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Server Hardware Requirements

2017/09/28 14:34

Here is the recommended server hardware for diskless boot with CCBoot.

CPU:

Intel Quad Core Processor (i3 or higher)

Motherboard:

Server motherboard that supports 16GB or more RAM, 6 to 8 or more SATA Ports.

RAM:

No. Of Clients

Server RAM

10 - 30

16 GB

30 -70

32 GB

70 - 100

64+ GB

For 100+ client PCs, We recommend to use 2 or more Servers with load balance.

Hard Disk: 

Before we go in details about the hard disk need for server, let’s know the different hard disk types in CCBoot.

Image disk: the hard disk that stores the client OS boot data. We call it as "image".

Game disk: the hard disks that store the game data.

Writeback disk: the hard disks that store the client write data. In diskless booting, all data are read and written to/from the server. So we need writeback disk to save the client's write data. Other products are also named it as "write cache".

SSD Disk: the hard disk that is used to cache game disk data. Caching game disk data in SSD Disk give client quicker access to game files as SSD is much faster than traditional HDD.

Required Hard Disks:

1) One SATA HDD is used for server OS (C:\) and CCBoot Server install (D:\).

2) One SSD for image disk - 256GB

2) Two SATA HDD are set up on RAID0 for Game Disk - 2 x 1TB or 2 x 2TB

We recommend to use Windows 2008 disk manager to setup RAID0 instead of hardware RAID in BIOS. We recommend to set SATA mode as AHCI in BIOS. Because AHCI is better for writeback disks' write performance. For more information, please refer to AHCI on wiki. In the BIOS, SATA mode can only be one of AHCI and RAID. If we set it as AHCI, the RAID function of the motherboard will be invalid. So we use Windows 2008 disk manager to setup RAID0. The performance is same as hardware RAID0

Note: If you skip RAID0, the read speed of the game may become slow. But if the clients are less than 50 with SSD cache, it is OK to skip RAID0.

3) Two SSD for write-back disk (256+ GB)

Note: For 10 - 20 users, 1 Write Back disk is enough, for 20+ users, use 2 Write Back disk.

We do NOT recommend to use RAID for write-back disks. If one disk is broken, we can use the other one. If you use RAID for writeback disk, then, one disk breaks then it will cause all clients stop working. On the other hand, CCBoot will auto balance the writeback disk when you have more than one disks. Using two disks the write performance is better than using RAID. Using SSD as writeback disk is better than harddisk as SSD has good IOPS.

4) One SSD disk for SSD cache (256+ GB).

Note: Do not use cheap SSD for writeback and SSD disk as they are unreliable and may cause clients to hang when the SSD gets corrupt. Choose a SSD with high read/write speed. Faster SSD for writeback results in better performance for clients. We recommed using Samsung EVO SSDs.

Note: Format all hard disk with 32K allocation unit except windows partition/disk , as it provides you the best performance. - Do Not skip this

Conclusion: You need to prepare 7 disks for the server normally. They are 3 SATA HDDs and 4 SSD . 1 SATA for system OS, 2 SATA for game disks, 1 for Image disk, 2 SSD for writeback disks and 1 SSD for cache.

Network:

1000Mb Ethernet or 2 * 1000 Mb Ethernet team network. We recommend Intel and Realtek 1000M Series. 

Use CAT 6 Cable for best performance, can use CAT 5e for smaller deployment of 10-20 PCs

For network switch, please use 1000Mbps unmanaged switch.

Important: Do not use PCI gigabit ethernet card on the server if you are planning to add NICs to give more bandwidth to client

If you want to add more NIC then find PCIe gigabit ethernet cards as they provide better bandwidth than PCI cards.

Related:

Client Hardware Requirements