We about to establish a new IT section, using Oracle9i with a UNIX operating system. Do you think it is better to purchase two servers - one for the database and the other for the Oracle application server and the user server with two processors; or would it be better to purchase one server with two processors and put the database, Oracle application server and the user application on the same server? We do not have a huge amount of data, but we want to add collaboration and the Oracle work flow and archiving system later in addition to HR, payroll, accounting, loan and other administrative applications.


Chuck Kelley's Answer: The answer depends on how much CPU, network bandwidth and disk accesses are needed. You need to "do the math" to determine whether one system with dual processors will suffice all that you need to run on it. If it can, then determine the growth needs to see if you will out grow the systems.

I would tend to move toward separate processors if I believed the growth was going to be fast to get the corporate mindset to understand the separation of form and function. Also, I have found it is harder to buy more hardware later than it is to buy it now - something that should not be true.

Clay Rehm's Answer: If you can afford to do so, purchase the two separate servers. Just because you don't have a lot of data now, there is a good chance you will have more in the not too distant future!

Les Barbusinski's Answer: It's difficult to give advice for server configurations without knowing the precise user profiles, transaction volumes and data structures involved. However, as a general rule, application and RDBMS software is almost always distributed across separate servers. The reason is that both types of software utilize server resources in different ways and separating them allows each server to be configured for optimum performance.

Also, if it's at all possible, you should always put RDBMS software on a multiprocessor platform. Database software is particularly well suited to taking advantage of an SMP environment (e.g., managing buffer pools on one processor while handling logging on another) and depriving it of this advantage will negatively impact performance sooner or later. Hope this helps.

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