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Server for the accounting office - What hardware with what Windows

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  • Level 6  

    I would like to advise you on building a network in the accounting office.

    At present, the network consists of 6 computers, 1 of which is a server for Symfonia 2.0 full and small accounting with Pervasa-based databases, while the office documents are stored on a Synology single bay NAS. Everything is in the workgroup and it can generally be said that it works. I make copies manually on the NAS, external USB drives.

    The current server is based on a Pentium G1610T processor, has 2Gb Ramu, 500 Gb disk, Windows 8 Home - as you can see the parameters are poor, but everything is about.

    But the time has come for development and change.

    Let's say max 8 work computers + server. The server would have the above-mentioned Symphony, a directory with office documents, the WARTA XXI insurance program, the Agent.m6 program - generally not demanding programs.

    And I have a question about the server

    What equipment would be the best? What to buy to make it work and have a light reserve of power and RAID from Mirror for 2 disks and not cost a lot?

    Should it have a Windows Server or is it enough, for example, Windows Pro? At the moment, Win8 Home is everywhere on the workstations, so when you buy Windows Server, you would have to upgrade Home to Pro, which gives almost PLN 2,000. I also have no experience with WinServ. Would WinPro be enough for my situation? How many max. connections can it handle? I read that 20 - or 8 symphony calls + 8 for the office directory and 4 for insurance - maybe there would be one contact.

    With WinPro on the server and WinHome on workstations, is it possible to, for example, update the rest of computers via a remote desktop and switch desktops in windows from one computer? Of course, without spending a lot of money on e.g. teamviewer.

    Maybe you have some other suggestions and comments on what I should pay attention to.

    Best regards. Christopher

    PS I'm not an IT specialist, which I know a bit, I do it "for charity" my wife.
  • Level 43  
    Better is the enemy of good.

    When everything is going on and no one complains, nothing changes.

    How to change something
    IMO speed up workstations. i.e.
    SSD disk per server + 1Gbs network.

    I don't know how symphony works, it is SMB file sharing or client / server database over TCP
    if possible, get rid of windows file server and install samba on linux.

    You would have to measure the server load (chart for the whole day)
    - CPU idle, system, user
    - avg Disk queue length
    - avg Disk write, read
    - network bytes / sec total, read write
    Having this data, you may wonder what (if generally) to change in the server
  • Level 6  
    Thanks for the answer.

    We have to buy computers anyway, so the better one will go to the server running 24 hours a day, and the current server will go to the workstation.

    What about Windows? Just Pro or Need Server?
  • Level 26  
    I would try to enrich the current server with more Ram + additional disk and test it
    As for Windows Pro, it should be enough, but read if the programs you use have problems with the Windows server
  • Level 6  
    The bottleneck is certainly the 5400RPM disk.
    I have never operated Windows Server and the question here is if I can buy it. Let it not turn out that greater possibilities will cause big problems in handling. I can handle ordinary Win.
    I thought something like DELL T130 E3-1220v5 4GB ECC 2x1TB about the hardware. The lan network is gigabit.

    best regards
  • Level 19  

    First of all, the symphony based on pervasive is not one of the most stable solutions I have seen, and more than once or twice it happened that the databases had to be recovered from backups, and the symphony reached its apogee when it turned out that the error in the database had been sitting for 3 years, only there was no need to refer to the damaged record, so it did not reveal itself, at the end of last year the cadre did some scratching of the base for specific parameters and the error appeared, it devoured the base, and to make it more interesting, the symphony itself asked for 2,000 for eliminating it because all the backups contained it, in addition, without giving any guarantee that it would not come back, that's just to explain what a symphony is, a more messy accounting application in my life.

    Now to the point.

    It all depends on whether you want to do it correctly and make it work for years, or if you want to have fun.

    My proposal, we are looking for a used post-lease server with sas disks on a well-known portal, minimum 3 pcs. If you bury well, you can easily find a server with windows example Link

    In such a solution, you will have a relatively safe environment to work, remember that what the symphony hates are boorish power outages. so think about some ups.

