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MIS Systems Thread, Server for SIMS in Technical; We are about to install SIMS in my school in Nigeria. I need to buy a server specifically for SIMS ...
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    Server for SIMS

    We are about to install SIMS in my school in Nigeria. I need to buy a server specifically for SIMS and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good but cheap server that would be reliable and powerful enough.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    The detemining factors for this are how many kids you have in the school, how many clients you'll have accessing SIMS, if you'll be making use of Assessment Manager, or using Lesson Monitor etc.

    More info would be helpful

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    We have 800 students but will have 1000 when the school is full.

    Whilst we are only buying Attendance, Assessment Manager, Performance Analysis and Profiles at the minute I'd like to have a server that would allow us to expand to timetabling and lesson monitor in future.

    I expect we will have about 20 clients accessing initially, but if we move to lesson monitor we would be up to around 60 machines.

    Thanks for any help

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok, the key things for it are fast disks, and memory. For that sort of size, I'd be looking at a Quad core Xeon box, with 16GB RAM, and 4 SAS 15k RPM hard disks (configured in 2 RAID 1 arrays, 1 for log files/OS and 1 for the database itself). Then I'd stick Windows 2008 64bit on that, with SQL Server full (not the free version).

    So, using that I'd be looking at something like a HP Proliant DL360 G6, with the above items. The processor speed, at the moment, isn't particularly important. In the UK that'd come to about £2k from my quick look at pricing - for the hardware.

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    I would argue your statement about the processor speed, speed is better then more cores. RAM would be the easiest way to save, as it's easy enough to upgrade later. I would get the lower speed disc, again to save money, because SIMS is mainly reads then writes and you're going to be able to store the whole database in RAM anyway.

    I would say defo get a good server, like the HP Proliant DL360 G6. It's stable and can be upgraded in the future.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I would argue your statement about the processor speed, speed is better then more cores. RAM would be the easiest way to save, as it's easy enough to upgrade later. I would get the lower speed disc, again to save money, because SIMS is mainly reads then writes and you're going to be able to store the whole database in RAM anyway.

    I would say defo get a good server, like the HP Proliant DL360 G6. It's stable and can be upgraded in the future.
    SQL server loves RAM. SQL server doesn't use much CPU. We've got SIMS running here 600 kids, 30 or so clients at a time, and the CPU barely touches 5%, on a 2x dual core opteron 2Ghz machine.

    That is why I say the RAM. And on the disk speed, a couple of 15k 146Gb SAS drives are not that much more expensive than 10k ones really. Maybe £50 a piece difference.

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    You will also need to consider that later on you will need to upgrade your sql database to the latest version e.g. at the moment people are migrating from SQL 2005 to 2008 (if they havent already) and it wasnt that long ago that we had to migrate from SQL 2003 to 2005. Basically you need to consider how long this server is going to run for and account for the next SQL Upgrade.

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    Nobody's mentioned what Backup device they suggest?

    I went for the HP Internal half-height LTO-3 SAS tape drive in my ML350 G5 data server but it is pricey £900 or so.

    I'm considering a ML350 G6 for move to Windows 2008 and Sims SQL2008 so wondering if another Ultrium backup device would be the best for that too??

    What do people think?

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    How many servers you got?

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    I've been 'specing' up for a new SIMS server to support Windows Server\SQL 2008. I was thinking RAID 1 for logs\OS and RAID 10 (6 x 72GB drives in my case), but I have been told I might as well put all 6 in one single RAID 10 with 2 logical partitions. I hadn't considered this as everywhere seems to suggest 2 different RAIDs to separate logs and database, can you advise!?
    Last edited by pjm1974; 30th March 2010 at 01:40 PM. Reason: error



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