Choosing a Server for MySQL

Version 4


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 a requirement that Timestone Software staff 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

Workstation

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.

Timestone Software recommends 16GB as an absolute minimum on a dedicated server however ideally this would be 32GB or more

Over time the MySQL database will grow to a significant size. It is not uncommon for a database to grow to several hundred gigabytes. For this reason it is recommended the MySQL Server be equipped with a large and fast hard drives. Terabyte 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 other operation systems such as Linux.

Timestone Staff can only provide database management support if the database is installed on a Windows operating system.

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