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Old 05-05-2008, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Grade my system specs (BPS related)

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We're working on putting together a server for BlackBerry Professional Software, because we're a small group of users (5). Our outsourced IT company has told us we need, what I would call a "big freaking server" to house the BPS program, and i'm of the mind I could just pull a server off Dell and voila.

So, in that vein, here is a basic PE system I spec'd out. Any suggestions or modifications needed?


Quote:
PowerEdge 840 Dual Core Intel® Pentium®E2180, 2.0GHz, 1MB Cache, 800MHz FSB
Operating System Microsoft® Small Business Server 2003 R2 with SP2, Standard Edition
Memory 2GB DDR2,667MHz, 2x1GB Dual Ranked DIMMs
Hard Drive Configuration Onboard SATA, 2 Drive connected to Onboard SATA Controller - No RAID
Primary Hard drive 250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
Primary Hard Drive Controller Onboard SATA Controller - No RAID
2nd Hard Drive 250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive Network Adapter Onboard Single Gigabit Network Adapter, No TOE
CD/DVD Drive 48x CDRW/DVD IDE Combo Drive, Half-Height
Drive Cage Configuration Chassis with Non-Hot Swap Drives for PE840
Hardware Support Services 3Yr BASIC SUPPORT: 5x10 HW-Only, 5x10 NBD Onsite
TOTAL:$1,297.00
My other question is we're running Exchange that came with SBS 2003, but we don't need the full Exchange software on the BlackBerry server, correct?

Thanks. Didn't see a forum or a bunch of threads referencing BPS so I just threw it here. I know how these boards work though. If it's in the wrong spot, flame away!

SB
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think your setup is sufficient for running a production server at all... let alone Exchange and BPS on that box as well.

A few comments on your setup:
Underpowered Processor
Not enough RAM
Non-redundant hard drives. (What happens when your single SATA drive fails?)

Even for the low amount of users you have, I think you need to beef up your hardware a bit.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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BES only on a Dell PE850 2800ghz P4, 1024RAM, 120gig single drive, Win 2k

Runs well with my 35 users. YMMV
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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get RAID. So this box will be both SBS 2003 and BPS?
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knottyrope View Post
BES only on a Dell PE850 2800ghz P4, 1024RAM, 120gig single drive, Win 2k

Runs well with my 35 users. YMMV
Runs well until that single hard drive takes a dump.
At a minimum, you should consider going RAID1.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
get RAID. So this box will be both SBS 2003 and BPS?

Here's our current setup: 1 box running Exchange; 1 box serving as a SQL server/file server; 1 box running terminal services. So this new box will only have the O/S and the BPS software. It won't need Exchange on it, correct?

Forgive my ignorance. That stupid BPS requirements guide reads like Chinese furniture instruction manuals (no offense to the Chinese)...
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
I don't think your setup is sufficient for running a production server at all... let alone Exchange and BPS on that box as well.

A few comments on your setup:
Underpowered Processor
Not enough RAM
Non-redundant hard drives. (What happens when your single SATA drive fails?)

Even for the low amount of users you have, I think you need to beef up your hardware a bit.
Processor is a little under powered, but with only 5 users I don't think you will notice.

I think 2gb or RAM is just fine. I run 1.5gb for 24 users.

A RAID 1 is a must for ANY production server.
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Last edited by TreeDude : 05-05-2008 at 10:35 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeDude View Post
Processor is a little under powered, but with only 5 users I don't think you will notice.

I think 2gb or RAM is just fine. I run 1.5gb for 24 users.

A RAID 1 is a must for ANY production server.
I agree especially since sql is sitting on the other server is enough for 5 users. Add another drive for raid 1 and you should be alright.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with RAID req, that is a must have on production equip.

Since you already have exchange running on another box then you don't buy small bus server for the BPS, just buy server std R2 SP2 32bit.

I would also go with 4GB of RAM, 2GB will get you buy but RAM is cheap these days and if you ever expand it'll be worth it.

Processor wise i don't see a huge issue although the dual core zeons are very well priced and are much better (more powerful and less heat) then the pentium dual core you have selected.

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Old 05-05-2008, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Appreciate the help!
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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450 users.

Our BES box, which runs MSDE, sits at 97.1% idle daily. I think any quad-core would be plenty, especially if the db is hosted on a different machine.

Memory sits at 3400mb out of 4gb in use.

Network usage is high. We have dual NICs in ours and it's absolutely worth it.

We use 15k SCSI drives since the MSDE is local. In the config of the OP, I'd say the RAID1 is perfect.

We are heavy BB users. I would say that 2GB memory, 2x 250gb raid1 7200RPM scsi, and any quad-core CPU would be fine. Dual NIC is overkill for the number of users you have.

In all honestly, for such a small user base, I'd get a nice box dedicated for virtual machines, and run the BES server in a virtual machine.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My BES (550 users), runs on a VM..Xeon 3.4ghz, 1 gig ram, and 20 gig hd space. we can alott more to the VM, but as it stands, it runs perfect..
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniffs View Post
My BES (550 users), runs on a VM..Xeon 3.4ghz, 1 gig ram, and 20 gig hd space. we can a lot more to the VM, but as it stands, it runs perfect..
Only 1gb of RAM? I have mine set at 1.5 and it eats up 90%. I am actually going to bump it to 2gb soon just for a little head room. Mine is also in VMWare.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
Runs well until that single hard drive takes a dump.
At a minimum, you should consider going RAID1.
Just decomissioned a server that has a compatable raid card and 2 similar drives to add to BES.

Going to ghost it
Add raid, Disable local controler.
Test it
mirror it.

Should be fun.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have my BPS server running in an Intel Celeron 1.5GHz with 1GB RAM. It's an old Dell Latitude D505 Laptop. Management wouldn't allow me to buy a real server to run it on since we only have 6 BB users. It sits using 60% memory and the Proc is idle 98% of the time. I understand this is no ideal, and is a risk if this thing ever dies, but you make due with what you have. So just to show that with the low number of users you have, you don't need over kill if you can't afford it.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskolm85 View Post
I have my BPS server running in an Intel Celeron 1.5GHz with 1GB RAM. It's an old Dell Latitude D505 Laptop.
With a setup like this...make sure you back up your configuration database OFTEN. I would recommend backing it up every day.
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
With a setup like this...make sure you back up your configuration database OFTEN. I would recommend backing it up every day.
How do I set up an automatic backup for this? Also, I am pushing HARD to get a real server for this. Would I be able to use these backup to move to this new server if they let me get it?
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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What database platform are you using? MSDE or SQL?

Yes, you'd be able to use the existing database on a new server should you need to.
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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SQL Server Express 2005 I believe is what comes with the BPS server. I let it install with it's defaults.
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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yes, you can use it to DR to new HW.

I feel your pain, tough for me to get new HW at times.
I am stripping a decomissioned server and borging it to the BES.
Lucky me my old PE 750 is a lot like my PE 850 with BES.
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