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Building the ultimate (well sort of) Windows FM Server...


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I'm planning a new Windows server for a large FM8 database, and would like some feedback on hardware. I am looking for as much horsepower as possible in a single-server configuration. I'm planning on 15k SCSI disks and multiple CPUs, but I have some questions. Some of my specific questions:


  • Are there any FMServer-specific benchmarks or performance comparisons for hardware platforms?
  • Athlon vs Xeon? Any experiences or comparisons?
  • What about quad processors? Would it make more sense to get four single-core CPUs, or two dual-core CPUs? Anyone doing this?
  • Any FileMaker-specific problems or issues I should be aware of when choosing the hardware?
  • How much ram is too much? Is there any point in having more than 4 gigs?
  • Is there a difference in performance between Windows 2000 and Windows 2K3?

I'd appreciate any advice, as I need to pick some hardware soon.

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I'd opt for Windows Server 2003 on a dual processor Xeon. Use SCSI drives. 4 GB of RAM is enough, since I think that's all the 32 bit version of Windows Server 2003 can manage.

Don't forget redundant power supplies and fans.

What type files are you planning on hosting? Are you going to be using FileMaker Server 8 Advanced?

Steven

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I'd opt for Windows Server 2003 on a dual processor Xeon.

So you don't think quad CPU capability would be worthwhile?

What about multicore Opterons? I'm reading a lot of good things about these beasts, and I find the notion of 64 bit upgradeability without 32 bit performance penalties very attractive. And what about dual-core Xeons? Worthwhile for FM Server?

Use SCSI drives.

Not just SCSI, 15000 RPM SCSI.

4 GB of RAM is enough, since I think that's all the 32 bit version of Windows Server 2003 can manage.

What if I went with say, datacenter edition or enterprise edition, would there be any point in having 8 or 16 gigs of RAM? Or would FM Server not even notice?

Don't forget redundant power supplies and fans.

That's pretty much standard with the hardware I'm looking at.

What type files are you planning on hosting?

Really big ones... :o

Are you going to be using FileMaker Server 8 Advanced?

Yes, but the vast majority of the workload will be from gig-Ethernet local clients, with some ODBC stuff. Web publishing use will be very minor.

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Thanks for the info, it reduces my budget worries significantly, both software and hardware, not to mention rewiring for 220 in my server room...

If FM Server doesn't support quad processors, what about two dual-core processors? Would it see that as four CPUs? Would I be better off going with faster single-core CPUs?

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