2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2009 2:49 PM by Lucas Dexter

    PDM Server Hardware Specs

    Jim Sculley

      Luckily, we have five 3U rack mountable machines in barely used condition.  I'm planning to upgrade 3 of them to provide the database server, archive server and web server.  Out of the box, these machines have Quad Core Xeon 3220 processors on SuperMicro PDMSA+ motherboards (including Intel onboard RAID) with 460W power supply, 4GB ram, a single 80GB SATA drive and DVD-ROM drive.  These servers will be managed remotely via TightVNC, but in the event we need to hook up a monitor, there is onboard video.


      For the web server, I'm going to up the hard drive to a 250GB  plain vanilla SATA unit and leave all other hardware as-is.  Operating system will be Windows Web Server 2008.


      For the database server, I'm going to take 4 of the 80GB SATA drives and create a RAID 5 array (striped with parity) for 240GB of storage.  I will replace the four 1GB memory sticks with 2GB sticks (533MHz DDR2) which brings the motherboard to its maximum of 8GB.  Operating system will be Windows Server 2008 Standard.


      For the archive server, I'll add an Adaptec 5405 SAS hardware RAID card.  This will be married with four 450GB Seagate Cheetah 15k.6 SAS drives in a RAID 5 array, for 1.3TB of storage.  Operating system will be Windows Server 2008 Standard.


      Total cost:  about $4700.


      Sound like a reasonable plan?


      Jim S.

        • Re: PDM Server Hardware Specs
          Jason Capriotti
          Make sure you get Windows Server 64bit edition so you can utilize the 8gb of memory.
          • Re: PDM Server Hardware Specs
            Lucas Dexter


                 Yes, this sounds like a great start!  We just split our database server to a new physical machine which has dual quad cores and 12GB of ram.  SQL is a processor monster so make sure you have as much processing power as you can afford for the database server.  Our dual core processor was just not cutting it for all the SQL searches, in fact the entire system would lock up and wait for each search to complete before going to the next search; the processor was working at 100%, 90% of the time.  With the dual quad cores the processor never gets over 30% now!!  Of course that all depends how many users you have performing searches at the same time.


            This is what I found with the dual core; one search would jump the processor utilization to 50%, two searches would jump to 100% and the third search would have to wait until the others were complete.  You get the idea of the snowball effect.


            FYI - Our 1TB archive server lasted 2 years before getting full with 114 CAD users.