need advice on hardware and os spec

I have just ordered a Dell dual 933 xeon with 15000 ( times 4 scsi) hd’s and 2GB ram. The configuration i have ordered is raid 5 and the system will come with sbs2000. Q. I have chosen raid 5 for redundancy, but is this really recommended? Apart form speed in write, am I likely to get any other serious problems? Database corruptions? Q2. Anyone with any experience of SBS2000. Just a cheaper way of buying SQL2000 and win2000 server. I know that this is not really recommended by NAVISION, so have i made a mistake? I dont really intend to use exchange or proxy that comes with sbs2000. And i have checked with MS that the sql with win2000 is standard sql comments? finally is choosing sql from the start really worth it? I still have 2 days to change my order with dell so HELP!!

As you mentioned SBS (small business server) isn’t recommended by Navision; however, it’s also no longer supported. Therefore, that’s enough for me not to purchase it. Most of those I’ve encountered using SBS end up complaining about performance problems and usually end up upgrading. Navision also doesn’t recommend RAID 5; however, I’ve encountered many who prefer this because it’s cheaper. You stated is chosing SQL from the start worth it. Hmmn - if that’s what the customer insists on or if that’s what you know the customer needs then Yes. However, you really haven’t provided enough information for a definite answer. I would make sure your client is on 2.60.E (both executable and objects) if using SQL.

I dont know why people think that RAID 5 is such a problem. Navision doesnt recommend it for the native db because of striping issues with data corruption. Sure its slows things down a bit but we have plenty of clients running RAID 5 with SQL that get very good performance. Almost all businesses are choosing SQL these days in our client base. SQL is designed to run with RAID 5, and if your drives and controllers are fast enough then you get what you want with the benefit of RAID 5. Of course, not knowing transaction levels in this situation, other levels of RAID might be better, maybe 0,1,0+1,10… I’ll hold judgement until I know the full specs. Craig Bradney Technical Manager Navision Solutions & Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Ooops… forgot to add… SBS seems to only get in the way. Id choose ‘normal’ any day. I think you lose ability later on with licencing if you choose SBS. What comes to mind is adding functionality such as USer Portals etc - you may not be able to do this with SBS. Craig Bradney Technical Manager Navision Solutions & Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

  1. RAID: agree with Craig, unless it is the native DB. We have someone running on RAID-5, SQL 2000, W2K 2000, 2GB Ram. I think they have 5+1 18GB HDD’s for the database. 2. SBS: sorry, no clue, but the so far never used the SBS approach

Thank you all for advice. For safety adopting a raid 1+0. Re the sbs issue, MS are stating that the sql and server versions are now standard ( not stripped down as in 4.5 or earlier versions) could this have been the reason for people finding problems? Navision must have a really strong reason not support sbs2000 - anyone know why?

If the software was stripped down then this could have been the cause of problems but theres also user licence limits too like 15 users only I think… and theres used to be no upgrade path. For this reason alone is a bit ahrd to take SBS if you want to grow to a bigger number of users. Craig Bradney Technical Manager Navision Solutions & Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Provided that SBS is packaging a ‘normal’ edition of SQL Server, and I have not heard that it is not or even that there are any ‘abnormal’ editions, then Financials/Attain will not care. You should use SQL Server Standard or Enterprise, though and not Personal. As for RAID, agreed on Navision Server. 5 is not necessarily a good solution for a SQL Server system because of the write performance hit (1 write → 2 reads, 2 writes for the parity checking, albeit in parallel). You sacrifice something for the lack of full mirroring. But a NF application is extremely read intensive even during modification batches etc such as posting, which 5 is excellent for. Updates would be optmimal with 10, of course. As for the log file, you should use RAID 1 preferably since striping provides no benefit for its sequential, synchronous writes.


Originally posted by Craig Bradney: I dont know why people think that RAID 5 is such a problem. Navision doesnt recommend it for the native db because of striping issues with data corruption.

Craig (or anyone else), Where did you read/hear that Navision don’t recommend RAID5? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster

Hi Erik When using C/SIDE Navision only says (in the installation and system setup manual) that You will loose performance using RAID5. When it comes to SQL Server option there’s a statement in the sizing guide that Navision done togehter vith Siemens where they say that “RAID 5 will not be discussed further since Navision Software a/s does not support systems based on RAID 5.” //Lars

RAID5 and the C/Side-Database… …there is a clear recommendation from 1999 where Navision (Germany) wrote: “Verwenden Sie niemals RAID5” which means “never use RAID5” (with C/Side !). There was no detailed further comment about that - and i think that much of that recommendation was based on bad experience. Corrupted databases and RAID5 quite often came together. I never had a written statement with “it is forbidden …”, but every time i had that discussion, there was a firm “don’t do it”. In the last 7 years i only faced two installations with RAID5 and the C/Side-database. One of them had a corrupted database one time and then was changed to RAID1, the other is still running until today without any problem… The only thing i found on that topic is, that some RAID-5 controllers SEEM to use a cache-strategy that MIGHT interfer with the version-principle of the C/Side-database (especially under heavy-load). Through optimizing-algorithms it could happen that transactions are not written back in the exact same sequence, in which the dbms did create that write-transactions. And that might lead to the problem of the corrupted databases. Most RAID-controllers offer management-functions that can help to solve that problem. But that requires a very clear understanding of the way a controller works. I know that is not a bullet-proof explanation, but gimme a bonus because i have to translate my brilliant thoughts :wink: My personal opinion on a good storage-subsystem for the C/Side-Database is: Use a set of the fastest harddisks and a good controller. For safety-reasons use RAID1. If you want to have it faster, then add more harddisks. If it has to be even faster, then use RAID10 (several mirrored 3 disk-stripe-sets). And never use the controller-cache.