Bromcom Server Specs?
We are currently looking at moving from the ancient Phoenix Gold to a new MIS. We've had three abortive attempts at switching Phoenix E1 and are now looking seriously at either SIMS.net or Bromcom.
Bromcom appears to be the favorite amongst techies and admin staff at this early stage. We are looking at using some of our own existing equipment to host the various pieces of the MIS and are wondering what specs other users are running?
Bromcoms 'recommended' spec's are:
2.5Ghz Quad, 8Gb, 72Gb RAID1, 4x146Gb - for the main MIS server
2.0Ghz Dual, 2Gb, 72Gb RAID1 - for the document server
These spec's, especially for the MIS server, sound suspiciously overkill to us. We are looking at using an old (2Ghz Quad, 7Gb Ram) Terminal Services box for the the MIS (buying a new replacement TS) and perhaps provisioning some space on one of our two VMWare boxes.
Any guidence on running speed, used specs, amount of disk space physically used for a given school size, etc - would be very much appreciated.
You're right, it is seriously overkill. A MIS server at one school I support is a P3 933MHz, 1024MB memory, 80GB hard disk.
I'd recommend a Core 2 Duo or Xeon processor, 2 - 4GB memory and if you want to stick with RAID 1, then 2 x 146GB should be plenty.
Thanks for that Michael, was that a Bromcom server you were supporting? Our current MIS uses around 50Mhz P4 with 256mb Ram and no more than 20Gb total disk space (roughly - it's virtualised).
What I'm particularly interested in is if Bromcom is especially demanding in the CPU/RAM/HDD front?
I'm looking at proposing the 2Ghz Quad/7Gb/72Gb TS Rack server for use as the MIS Server with a EMC CX30-10 300Gb iSCSI array. Then the Document server can sit as a Virtual Machine on one of our ESX boxes.
I'm just a little unsure as this is below Bromcom's recommended spec.
<Post edited as irrelevant to the thread and can be construed as an advert>
Firstly, i'd definitely recommend Bromcom for the MIS system. If you are completely changing over then it's a great system albeit a new one.
We just got a new server from Bromcom and upgraded to the new platform 3, however, we only run the registration and texting facility at the moment. I'm looking to upgrade to ebehaviour soon.
The way student information is shown is great, by far better than SIMs. The reporting is also really cool and automatically goes into the document management service for posthumous retrieval. You can direct reports you run to appear for other users. It uses single sign-on functionality for the admin side of the system over the web mis page. The best new feature i was shown was that once you've run a report you can modify the underlying data to model the effective outcomes so for example you can see the effect a small group of skivers makes on your attendance figures. Oh yeah, and when you run reports you can have a predefined custom group to run the report against, be it a list of students; list of classes; forms; teachers etc. I can't wait to get using it on Monday, and hopefully convincing someone with money to buy me some of the tablet PDAs that are touch screen and run windows to actually do the registers on :D
As for the server i was debating buying the server myself and getting them to install it, but i settled on buying through them with a discounted installation fee.
The HP servers are great, and there are monthly rebate offers, so if you time it right, you can claim some cashback too. Ask the sales rep to look into this for you, but ensure that the parts you buy (e.g. RAM etc. ) are all exactly as listed on the offer. I got done as the RAM we bought was Compaq and it needed to be explicitly HP.
Bear in mind, when they have quoted you the server spec' it may include the above mentioned offer, where by sometimes you can get a free processor upgrade and often free memory.
I would pack as much memory into it at the start as you can, it's always useful. We run SIMs with 2GB and it's slow. The new Bromcom server has 4GB, but as we are on half term i haven't seen it working yet. Also, we only use a small fraction of the full MIS so it's not really fair to compare. It all depends on the size of the database you use, on sims our mdf file is 1.2GB! The Bromcom nucleus db has 4 mdf files the largest of which is only 360MB.
My server is a GL380 Quad Xeon E5345 at 2.33GHz, with that E5345 number you can go to the HP website and see all the basic specs. back in march we got a free second processor and buy one get one free on the hard drives.
As for hard disks, we went for as much fault tolerance as we could afford, with 6 146GB disks. I did want a mirrored system partition and the remaining 4 as RAID 5 or 6. However, when the system arrived it was preconfigured as 1 partition using all 6 disks. That's been the only slight negative in the whole process, but they are looking into that.
If it matters, we have approx. 1000 students and the database currently holds two years worth of prior data. This will now increase each year until we hold all five years worth.
If you need any more info' let me know. i'd be interested to know how you get on with the Bromcom MIS if you choose to go down that route.