    After setting up such an environment, you can move the file server to it, and use nasa for backups made automatically, e.g. with cobian.,
  • Level 6  
    After further analysis of the topic, I am leaning towards Windows Professional on the server - even with 8 users connected to the Symphony in the future, the limit of simultaneous connections will not be used. The file server may not be on the server, but on the Synology NAS as it is now. Server like DELL T130 E3-1220v5 8GB ECC 2x1TB.
    To remote tightvnc or radmin.

    However, for RDP Thinstuff for 3 licenses. I just don't know what version. Is the Lite version enough to run the Symphony and have access to files on the server? What is your opinion on the operation of Thinstuff?

    best regards
  • Level 38  
    Windows Essentials is a cheap server license. It is not significantly more expensive than Windows Pro, so there is no need to combine it, but it's a server.

    Pervasive in all low-cost solutions (i.e. excluding the terribly expensive> 10user server) is still only 32-bit. I mean on 64bit Microsoft Servers. However, this is an argument for not going too far with RAM, i.e. 64GB is too much. In general, Pervasive was so successful it was swallowed. Today it is a niche of the database market.
    EDIT: If the client normally pays for updates, the Pervasive 32b server license has recently been included in the price of Symphony 2.0, as if it were an OEM.
    Check it out.

    But the proposed 4GB RAM is not enough for 2017, at least 8GB and I would not be afraid of 16GB

    I confirm the great sensitivity of Symphony + Pervasive to failures, but this base is derived from BTrieve 1987.
    Let's say that at the level of 1900-1995 compared to Clipper, its quality (BTrieve) was impressive (e.g. it had some transaction concept), but these are the times of the dinosaurs.

    EDIT: do not combine the unsupported Sage / Symphony "overlays" for splitting files, at the slightest failure you know what "support" it will end. As far as I know life, on the significance level, reliability must be provided to the main base (Symphony), then nothing for a long, long time, and the rest of the minority software. Implementation MUST target the main product.
  • Level 6  
    Windows Essentials, however, costs a few zlotys, the Foundation is probably cheaper and it would be better to buy. There are probably no big differences between them.

    I have Symphony 2.0 with integrated Pervasive version 12, according to the specification it works on 32 and 64 bits and is probably also in 32 and 64 bits. We pay for updates.

    RAM will be at least 8Gb.

    Previously, we had versions with the BTrieve base, now they are departing from that, recently there has been a letter about ending BTrieve support in the near future. According to the representatives of Symphony, BTrieve was vulnerable to damage to bases, and Pervasive is not.

    When it comes to using Thinstuff and the Symphony, this program is offered for sale by representatives of the Symphony, so it should work ok?
  • Level 38  
    pietrz44 wrote:
    Windows Essentials, however, costs a few zlotys, the Foundation is probably cheaper and it would be better to buy. There are probably no big differences between them.

    one replaced the other, I might have confused the names. Or you won't buy one without an OEM agreement ??? Sunday, I won't be looking
    Do not teach the client to save PLN 200 in server investment.

    pietrz44 wrote:

    I have Symphony 2.0 with integrated Pervasive version 12, according to the specification it works on 32 and 64 bits and is probably also in 32 and 64 bits. We pay for updates.

    According to my memory the client is 32b / 64b, the server is only 32b, but it is in a 64b server environment. It is so dressed in marketing as not to say "we are going into the past"

    And the Persasive name is disappearing from some logos because the company got absorbed.
    Somewhere I met with the (unofficial) information that the new company that gives the "cap" is some kind of subsidiary of Sage. I don't know, but the symphony is the last such program on the Polish market
  • Level 19  
    Symphony, as an accounting program, is a piece of rubbish, symphony 2.0 has recently been released, it looked like they might improve something, a button with a loop, they changed the logo a bit, and the rest remained unchanged, apart from the fact that for updates to symphony 2.0 pay extra, and if the company uses all the symphony solutions, there is no chance of moving.

