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Building high performance cluster

Matias Pees
Occasional Visitor

Building high performance cluster

Hi there!
I'm a IT admin from Argentina. I've this one client that has three servers, one of them is a file server.
This server is "serving" a 10GB DBF (dBase) database over 95 users in a 100Mbit LAN.

I want to upgrade that single server by buying two new HP servers (requisites are not so high... quad core, 4GB RAM, 320GB Storage).. but the one requisite is to have high availability (Cluster) and high performance for file serving.
In one year we will migrate that database to SQL server so the servers should accept that.

The operating system should be windows server (probably 2008 R2).

Can you help me planning what servers to buy? I want cheap options, medium priced options and an impossible one.





P.S. This thread has been moevd from Servers > Planning to ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL) - Hp forum moderator

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Building high performance cluster

There are probably cheaper options, but the DL360G6 is a good entry level server capable of doing what you want to do.

They come with dual, quad or 6 core cpu's, 192GB ram max, dual 1GB NICs, 2 expansion slots and support for 4 or 8 small form factor drives. (up to 4TB of storage, depending on the type of drive interface you require.)

I would catagorize this server as the "medium priced" option.

Have you thought about virtualizing the environment? You can effectively run multiple servers on 2 of these physical servers without any issues.

I have a customer running 2 of these with ESX4 and an MSA for shared storage. Most of the VM's run in Fault Tolerance mode so if one physical node fails... there is 0 downtime on the virtual server. Even without VMware Fault Tolerance, the downtime would be minimal since the virtual machine will restart on the surviving node in an HA cluster.

Cheap Option:
Honestly... the Dl320 and DL1xx series servers aren't really much cheaper than the 360 and have much less expansion capabilities. (usually)

Impossible Option:
The next step up would be a Dl380 configuration. I would venture to say a DL580 config even, but I think that would be total overkill.

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Frequent Advisor

Re: Building high performance cluster


Steven's advice is a good advice, consider virtualising those servers. Even with ESXi you can run the environment you need.

In the mean time, if you prefer a rack mount and stand alone server, an Entry level DL380 G6 will work for you, 491505-xx1, it comes with 1x E5540, 4MB L3 Cache, 4GB RAM and two Dual Port NC382i for around 2300 USD, you can get a better price asking you favourite reseller.

A DL320 can cut the price by half, but you don't want a DL320 when you need high availability.

Keep in mind that DL360/380s G6 in general are very similar in price, what makes a difference is the processors, memory upgrade, Hard Drives and I/O modules you add.

Check DL380 G6 quickspecs or any other Proliant Server and scroll down to pre configured MODELS, Get the configuration you need according your application (Efficiency Model, Entry Model, Performance Model, etc) and perform a Google search for a reference price or just call you reseller. It will give you a good idea of the right option for you according to your budget and needs.