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MIS Systems Thread, Spec for Office PC running SIMS in Technical; Our current SIMS set up is on a Dell Optiplex GX280 PC with an onboard Travan 40GB tape back up ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Spec for Office PC running SIMS

    Our current SIMS set up is on a Dell Optiplex GX280 PC with an onboard Travan 40GB tape back up - we are a Primary School circa 250 on the role.

    This is in a Workgroup with another newer Dell which the second Admin Officer uses and is also linked to the Hedteacher's PC.

    The main PC is up for renewal soon. What spec should I be looking at? Any advice on issues like the fact it's currently Workgrouped and not on the domain would also be most welcome.

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    Ideally you'd get a server.. and a seperate workstation.

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    speckytecky (16th May 2008)

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    A server?
    For just one workstation?

    I would say thats a little overkill, 10 machines will happily run in a workgroup.

    I would suggest 2 x Dell Optiplex 740's OR 755's.
    We use the AMD 4400 processor and have 2Gb of memory.

    We used to use Travans but now give each school 2 x Freecom External hard drives (nice quick backups) and very easy to restore from and only 50 each.

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    speckytecky (16th May 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    What spec should I be looking at?
    If you've only got a limited number of users, then SQL Server Express should be all you need to run SIMS. I'd say go for one of the 100-ish Dell/HP servers (we have a couple of the Dell ones, but other people here recommend the HPs and they look like very good value), install Windows Server on it, SQL Server Express, SIMS. For backup, I'd say get an external eSATA-connected RAID-1 box - backups now consist of switching harddrives, no need to switch the server off.

    I'd use the server as a terminal services server - have the server run its own domain, with trusted SIMS users set up, so as soon as anyone logs in via RDP SIMS starts up and logs them straight in.

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    speckytecky (17th May 2008)

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    Im sure SpeckyTecky mentions only 2 PC's. Unless there are plans to expand greatly surely this sort of setup is way to much, the management of the server alone maybe too much for a small school to handle.

    Im not saying it's the wrong way to go by the way, I just wonder why you would recommend a server for just 2 PCs to run SIMS.

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    speckytecky (17th May 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by madslug View Post
    I just wonder why you would recommend a server for just 2 PCs to run SIMS.
    I figure it's the easiest way to allow for future expansion - you just know someone else is going to decide they want SIMS access too at some point! This way pretty much any PC (even a Linux device like the eeePC) can connect to SIMS via RDP. The hardware itself isn't that pricy - under 500.

    Actually, if there's only literally one or two people using this system, this could be a perfect opportunity to switch to something other than SIMS - something open-source and web-based would be my preference.

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    speckytecky (17th May 2008)

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    You say current admin PC is not on the domain, but do you have a domain server, if so ,maybe you could put Sims or even a different MIS on there and put the new PC's on the Domain and run it that way.

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    speckytecky (17th May 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    If you've only got a limited number of users, then SQL Server Express should be all you need to run SIMS. I'd say go for one of the 100-ish Dell/HP servers (we have a couple of the Dell ones, but other people here recommend the HPs and they look like very good value), install Windows Server on it, SQL Server Express, SIMS. For backup, I'd say get an external eSATA-connected RAID-1 box - backups now consist of switching harddrives, no need to switch the server off.

    I'd use the server as a terminal services server - have the server run its own domain, with trusted SIMS users set up, so as soon as anyone logs in via RDP SIMS starts up and logs them straight in.

    --
    David Hicks
    I'd say that was a preety reasonable way to go.. also the advantage of SIMS could be delivered to the curriculum machines fairly easily too. And if you do do a larger deployment of SIMS, you can up to full blown SQL Server later.


    Quote Originally Posted by madslug View Post
    Im sure SpeckyTecky mentions only 2 PC's. Unless there are plans to expand greatly surely this sort of setup is way to much, the management of the server alone maybe too much for a small school to handle.

    Im not saying it's the wrong way to go by the way, I just wonder why you would recommend a server for just 2 PCs to run SIMS.
    SIMS (and I think all MIS) are inherently client-server applications - not peer to peer ones. Peer to peer networking, from a users point of view can be a fairly frustating experience.. as in, the SIMS SQL Express server grinds to a halt because the other user is currently working on a massive powerpoint or publisher file - or indeed, the machine locks up, so so does the other person's SIMS setup.

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    speckytecky (17th May 2008)

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