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  1. #1
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    Question Unanswered: Hardware needed???

    I'm currently running a msde 2.8 server on a pentium 4 2.4 with 512 megs of memory and it is slow for client computers. What would you suggest for a server Memory, processor, mirror hard drives?

    The software I am running is a Point of sale software package. The server is currently running on one of the registers and I'm plan on installing a back office server. Any advise would help greatly.

  2. #2
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    All you can get?

    Without knowing a LOT more about what you are doing, what problems you've had, what you want to add, etc, we're pretty hard pressed to give you simple answers!

    -PatP

  3. #3
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    Update

    The current problems that I am having is. When a item is scanned it takes 30 seconds to come back with a product. I am wanting to run a windows 2003 server running msde and in the future switch it to sql 2005. My database is around 130 megs and growing. In 2 years it will be around 1gig or larger. I have 2 clients currently but may grow up to 5 clients.

  4. #4
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    Typically the fetch of an SKU (roughly the same thing as what you are doing) takes about 275 ms using a full blown copy of SQL Server. It shouldn't be a bunch slower for MSDE unless you are running into connection throttling somehow (MSDE only permits at most 5 running threads at one time).

    Are you certain that the delay is really happening inside MSDE, and not somewhere else in your system?

    -PatP

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan
    All you can get?

    Without knowing a LOT more about what you are doing, what problems you've had, what you want to add, etc, we're pretty hard pressed to give you simple answers!

    -PatP

    That never stopped us before....

    Let's see...the database is 130mb...you have 512mb...

    I would say the whole damn thing is in memory...

    SO....if you eliminate the fact that there's probably no I/O, AND I'm assuming that the thing is indexed properly.....

    I'd go with the thought that the code sucks....

    oh...hold on...what else is running on the box?
    Brett
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  6. #6
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    Nothing else

    There is nothing else running on the system. The point of sale software is also running on the machine. I would like to adventually have that machine act as a virus server.

  7. #7
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    Poke around in the Task Manager a bit. See if anything there attracts your attention. Be sure to check to see how much memory various processes are using, how much memory the machine has used, and how busy the CPU is.

    Are you familiar with Performance Monitor? It can help a bunch trying to diagnose this kind of problem.

    -PatP

  8. #8
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    Memory usage

    SQLserver uses 150 - 200 megs of memory. Not much cpu usage.

  9. #9
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    If that is the case, it looks like SQL Server isn't your culprit. If it was, the CPU would be higher (for CPU bound tasks), or both the CPU and the RAM would be higher (for disk bound tasks).

    My guess is that the problem lies either in the application itself, the network (especially likely if modems or wireless is involved), or on the client machine.

    We still haven't nailed down the culprit, but I don't think that MSDE is your weak link in this case.

    -PatP

  10. #10
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    Cpu

    Well I just tested it by scanning some items. It uses about 30%-70% of the processor. This is running on a windows 2003 with sql server 2000. The hardware is a xeon 2.4 512 megs of memory. This machine is very effecient and works like a wal-mart. It comes up as fast as you can scan. But uses a lot of the processor. My other sites like I said our pentium 4 with 512 running xp pro and msde 2.8.

    Thanks for all the help so far

  11. #11
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    So what should I....

    So the question is what should I roll out for a server to replace the desktop p4 machines? Also is there something I should be looking at in sql itself? The % of processor was with only 2 machines scanning items which is not very uncommon.

  12. #12
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    The biggest problem is that MSDE is intended to be a run-time package for applications developed with Microsoft Visual Studio. You are sorely hampered trying to figure out what your performance problem is due to an almost total lack of tools.

    The official gospel from Microsoft is that you need to report the problem to your application vendor, and have them either re-tune your database for you or sell/re-sell you the tools to allow you to tune it yourself. Once you get a full copy of SQL Server (even the BackOffice version which is somewhat limited compared to the full-featured versions), you'll be much better equipped to deal with this kind of problem.

    Right now you are kind of like the merchant that buys a vending machine that is serviced by the seller... You have no keys, no tools, no access to the inside of the machine, and all you can do is report malfunctions to your vendor... A nice, simple, black-box arrangement where you can't monkey with things even should you want to!

    -PatP

  13. #13
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    REally?

    With that said, I wonder how many developers deploy this solution...

    I was just starting to head down this path as well...

    What about MS Access and MSDE?
    Brett
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  14. #14
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    MSDE gives the end user OSQL.EXE and BCP.EXE, but not much more... No Enterprise Mangler, no Query Analyzer, no Profiler. This is plenty for the folks who want a "data appliance", but doesn't give you much in the way of tuning tools.

    I'm pretty sure that the Developer Edition of MS-Access allows run-time distribution of MSDE, but I haven't checked the licensing on it lately.

    -PatP

  15. #15
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    a 130MB database.. is much of it in only a few tables? I'm wondering if it really is indexed properly.. A product lookup is basically just a 'select' query right? maybe a few joins or such..

    Also, there are some free management utilities for people without enterprise manager.
    Check out http://www.aspfaq.com/show.asp?id=2442
    Some cost money, but not nearly as much as any real version of sql server.

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