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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS system requirements in Technical; Originally Posted by localzuk It might only have a few users now. But in 2 years, when parents are all ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    It might only have a few users now. But in 2 years, when parents are all getting their child's reports, attendance etc from it? That's a lot of extra demand.

    What bit are you saying about? SIMS only needs a few fast cores over more cores or the statement about primaries only need good spec not extreme kit?

    I can't see most primary schools out growing the "workstation" class machines in the next 5 years, assuming SLG or such is centrally hosted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Yes, a seperate web server is usually involved, but the data still has to come from the SIMS server... Otherwise, it isn't realtime data.
    You might be right but I wouldnt expect the data to be Live Data - probably an overnight update or query run few times a day.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    What bit are you saying about? SIMS only needs a few fast cores over more cores or the statement about primaries only need good spec not extreme kit?

    I can't see most primary schools out growing the "workstation" class machines in the next 5 years, assuming SLG or such is centrally hosted.
    I was commenting simply on your statement regarding 'few users'.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyNDuffy View Post
    You might be right but I wouldnt expect the data to be Live Data - probably an overnight update or query run few times a day.
    No, that's not how SLG works. Also, I was pretty sure the government requirement was for on demand, ie. live, data access for parents. So, for example, they can log in at 9:30 and see that little Johnny registered like he should have.

    This access will generate potentially a large amount of users, who would be able to log in and put quite some load on the server all day long. For us, that means a potential 500 new users worth of load on the SIMS server. And we have to have the capability to support that, because if it doesn't, then we're breaking the requirement set by the govt.

    From Becta's Parental Engagement guide:

    By September 2008 all secondary schools will
    be expected to provide information to parents
    covering achievement, progress, attendance,
    behaviour and special needs, on a timely and
    frequent basis – this should be at least once per
    term. By September 2010 all secondary schools
    will need to offer parents real-time access to this
    information (including the opportunity for secure
    online access) wherever and whenever they want.
    http://publications.becta.org.uk/dow...fm?resID=35300
    Last edited by localzuk; 18th November 2009 at 03:21 PM.

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    Ah... and I think Becta redefined "real-time" saying it's up-to the school to decide what they want it to mean. Specially when very few suppliers can do true realtime, most have to do it nightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Ah... and I think Becta redefined "real-time" saying it's up-to the school to decide what they want it to mean. Specially when very few suppliers can do true realtime, most have to do it nightly.
    Have you got a DCSF doc supporting that? I'd not heard that I don't think?

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    No, just what my LA said, can you find the DCSF\Becta definition of real-time anyway?

    Most LA are pushing UniServity, which updates overnight (or whenever) and we're told this covers the requirement for online reporting (or whatever you want to call it).

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    I haven't got proof on the DCSF changing the guidelines but I had heard that to be the case too.

    The data doesn't have to be presented specifically through SLG, it needs to be presented through something SIF compliant.

    I'd have thought the data displayed to parents etc would be updated via SIF at regular intervals, the interval would depend on what data was being displayed - perhaps in real time, daily, weekly or monthly, essentially it would be updated however often is appropriate for what is being displayed.

    Using SIF shouldn't hammer the SIMS Server as it will just query for the data now and then.

    If SLG is used and hosted at the school then I think it draws direct from the SQL but don't quote me on that. This would increase usage on the SIMS Server.

    I believe migrating to SQL 2008 will allow you to tell the Server to use more cores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I was commenting simply on your statement regarding 'few users'.



    No, that's not how SLG works. Also, I was pretty sure the government requirement was for on demand, ie. live, data access for parents. So, for example, they can log in at 9:30 and see that little Johnny registered like he should have.

    This access will generate potentially a large amount of users, who would be able to log in and put quite some load on the server all day long. For us, that means a potential 500 new users worth of load on the SIMS server. And we have to have the capability to support that, because if it doesn't, then we're breaking the requirement set by the govt.

    From Becta's Parental Engagement guide:


    http://publications.becta.org.uk/dow...fm?resID=35300
    All true - but this guys a primary School not a seconday and I wouldn't sleep at night if I had external users connecting directly to any of my core servers. A web server or two would only need to query Sims every 10 mins or so to keep updated then your 500 parents connect to that (what ever that is).

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyNDuffy View Post
    All true - but this guys a primary School not a seconday and I wouldn't sleep at night if I had external users connecting directly to any of my core servers. A web server or two would only need to query Sims every 10 mins or so to keep updated then your 500 parents connect to that (what ever that is).
    That depends on what software you use to do the job. SIMS.net Learning Gateway connects direct, all of Somerset are using this, as are several other areas.

    You can't really decide upon your server spec until you know what your server is going to be doing. What are the plans for the realtime access?

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    Quote Originally Posted by superfletch View Post
    I believe migrating to SQL 2008 will allow you to tell the Server to use more cores.
    Nope. Express is 1 core only. Other versions have other limits. But you can only have 1 core per physical file. So sims.mdf will go to one core, sims.ldf will go to another master.mdf to another and so on. Doesn't really help if you've got each file on a slower core (say 2ghz) then if you have fewer faster cores (3ghz), cause the sql query will be only running on the sims.mdf which is only on 1 core.

    Hope that makes sense, basically sims.mdf can't run on two or more cores.

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    Medium_Dave - Please contact the Somerset SIMS Support Team to discuss. The server requirements here seem excessive for a primary school server, even though it will most likely be acting as a domain controller and file server for the whole school network as well as an SQL server for SIMS.

    There is an option for SIMS to be Centrally Hosted within Somerset rather than on the schools server.

    There is also no tie in between SIMS / Office Support and Hardware sales within Somerset.
    Last edited by splattthecat; 20th November 2009 at 04:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by splattthecat View Post
    Medium_Dave - Please contact the Somerset SIMS Support Team to discuss. The server requirements here seem excessive for a primary school server, even though it will most likely be acting as a domain controller and file server for the whole school network as well as an SQL server for SIMS.

    There is an option for SIMS to be Centrally Hosted within Somerset rather than on the schools server.

    There is also no tie in between SIMS / Office Support and Hardware sales within Somerset.


    Although I work in Somerset, the school on whose behalf I am asking is significantly further to the North.

    And also - as I work in Somerset - I can absolutely 100% guarantee you that getting any kind of support for the server in general, or SIMS in particular, is murderously difficult if not impossible, unless one can quote the gold sticker number. Which, of course, you only get if you buy your hardware from County. The rule book might technically say otherwise, I have no idea - but I have far too much first-hand experience of this, on more than one site. I am not misinterpretting, or mistaken.

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