FMS vs "enterprise" DB servers... FMS is amazing in many respects

Discussion created by disabled_ScottKoontz on Jul 19, 2013

Based on the companies I've worked with, and the crap they have to go through with their other RDBMS and servers, I'm very pleased to have stayed with FM products through the years, and recently a few of my clients have expressed exasperation at their other systems and have used the FMS solution as an example of what can be done.


Some of the "big iron" problems may be the fault of the company, the programmers, the RDBMS, etc. The client and I really don't care -- we care about security and uptime. So how did little FMI manage to show up the big guns? I'd say I began boasting with FMS 7, but the latest versions are even more amazing.


  1. Backups
    1. FMS: hourly or incremental
      1. Clients help decide
      2. Nothing could be easier, clients understand process, know where the backups reside, see the backups happening, etc.
    2. Others: typically daily (I don't know why)
      1. I've never seen other DBs use rollbacks -- seems to be too complicated or unused
      2. Why are other systems backing up once per day? Is this an oversight? Is this typical?
    3. FMS backups are easily demonstrated as full, transportable, uncompressed copies
      1. I always show this to clients, even if they don't ask
      2. I have seen "enterprise" DB software fail to recover(?) what was assumed to be a working backup -- but the office could never "see" or test the backups
    4. Offsite backups
      1. FMS: Mozy (as one example) is cheap, easy, works, encrypted, client can see results
      2. Others: Some cryptic, hidden, untestable something that nobody but the developer or mega-corporation understands
  2. Downtime
    1. FMS: Between all of my clients, in total they have lost [wild guess] 10-20 hours of work in the past decade.
      1. I can't recall a single client losing more than a few hours, and that was because of power failure and our decision to use the last backup before the storm even began
      2. Most clients have not been unable to access their data for a single hour in the past decade (excluding a few power outages and/or internet issues)
      3. Some have never seen downtime, others have seen a few hours. Note: this does NOT include IWP, which I love but can be flaky with weekly IWP service restarts
    2. Others: It is becoming more common that I am called into an office to look at their UNIX/SQL system to see if there is anything I can do to help
    3. Others: Downtime is typically measured in days when there is an issue (corporation red-tape?)
  3. Server Specifications
    1. OK, so this isn't really a FM boast, but when a medical office with two billing workers requires a new server, $5,000 is a bit of overkill
    2. FMS: My largest client is all over the US, but we have plenty of RAM and SSD. $1,250 server
    3. Large DB files/tables (yes this would be the competitor's programming fault, but...)
      1. FMS: Some HUGE tables get a nice workout on a 2007 Mac Mini, pretty good speed
      2. Competitor: Unix, SQL, big iron, slow as molasses


Of course there are other reasons I stuck with FM products, but in my opinion security has become a reason to use FMP. The UNIX/SQL stuff is still a complete mystery to my clients, and although they aren't close to being FMP programmers, they understand exactly where their data resides, can check on its backups, can use a backup for testing or reporting purposes, can see that an offsite backup worked (or did not), and are generally mch happier with stability -- something I have been able to boast about for the past decade.


Keep going, FMI.


And as an aside, why do $1,000 Dell servers become $4,000+ Dell servers with a few additional option clicks? You can still buy an unusable Dell server for $1K, but to get something useful takes you up into (gasp) Mac territory (oh, you wanted an OS with that?) Once small client just paid over $5K for such a server, but they had no choice.