1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2014 11:35 AM by taylorsharpe

    Windows 7 Pro production server deployments

    CarlSchwarz

      I'm deploying some servers on standalone hardware that is running nothing but FMS 13 and I'm considering the OS.

      There is no "FM Server 13 configuration guide", but there is a server 12 configuration guide and it says this:

      https://fmdev.filemaker.com/docs/DOC-2634

      ***

      FileMaker Server will run on client versions of

      Windows such as Windows 7. While appropriate for offline development, testing, or

      demonstration purposes, these OS versions are not recommended for production deployments.

      ***

       

      The closest guide I could find was the FMS13 getting started guide which said similar things but omitted the OS recommendataion. The only OS restriction in the FMS13 guide was that Windows 7/8 could not do multiple machine deployments.

      So I was wondering is there any reason for avoiding Windows 7 for production deployment? Does anyone have more in-depth technical knowledge besides not recommended? Or is it all fine?

       

      Also as a side question, is there any reason to use Windows 8 instead?

        • 1. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
          coherentkris

          http://www.sevenforums.com/network-sharing/118752-windows-7-server.html

           

          If the linked thread is accurate the concurrent connection limits and lack of backup capability built into the os would be deal breakers for me.

          • 2. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
            CarlSchwarz

            FM Backups are handled fine and we don't care about the OS backups, in a major failure we would load the database into a fresh server.  We are using server hardware but we don't need any of the Windows Server applications so we are installing 7 pro.

            For the 5 connection limit in IIS I checked the default setting in Windows 7 Pro for the FMWebSite and the default max concurrent connections setting is 4294967295 and not 10 as the linked article suggests.  If anyone has any resources on Windows 7 connection limits then please let me know.

            • 3. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
              taylorsharpe

              Windows 7 is an operating system with optmized performance for applications.  It was not optimized as a server for services such as FileMaker Server.  Windows 7 is clearly the choice for desktop applications like Adobe applications, MS Office, and gaming.  It can be used to serve services like FileMaker Server just like you can play games on Windows Server.  But that just means using a tool in a way that it is not best optimized for.  If you have a choice, put the FileMaker service on an operating system designed for server services and networks like Windows Server 2012/2008 or Mac OS X.  If you have to, you can use Windows 7.  But it is like using a hammer when you need a screw driver.  You can make it work if you must, but it certainly is not a first choice. 

              • 4. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                CarlSchwarz

                Thanks Taylor, nice to hear from you I 100% value all your opinions.  But we are using server based hardware, e.g. XEON cpu which handle multiple tasks at once better, etc, etc.  I'd like to see some documentation on limitations, or performance results to show that Windows 7 Pro isn't capapble of running server hardware properly.

                Just as a side note, our setup is a tad unique in that we are not using RDP, or any server service besides:

                1) Filemaker Server

                2) IIS

                That is all!!!!

                So in this particular application, I'm hoping that Windows 7 would be just the same as 08 R2?

                Performance wise I mostly want to make sure that IIS will run just as fast because we use that for mobile websites.

                • 5. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                  user19752

                  Read "C:\Windows\System32\license.rtf" on Win7 Pro.

                  IIS is licensed for max 20 devices.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                    CarlSchwarz

                    Thanks,  I found that also on WIndows 8.1 professional but device connection limitations were not mentioned in server 08R2.

                    Since it is only IIS that is restricted then I could install Apache and be fine with that. 

                    I'll try and test if that is an enforced connection limit.

                    • 7. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                      wimdecorte

                      CarlSchwarz wrote:

                       

                       

                      Since it is only IIS that is restricted then I could install Apache and be fine with that. 

                       

                       

                      Nope, on Windows, FMS will only work wit IIS

                      • 8. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                        wimdecorte

                        I'm hoping that Windows 7 would be just the same as 08 R2?

                         

                        Obviously it is not.  One is a desktop/workstation OS, the other a server OS, tuned for different tasks.  Whether the difference is big enough to matter depends on yoru solution and load.

                         

                        Since you are already using server hardware, why not put a server OS on it?  For me it is always a project red flag when I see things like that.  It reeks of a certain "cheapness" that is a potential risk.  The development cycle for a solution is tiny fraction of the overall life cycle of the solution: it is going to be deployed much longer than it is developed.  So the deployment and infrastructure that supports the deployment should not be treated as the "stepchild".

