1 2 Previous Next 26 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2013 10:14 AM by flybynight

    Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server

    A2analytics

      What are you using for the hardware (cpu and drives) for your FileMaker Server? Are you happy with it?

       

      I need to specify the hardware to support about 20 users with a solution that has a lot of searching and summary calculations, and data tables in the hundreds of thousands of records. They are also supporting users over a WAN. I prefer to acquire a Windows server.

        • 1. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
          Draco

          I subscribe.

          I need to specify the hardware to support about 1200 users (concurrency aprox. 500) with a solution that has a lot of searching and summary calculations, and data tables (23) in the 800.000 records. 105 users over LAN and the rest users over WAN mpls (395).    S-(

           

          my doubt born ->  FMSA 12 NOT CLUSTERS

           

          recommending me, please.

          regards


          • 2. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
            mikebeargie

            The filemaker platform is going to be limited in what it can offer you. You're tossing out numbers here, which is a great benchmark for something like a MySQL database, but the speed of your database and user experience isn't always going to be penchant to the hardware you have, and it's healthy to drop any notion of that from the start.

             

            IE, you mention you'll need WAN access and have summary fields. Filemaker  will load hundreds of thousands of records across a WAN to summarize the data client side, so you might want to cache the summaries server side so your users don't get frustrated waiting half an hour every time they open a screen. The key is to think about your file performance and optimization before you host it. Then you'll usually be surprised about how little an investment is needed in hardware.

             

            As for your hardware, the sky's the limit. Ever since FMServer went 64-bit it can leverage larger chunks of RAM. SSDs have boosted drive read/write speeds up as well. There is PLENTY of documentation out there on server optimizations and recommendations.

             

            I'd read up on these articles and find some more, then make a choice that fits your needs:

            http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-server/server-12-specifications.html

            http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9645

            http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9646

            http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9647

            http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9648

             

            http://www.oditech.com/wan-performance-in-filemaker-12/

             

            http://filemakermisc.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/tips-for-improving-performance-over-wan/

             

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4qfDqKPyVY

             

            For me, spinning up a VPS has been the easiest way to get an FM server up and running. There's tons of providers, it's relatively cheap in terms of ongoing cost, and setup takes less time as well.

            • 3. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
              mikebeargie

              Draco, if I were you and had that many users, I'd highly consider another platform. Sure FM is easier in the development side and has find mode, but the deployment for that big of an environment would be nightmarish at best.

               

              If you have 1200 users, you need to support the possibility of 1200 users, not 500 (murphys law my friend).

               

              Maybe consider a PHP/MySQL web application. That way if you still wanted to do part of the database in Filemaker, you could access it via Custom Web Publishing from the web, or via ESS from Filemaker.

              • 4. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                Draco

                Thanks Mike, for recommendations.

                ...me based on this.

                exhausted hope.png

                 


                • 5. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                  mikebeargie

                  theoretical is not equal to practical.

                   

                  I stand by my recommendation that Filemaker server with filemaker clients connecting is not the BEST solution for 1200 clients connecting to a database with 800,000 records.

                   

                  Your networking hardware is probably going to choke a long time before the filemaker server does itself.

                  • 6. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                    Draco

                    > If you have 1200 users, you need to support the possibility of 1200 users, not 500 (murphys law my friend).

                     

                    Mike,

                    ...always depend on the context. We have divided the country into three areas (weekly access control), this ensures that never will exceed 500 connections.


                    The worst scenario is (area 2) : 105 lan + 395 wan  = 500  ¿THIS IS MUCH FOR FMSA 12?


                    A colleague of the forum, told me that achievement deploy an app. to 400 concurrent users (successfully). 

                     

                    anyone knows any application, successful for its high number of concurrency?

                     

                    250 users is the limit? ...safe area?  ->  The rest ... is the twilight zone?

                    :-)

                     

                    regads

                     


                     


                    • 7. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                      wimdecorte

                      Hard to say, that is why the caveat on the FMI page mentions all the variables.  They all play together.

                       

                      A badly designed solution may be terribly slow with even 10 users.  If you plan on 500 concurrent users, it follows that:

                      - your server needs to be dimensioned appropriatiely acroos the 4 typical bottlenecks: RAM, processing power, disk i/o speed and network bandwidth

                      - your solution design needs to be top-notch to avoid any performance issues: any small inefficiency will be magnified exponentially with that kind of user load

                       

                      We don't know what your users will do.  500 users that just look at one record is very different than 500 users that all generate lots of new records and generate complex reports.

                      • 8. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                        A2analytics

                        Nobody is discussing my original question!

                         

                        I know individual situations are different, but I would like to hear what individuals have liked/disliked about their server hardware choices. Particularly, if you started with one configuration and then made a change, so you have a before/after comparison.

