A local real estate agency has asked you for help in setting up

Question: A local real estate agency has asked you for help in setting up a presence on the Internet. The agency has started to create a budget and needs to determine how much the server hardware will cost. Its plan is to start with a fairly small Web site, but in the near future, the agency wants to have listings of all local homes for sale, including pictures and virtual tours. The agency averages about 1,000 listings at a time. Unfortunately, the agency can’t give you many details on how many simultaneous users the site will have; the site’s reliability is the most important consideration at the moment. Because the agency hasn’t yet decided on which operating system and applications to use, you will need to provide some choices. Put together a two-to-three-page proposal listing two hardware configuration-one that would run a Windows 2003 system and one that would run a Red Hat Linux system. Your objective is to find servers that come preconfigured with the operating systems. The servers need to have tape backups. The agency is on a tight budget so it wants as cheap a solution as possible but with on-site support.


Server hardware requirements can vary widely between computing sites, depend on site needs, purpose, security risks, and budget. As mentioned in question for the initial purpose, the Small static website may be designed without the need for a server, but for larger, it will need to use a client workstation and server-based arrangement for cost efficiency. Sharing applications, providing network storage, and hosting printing services can help consolidate and reduce costs in hardware acquisition, maintenance, and administration.

Obviously, the size of a network and the capabilities and associated support hardware or environment for a server will affect initial hardware costs. The additional cost of switches, hubs, or routers; a matched uninterruptible power supply (UPS); environment cooling requirements; virtual keyboard and monitor hardware (KVM); and backup hardware and media can add considerably to the cost of a new system.

Linux Hardware Requirements
For Virtual tours features, we need to implement virtualised environment. The ETL (extract, transform, and load) import heavily uses the DB2 database resources. License Metric Tool and DB2 server can be installed on a virtualized environment. However, for large deployments that consist of 50 000 – 100 000 computers, it is recommended that dedicated hardware is used. In a virtual environment for medium size deployments that consist of 10 000 – 50000 computers, it is recommended that dedicated resources are considered for a processor, memory, and virtual disk allocation. The virtual disk that is allocated for the VM should be dedicated RAID storage, with dedicated IO bandwidth for that VM.

Linux distributions have various levels of hardware requirements and compatibility, depending on the distribution’s target host CPU and base platform target (such as i386, i586, or i686 for Intel-based CPUs; or the PowerPC, which represents the greatest availability of off-the-shelf hardware in the consumer- and business-level markets)..

The current Red Hat Linux consumer distribution is version 8.0, although version 8.1 is in the second stage of beta testing at the time of this writing. Red Hat, Inc. offers two tracks in its Linux offerings. The first is the basic consumer and professional distributions, which are released in new versions about every six months. The base distribution is available free over the Internet. The second is its advanced distribution, the Red Hat Advanced Server distribution, currently in version 2.1 with a version 3.0 planned for release later in 2003 or early 2004, and which is available in source code form for free (or if desired on bootable optical media, can be purchased from Red Hat or other vendors).

Red Hat’s Advanced Linux Server distribution has been deployed by many institutions around the world, including enterprise-level companies such as Amazon.com, Toyota Motor Sales USA, and the French daily newspaper Le Figaro. Millions of users worldwide either purchase commercial shrink-wrapped copies of the base Red Hat distribution or download the free version.

Linux can run in as little as 2MB RAM and a single floppy drive on the embedded development end of the deployment spectrum. Today’s generation of PCs is usually more than adequate to host the very latest offerings from Red Hat, Inc. Realistic minimum hardware requirements for a desktop system are, according to Red Hat, “…an i686 compatible processor with at least 256 MB of RAM and at least 3GB of disk space…” Practical testing reveals that a 300MHz Pentium-based CPU with 128MB RAM and 3GB drive storage (or even less) is more than satisfactory, depending on how Linux is deployed, such as in a network booting environment. (See the next section, “Designing a Linux System” for more details.)

Deployment of Red Hat’s enterprise-level distributions and software in a small business environment will have a greater budget need and more extensive hardware requirements, depending on the technologies employed (such as clustering, which is used to ensure data integrity, high availability of applications, and hardware failover). Advanced features will require redundant power supplies, power management, raid controller hardware, and shared disk storage. Red Hat offers these features in the cluster management component of its Advanced Server software.

For Windows 2003 system

1. Minimum CPU Speed- 133 MHz
2. Recommended CPU Speed- 550 MHz
3. Minimum RAM- 128 MB
4. Recommended Minimum RAM- 256 MB
5. Disk Space for Setup- 1.5 GB
6. Multiprocessor Support *- Up to 2

For Linux system

Small environment (Up to 5 000 endpoints)- Initial website
1 server   (All-in-One): IBM BigFix, its database, and Web Reports server, License Metric Tool and DB2   2-3 GHz, 4 cores   8 GB

Medium environment (5 000 – 50 000 endpoints)- All listed features in question
2/3 servers**   IBM BigFix, its database, and Web Reports server 2-3 GHz, 4 cores, 16 GB
License Metric Tool and DB2- 2-3 GHz, 4 cores, 12 – 24 GB

Large environment (50 000 – 150 000 endpoints*)- For future enlargement of business
2/3 servers**   IBM BigFix, its database, and Web Reports server, 2-3 GHz, 4 – 16 cores   16 – 32 GB
License Metric Tool and DB2, 2-3 GHz, 8 – 16 cores, 32 – 64 GB

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