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  #1  
Old 06-29-2006, 10:11 PM
nsmoller nsmoller is offline
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Default Business PC Server

I own a pharmacy. Our dispensing software is linux based and uses diskless workstations to operate. I have the specifications for hardware thats required. I'm looking for suggestions on actual mobo, CPU, ram configs that would work the best. Here's the information from the company on requirements for the server:

_ OS Release: Red Hat 8.0 Linux

_ IBM compatible PC based on the Intel Pentium 4 processor or equivalent

_ 1-Gigabyte RAM Memory

_ 100 GB Hard Disk

_ Color Monitor (SVGA or above)

_ One (1) High Density Floppy Diskette Drive (3.5")

_ DVD RW (Burner) for Backups

What mobo is good for this? Obviously i need no sound or super video anything. I would like something with gigabit ethernet, or the ability to add it. I am looking for quiet and stable solutions. I know the OS is old, but its the only one they have tested and stable for now. There will be 3 workstations total.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2006, 11:41 AM
John John is offline
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Using RH 8.0 probably isn't much of an issue as long as it's running on a private network. If connected to the Internet, etc, you might want to go with an OS that is currently supported - especially with security updates. Red Hat no longer supports 8.0 and I believe Progeny did for a while after Red Hat dropped support for it, but I believe their update service for 8.0 has ended as well.

I don't know from first-hand experience, but I think the main issue you may come across would be using state of the art hardware with an older OS that may not have driver support for all the components. The best stability would probably come from hardware that was around just before RH 8.0 came out, this way you would be more likely to not have any driver issues.

A while back I installed RH 7.3 on an ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe motherboard and everything seemed fine. I didn't run that system in a production environment, though. I ran it as a development server for a short while. The A7N8X-E-Deluxe has built-in gigabit ethernet, although I am not sure about driver support for that in RH 8.0.

The A7N8X is a consumer type motherboard, not really meant for enterprise/server type stuff - although it would probably work fine.

As you're looking for what would work best, I think generally the higher end hardware - but you still need to be sure that RH 8.0 would run fine on it.

Sounds as though you are replacing an existing system... does it currently lag at all? You might focus on the bottleneck and just make sure to increase capacity there where it is needed most.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:19 PM
nsmoller nsmoller is offline
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This pc will be connected to internet to allow for claims transfers, etc.

The company is giving me a line about stability, saying that Red Hat 8 is the "most stable and recently tested" with their software. Would there REALLY be an issue if i try something like ubuntu or fedora 5 with this software? I dont understand linux enough. I know that red hat vs fedora is like windows 95 vs xp. I'm guessing that ubuntu to fedora is apples to oranges.

The company updated what they want, they use a pentium 4 2.8 ghz cpu.

As for the motherboard, it was mentioned that the board suggested wasnt really for server applications. This is only accessed by 3-4 pc's at once. I figure we dont need high end stuff for such a small load.

I am not replacing existing hardware. I am starting new.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2006, 11:31 PM
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CentOS is a red hat clone would'nt this be the next best thing to red hat? If they say that red hat is so stable then CentOS should also be stable for the same thing, Plus there is support for it as well as it being a free OS you dont have to change much. I myself use debian and its very stable it has been up since i loaded it now going on 67 days, Where my Xp system crashed 10 times( Now i know why i hate XP) I am a debian user for my server and desktop.

Quote:
I own a pharmacy. Our dispensing software is linux based and uses diskless workstations to operate. I have the specifications for hardware thats required. I'm looking for suggestions on actual mobo, CPU, ram configs that would work the best. Here's the information from the company on requirements for the server:
You say you have your dispensing software running on that machine are you upgrading the machine? If you are i believe that the software might have been coded for RedHat specifically. With CentOS being a clone of redhat you would probally have better luck with that software being compatible.

PS: I have software that i have to use XP for that is why i spoke of it and it was used in reference to the stability of my debian... I am also using on an internal network CentOS, run DSL on an old notebook, and have Mandrake as my second computer OS.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2006, 12:15 AM
nsmoller nsmoller is offline
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Here's where i'm leaning...

CentOS as OS for now - i can have red hat AND centOS right?

