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milanm

FM server specification literature

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Hi guys,

could anyone please suggest in depth literature that goes beyond what we have on FileMaker official website  (with some case studies perhaps), on hardware requirements needed to successfully run FileMaker Server 16 on Windows Server 2016 operating system for 40 - 50 users. 

I am asking because i would like to optimize my costs on AWS and thinking to replace the following:

m4.xlarge instance that we have with: 4 (x4) core Intel Xeon E5-2676 v3 processor and 2.4 clock speed (GHz); 16GB Ram and high network performance (over 600 Mb/s)

WITH

t2.xlarge instance with 4 (x4) core Intel Xeon family processor with burstable performance and "Up to" 3.0 clock speed (GHz); 16GB Ram and moderate network performance (over 400 Mb/s)

There will be 40 - 50 users in average active over the office hours on this platform. They did very well with m4.xlarge for a year but i am wondering now how low can i go without lowering the user experience.
I guess it would be difficult to answer directly before knowing exactly how the files look like and which processes are in place, however i hope that someone can point me to some good article that tells more about these hardware requirements so i can make an elaborate decision (well i already made a decision to switch but i need to know more...) and be prepared before having to take it on my chin in case it performs bad. 

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Review current performance history in terms of CPU usage, memory usage and network usage. If you haven't got historical performance info, start collecting now and do this for an acceptable time (ie a month if you're keen to move soon). That will give you insight in how many spikes there are in terms of CPU and network usage in your current setup.

Then liaise with the business what you want to do and why, present the data as evidence that it's a sensible move. Get the business to agree and accept that there's a risk, in which case if it all goes sour you've covered yourself.

If your current m4.xlarge is tapdancing along, I see no reason why a t2.xlarge wouldn't suit as well considering the specs, but I haven't used AWS server instances.

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Thank you Olger, i have been monitoring the CPU usage for the last few weeks and it looks like it will be ok, the CPU usage never really went to high.

I will definitely go for the t2.xlarge on this server with only 4 clients as it saves us $1400 and if it works we have 3 other servers with Amazon serving FileMaker clients, so the savings could potentially be significant.

And i will monitor and test the performance in order to gain elaborate knowledge in terms of the limits.

However, it would be nice to get to some documentation where someone already tested it and gave some more details. It is easy to go big and with expensive armor, but the real challenge is optimizing the performance to make it smaller and cheaper while keeping the same user experience. That kind of article i would love to read at this moment.

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I doubt you'll find a paper that can discuss this in meaningful detail. It all depends. Number of clients is just a small factor. Scheduled scripts can impact performance, schema design of the database(s), Webdirect, PSOS scripts, nowadays PDF creation on the server (as in how often these are triggered), and other services running on the server can all have an impact. It really depends very much on the DB. Future developments can also have a detrimental impact on performance.

Which is why I suggested baselining your current environment, and decide based on that. I've got a (5yo) Win2k8 server with 16GB RAM, 8cores serving 12-15 office LAN users, which works well in terms of performance. We're now also starting to deploy iPads, which will eventually end up around 40 or so. Be very interesting to see how that goes. But as these iPads aren't deployed with a big bang, I've told the business we either see how things go, or we upgrade now just to be sure. But that's a big expense they're not keen on. So we'll just tread carefully.

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