Help please! Need to know what server to buy and have no idea.

22
Posted 2nd Apr
Hi,

I need to purchase and install a server to allow me and a colleague to run ICM Infoworks software on it (specialist software for river modelling). Innovyze have created a spec for the server that needs to be used.

For all your computer geniuses on here, can you suggest a server that would do the job? I would prefer quality over price. Please see the spec below. Any advice would really be appreciated, as I'm stuck trying to work at home without it ...

Recommended Server Requirements

The recommended system requirements for the machine running the Workgroup Data Server are as follows.
The software should be run on a physical or virtual server running a 64-bit Windows Server operating system e.g. Windows Server 2016.
At least two processor cores should be available for either a physical or a virtual server.
A minimum of 4GB of RAM should be available. More RAM is recommended if the database size is large. For standard workgroup databases, to achieve maximum performance on a physical machine you would have more RAM than the size of the largest network database (.wdb) file on the server, up to about 32GB. Generally, it is recommended to have 16GB of RAM for a physical server. For a virtual server, it would be reasonable to start with 8GB of RAM allocated and monitor memory usage and increase if necessary.
For best performance and reliability, the directory (default C:\ProgramData\Innovyze\SNumbatData) used to store standard databases should local to the machine running the WDS. It should not be on a file share, except under exceptional circumstances.
Overall storage space cannot be easily predicted, as it depends very strongly on the size of the networks to be managed and the presence of other ancillary data (such as ground models) which can increase the size of a database dramatically (tens of GBs). Be prepared to monitor the storage requirements for the database and expand as necessary.

Installing the Workgroup Data Server

There are two version of the Workgroup Data Server available, it is important you install the correct version:
WorkgroupDataServer x64 – A 64 bit version for use on Windows x64. This is the recommended version for x64 Windows. If you are connecting to Oracle it requires the 64 bit version of the Oracle client. For SQL Server connectivity it requires the 64-bit Native Client.
WorkgroupDataServer x86 – A 32 bit version for use on Windows 32-bit (x86). If you are connecting to Oracle it requires the 32 bit version of the Oracle client. For SQL Server connectivity it uses the 32-bit Native Client.
The Windows version of the Workgroup Data Server can be installed by running the setup program. This setup will install a Windows service. Once installed the Workgroup Data Server will need configuring and the service started before use.
Community Updates
Ask

Groups

22 Comments
Happy to help. Have you thought about running it in the cloud?
"I need to purchase and install a server to allow me and a colleague to run ICM Infoworks software on it "

Do you? Sounds ideal to leasing a server from azure, amazon or google clouds to me. Can even then experiment on the trial side of the subscriptions to prove what works for you before going further and then only pay for it when you want to actually spin it up and run your modelling.
Thanks xboxgamer321 and bertz99. I’m rubbish with computers, so I don’t know if I can run from the cloud. I probably could though. I’m hoping to get a few ideas on this thread to pass on to my colleague who does know something about computers to give them a steer.
I’m a physical machine person some applications are great for cloud computing and some need to be on site only you can answer that, we run some low level IT applications and sorts remotely but the core of what we do to run day to day is physical/virtual based on site.

It doesn’t sound like you need a particularly amazing machine to run this on there’s no GPU requirements for modelling (I would expect there to be?) or does this machine just dish out the database and you model on your own?

do you want to virtualise or not?

would there need to be any redundancy in power supply and will the disks need to be raid or does that not matter?

will it be rack mounted or just on a desk?

have a look at the Lenovo ThinkServer or HP proliant Xeon Machines, Spec server 2016 and 32gb of ram in it. Decide on raid arrangements and hard drive size.
Thanks Dannyrobbo for the response. My (limited) understanding is that the PCs that connect to the server will do all the heavy lifting and so need to have very good graphics cards etc. My guess is therefore that the server is holding the raw data as a database for the ground model etc for the river being modelled. I am assuming the relevant data is downloaded from the server to the individual PC, where all the computations are undertaken, maybe with a results file sent back the server (I feel like I am making this up as I go along :p)?

If any of you have the time, please see below the link that takes you to Innovyze's description of the required server:
innovyze.com/med…pdf
Dannyrobbo , is this the sort of thing that might work?
store.hp.com/UKS…WKS
+1 on Azure VM
philh77702/04/2020 11:40

Dannyrobbo , is this the sort of thing that might …Dannyrobbo , is this the sort of thing that might work?https://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=5JA34EA&opt=ABU&sel=WKS


Overkill for your requirements - 2 users was what you defined with effectively an SQL DB on it (choice of oracle or MS) - I would bet looking at it you would get away with SQL lite

Just going to buy both hw and sw, then build and then maintain isn't the approach most companies use - what if you find you have the spec's wrong? It was why most people first prototype a proof of concept and then roll out from a more informed position and cloud is very good for that.

I was a physical person over a decade ago, times move on and really even cloud still ends up on physical kit just not yours that you have paid for rather you hire (and brings a usage element that can enable spinning down when not in use and not paying full whack for). Danny is right in that some things really are not suited to the cloud mind.

Run through spinning it up on azure even if you make you client machines up on azure too if only to prototype and help define what you requirements are.

