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Our Advertisers Thread, Looking for Quotes for New Sims Server in Purchasing and Trading; We're looking at buying a new SIMS server. I've beeen given this recommended spec by our local SIMS support centre ...
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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Looking for Quotes for New Sims Server

    We're looking at buying a new SIMS server. I've beeen given this recommended spec by our local SIMS support centre (The Westfield Centre). However I expect I can get a better deal going elsewhere. Quotes please!

    * Processor 2 x Quad Core Xeon 1.6GHz
    * Memory - 4 Gb
    * Network Card - Gigabit
    * Hard Disks - 3 x 146 Gb SAS Hard Drive (hot plug, 15000rpm, RAID5)
    * Optical Drive - DVD ROM drive
    * RBUSS Remote Backup Subscription
    * Operating System - Windows Server 2003 R2 Service Pack 2
    * Warranty - 3 years on site, 4 hour response

    If any EduGeekers want to chip in with an off the shelf system suggestion from HP/Dell/etc too or find fault with the recommended spec, feel free.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Our SIMS server is virtualised and I regularly sit watching the stats.

    I would suggest dropping a processor and increasing the RAM. Our server is not very processor instensive so the difference between 4 and 8 cores is going to be negligable (plus by dropping a physical CPU you half your SQL licensing costs instantly).

    To go along with your vast quantities of RAM (which will hold the entire database and stored procedures hopefully), I would use the x64 version of Server too

    I don't really need to recommend a vendor *cough* Sun *cough* - I should really plug http://www.edugeekbuy.net/ since it is the first live day of its use though

  3. #3

    CPLTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    We're looking at buying a new SIMS server. I've beeen given this recommended spec by our local SIMS support centre (The Westfield Centre). However I expect I can get a better deal going elsewhere. Quotes please!

    * Processor 2 x Quad Core Xeon 1.6GHz
    * Memory - 4 Gb
    * Network Card - Gigabit
    * Hard Disks - 3 x 146 Gb SAS Hard Drive (hot plug, 15000rpm, RAID5)
    * Optical Drive - DVD ROM drive
    * RBUSS Remote Backup Subscription
    * Operating System - Windows Server 2003 R2 Service Pack 2
    * Warranty - 3 years on site, 4 hour response

    If any EduGeekers want to chip in with an off the shelf system suggestion from HP/Dell/etc too or find fault with the recommended spec, feel free.
    if you would like to pm me your details I will work on a quote straight away,

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    We're looking at buying a new SIMS server. I've beeen given this recommended spec by our local SIMS support centre (The Westfield Centre). However I expect I can get a better deal going elsewhere. Quotes please!

    * Processor 2 x Quad Core Xeon 1.6GHz
    * Memory - 4 Gb
    * Network Card - Gigabit
    * Hard Disks - 3 x 146 Gb SAS Hard Drive (hot plug, 15000rpm, RAID5)
    * Optical Drive - DVD ROM drive
    * RBUSS Remote Backup Subscription
    * Operating System - Windows Server 2003 R2 Service Pack 2
    * Warranty - 3 years on site, 4 hour response

    If any EduGeekers want to chip in with an off the shelf system suggestion from HP/Dell/etc too or find fault with the recommended spec, feel free.
    agree with Ric on the proccessors(especially if you are installing full blown SQL server)

    Why not Server 2008? Assume that you are going to 64bit server?

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcshammer_dj View Post
    Why not Server 2008?
    Just to chip in: our SIMS server runs on a virtual Windows Server 2008 machine, and has been doing so for a year or so with no problems. Also, I understand that between October this year and October next year you'll be needing to upgrade to SQL Server 2008, too, which is something to factor in to the cost.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    The above specs are just what I pulled off the Westfield site.

    http://www.westfield.lancsngfl.ac.uk...?ContentId=679

    How much ram would you suggest? 8Gb? 16Gb?

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Also, many (all?) of the stored procedures SIMS uses currently only make use of one core at a time. "SIMS being slow" and database timeout problems are typically a single user running a single report/routine for a very long time on one core while the other cores sit idling at a few percent utilisation. With 8 cores you will probably have a lot of idling and I'm not sure if SQL 2008 is going to change that.

    I'm not sure if 3 disks in RAID 5, partitioned up to do OS and SQL across the RAID set is a particularly recommended setup. With SAS disks they should be plenty fast enough to deal with what you throw at them though, so probably not worth worrying too much.

    dhicks: I believe that the SQL upgrade is going to be necessary to take advantage of the reporting engine in SQL 2008 and allow Capita to ditch their current reporting system.

  8. #8

    john's Avatar
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    • More Ram (16GB if you can afford it)
    • 4th HDD (for hot swap use)
    • 2008 R2 Licence (use the downgrade rights to 2003 if you want that)
    • Dual PSUs

    Thats what I would say

  9. #9

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We wil soon have our sims database on a dedicated Physical Server use for SQL, this includes sims and other apps. Sims applications live on a virtual machine

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    I'd want my database on different spindles from my os, but it depends on your expected load.

    Also agree that ram > processor, but it's usually cheaper to add ram yourself than pay Dell or HP to do so. Depending on your database size, I'd go 4GB + database size as a minimum. If you've an idea of how quickly your db grows, factor that in over the life of the server. iirc you're just starting out with SIMS though.

    Second nic for fault tolerance / connection to backup vlan?

  11. #11

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahmeepee View Post
    I'm not sure if 3 disks in RAID 5, partitioned up to do OS and SQL across the RAID set is a particularly recommended setup. With SAS disks they should be plenty fast enough to deal with what you throw at them though, so probably not worth worrying too much.
    I know RAID5 isn't recommended for SQL generally. RAID10 is the 'ideal' method.

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    Our SIMS server is along these lines...

    Rack mounted

    Dual Intel Quad Core Xeon E5420
    32GB DDR2 667Mhz Fully Buffered
    Intel S5000VSA Mainboard
    4 x 500GB SATA-300
    Intel Sata Host RAID Supports Levels 0, 1 & 10
    Optional RAID 5 activation Key
    Dual Intel Gigabit Lan
    DVD Writer
    3.5” Floppy Disk
    500 Watt Power Supply
    Additional redundant Power Supply
    UPS


    We wanted one with such power as we are running the DC and virtualising 3 servers with it (SIMS, Tucasi, Exchange,) and wanted each with atleast 2 cores to work from, and have 500GB at their disposal. Works a charm. Simon gave us a VERY VERY competative quote for one that is a similar spec for our curriculum server.

    The cost for one of this spec is around 2400

  13. Thanks to nephilim from:

    CPLTD (30th September 2009)

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