    Back to the topic.

    For applications like yours, any server with windows, even a pro, will be good, remember that the storage performance (disks) will be higher in raid 5, besides, the majority of branded servers have a hardware RAID controller, and even an older server with an older xeon will be had higher performance than a new server with a softraid based on some ICH Intel.

    A server without a used system, as I wrote earlier, you can buy for 700-800 PLN without any problems and you can be sure that it will serve years without failure.
  • Level 6  
    I fully confirm that the Symphony is a drama. Time-consuming and expensive updates, poor performance, it looks like development has stopped for 10 years, and now it is cutting off coupons and taking advantage of the fact that companies are afraid to switch to competitive programs. This is the case with me, and in fact with my wife, because it is her company, I only "clean" when something does not work. And he has computer talent, he can spoil things that theoretically cannot be broken.
    And she pays for the equipment, she is afraid of stimulants, and I am also a little afraid.
  • Level 19  
    Used servers are very often sold with a guarantee.

    I have been using leasing servers for 7 years, and there has not been a critical failure yet, and a lot of these servers have passed through my hands, yes, sometimes disks crash, but this is normal, the only failure I noted was a burned power supply in one of the della, but it was incident on a quantitative scale. I personally have a server room based on leased servers, and I praise myself.

    Servers are hardware designed and thoroughly tested, and believe it or not, it's better to buy used high-end hardware than new but budget hardware. with stripped down equipment.

    As for the symphony, version 2.0 came mainly because JPK appeared, and in fact this is the only change introduced to version 2.0
    The sage company simply stopped releasing an update to an older symphony, because it was easier to get money from customers who often have additional symphony solutions that integrate with other applications.
  • Level 22  
    Regarding PERVASIVE:
    The Pervasive commands in Symphony are invoked for version 6.xx :)
    So whether you buy versions 6, 10 or 12 for the Symphony, it won't matter.
    Why is the Symphony withdrawing from BTRIEVE?
    Perhaps someone is afraid that the competition will tell about what the creation attached to the Symphony in version 1.0 is. The question of the license of the attached 6.15 engine attached to the program also remains open.
    Did the BTR manufacturer know about this?
    According to the manufacturer Betrieve 12, it says that this is a 1000 user license ... How was version 6.15? Is there a license agreement from Betrieve somewhere? I haven't seen one like that anywhere in the Symphony, but maybe it was distributed on different terms.
    By the way, the question is:
    What about the transaction in the Symphony? Maybe someone knows?

    Earlier, the producer selling symphonies with a substitute for the old good BTRIEVE knew that if someone were to pay for the BTR base motor, the price of such an expensive program would be astronomically high, so Symphonies were sold with a "free component". Some people know very well that this solution, which was proposed to end users, left a lot to be desired.
    The natural environment for BTR is NetWare, not Win16 bit :)
    The real BTRIEVE was included in NetWare at the time and version 6.15 was probably available in 1993 for NetWare 3.12. Of course, what was sold with NetWare has little to do with what the manufacturer has been adding over the years.
    Completely different stability :)
    In fact, BTRIEVE had two commercial versions:
    for NT
    for NetWare (and the BTR was much better)

    After that, you can check that BTR is back but in the new version and there are also described problems of version 6.15 with which Symphony has been working for years:


    On the other hand, the creation that starts with the symphony was only for developers.
    Of course, the Symphony could be sold with full BTR, but you would have to reduce the price of the program and leave less in your pocket ...
    After all, you had to catch the client, and when the program crashed, you could say that you needed a better database engine. As if the 16 bit BTR under Win is bad? It wasn't bad, it was just not for that purpose.

    Probably version 6.15.430 was the last version that could be added to the Symfonia program, because later the BTR producer changed the name and no longer distributed developer versions in this way.

