quickly if it's host server were to fail).

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