SSD all the way if you actually purchase hardware...we use SSD on FM development machines (old mac minis) and they are lighting fast!
Have you thought about using a VPS? A Windows 2008 R2 VPS with 4GB RAM and 4 CPU cores should be more than enough.
I was setting up my current FileMaker Server just after attending DevCon in 2010, i attended a session titled - Preparing for Server, Install Config and Monitoring and below are some of the key points they mentioned for stability and longevity from your server:
- SAS Drives over SATA (obviously SSD probably highest option now)
- RAID10 or RAID5
3 Partitions recommended:
- OS, applications, swap files (Windows), logs
- Local Backups, performance logs
- Latest OS updates as well as BIOS
- Turn off automatic updates
- Exclude FM Data and Backups from Virus Scan
- Gigabit network recommended
- NIC Pairing may help balance the load
- FileMaker Server memory Cache
- (Physical memory – 128) * .25
- If running 4GB RAM, recommended to set the cache to maximum to increase performance.
Ultimately i setup a Server with a Quad Core processor and 4 300GB 10k RPM Raptor drives in RAID10 config on Win Server 2k8. Been in service since 2010 DevCon and have not had a hiccup to date. Only thing i would change if i were building the server today would be most likely to substitue the raptors for SSDs
There have been a couple of threads suggesting RAID10 is better for databases than RAID5. Google "silent data corruption" RAID5.
With respect to virus scans, I recall advice from someone at FMI to only have the scan on the backup folder, if at all.
Beatrice Beaubien, PhD
i2eye, Toronto, Canada
FileMaker Business Alliance
FileMaker 11 Certified Developer
You mentioned a busy web site. Since you probably cannot change the website, how about a Filemaker 2 or 3 server configuration? One server is for filemaker server advanced engine, one for the web publishing engine, and the third is the existing website. This takes load off your busy web site because almost all of the filemaker work in done on its own serve(s)r, and gives you the flexibility to either have one powerful server that has FIlemaker and web publishing runing on it, or two servers, one for Filemaker server, and one for Filemaker web publishing.
I don’t know how much data you have, or what your budget is. SSD is very fast, and expensive. Raid 10 is less expensive, redundant, and fast Raid 5 redundant and is somewhat slower, but easier to understand.
With Filemaker server, you need a fairly strong CPU setup, so this may be more important than disk info to you. Eight cores would be nice (i.e. two cpu's with 4 cores each).
I would use Microsoft 2008 R2 as the operating system (especially if you existing web server is IIS). If its Apache, perhaps the Apple route is required.
If you purchased used from Ebay, one powerful Filemaker server would be less than $800, not counting software. I'd be glad to help with eBay, becasue I do it all the time.
just curious, as I have thought about configuring this way for a while.
WIth the data on a separate partition, what implications re file permissions?
Under the /library/FileMaker Serrver path, data files are owned by fmserver , under group fmsadmin
On a separate partition, privileges are uncontrolled if it is not a partition with the OS on it, as I understand it anyway. Or at least the OS on a different partition can't even verify/repair the permissions on another non OS containing partition.
So are there implications of circumventing the 'privilege bubble' that has been mentioned re stable FMS operation
update: after a bit of exploration , used Batchmod to change the permissions on an alternate databse directory on a partition. THis was also the diffeernce between a valid and non valid path to the FMS admin config. So maybe there are no implications.