                        • 9. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                          CarlSchwarz

                          The obvious difference between Windows 7 and 08R2 is that one has Active directory, RDP, etc. etc.  All brilliant server features for a business but none of them will be used on these machines.  So I see the difference is not "cheapness" but more like buying Windows 7 Pro Ultimate for a home PC when only the home services will ever be used and Windows home would be more sensible cost wise.

                           

                          I have found this reference:

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Server_2008#Features

                          "Windows Server 2008 is built from the same code base as Windows Vista" (and goes on to explain that essentially everything is the same except for some datacentre/enterprise features, number of supported physical processors etc.)

                          So I should get the same performance out of the server hardware.

                           

                          I still have to investigate the 20 device licensing restriction with IIS in real life usage.

                          If there is another obvious difference that effects FMServer or IIS then please give a reference.

                          • 10. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                            wimdecorte

                            CarlSchwarz wrote:

                            like buying Windows 7 Pro Ultimate for a home PC when only the home services will ever be used and Windows home would be more sensible cost wise.

                             

                            The analogy is faulty.  We're not talking about added features, but how the kernel is compiled and tuned for the tasks that it has to perform (UI driven applicatiosn vs. background processes mainly).

                             

                            But talking about features: the server OS has tighter links with the hardware and will give you more options for advance warning of failing hardware, the ability to support advanced functionality like hot-swappable hardware, teaming network cards etc.

                            • 11. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                              CarlSchwarz

                              I asked some server gurus and Win7 and 08R2 are exactly the same code-base apart from a few "media" and similar desktop focussed services that start at startup.  Those services could be turned off but all it would do is improve startup time and free up around  about 1/2 gig RAM.

                              The only things we need to do in the Win7 Pro in this case is enable hot swappable drives in BIOS, and disable automatic updates - restart on update.

                               

                              As for the 20 devices limit this can be monitored by "Performance Monitor"->Web Service->Current Anonymous Users.  We couldn't get this number to budge above 5 with our testing because each PHP connection was open and closed in under one second so for the scale of this deployment it is fine, it was hard to get each device to hit the server at the same fraction of a second!  Win7 supposedly queues connections at 10 devices so it should never hit the 20 device limit anyway (ref: http://www.jpelectron.com/sample/WWW%20and%20HTML/IIS-%20OS%20Version%20Limits.htm )

                               

                               

                              ...The other downside is not getting official Filemaker Support, but I've never used that over the years, and that's a road that worldcloud also has gone down by using server essentials so I'm not alone...

                               

                              In summary, If I was using it for some more hardcore web hosting, or I needed more RDC connections then I would get server because of the IIS limit, but for the scale of this deployment it is fine.

                              • 12. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                                lkeyes

                                Wouldn't it be nice if we could deploy FM Server on Linux... The OSx codebase is already a Unix derivative, the OSx version of Server uses Apache, so we're 90% there.   My objection to using Windows Server is that it comes with a lot of overhead which is already be handled by the FM deployment (users managment, backup, etc).  And, since Apple has abandoned the hardware server market, and doesn't allow OSx to be run on non-Apple hardware, what's the point exactly of not having a Linux version, especially since all the added pieces (back-end databases, etc) might be running on LInux anyway. 

                                 

                                -- L

                                • 13. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                                  taylorsharpe

                                  Remember when FileMaker 5.5 Server worked Red Hat Linux?  Wow... that was a long time ago.  Apparently there wasn't enough interest to justify continued support, which is too bad because Linux is a very stable flavor of Unix.  Then again, Mac OS X is an actual Unix certified OS, so you pretty much get that option through a Mac server.  And I'm not sure Apple has abandoned servers... the new Mac Pro sure is a fast server for 3 of my clients and they really like its speed.  But you are correct that if it was Linux, the hardware options would open up a lot. 

                                  • 14. Re: Windows 7 Pro production server deployments
                                    CarlSchwarz

                                    The mac server adds a few thousand dollars worth of useless overheads in that those killer video cards won't be used by fm server. The windows server on the other hand just has a few services which adds maybe half a gig of ram, and if you do what world cloud did and use essentials then those services aren't even included.

                                     

                                    Sent while mobile

                                    1 2 Previous Next