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Database Server Build

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Kreij, May 10, 2012.

  1. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I need to build a new server for our ERP database system
    I good with all of the parts I want but I'm pondering the storage.

    The current server uses less than 20GB on the OS drive and less than 40GB on the database drive. Both are RAID1 pairs. DB only has about 10-12 concurrent users/processes running at any given time.

    I was pondering going to SSDs for the OS drive and 7200s for the database, but I'm wondering if I might see better performace if I leave the OS on 7200s and put the database on SSDs. The database probably has a 60/40 read/write ratio when you look at usage.

    Looking at using a 6-core Xeon with 24GB of RAM.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's what I'm planning ...

    Antec 1200 V3 Full Tower case
    Corsair Pro AX650 Gold
    Still choosing mobo ...
    Intel Xeon E5645 6-Core 2.4GHz
    Corsair CAFA50 Cooler
    G.Skilll Ripjaw DDR3 1333 (24GB ... 6x4GB)
    Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB SSD (x2 in RAID1 )
    Velociraptor 150GB 10000 HDD (x2 in RAID1 )
    Asus EAH5450
    LG DVD Burner
    AS Ceramique 2
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  3. T4C Fantasy

    T4C Fantasy CPU & GPU DB Maintainer

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    if its just the database then that is overkill... unless you plan on using it as a daily pc while running the database lol...., i host a game server with database, a website, with database on a pentium 4 ht 3.4, 2gb ddr1 ram and 2 PATA 500gb hdds xD.
     
  4. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    That would depend on the datadase. They can be quite heavy to run, if they're big and there's a lot of operations going on.
     
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  5. T4C Fantasy

    T4C Fantasy CPU & GPU DB Maintainer

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    thats absolutely true, however it varies completely if the database holds 50000000 accounts you may need more

    if it holds 25000....
     
  6. T4C Fantasy

    T4C Fantasy CPU & GPU DB Maintainer

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    we would need more info on exacty what this database is going to do, what is the expected user load etc

    and what database software you using, Oracle? SQL? Microsoft SQL? Microsoft Access?
     
  7. theeldest

    theeldest

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    You're really not going to need SSDs for the OS on a server. Once the OS and applications are loaded into memory very little would be read/written on the OS drives. And I can't imagine that you're going to be rebooting this server more than a couple times a year.

    SSDs are great in the desktop space because desktop users load many different applications and the loading of apps to memory is what's faster. You won't be doing this. Do standard enterprise class 7200 rpm drives for reliability in RAID1 for the OS.

    For the database I'd go 4 to 6 drives in RAID10. 10k drives if possible (or even 15k but those price points start to hurt).

    You can use SSDs for the database but you may run into a problem where garbage collection never gets a chance to run depending on the hours this server gets used. If it's business hours then a couple 120GB or 240GB SSDs in RAID1 for a 40GB database will *probably* maintain performance. If you did 60GB drives you'd probably drop to pretty low levels of performance (though, still higher than even 4x 15k drives in RAID10).

    On second thought, SSDs for the database--even in the worst case scenario--are probably the best bang / dollar.

    What's your total budget looking like and how 'mission critical' is this server?

    If this is actually important to your business you should really consider a solution with redundant power supplies. Even if you keep a spare PSU on hand, the downtime from doing a swap can be quite long.
     
  8. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    A) It's an Oracle database with (as I stated) has about 10-12 concurrent users/processes.
    B) The system IS overkill for the database load. Way overkill. That's makes no difference.
    C) I don't want other options (like RAID10, etc.). I know what my options are, I just wanted to know about putting the database files on SSDs.

    So ...
    Is anyone running a database on SSDs?
     
  9. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Here's a pretty fantastic review of a non-SLC SSD in an enterprise usage scenario.
    http://www.storagereview.com/intel_ssd_520_enterprise_review

    When they thrash a 240GB Intel 520 drive in the database test they manage about 3100 IOPS (67% read, 33% writes; small block random data).

