Choosing a Server for MySQL

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The choice of computer to act as the MySQL Server is a serious consideration especially for large operations. The following is intended as a guide only.

Once you have a server ready it is strongly recommended you allow Timestone Software staff to install and configure MySQL.

Choice of server

Broadly speaking the MySQL server computer can be classified into three categories.

Dedicated server

This is the ideal solution where the computer hosts nothing else apart from MySQL. This allows the maximum amount of computer resources (notably memory and to a lesser extent CPU) to be allocated to MySQL resulting in optimum performance when using the software.Furthermore a dedicated server means network traffic to and from the server is not being added to by non MySQL activities.

Shared server

A step down from a dedicated server is a shared server where other server applications will be also be hosted or perhaps the computer will also be used as a file server. A shared server does not allow MySQL to access the maximum amount of system resources and performance will therefore be compromised. If the server is also being used as a File Server - perhaps for images - this will also create signinficant network traffic whenever images are written to or read from the server


The least desirable option is to install MySQL on a workstation where an operator will be running many programs such as the Timestone applications, Photoshop, email client, web browser and more. This means very little computer resources can be allocated to MySQL. Furthermore workstations are inherently 'unstable' - programs often require a computer reboot or the computer may 'crash' for example.

Server specifications

The most important consideration is computer memory - RAM. The significance of RAM is not apparent initially when the database is small but as the database grows the impact of RAM becomes very apparent in the software.

Ideally Timestone Software recommends 16GB as a miminum on a dedicated server.

Over time the MySQL database will grow to a significant size. It is not uncommon for a databse to grow to 100 gigabytes. For this reason it is recommended the MySQL Server be equipped with a large and fast Hard Disk Drive. Terrabyte hard disk drives are now common and inexpensive and can be considered a minimum for a server computer.

Even if the database is not being stored on the C drive be sure the C drive still has plenty of free hard disk space. Many backup programs write temporary files to the C drive of at least the same size as the database itself. New Solid State Drives (SSD) are considerably faster than traditional Hard disk drives (HDD)

Operating System

Although the Timestone Software applications themselves require Windows to run, MySQL itself does not. In fact MySQL can be installed on a number of operation systems some of which are listed below. A full list is available from the MySQL website

It is recommended to use a 64bit operationg system as 32bit systems have a limit to the amount of RAM that can be used by one process.

  • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012
  • Mac OSX
  • Linux

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