SUPERMICRO MBD-P4SCT+II-O Socket 478 Intel 875P ATX Server Motherboardl
Model #: MBD-P4SCT+II-O
Item #: N82E16813182030
$259.99

Intel Pentium 4 3.0E Prescott 800MHz FSB Socket 478 Processor
Model #: RK80546PG0801M
Item #: N82E16819116175
107.99

People seem to be fans of the supermicro board... how do i know if CentOS or RH8 will work with these?
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2006, 12:24 AM
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On the same machine are you going to try a dual boot? CentOS is the name of the Operating System which is a Clone of RedHat Which Most Likely will run all your RedHat softaware. The other guy that posted here uses CentOS and has turned me on to CentOS as a redhat clone. I know debian fairly well i am still learning CentOS. My recommendation would be to get the latest stable release of CentOS and load that up on your new machine and keep your old RedHat 8 going untill you get all the software switched over. If i understood you right you have business specific software designed to do one thing, "Depensing Software" Is this the Med Despenser or is a Database Program that you are using to keep track of the paitents

I know the med despensor requires specific software if you are running it on redhat then the next best choice would be CentOS without spending the money for RedHat
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Old 07-01-2006, 09:34 AM
nsmoller nsmoller is offline
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dispensing software tracks patients and submits claims to insurance and prints off labels for the bottles, etc.

again, we have no existing system, this is all new.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2006, 10:36 AM
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Ok now i fully understand what you are doing here. I think since you have no existing system , I recommend that you look around and find a software that you like.. There are several linux distros on the market (or net) and right now i use debian 3.1 r2 with KDE 3.2 which i like alot. I am personally using an unstable version (etch) for my Desktop Enviroment but my server is using Sarge a stable system and i have no problems at all. There are several diffrent choices you can make SuSe, RedHat, Mandrivia, Unbuntoo, Debian, Cent, Fedora, i can keep going its all on personall preference I will recommemnd what i use because i like it. others will recommend what they use because they like i

One more question for you: The software you are going to use to keep track and print lables is this software for RedHat?

Becausse if it is then Cent OS would be your best choice, as for hardware that will be a great system something that powerfull mixed with linux will be a great choice, if you use something new you won't have an issue with security as long as you keep it updated. Since linux could be repaired with linux it is much safer to use in case of a failure with the Operating System (You can recover the data using a live cd which have even done for windows)

And back tio your original Question
Quote:
I'm looking for suggestions on actual mobo, CPU,
MSI and ASUS are the mobo that i prefer to use. I personally use a Pentium 4 3.6 Processor on one machine and an AMD 64 on the other both my machine have 3 gig ram one is windows the other is linux and the linux is much faster then the windows [OS Wise] but i think the processors have about the same speed. Whn you buy this system look for specific name brands that are know well, this will help linux find the right drivers for your system i use nVidia Video, Creative Audio, Gigabit Ethernet Adapters.

Basically what i caould say for that is you pay for what you get, don't buy cheap most cheap you have to compile you own drivers, stick with brands you trust.

I hope that this answered your question.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2006, 11:16 AM
nsmoller nsmoller is offline
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it did answer my question.

pentium seems to be where i'm leaning due to the business applications i will be running.

I think > 3ghz is overkill for us. The software developers use a 800 mhz FSB and 1mb L2 cache. The chip & mobo i'm looking at are Supermicro & Pentium 4 3.0ghz, and they exceed the requirements.

i'm gonna go with 512mb memory. It's a simple Borland and SQL server respectively. If anything i might go for a gig, but i'm sure 512 is more than enough.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2006, 02:22 PM
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Is your pharmacy required to be in compliance with the HIPPA laws? I don't know much of the details on those laws other than there is a lot of focus on the security of the info. If you are required to be in compliance you may want to be sure that RH8 can even be used. My guess is that RH8 would not pass the requirements.

It's almost shocking that a software company would recommend RH8 to be used at a pharmacy or any other place that is connected to a public network and that deals with sensitive info. If your server was not connected to any networks and only to other workstations in your office then I don't think this would be much of an issue.

As far as I know, Red Hat dropped support for RH8 at the end of 2003. The company I linked in my previous post, Progeny, had a paid update service available for Red Hat that ended in Dec. 2005.

I think the important thing to consider regarding RH8 is that there will be NO updates available to you for that operating system, at least that I know of. So even though official support ended in 2003, you would essentially only have whatever updates that were included in the official release of RH8, which was back in September 2002.

The Fedora operating system is, as far as I understand it, Red Hat's testing ground for features that may be included in their enterprise operating system RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is currently at version 4). So, it seems that Fedora users are beta testers for Red Hat in some way. I'm not sure it would be best for you to go with that type of OS.

CentOS came about when Red Hat no longer provided their OS for free. Red Hat's only obligation with the open source licenses is that they provide the source code, etc. The only way to get the newer RHEL distributions, as well as update support, is via subscription to their Red Hat Network. CentOS is a clone of RHEL, there are very minimal differences mainly to do with how updates are made available as Red Hat's update system is by subscription only - so that part had to be changed. Other than that, CentOS is exactly the same but with all the Red Hat logos and trademarks removed.

If the dispensing server software operates on CentOS, I would recommend going with that. It would be most similar to RH8, although RHEL is quite a big upgrade from the old RH8 OS. Things may be different, only way to know if it would work would be to test it or find out from other users of the software.

Ubuntu, as far as I know, is more geared towards workstation/pc usage and not really for servers. Although it would probably work fine as a server. I don't know how different it is compared to RH8.
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