    Apart from that, the producer (PERVASIVE) does not support the version that has been used in the Symphony since around 1997 :)
    So the program does not stand still 10 years, but 20 :)
    The second issue was its low stability, as the version with which it was distributed was intended mainly for testing and not for continuous operation.
    Of course, this is not a question of 6.15, but of the environment in which the engine runs. BTRIEVE itself was intended as a database engine embedded on the server and not on the client's stand.
    As an example, I can give an attempt to run several programs from this manufacturer at the same time :)
    As for the invention of terminal services, "Thinstuff" according to Microsoft is illegal :)
    Symfoni version 2.0 is compiled for Vista and above, but running this invention on XP is possible :) and it is a purely marketing procedure so that everyone can earn on it.
    Overall, Pervasive is there to earn some money again :) and perhaps reduce the failure rate of this invention.

    Moreover, my colleague Waluszek is right, it can be seen that he ate bread from more than one Symphony :)
    I would not change anything as it goes.
    I have something in common with these databases and I will say this:
    There is no situation that it works indefinitely - unfortunately, such a charm of this program, sooner or later as a larger base, can crumble anyway.
    The old good FOXPRO or Clipper Summer '87 are much better.
    I just click on something in the second one based on ADS and say this:
    100,000 documents are not a problem.
    Of course, Clipper / Harbor has its charms as well, but it never crashed to me like the Symphony.
    Clipper had maybe 10 years, a few minor failures that did not affect the operation of the system and the Symphony ... Well, I would be afraid to work hard on it :) I also know that the more positions the worse :)
    In Clipper I have 40 clients on one base and nothing happens ... And the Symphony as if it started on 40 clients? Someone tried? Because I'd rather not try.
    Well, everyone praises their code :)
    The symphony is marketing and marketing again :)

    Although I like LINUX, unfortunately I would not install it because the producer of the Symphony does not recognize this solution (as I suspect there are problems)

    I would leave Win7 on the server and any computer that would become a "server"
    will be too good for what you do. There is probably Pervasive for Server as well - at least it used to be and this is an interesting solution, only much more expensive than the regular Pervasive.
    As my colleague Waluszek mentioned - do my friend Backups ... Because Symphony + Windows as a server ... Well, there are problems.

    If someone has managed to reach the end of this argument, congratulations and I wish you a Merry Christmas.
  • Level 19  
    Hello. I can see that my friend has a database experience, unfortunately I am a hardware specialist and I can say a lot about servers.

    I've already worked with many accounting software, from Comarch's Optima to Insert's Subiekt and a few large ones along the way, but I haven't come across such a messed up program as Symphony.

    The taste of the last week, the accountant started popping up, as usual, a meaningless error in FK Symfoni, I note that after the last prepałkach with the Kadr base, before the backup, the base is always checked.
    After sending it to Sage, as usual, it turned out that the base was damaged, repair was 400 PLN net. the sage information is the best, some index is damaged and the damage was created in 2016. So I am asking what the hell is checking a database that claims stubbornly that the database is fully operational. This is some kind of mockery of the client.

    In this situation, even backups do not help because and how they are to help.

    Returning to the merits, as I wrote, a used server with xeon, hardware controller, disks in raid. and the hardware colleague can forget about the problems when it comes to the symphony, well, it remains to start burning incense next to the server so that this crap does not break down.

    Regards and have a peaceful holiday.
  • Level 22  
    I fully agree.

    I admit that I am making an automatic archive of 120 days in the Symphony, but it is not enough :)
    The support for some operations in the Symphony is probably insufficient.
    More than once I have seen a message in the database server console logs that the operation has been undone ...
    If the operation has been undone, in my opinion it means that the function was called incorrectly.
    This is probably one of the causes of long-term hard-to-spot errors.

    As for transactions, in Pervasive they work quite well ... Also it's probably not Pervasive's fault that this is how it all works.

    Regards and Happy Holidays :)