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Hardware Selection

WhippingBoy

VIP Member
It's that time again! Lets hear from all the hardware zealots out there!

I've searched through the archives, but I didn't find anything up to date that would help me. . .so, lets cover this again.

We're about to start on another upgrade. We are presently a 400 shop running everything WTS and fat clients.

Upper management is considering switching to a new server and/or database, SO . .

Should we stick with the 400?
Should we switch to UNIX?
Should we stay with DB2?
Should we go with SQL Server?
Should we switch to NT?
Should we switch to Intel?
Should we. . . . (fill in the question)?

What do all of you prefer? I don't care how long your answer is, or how loud you shout, I just need overall opinion.

Cost of ownership?
Ease of administration?
Security?
Downtime?
Disaster recover?
Pros/cons?

Say whatever you want. . .Just tell me what you're happy about and what you hate.

(flame suit ON)

Darren Ricciardi - OneWorld Whipping Boy

Looking for work in OR NEAR Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS
 

Carl_Fisher

Well Known Member
Avoid AS400 - OneWorld is not at its best on the 400, I would suggest UNIX
and Oracle for a large implementation, followed by Intel/Windows 2000 with
either SQL Server or Oracle for a small shop.

Both are more cost effective compared to the AS400.



OW733.3 Xe SP 14.2
Enterprise Server - Intel NT + Oracle 8.0.6
Client - Citrix TSE + 4 NT PC's for development
 

boaterdan

Active Member
Re: RE: Hardware Selection

There are, of course, LOTS of variables which determine the best solution for a particular application.

As part of the pre-sales cycle, we flew to Chicago and had, among other presentations, a session with the guy responsible for running the data center there. His statement was that they're seeing Win2k turning out to be as reliable and scaleable (NT's two former prominent weaknesses) as any of the other platforms, and they were actually also seeing the best performance in their lab from that platform.


In my opinion, if you start with the belief that Win2k is sufficiently stable (impossible for some to accept I know), and you look at the Compaq or HP server lines, it is clear that in the price/performance ratio, the AS400 is a BIG loser.

By "disaster recovery" you probably really mean fault tolerance or high availability, and we're finding Win2k clustering (SQL 2000 integrates very well and easilty with it BTW) is slicker than snot. I can give you some tips at implementation time though.

I've never used DB2 or Oracle, but SQL 2000 rocks as far as management goes. The permissions are perhaps a bit confusing, but the way OneWorld is configured it really shields you from that anyway. On the performance side, we're all going to build machines that can more than handle the load, aren't we? In other words, we're not going to let the database be a bottleneck, and then what is really the difference to the user between 500 miliseconds and 700 miliseconds? This does get back to the price/performance issue though... how much $$ does it take to get the platform to that level?

Security. Hmmm, now that's one where Microsoft takes a beating, isn't it. I've been watching MS's security bulletins very closely over the last six months. I'm pretty comfortable saying at this point that their remaining weaknesses seem to be in areas relating to internet access or web browsers. Now, we know that no OS is entirely secure, no matter what is claimed. One of the IT trade rags does a "challenge" every year. This year they bought the top-line security software, blah blah blah, and did about everything a company would think they could do. Then they opened up the challenge, and the database was compromised withing hours. Hours! So, the question becomes, does the beating MS takes come from it being relatively more insecure, or relatively a much popular target? That's a whole nutter discussion, of course.

One thing to consider is that for the Win2k line of server products, you really start realizing the full benefits when you implement Active Directory, and heading in that direction may be too big a change for the suits to handle.

Ok, I guess this qualifies for the "long" category, but hope it gives you some food for thought.

---------------------------------
OneWorld Xe SP15
Clustered Windows 2000 + SQL 2000
 

jeremey_garcia

VIP Member
Hello,
AS/400 runs OW fine....at least so far. We have an S20, and we've only had
to add more HD space. We are a small shop (only 3 ppl) and have approx 150
concurrent users. AS/400 takes less maintanance then a strictly NT shop
from what I've heard. Set it up, put it in a corner and just check it once
a month or less if you want.



Jeremey Garcia
Xe SP14 ES - AS/400 CO - AS/400 Deploy - NT Citrix
 

Larry_Jones

Legendary Poster
Hi Darren,

I really do know better, but I'm going to venture an opinion here also. FYI I work at a Unix/Oracle site and I am very happy with our implementation. The UNIX server is just rock solid.

If you think about it, the price/performance gap between the Intel/Windows platform and other platforms will only continue to widen. This is due to market forces. There are a lot more companies and people buying intel based platforms. This not only provides economy of scale but also enables multiple vendors in the same arena to compete against each other. It all helps to drive prices down while Intel's ability to expand processing power far outstrips the proprietary platforms of IBM, HP, and SUN (this is not saying that Intel processors are more powerful, but states that their performance is growing at a more rapid rate).

Wintel platforms HAVE gotten much better in terms of stability. Our non-JDE apps running on these types of servers almost never crash without some sort of external event (power loss, etc).

One killer reason for a WINTEL platform is that this is the most common platform used at JDE for developing, debugging, and supporting OneWorld. There are hundreds (thousands?) of servers in Denver and other JDE centers. Do you want to bet what % of these are Wintel? Sure the other platforms are supported and developed on, but where is the majority of the expertise going to be?

Performance and stability are there for all but very large implementations. So it comes down to cost, and if you look at the hardware/software costs between a Wintel and the other platforms - Wintel clearly wins. Softer costs, such as finding people who know Wintel vs AS/400 or UNIX clearly land on the side of the Wintel platform if you take a long view.

There are limitations to the WinTel Server Platforms. You need to dedicate them to a single application - they're not workhorses like an AS/400/HP/SUN that run a lot of different apps fairly well. Also running multiple critical business apps on the same wintel server is asking for trouble when you need to install an update to one of the apps, and the update wants all other applications turned off and to reboot when you're done. In addition the Microsoft monopoly is a cause for concern to some.

net, net today, if I was making a decision, I'd focus on the bottom line for the business. Not just today, but for the next 5 years. That may or may not dictate an Wintel solution.

I'll do a followup post with specific likes/dislike on the UNIX/Oracle platform.

My 2,537 cents.


Larry Jones
ljones@wagstaff.com
OneWorld XE, SP 15.1
HPUX 11, Oracle SE 8.1.6
Mfg, Distribution, Financials
 
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