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Old 25-09-2010, 08:31   #1
Whitehorse
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Question How to decide Server and OS

I have a requirement for a Server. Basically this server will host a custom application.

How do I decide the server?
1U, 5U? what is the memory requirements?
INTEL or AMD?
Should we assemble ourself or Buy from popular brands like DELL, HP. what is the risk?

Backup
Is the RAID enough for backup?
What are the alternate backup?
How do we ensure the fault tolerance? Customer wants 24x7 so if server goes down and if it takes 1 day to fix how do we handle as customer business will be affected.

OS
The Custom application can run on Windows and Linux. I am not sure Should I install on Windows 2008 or Linux (CentOS or Debian).
What is your suggestion?

Bandwidth and Co-Location
The company has around 300 users but at a time around 20 people will access.

Where should I co-locate server? Which DC?
What is the estimated cost per month?


Thank you

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Old 26-09-2010, 11:53   #2
Whitehorse
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Angry

so far 37 hits on this posting, but no reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitehorse
I have a requirement for a Server. Basically this server will host a custom application.

How do I decide the server?
1U, 5U? what is the memory requirements?
INTEL or AMD?
Should we assemble ourself or Buy from popular brands like DELL, HP. what is the risk?

Backup
Is the RAID enough for backup?
What are the alternate backup?
How do we ensure the fault tolerance? Customer wants 24x7 so if server goes down and if it takes 1 day to fix how do we handle as customer business will be affected.

OS
The Custom application can run on Windows and Linux. I am not sure Should I install on Windows 2008 or Linux (CentOS or Debian).
What is your suggestion?

Bandwidth and Co-Location
The company has around 300 users but at a time around 20 people will access.

Where should I co-locate server? Which DC?
What is the estimated cost per month?


Thank you

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Old 27-09-2010, 00:23   #3
Oops!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitehorse
so far 37 hits on this posting, but no reply
Hello,

I'd like to help, but there'll be a mini-novel if i'm writing everything in full context.

If this is not a commercial project to you, i thought it might be better to outsource this to an experienced company.
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Old 27-09-2010, 00:26   #4
LampPC
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How do I decide the server?
You need to decide on the memory requirement when you build the server. Ram is relatively cheaper these days. You can start with 4 GB ram etc.

Get Intel server for new servers. It has higher performances. Buy from Dell or HP. Dell offer you onsite replacements. This can be useful if you experience hardware failure. If you assemble it yourself, who do you want to find if there is a hardware failure?

Backup
RAID 1 is sufficient for backup. You can check if your provider offer offsite R1soft backup.

For a basic server, a RAID 1 storage for the web server and RAID 1 for backup is sufficient. To increase fault tolerances, you can have redundant power supplies etc.

OS
The Custom application can run on Windows and Linux. Cento is relatively cheaper and easier to manage than Windows server. There are many things you can install on Centos server which gives the OS better performance than Windows 2008.

Bandwidth and Co-Location
Seriously this will depend on your application. By using do you mean voice data or what type of data.
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Old 28-09-2010, 08:32   #5
Whitehorse
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Thank You LampPC for your inputs.

Appreciate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LampPC
How do I decide the server?
You need to decide on the memory requirement when you build the server. Ram is relatively cheaper these days. You can start with 4 GB ram etc.

Get Intel server for new servers. It has higher performances. Buy from Dell or HP. Dell offer you onsite replacements. This can be useful if you experience hardware failure. If you assemble it yourself, who do you want to find if there is a hardware failure?

Backup
RAID 1 is sufficient for backup. You can check if your provider offer offsite R1soft backup.

For a basic server, a RAID 1 storage for the web server and RAID 1 for backup is sufficient. To increase fault tolerances, you can have redundant power supplies etc.

OS
The Custom application can run on Windows and Linux. Cento is relatively cheaper and easier to manage than Windows server. There are many things you can install on Centos server which gives the OS better performance than Windows 2008.

Bandwidth and Co-Location
Seriously this will depend on your application. By using do you mean voice data or what type of data.
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Old 29-09-2010, 00:21   #6
LampPC
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If ASP or ASP.net is not needed, I strongly recommend you not to go for Windows server.
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Old 21-10-2010, 18:01   #7
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I have a requirement for a Server. Basically this server will host a custom application.

How do I decide the server?
1U, 5U? what is the memory requirements?
INTEL or AMD?
Should we assemble ourself or Buy from popular brands like DELL, HP. what is the risk?

This depends on your requirement. For most, you will need a 1u. If you need a lot of drives etc, to which 1u is not enough, then you do 2u, 3u , 4u etc. Example: If you need a general server with 2 hard drives, 1 U is more than enough for your hosting/database need.
If you need to run Oracle and want to have 6 hard drives in raid10, then it cannot fit in 1u, so you need maybe 4U to do the job. What you want to do determines what CPU,RAM and what U you will need.