    These are 'steady-state' numbers. ie, worst case scenario if the drive can't keep up with garbage collection.

    To give you a point of comparison:
    As you read this, I'm testing a couple 12-disk arrays. (12x 300GB 15k drives in RAID 10). Each provides about 450 IOPS using the exact same test that StorageReview ran.


    The SSDs will give you best performance and for your use I very highly doubt you'll have wear issues in the next 3-5 years.
     
  10. v12dock

    v12dock

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    I would just pick something up from dell
     
  11. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    :mad: There's the door ==>





    ;)
     
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  12. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    That was my concern, but after reading quite a bit on it, it doesn't seem to be that big of an issue. With 120GB SSDs at $100 they are a cheap replacement given the speed increase over a 7200 drive.

    LOL ... I've nothing against Dell, but when you start customizing things their prices go through the roof in a hurry. I tried to configure my file server on the Dell site and without even getting everything I wanted it was over $6000.
    I built it the way I wanted (and added some stuff too) for about $2800
     
  13. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Regarding degradation: here's another good review: http://www.storagereview.com/ssd_performance_review_270tb_written

    They wrote 270 TERABYTES to an SSD and compared performance before and after.

    If you use 15 workers accessing a database 40 hours a week at a sustained rate of 8kB transfers at 100 IOPS and 50/50 read/write we get a rate of 824 GB of data written per week. At that rate it would take you 335 weeks (or 6.4 YEARS) to write that much data to a drive.

    And your usage scenario has fewer users, fewer IOPS, and less writes. I wouldn't worry about drive degradation if I were you.
     
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  14. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    when buying a server from dell, never use the online configuration. Call them, get a rep and tell them what you need/want then ask them for the best price they can give you and emphasize how this will influence your companies future purchases. (also if you're a 5 man crew, say it's 50, etc)

    even still for single server applications it doesn't make all that much sense to go with a prebuilt. This is especially true if you already have some stuff laying about.

    SSD's should be ok here, especially since you're planning raid 1, just make sure the ssd you select is raid freindly.
     
  15. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to buy all Dell's for the shop. Very reliable machines and never had any problems with tech support or warranty issues.

    That being said ... it's not as much fun getting a pre-built and just plugging it in as compared to getting a box full of parts and some thermal compound. :D

    I ordered everything so we'll see what happens. I figure of the SSDs don't play well I'll just get a couple more Raptors to replace them, and put one SSD in the boss's computer and the other in mine.
     
  16. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

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    My database is around 70gbs. I have 4x 150 10k drives in RAID 5 (read 340, write 245) on a 3ware 9650SE with battery. My user base on that server is 115x users. I've been debating this as well. I bought a RevoDrive 3 x2 PCIe 240gb (read 1500, write 1225) drive for testing.. And I can say WOW! I write a lot of queries and some that take 5 to 10 mins.. only take around 2-3.. hehehe I would never use this drive as a production drive.. So my question is what is the best Hardware RAID Controller? But to answer your question Kreij.. Yes I see a difference. :toast: For the money I'll be moving over to SSD's, but not sure which controller to use.. :toast:

    EDIT: I put 15.. I meant 115... hehehe
     
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  17. theeldest

    theeldest

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    LSI, Intel, and Areca make some of the best controllers.

    I know Albuquerque is running 6x OCZ SSDs on a Highpoint 2720 SGL (though that's RAID0).
     
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  18. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

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    Yea my 3ware 9650SE is LSI. 3ware was bought out by LSI. It has been a great card. I'm looking more from a user that has one in a redundant array and can share what model they are using. :toast: Oh and it needs to be a SATAIII card.. Don't really care about a SATAII card. :toast:
     
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  19. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I ordered a HighPoint RR 640 4xSATA3 card. I'll let you know if it's any good.
     
