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Filemaker Server Hardware recommendation


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I'm going to be buying a new FM server machine. I want it to be Mac. I'm thinking of getting the Mac Pro trash can however I don't know if it would be better to get the 3.7 quad core or the 3.5 6-core. Also, is 16 gb of RAM enough?

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

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It's a waste of money for features that a database server does not need to get the Macintosh Pro "trash can" machine.

 

16 GB of RAM is pretty minimal for most deployments, particularly if you are deploying WebDirect™ connectivity.  How many files, how many users, etc. are you contemplating?

 

Steven

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Right now I have a MacMini server 2.3 Intel i7 16gb of ram on OSX 10.9.4 machine that hosts 3 files that about 40 users connect to. My issue (which I posted about in another thread (see below) is that most users are all on the same data entry layout during the day. If there are 1-10 people or so there doesn't seem to be a performance issue, but when everyone is connected local and remote users all take a significant performance hit. Sometimes almost making the database unusable when a lot of data entry is happening. People get in and out of records very quickly so there is a lot of committing going on.

As an experiment today I installed FMS 13 on a 3.7 quad core Mac Pro (trash can) and used that as the server and had all 40 people connect to it instead. The performance seemed to be much better. I am going to leave it on that machine for a couple days and see if the performances stays up. This is why I'm contemplating getting a Mac Pro. I'm open to other ideas though.

Do you think the higher spec machine is the reason for my success?

I do have two 360works server side solutions running (zulu calendar and email plugin) installed on the server machine that I didn't move to the new machine yet so it isn't a full apples to apples comparison however I don't think those two items are my issue.
Here is my other thread I posted my issues about:

 

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If most people are on the exact table at the same time then you will benefit from higher-speed processors vs. more cores.  But it is never that simple an equation.  With 40 users I would hesitate to go with just 4 cores, in case you also have server-side schedules or are thinking about using PSoS.

The real answer to your question starts with: what does the current FMS stats.log say?  Over an expanded period of time?  What are the bottlenecks?  Based on that pick server specs that will handle those bottlenecks.

And *never* base your server on any personal preference; base it on the current baseline stats, the known expansion of the file's modules, complexity, record counts, and user-base and pick the server specs that will be able to handle that...

 

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Thanks Wim, so from the sounds of it (given my user-base of 40 and everyone hitting the same table a lot), you don't sound surprised that I'm having performance issues with a MacMini server 2.3 Intel i7. Is that right?

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Not suprised.  Mac Minis are underpowered as they are.  And 4 cores from the i7 will not get you far plus the processor speed is so-so.

But... what I'm trying to say is that the FMS stats log will tell you exactly where your performance problem is.

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To add to what @Wim Decorte is saying, our office tried to use a newer MacPro ( trash can ) to replace our 2008 Mac Pro that was barely handling about 60 users. What we experienced, we a decrease in performance. It simply couldn't handle the constant in/out of database operations. The machine was spec'd to max. In the end we moved to a Dell server and it is performing nicely, and it's spec'd to allow a lot of growth.

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