Another Example:
Will you buy a car or a bus ? If you need to travel with 4 people, you buy a car. If you have to start with 20 people to move, you buy a bus. If you want to start with 4 people now, but in future think you will need to accommodate 20 people, you buy a bus [or upgrade later on]

INTEL or AMD ? Depends .. since this is a server running windows/linux/apache/iis/mysql etc, it does not matter. If you save $$ by going AMD, go AMD .. if what you want to do cannot be done in AMD, then go intel. Or just go with Intel . .. You are asking like ACER vs COMPAQ when buying a laptop .. now both of them will do their task well.

Popular brands vs Self Assembled:
8gb ram is 8gb of ram, should you get from dell or simlim. a quad core cpu is still a quad core cpu should it be from HP or bizgram . A 250gb disk from seagate will still be the same should you get it from a IT show in cheap price or get it from dell.
If you trust the components here and can troubleshoot yourself, then go self assembled. But if you don't have the time or expertise, you buy from a well known brand and they will get you covered with warranty etc.

Sometimes, you have specific requirement, like you want a sata and scsi , and maybe 3 disks etc and 5 network cards etc, which you cannot custom order online. So in those cases, you do self assemble.

I purchased my computer from simlim 2 years ago .. its a quadcore .. still running, and I find the quality of components good, and it all comes with local warranty .. If anything, just take it to the shop and get it replaced or get it fixed.

If I were to build a server, i will always do self assembled for maximum customization.





Backup
Is the RAID enough for backup?
What are the alternate backup?
How do we ensure the fault tolerance? Customer wants 24x7 so if server goes down and if it takes 1 day to fix how do we handle as customer business will be affected.

Raid1 is good enough for backup.
Alt backup: starhub home package .. buy a disk at it shows at good prices and use starhub/singtel home connection to take backup at home. Ditto if you are in office. Do backups at night time on the office dsl/adsl/starhub mobile.
Singapore ISPs here do not cap bandwidth, so you can backup as much as you want.

Fault tolerance: If its just a web server, chances are you will have another server in the office as well. If the system goes down, you can switch IPs and switch disks and then boot from the new disk. Either way, if your setup is going to be local {as in singapore}, you can just take your laptop, switch the ip and run the server for some time etc.

If its critical, then you will at least have some backup policy .. like a standby server used for backup to be used as the main server for emergency cases etc. The backup does not need to be all powerful. Any normal system will do, as its just for temporary time till you have your main server fixed.





OS
The Custom application can run on Windows and Linux. I am not sure Should I install on Windows 2008 or Linux (CentOS or Debian).
What is your suggestion?

Depends on the level of interaction and administration required by the appliance. If its a install once and forget type application, then you can use the install-once and forget linux OS. But if you are not comfortable working with linux, then go 2008. Windows also are very stable at this point of time, unlike the past.

But if an application has a linux part, its recommended to go linux. What you select, 2008 or linux depends on who is going to be responsible for making it and maintaining it. You just install what you or the person working is comfortable with. If you have to google every linux command , then its not recommended to get to linux. Windows 2008 will do pretty well also.

CentOS or Debian ? this is like nikon or canon in the clubsnap forums. Both are very good. Both will do the job they are supposed to do. If you are OK with CentOS, go centos. If you are OK with debian, go debian.







Bandwidth and Co-Location
The company has around 300 users but at a time around 20 people will access.

Where should I co-locate server? Which DC?
What is the estimated cost per month?

Bandwidth: What does the application do ? what will the people do after access . Play games, download mp3, access application, share files ??? Without this, there is no way to tell what the bandwidth is going to be.

Are the 300 users in the same company or in different places ? How are they going to login? All from office or mostly from home? if from home, most have starhub?

if majority of them are going to do from the same office, and if the office has singtel, then you select a colocation which has lowest ping from the office. Similarly, if most are home users, and say starhub, then you will need to ping the datacenter ip and find out the speed. If all speeds are identical, then you can evaluate based on the price, location etc. If your primary location is say tampines and you select datacenter to be in jurong, then you need to work on the time it takes to reach the datacenter to work on the server or bring it up. So which DC your server should be in, only you can decide. Once you select the DC and try to figure out the data transfer, the DC can give you the estimate prices.


Hope this helps.






Thank you

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Old 03-06-2011, 00:13   #8
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To choose the best server operating system depends largely on the server's function. In a way, server operating systems are simpler than workstation OSes. They don't need to support as wide a variety of accessories and generally don't need to run as wide a variety of applications. On the other hand, the applications they run, such as databases, Web servers, email servers.
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