23.9. Hardware Considerations

Forgive me if I get too bland here — I'll try to keep it interesting, but if you're like the average developer, you'll probably already know enough about this to make it very boring, yet not enough about it to save yourself a degree of grief.

Hardware prices have been falling like a rock over the last few years — unfortunately, so has what your manager or customer is probably budgeting for your hardware purchases. When deciding on a budget for your hardware, remember:

  • Once you've deployed, the hardware is what's keeping your data safe — just how much is that data worth?

  • Once you've deployed, you're likely to have many users — if you're creating a public Web site, it's possible that you'll have tens of thousands of users active on your system 24 hours per day. What is it going to cost you in terms of productivity loss, lost sales, loss of face, and just general credibility loss if that server is unavailable or — worse — you lose some of your data?

  • Maintaining your system will quickly cost more than the system itself. Dollars spent early on a mainstream system that is going to have fewer quirks may save you a ton of money in the long run.

There's a lot to think about when deciding who to purchase from and what specific equipment to buy. Forgetting the budget for a moment, some of the questions to ask yourself include:

  • Will the box be used exclusively as a database server?

  • Will the activity on the system be processor or I/O intensive? (For databases, it's ...

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