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I am looking for server specifications for a moderately sized habitat mapping project. My current server is about to reach its storage capacity, so I am researching buying a new one that I can dedicate to the project. The following is a list of my basic server requirements:

  • 10-12 TB Storage Capacity
  • RAID 5
  • $5k limit
  • Primarily used to support ArcGIS, Erdas, and ENVI applications

Given the previously stated constraints, what server configuration would work?

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Nice budget: would you be interested in Solid State Drives (faster read/write?) or more traditional hard drives (hot swappable) + leave room for expansion if you can. – Mapperz Jun 19 '12 at 14:57
ArcGIS 10.1 (desktop & server) is now 64bit -… – Mapperz Jun 19 '12 at 15:01
I would lean toward traditional hard drives for affordability and expandability. – Aaron Jun 19 '12 at 15:07
ArcGIS 10.1 Server is native 64-bit, but I'm pretty sure the Desktop version is not. It will run on a 64-bit system, but it's still a 32-bit application. – Dan C Jun 30 '12 at 17:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are a lot more factors to consider before making a recommendation on hardware

  1. How many users?
  2. Location of users?
  3. Network infrastructure?
  4. Peak times?
  5. How will users be using the server? HTTP service requests? Pulling features into desktop clients, geoprocessing services, cached services, etc etc etc

My answer to this question is that you should undertake a more thorough investigation into capacity planning before making a purchase into hardware. This will minimise risk of overspending or not spending enough for the load your project will have on the hardware.

The XLS tool from Dave Peters is specific to Esri, but will guide you on what kind of load your existing hardware can handle, or in your case, fill in what you expect you need for your project, and it will tell you what hardware specs will handle the load.

As a starting point, I sometimes look at Esri's business partners to see the promotional deals they offer to see what kind of hardware they use. Take a look at the offers for Dell and Esri.

See this answer for a similar answer.

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My primary interest in a server is multiediting capabilities between 4-6 techs. Of course I am also looking for a secure file repository for GIS data. – Aaron Jun 30 '12 at 14:06

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