                        • 9. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                          fshcm13

                          We use, and I recommend, a Mac Pro Server.  We have several, handling at times as many as 60 simultaneous FMP clients, multiple FMP databases hosted and simultaneously accessed, running the front and back ends of 3 websites (one of which gets over 1 million hits/month), with record counts in the millions across several files.  We have found them to be very durable and run with very few issues.  We started with various Windows servers.  Every single one has been replaced (in its server capacity) and has been relegated to basic archival data storage.  Our Mac Pro's handle everything well, whether it's basic FileMaker hosting, CWP PHP, IWP,  or anything else we throw at them.

                           

                          I used to be a big fan of Windows stuff - but not anymore.  I have converted everything I own over to Apple - it just works - especially with FileMaker.  The best endorsement I have for going this route, and what I tell clients when recommending they spend more on Apple stuff than they would on Windows, is this: we run a $25 million/year business and depend exclusively on Apple Mac Pro servers, and drive it exclusively with FileMaker.  Our entire operation is wholly dependent on the machines doing their job.  They have been working hard for us for many years.

                           

                          Edit: I forgot to mention the hardware specifics you asked about.

                          Across the various Mac Pros we have, when we purchased them we have opted for the higher end of the chipset, memory, and storage options.  On one, we really splurged and ordered it maxed out across all options, as its load demanded it.  For most FMP applications such as you mentioned, however, maxing out the options package is typically wasted money.  Example:  For the Mac Pro coming out in December (purportedly, anyway), I would tell you to go with the 6 core 3.5 GHz chipset, bump the memory to 32GB, and bump the drive to 1TB.  That will give you enough performance to run the majority of FMP solutions.  WIthout exact details about your specific needs, however, this is, at best, an educated guess!

                           

                          As for the reason for the switch from Windows to Mac servers, it's simple: the Windows stuff kept breaking.  We would be constantly going through drives, reconfiguring this or that, etc.  It was a full-time job to manage the handful of servers we had.  Now, there is very little managing to do, and they work.  Nothing has broken yet! (Knock on wood).  It also makes it easier for me, as I am used to, and prefer, to work with a Mac. I'm very happy with our switch, and am adding to our "farm" next week - putting in yet another Mac Pro server.

                           

                          I hope this better answers your questions.  If you would like more info, please do not hesitate to contact me.

                           

                          Message was edited by: fshcm13

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                            Draco

                            Hi A2analytics, I have 25 users (5 lan + 20 wan).

                             

                            On:

                            - core 2 duo 3.0ghz
                            - 500 gb sata
                            - 4 gb of ram

                            - fmsa 11

                             

                            on a pc  normal.

                             

                            ... with summary calculations (350.000 records aprox), and...all ok.

                            • 11. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                              MichaelGallagher

                              With 30 users (four on WAN) we use a 2010 Mac Pro quad core.  We run a 40 table solution that contains 20 years of production data (telephone transaction call notes), associated files (pdf, word, jpg) and financial data. These files contain millions of records.  In my experience, the greatest  improvement in operating speed comes from usig a solid state drive for the operting system and served files, backing up to magnetic hard-drives.  SSD data retreival makes a BIG speed difference for users and allows for hourly backups that are not even noticed.

                               

                              Since we run the business on theis data, I tend to overspend on new systems and will upgrade to the new mac pro when available, and expect the pci ssd it has to make data access even faster.

                              • 12. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                                wimdecorte

                                MichaelGallagher wrote:

                                In my experience, the greatest  improvement in operating speed comes from usig a solid state drive

                                 

                                You will get the biggest improvement in upgrading in whatever is the current bottleneck: disk i/o, processing power, memory or network bandwidth.

                                That is why measuring and monitoring is so important.

                                 

                                A small but un-optimized solution with a lot of users for instance will likely run into the processing power bottleneck before disk i/o becomes a problem.

                                • 13. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                                  gdurniak

                                  We should try this at DevCon. Pick a time, and have 1200 users all log into a solution, wired and wireless, from the rooms and hallways, and see what happens

                                   

                                  greg

                                   

                                  > I stand by my recommendation that Filemaker server with filemaker clients connecting is not the BEST solution for 1200 clients connecting to a database with 800,000 records.

                                   

                                  Your networking hardware is probably going to choke a long time before the filemaker server does itself.

                                  • 14. Re: Recommended Hardware for FileMaker Server
                                    Draco

                                    > We should try this at DevCon. Pick a time, and have 1200 users all log into a solution, wired and wireless, from the rooms and hallways, and see what happens.

                                     

                                    ...any test help (sum), the information always helps -> good decisions.

                                     

                                    Given a data structure (Standard, 15 tables, records xxxxxx), I will always be interested. watching the behavior of FMSA13 (FM Laboratory).
                                    need not be compared with other DBJust know borders, limits,..etc.

                                     


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