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  20. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    If you do decide to go with SSDs, make sure to go with the enterprise grade SSDs, they're incredibly over-provisioned to help out with reliability if you have the budget to go that route. Keep in mind though that databases can do a lot of small updates which could degrade a sdd pretty quickly, but then again I've never tried to run a production database off of an SSD or SSD RAID.

    I don't see this benefitting you if queries to your database are already fast, though because more often than not CPU horse power when joining or doing a seq scan or index scan is what is really going to be your bottleneck and in that case you really would want to opt for fewer cores and higher clocks. The only time I've found 15k RPM SAS drives to improve DB performance over 7200k SATA is on a database copy from template in PostgreSQL, but not on normal queries (except really heavy queries, like 10+ joins on large tables.)

    Is SAS an option?
     
  21. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    My general thinking ...
    The database is in general, "sluggish". It's on an old machine and with each Oracle update it's been progressively getting slower (so more CPU horsepower) and heavy queries can take a long time (so SSDs for fast querying).
    There are not many concurrent users, but some of the tables have grown quite large over time, and quite a bit if the querying does heavy joining.
    I don't want to purge the information as they want a complete history for reporting certain things.

    SAS is an option, but the geek in me wants to see how the SSDs perform on a production database. :D
    If they work well, I could replace them every year if I want to make sure there is no speed degredation. $200 for a pair od SSDs to hold the DB is nothing, and the old SSDs (that probably would still have a ton of life left) could then be migrated to my gaming rig at home. :rockout: lol
     
  22. theeldest

    theeldest

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    I think this point is pretty key. SSDs have dropped significantly in price over the past year to the point where we can realistically plan on replacing them once a year (or even more) in the enterprise space and the cost is almost negligible.

    It does help that most enterprise apps that require very fast disks are usually not space constrained. IE: databases are small compared to the performance they need and what most of us have on our home systems.

    Out of curiosity, how big is the company? 10 - 100 employees, 100 - 500, 500 - 1000, 1000+?

    Just trying to get an idea of what an "IT Budget" would look like for you and how $200 fits in the bigger picture.
     
  23. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Small company. Maybe 50 employees, but <10 concurrent DB licenses.
    I don't have a budget. I just beg for money when I need to do something. lol

    When I first started there, they were still running DOS machines on a thinnet coax network.
    I completely rewired the shop with cat5E and put in gigabit switches. This is obvious overkill for what they need, but an over-engineered network is a lot less problematic in the long run from an administration standpoint.

    For instance, "Is the network bottlenecking?". No, not a single node pushes over 1% bandwidth usage through the switches ... ever ... even the servers. This leads to me only having to make sure the machines are capable of handling their application load(s). So I over-engineer the servers and don't have to worry about that either. Then I sit back and happily enjoy writing code while the network hums along. :)
     
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  24. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

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    I'm looking at that card too! Looks really good for $95.99 @ the Egg. I'm also, looking at the Intel RAID Controller RT3WB080. You can buy a BBU (Battery Backup Unit) for it. I'm looking forward to seeing how that HighPoint performs. :toast:
     
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  25. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    Yup, every now and then I buy boxes from Dell Outlet when it's the better option... this is not one of those times! $2800 buys one banging box (relative to your needs). Since you've bought your parts already, we can all go back to what we wanted to do earlier in the thread - fantasize about builds :D

    I'll take the minimalist approach.

    Xeon E3-1275 3.4Ghz
    Intel DBS1200KP
    8GB x 2 1333 ECC
    OCZ VeloDrive 300GB (enterprise version of the Revo, allegedly).
    Lian-Li PC-Q07.

    Leaves about $400 for PSU, cooler, optical if desired.

    Has less RAM, less cores, but sports kicked-in-the-groin storage performance. Also, IT WOULD BE SO FRICKIN' CUTE!

    Came close to buying that board for one of my own projects, unfortunately it only features 4 SATA ports instead of 6. May have a use for it at a later time though...
     

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