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Server 5.5 on partitioned XP or OSX?


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Hi all,

I have researched the best practices, and am trying to find the best compromise for a new client who wants me to consult with their network guy on a move from mac to pc. Anyone want to take a peak at my conclusion?

New client has:

-Old LAN network of 10 macs

-10 new Dell XP machines


-FM5unlimited (7 at office, 3 remotely)

-database of 30 files, some 200mb in size

New client wants:

-everything moved to PC

-no new computers

-to move to FM7 in the future

Network guy wants:

-Dell XP partitioned server (one 40gb dedicated to Server5.5, other 40gb partition for hosting wifi network and shared data folders backed up regularly to external media)

After searching this forum, I suggested to them to use their old G4 700mhz with OSX on it to be dedicated to Server5.5 and backed up on its own. They are resisting the idea because of a purist PC notion.

How persistent should I be in trying to persuade them?



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Here's my thoughts:

We have a remote office with only 3 users that we have a W2K box being used for a FM server, file server, and print server, and it works quite well. My caveat would be that the traffic on this box is very low and the alternative would be 28k dial-up to our WAN.

If you add many more users to this kind of setup could cause a tremendous increase in network traffic and slowdowns - the question is, how much slowdown?

Technically, it will work. With 7 or more users, FM server and the file server could slow to an unusable level, especially if you have some large files being opened on the file server. Legally, the Windows XP license allows only 5 "devices" to be connected, which is described as "any indirect connections made through other software or hardware which pools or aggregates connections". The Macs have no such licensing restriction.

If they already own the Mac, why not use it till it's time to replace it. It's plenty to run FM server 5.5. Or an alternative is, if they are going to get rid of those 10 Macs and the Mac server, I'll bet someone would give them enough money to go down to Costco and buy another box for the FM server.

If your network guy wins out, I would VERY strongly recommend that the file server portion and FM server protion be physically divided on separate hard drives. The Unlimited box will still have to be a separate box - it will NOT run on the same box as FM server.

Good luck

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Thanks for the input. This is kind of what I was suspecting - while they have some 10 workstations, there are probably no more than two or three actively using the database at any given time. If they win out on the PC, I will definitely keep one of the macs around to swap in if we experience slowdown.

The Unlimited box will still have to be a separate box - it will NOT run on the same box as FM server.

Could you clear this up for me? I came across this warning in other posts and am still a bit fuzzy about it. Why would you need/desire to have Unlimited installed on the same box? Is this a caution to people who want to use their server as a workstation as well?


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DykstrL's warning about not having Unlimited and Server run on the same box is really aimed at people who don't even think about it and/or are too cheap to buy a second box. The main problem of running them on one box (not that you would) is, to my understanding, that they use the same network port, and collide. Also, Unlimited can mistakenly open FMP files locally, causing corruption issues.

Your G4/700 is more than enough box to run Server on, and I would recommend using it for that. Not only would it be faster than using one PC for both FMS and file sharing, but you could turn file sharing completely off on the FM Server, thus obeying the strictures in FMI's Server White Paper (and thus protecting your data better.) Also, because it would be physically apart from the file serving, you'd avoid some network bottlenecking, too.

If your client needs to dump those Macs, I have clients who always need spares, in Brooklyn and Queens, and would pay a fair market value (or thereabouts.)


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So, to summarize:

-You only want and need FM Server installed on the box you dedicate to your server.

-You do not need any additional FM app on the box to have it host files.

-Specifically, running unlimited on the same box will cause problems.

I will ask them about the macs (come to think of it, I could use a spare myself...).



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That's all correct. Unlimited should run on a separate box and I believe (you may want to check, because I've never used it) can also be used as one of your in-house client boxes at the same time.

Regarding the use of FM Server, check out PDF of the FMS Best Practices white paper at:



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