Danny threw a few considerations in that if going physical you would need to consider like backups, raid on contingency, fail over on a server fault, support and maintenance, patching - those low level considerations are eliminated when you are not supplying the physical kit itself and someone is looking after it for you (in the cloud)

Just to give an example in Azure you have 4 level of hdd available - Ultra SSD, professional SSD, standard SSD and standard SSD. You choose the lowest level and find it is too little - as you are leasing you can change easily.
Edited by: "Bertz99" 2nd Apr
Dual core CPUs were launched in 2005 so anything on the market today is going to offer more performance than the minimum that can be expected from two CPU cores. Even something a few years old will more than clear that very low bar.

And storage and memory are dependant on your specific workload as it says.

If there's no other context to that description then basically anything will work provided it's not absolutely ancient (pre-2010).
Thanks all.

Innovzye have just stated the following in an email: "The WDS runs as a background process, so it is even possible to repurpose an older machine for the job in a small office environment (that's all we use!) but a "proper" server will have its usability benefits and could of course be potentially utilised for other things.

They also sent the following image; hopefully I can upload it on here (again my computer skills are rubbish):


40261493-fBdIX.jpg
I can email Innovyze and ask them a question. What should that question be?
1. Can the server be run from a cloud?
2. Could we use Azure VM?
3. Would my old PC (Win 10 from memory) be adaptable to a server?

Any of the above, or something else?
philh77702/04/2020 12:12

I can email Innovyze and ask them a question. What should that question …I can email Innovyze and ask them a question. What should that question be?1. Can the server be run from a cloud?2. Could we use Azure VM?3. Would my old PC (Win 10 from memory) be adaptable to a server?Any of the above, or something else?



Ask 1 & then 2!
Thanks all for your ideas
philh77702/04/2020 11:34

Thanks Dannyrobbo for the response. My (limited) understanding is that the …Thanks Dannyrobbo for the response. My (limited) understanding is that the PCs that connect to the server will do all the heavy lifting and so need to have very good graphics cards etc. My guess is therefore that the server is holding the raw data as a database for the ground model etc for the river being modelled. I am assuming the relevant data is downloaded from the server to the individual PC, where all the computations are undertaken, maybe with a results file sent back the server (I feel like I am making this up as I go along :p)?If any of you have the time, please see below the link that takes you to Innovyze's description of the required server:https://www.innovyze.com/media/3244/workgroupdataserveradministration2015may.pdf



If it’s just serving a database to the clients that will do all the heavy lifting literally an average PC could do it, load server 2016 and 32gb of ram and a HDD. You might have an old system in the office you could repurpose.

btw I think your company may balk at azure pricing for what you need it for.
Edited by: "Dannyrobbo" 2nd Apr
Dannyrobbo02/04/2020 14:49

If it’s just serving a database to the clients that will do all the heavy l …If it’s just serving a database to the clients that will do all the heavy lifting literally an average PC could do it, load server 2016 and 32gb of ram and a HDD. You might have an old system in the office you could repurpose.btw I think your company may balk at azure pricing for what you need it for.


Thanks Dannyrobbo,

I purchased the following computer in 2015 and it is now in storage:
amazon.co.uk/gp/…c=1

I am thinking of maybe doubling or quadrupling the ram to 16gb or 32gb. Do you think this system would work with server 2016 installed? I'd prefer some hardware to a cloud system, especially if I can re-purpose an old PC.
philh77702/04/2020 16:20

Thanks Dannyrobbo,I purchased the following computer in 2015 and it is now …Thanks Dannyrobbo,I purchased the following computer in 2015 and it is now in storage:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009PNCY02/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1I am thinking of maybe doubling or quadrupling the ram to 16gb or 32gb. Do you think this system would work with server 2016 installed? I'd prefer some hardware to a cloud system, especially if I can re-purpose an old PC.



I see no reason why it wouldn’t. You can trial server 2016 for 180 days too try it with the ram you have now and upgrade it if you need to. There’s only 2 ram slots in that PC so just think about that when you are buying more.

I7 4 cores, 64 bit server 2016 you meet the minimum ram. The list states 1tb ssd which I think you may need unless you think you can get away with mechanical.
Excellent Dannyrobbo. I’ll pass all that info on to the IT guy.
"To allow me and a colleague to run ICM Infoworks"
Assuming you both live at different addresses, you'd have to do something like port forwarding or a VPN so that the user not on the same network can log in. Cloud hosting of the server will probably offer a more secure and simple way of handling this.
harrythefish02/04/2020 16:37

"To allow me and a colleague to run ICM Infoworks"Assuming you both live …"To allow me and a colleague to run ICM Infoworks"Assuming you both live at different addresses, you'd have to do something like port forwarding or a VPN so that the user not on the same network can log in. Cloud hosting of the server will probably offer a more secure and simple way of handling this.


Thanks. Yes, we are at different addresses, although once this pandemic is all over, we will be working in the same office 95% of the time. I am probably looking for a system that works fastest when we are in the same office, is reliable and not too expensive. If the cloud suits the above, I certainly won't rule out
Bertz9902/04/2020 16:55

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/free/


Any idea how much it costs per month (after the free 12 months) for the basic package?
philh77702/04/2020 17:02

Any idea how much it costs per month (after the free 12 months) for the …Any idea how much it costs per month (after the free 12 months) for the basic package?


Depends on your requirements - it is a pay as you use sort of service and what level you want is what it will cost.

You will know better having first prototyped it there for free as will tell you. Which will also allow you to start now and not wait to getting kit out of storage during the pandemic.

Just consider me lazy in that if I can have something that supplies me the infrastructure, OS, sorts out contingency with backups persistent and available 24x7 so I can focus more on the end fun bits first I will.
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Discussions