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Server Hardware Recommendations for New Deployment Solution 6.9 SP6 Server

Created: 09 Apr 2014 • Updated: 18 Apr 2014 | 8 comments
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Hi All,

We are looking to get onto DS 6.9 SP6 from SP5, but likely need to do off-box migration to new hardware. Below are the current specs. Would anyone be so kind to please provide a recommendation for new hardware? I didn't come across any good recent articles for hardware sizing. Any other architectural thoughts someone would like to share would be greatly appreciated! Regarding DS 7.X, anybody love it enough yet that would convince me to switch from 6.9?

8,500 endpoints (split 60%/30%/10% across sites within same city on fast WAN links)
30 active Deployment Consoles

Current Deployment Solution Server
Dell PowerEdge 2950
8 x E5430 @ 2.66GHz Proc (currently utilizing 1-10%)
8 GB RAM (currently at 6 GB available)
850 GB local disk for image and software data
Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 Enterprise

Current Database Server
HP ProLiant DL380 G5
2 x Proc (currently utilizing 5-50%)
20 GB RAM (eXpress DB is using 6% of SQL memory buffer pool)
275 GB local disk for database files
Windows Server 2008 SP2 Standard x64

Thanks for your help!

Operating Systems:

Comments 8 CommentsJump to latest comment

SK's picture

Your hw is still sufficient.

Just replace windows 2003 on the ds box with 2008r2 or later, as that is the only major change requirement between those service packs.

That being said, some people have even worked round that.

If ds 6.9 still works for you, then there really isnt a need to go to 7.5 in my opinion, unless you are looking for full integration.

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SK's picture

Happy to help. Please mark this post as solved.

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Thomas Baird's picture

As for DS7...  well, I'm "guessing" it may not be worth it for you.  Might I suggest looking at this doc first?

The main advantage to 7.5 revolves around scalability and/or highly distributed systems, and interconnectivity with the rest of the SMP products.  Software Delivery, inventory, asset, and of course reporting.

There are some advantages feature-wise that 7.5 has finally added, but if you're already well set in your was in 6.9, probably not going to give you much.  6.9 is NOT EOL'd either, and as you can see, still getting updates, sooooo...

IMO, people have to consider where they want to go.  If it's JUST imaging, and those other tools aren't worth it, OR if it's a really small environment, probably not.

That said, it is a pretty stable environment now, and the pundits who simply say it doesn't work are wrong.  It does, and well (finally).  But still no real time console, still no 32 bit app, still a horse to get up and running comparitively...

I like it... but I am honest about it with people.


Thomas Baird
Enthusiast for making things better!

SK's picture

I ran a DS 7.5 HF5 class yesterday, and although all students had the same vm environment, we saw mixed results.

Some experienced error messages when opening some screens, some could not add preboot drivers as the browse button caused ie to hang, and some had to choose x64 to install the vm lsi drivers when x86 worked for the rest.

My own system froze ie when pressing the sysprep browse buttons, and pxe never provided any image files due to mof file error. Luckily pxe worked for the students.

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Tenacious Geo's picture

Mr. Baird,

Thank you for sharing that document! I do have a question as a result: with 8,500 clients on one 6.9 Deployment Server, what kind of things would you suggest us looking at? What are the factors involved in the 5,000 clients per DS recommendation in your document? Can we scale higher like we are currently doing if we address the right constraints?

Thanks for your expertise!


Thomas Baird's picture

MOF isn't an error - it means the PXE server thinks you're supposed to go to production and requires some troubleshooting.  We have a lot of KB's on that kind of thing.

We know about the hanging of the console when importing SOI files and such which is why we often recommend using the resource import tool for SOI as well - it's faster than the JAVA applet.

Frankly, both myself and the rest of my company have had several customers up and running 7.5 without significant issues.  Granted, we had to wait for post HF4 (preferrably post HF5) but the point is, the product is wokring pretty well and people shouldn't be afraid of it.

Yes, the JAVA browse apps for adding SOI files sucks.  It has ever since 7.0 and unfortunately that has NOT been updated.  So don't use it.  Use the resource import tool to pull in SOI files.  Even if the JAVA app works, it has to validate every single stupid file and takes FOREVER, so don't use it.

But don't let that stop you either.  PXE is working for the VAST marjority of customers out there - better than 7.1 and sometimes even better than 6.9.  Does it break for some?  Yes, but most of the time, it's a configuration issue and once we work that through, we're fine and customers love it.  I worked backline support for years on this product, and honestly, nearly all of the M0F "errors" are configuration related.  I've seen maybe 1 or 2 total that had actual issues.  I think for one it was missing files...

Anyway, some feedback.  Yes, there are several reports of the bad, but there are far more of the good.

But consider yourself warned - if you install pre HF4, you deserve the problems you get.  I HIGHLY recommend getting HF4 or later to be functional, and HF5 or later if you use DA.

Thomas Baird
Enthusiast for making things better!

SK's picture

All systems were on 7.5 HF5.  We all went through the same deep dive steps.  PXE worked for the students but not for me.  :-( 

We did not perform SOI imports, we did sysprep file imports and preboot driver adds, and found mixed results doing both.

I pushed on due to time constraints instead of troubleshooting it, as we still had a lot of material to cover. 

I hope to be able to get my system working soon, as I need to compare it against competing products.

I can honestly say that I have never had any problems implementing DS 6.9 and ealier, and only have ever run into issues with DS 7.x!

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