We've got a database here that serves as the core of all of our programs' data storage. Don't laugh (okay, go ahead, I do), it's currently a P4 2.8Ghz, 4GB RAM, 150GB HD running MSSQL. The owner has been reluctant to replace it until now; despite optimizing the programs and databases multiple times, the system is choking on the data.
Total load on the server includes 20 client machines with constant moderate read/write, 10 clients with light read/write, 4 power user clients with sporadic heavy read/write, and about two dozen services that hit it hourly (spaced out and heavy lifting shifted to off-hours as much as possible). Total database size is in the 20GB range split across three primary databases. The main data save the boss sees and complains about fires off about 15 stored procedures in about as many seconds, where it used to be 2-3 seconds. From what we can tell, the main problem is a lack of cache and hitting the HD far too often. Average numbers: 40% CPU, 3.9GB physical memory, 4.5GB page file, 750kB/sec on the network card.
Expansion-wise, we expect to see 10% or so more users in each category over the next year or two.
We've made suggestions about upgrades, but the boss wants a second opinion. Budget cap is $5k, but as always cheaper is better. Any suggestions for hardware that would handle the load and probably do okay for the next 5 years?
You are more limited by your network speed and bandwidth here.. As for the upgrades, build up faster storage solutions using RAID arrays.. If you've survived with a P4 till now then I guess you wont need that much on the computing front and just upgrading to any basic quad core setup available will fetch you quite good benefits..