Wednesday, January 24, 2007


What hardware should I buy?

I recently had one of my blog readers ask me for some advice on some new hardware that he was going purchase for running Oracle on Windows. It is difficult to give specific advice on what to purchase, but I can provide a few general guidelines.

  1. Get something that is expandable. If you don’t need 4 CPUs now you can get a system capable of supporting 4 CPUs, but only purchase one or two. Make sure that you can add sufficient memory as necessary. Start with 2 or 4 GB but make sure that there are free slots in case you need to add more.
  2. If you will be running Oracle 10g, absolutely go 64-bit. Any recent Xeon or Opteron processor supports 64-bit Windows. The 64-bit version of Windows 2003 works great and is priced similar to the 32-bit version.
  3. Get a name brand. HP, IBM, Dell, etc. Get something that is supported by the manufacturer.
  4. If possible, separate the application tier from the database tier.
  5. Get sufficient disk drives. I'm not saying that you need to start with 8, but you need enough so that IO performance is not a problem. How many do you need? I can't tell you without knowing more about the database and application, etc.
  6. Absolutely use a RAID controller and disk mirroring (RAID 1). If you lose your data, you are out of business.
  7. In larger systems I recommend separating the log drives and data drives, since the loss of one of the two is a recoverable failure. The loss of both is catastrophic.
  8. If you don't already have one, get something to back up your database with. This can be tape, DVD, etc..
  9. Get trained, get some books, etc.. I'm trying to convince Oracle Press to let me do an Oracle on Windows book.

I hope that this is helpful. If you have any comments or a suggestion for a future topic, drop me an email at

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