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MIS Systems Thread, Spec for SIMS server in Technical; It looks like our SIMS server is on it's way out. Anyone recommend some specifications for a new admin server. ...
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    KWestos's Avatar
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    Spec for SIMS server

    It looks like our SIMS server is on it's way out. Anyone recommend some specifications for a new admin server. It will hold the usual sims, lesson monitor, FMS etc etc.

    Many thanks

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    Midnight's Avatar
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    Hi there

    I recently had Capita send me the following spec for an Admin Server. The cost is around £2500 and the spec might seem a little overkill but as we have little money it has to last!!

    It does not include a backup solution as we have a tape drive to utilise.

    Hope this helps.

    PowerEdge T410
    Processor - Intel® Xeon® E5506, 2.13Ghz, 4MB Cache, 4.86 GT/s QPI
    Memory - 8GB Memory for 1 CPU, DDR3, 1066MHz (4x2GB Dual Ranked RDIMMs),
    Mirror Raid Connectivity - C5 Cabled - RAID 5 with PERC 6/i, 3-6 SAS/SATA Cabled HDDs
    Hard Drive 4 x 160GB, SATA, 3.5-inch, 7.2K RPM (Hot Plug)
    Power Supply - Redundant Power Supply (2 PSU) 580W
    Server Management Cards - iDRAC6 Embedded BMC
    Optical Devices - 16X DVD+/-RW ROM Drive SATA with SATA Cable
    Backup with LSI2032 Internal SCSI Controller
    Backup Software - Symantec Backup Exec 12d - Server Suite
    Mouse - Dell 2 Button USB Optical Mouse
    Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY) Dell Standard Quietkey USB Keyboard Black
    Support Services - 3Yr ProSupport for IT and 4hr Mission Critical

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    KWestos (7th July 2009)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would aim for Mindnights spec.

    If you go over 4GB Ram you need to think about the software.

    Sims doesn't like x64 100% yet so it might be good to go for a 32bit OS. If you go for a 32 bit OS and you have more than 4gb Ram you will need to go for Server 2003/2008 enterprise edition

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Raid 5 for SQL is a bad idea, as it is slow. I'd choose SAS over SATA for the same reason.

    The CPU is fine though, as the server side of SIMS.net is not CPU heavy.

    8GB ram is also fine, if you're going to use 64bit windows server - but note that only the SIMS.net app itself would work on the server, and not FMS or System Manager, so you'd be a bit limited.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    I would get rid of the 160GB 7200RPM SATA drives and use 73GB 10,000RPM SAS drives (or 15,000 if you can stretch the budget).

    Other than that - looks fine!

    Butuz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    I would get rid of the 160GB 7200RPM SATA drives and use 73GB 10,000RPM SAS drives (or 15,000 if you can stretch the budget).
    Could always go for VelociRaptor drives - SATA interface, 10,000rpm, more capacity for your money than your average SAS drive.

    Is it worth giving SQL Server its own disk array to use? I know some database systems used to be able to utilise a disk array directly, without bothering with a file system, to aid performance. Is this still done, or is that something that's dies out these days?

    --
    David Hicks

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    I agree with most previous comments, however to be honest I wouldn't use DDR3 yet. DDR2 in the majority of cases is still faster, but of course this would involve looking at a different model of server altogether.

    I'm not quite sure why Dell are including a 580W PSU, seems a bit much for the specification. That spec will use no where near that amount.

    And as for running Sims on x64, some components work and others don't. I would wait until Sims fully supports 64bit natively. Something which'll happen fairly soon I'd imagine, bearing in mind the Windows Server roadmap is now 64Bit only for future editions...

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Could always go for VelociRaptor drives - SATA interface, 10,000rpm, more capacity for your money than your average SAS drive.

    --
    David Hicks
    Yep they're a good intermediate step but Dell don't actually supply them. I take it the OP wants a pre-built server with no fiddling required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I'm not quite sure why Dell are including a 580W PSU, seems a bit much for the specification. That spec will use no where near that amount.
    They supply powerful PSUs because the server is Dual CPU capable and can take 6 Hard drives of up to 15K SAS - this will use 400+watts at full tilt so having 580w is a good idea!

    Butuz

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Although if you are using SQL express it's not going to use more than 1GB of RAM anyway.

    Edit: Multiple cores may work - specs have been updated

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914278
    Last edited by DMcCoy; 7th July 2009 at 01:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Raid 5 for SQL is a bad idea, as it is slow. I'd choose SAS over SATA for the same reason.

    The CPU is fine though, as the server side of SIMS.net is not CPU heavy.

    8GB ram is also fine, if you're going to use 64bit windows server - but note that only the SIMS.net app itself would work on the server, and not FMS or System Manager, so you'd be a bit limited.


    I'm just specing a new box and I was thinking the same regarding RAID5 but what's a good alternative, RAID 1 with fast disks or a RAID 0+1?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    we have a DL380 quad core 3gb ram 136gb 10k sas drives raid 5 and it works, but thats for 150 + users of sims

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    we have a DL380 quad core 3gb ram 136gb 10k sas drives raid 5 and it works, but thats for 150 + users of sims

    Yeh currently we have a box with 2 mirrored SCSI drives for the system and 3 SCSI disks in a RAID 5 for the SIMS Db. It seems to perform ok for the 150 ish users that we have but i'm still thinking about how to improve performance on the new box.

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    We have 100+ users and our server is 8 core Xeon 1.86GHz (2 quads), 4GB RAM, 146GB RAID set - I think in RAID 1 hardware, we only use about 30GB. Windows server 2003 standard edition 32bit SP2. Go for the best spec you can afford. Don't forget good NIC's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    Go for the best spec you can afford. Don't forget good NIC's.
    I would recommend that you buy a server with the ability to team and load balance the nic's aswell

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    Yeh currently we have a box with 2 mirrored SCSI drives for the system and 3 SCSI disks in a RAID 5 for the SIMS Db. It seems to perform ok for the 150 ish users that we have but i'm still thinking about how to improve performance on the new box.
    infact i have actually just logged into ours, and its dual quad xeon, the people that where here before me didnt skimp on specs, its got more ram then the 3.25 but thats all windows will see, stupid thing!

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