The Database Upgrade

For the past two years, we've been using two APPRO 1124 AMD Athlon MP 1U machines as our database servers; one ran the main site and the AD database, and the other ran the Forums database. They have worked very well for us, with an up-time of over 99%. Our only hardware failure with those machines was a couple of dead drives. We've been using two database servers in total to run the backend of AnandTech, mostly for redundancy. For this upgrade, we decided to go to one database server, which lessens the administration burden and keep one of the old APPRO servers as a cold backup if required. If you read our recent article on the Quad Opteron vs. Quad Xeon, you can probably guess which platform we chose.

We selected the Quad AMD Opteron 848 Server , and outfitted it with 8GB of memory, running Windows 2003 Enterprise. Why Windows? We chose Windows because we run Microsoft SQL Server. The choice of the Opteron wasn't difficult; it was the fastest platform in our review under 32 bit, and it is ready for 64 bit when we are.

Index Storage Requirements


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  • kherman - Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - link

    How about a pic of that motherboard! Reply
  • JasonClark - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    Penpun, I updated the article with the URL's, and correct a spelling error on my end. It's CI Designs not CSI Designs, guess I watch a bit to much CSI :) Reply
  • penpun - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    "CSI Designs RMHR 9000"

    where can we find more info on this company and their products? a quick google search didn't reveal anything obvious.
  • Phiro - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    Not sure if you want to give out these numbers, but how many page views did you have in the last 30 days, and how many unique visitors? Reply
  • JasonClark - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link


    Because, we have standardized on the microsoft platform, and that is where our expertise lies. Performance-wise, a well tuned .Net application on windows will run just as good as it will on linux if not better as the framework was built on the windows platform.

    MySQL is no where close to SQL Server in terms of an enterprise database server (at least not yet). No stored procedures, triggers etc. 5.0 is a way off yet, which should include those features. Also the tools for MySQL are terrible in comparison to SQL Enterprise Manager. SQL Server is where it's at in terms of productivity, enterprise class features and the best management tools in the business.

    As #22 said, productivity is key, why run something you are not familiar with and is not the best platform for a .NET application? We're not interested in PHP or any other language.
  • yelo333 - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    #21, probably familiarity. Which means productivity.

    IIRC, they also chose the forums software this way...

    Remember, nobody(well, hardly anybody) can know all combinations of software just as well as another.

    There are probably more reasons, or completely different ones, so wait around for the "official" answer. ;)
  • unhaiduc - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    This may be a dumb question, but why don't you guys run a Linux/Apache webserver? or even Win/Apache?.. MySQL? Reply
  • JasonClark - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - link

    Sharkeeper, we are no where near 16,000 sessions simultaneous... only 3-4000, no slow down at all at that level. Reply
  • VirtualLarry - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - link

    Reflex, my friend also has a quad-proc Slot-II Xeon Compaq server, dual-redundant sets of 3 cooling fans, 2+1 redundant PSUs, hot-swap 64-bit PCI, SCSI RAID, etc., crazy overkill kind of stuff for home. He has a rack-mount case in his kitchen. :P Oh yeah, it definately DOES sound like a jet plane taking off when he turns the thing one. It's pretty snappy though, good for LAN game servers and stuff. It also uses an insane memory-expansion daughterboard, with its own buffer chips, can accept up to 16 or maybe even 32GB of registered ECC SDR memory, in quad-interleaved groups of 4 DIMMs. I think he just has 4 x 256MB or 4 x 128MB now, because he got the RAM for cheap.
  • sharkeeper - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - link

    Interesting choice of firewall. What happens when it get saturated? I've implemented NS25's in small enterprises with ~200 or so users and was concerned. Their utilisation is nowhere near what yours would be.


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