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From John Turner <>
Subject Re: [OT] best hardware config for Tomcat
Date Fri, 20 Jun 2003 13:05:02 GMT

The biggest effect on Tomcat's performance will be the architecture and 
design of your application.  You can buy the biggest fastest server in the 
world, and have lousy performance if your application architecture is poor.

If this is a production server, the absolute minimum I would consider for 
"production", that is, for providing services that others pay me to 
provide, and providing those services in such a way as to have the highest 
uptime possible, is:

Abs. minimum:
P3-1.4 GHz (dual absolutely preferred)
1024 GB RAM
2 36GB SCSI drives, RAID 1 (mirrored)
100Mbps NIC

Dual P3-1.4GHz
3 36GB SCSI drives, RAID 5 (2 + spare = 72GB usable)

Dual P3-1.4 or higher
3-5 36GB SCSI drives, RAID 5

Still Better:
Dual P3-1.4 or higher
as much disk as you can provide

Obviously, disk depends on how much you think you will need.  My servers 
provide services to about 25 different clients.  Each has their own Tomcat 
instance.  My servers are dual P3, 6GB RAM, 800GB-1TB disk in RAID-5 with 
parity and hot spare, dual everything (dual NIC, dual power supply, dual 
fans, etc).

Don't get bogged down in desktop PC terminology like DDR RAM, etc....for 
servers that sort of stuff is irrelevant.  You want stability, not 
speed...having the fastest CPU or the fastest RAM technology does you 
nothing if your server keeps going down.  For servers (if you're serious 
about it being a server), you want redundancy, parity and error-checking 
and spares over everything else.  If it were up to me, I would take a 
budget of X dollars and trade performance specs like MHz and GB for 
redundancy, all day.  Drop back on CPU and RAM if it means you can get RAID 
disk (hardware RAID is better than software RAID), redundant power 
supplies, etc.  If all you are doing is looking to buy a desktop PC and 
call it a server, then just buy whatever you won't really matter, 
and sooner or later your "server" will go down.

Even then, pay attention to the architecture and design of your 
application, and test it under load...that will make more of a difference 
than jacking up some RAM or CPU hardware.


On Fri, 20 Jun 2003 18:04:34 +0530, Antony <> 

> Thanks for the reply. I had never thought of the RAID sub system. My
> situation is that there is no one I know to advice me in this regard and 
> my
> company can't affod any highly paid consultancy. That is why asked a
> question like this here.
> Another question. Do Tomcat a requires a faster hard disk. The
> application uses JSP and Servlets only. No HTML pages are used and it
> generates some PDF and Excel files. It also serves some small images 
> files
> from local hard disk. I think Tomcat will cache these images. Now my 
> concern
> is  whether Tomcat's performance increases by faster DDR RAM.
> regards Antony
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Turner" <>
> To: "Tomcat Users List" <>
> Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 6:09 PM
> Subject: Re: [OT] best hardware config for Tomcat
>> I won't get into specifics, but I can tell you that if you are planning 
>> to
>> put this server into production, and run Oracle on it, a single hard 
>> disk
>> is the WORST thing you can do, for a whole range of reasons.
>> In most cases, CPU and RAM are not bottlenecks...disk is.  When in 
>> doubt,
>> get more and faster disk, even if it means less RAM and less CPU.
>> At a minimum you will want RAID 1...better yet, two systems disks 
>> mirrored
>> with RAID 1 containing your OS and systems files, and then a RAID 5 
>> array
>> for Oracle.
>> I strongly suggest you consult a professional.  Do not try to spec this
> out
>> on your own, it is clear that you are not familiar on some key points of
>> hardware provisioning.  This isn't bad, I am just suggesting that you
>> should find someone who is familiar, and will recommend an adequate 
>> system
>> for you.  Making the wrong decision now could harm your efforts in the
>> future.
>> If you're planning on putting this server into production, and selling 
>> the
>> services on this server to other people, it would be unethical to make
>> promises about uptime and reliability unless you at least have a RAID
>> array, redundant power supplies, a 4-hour window service contract, and
>> preferably a duplicate system for hot backup.
>> John
>> On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 12:25:47 +0530, Antony <>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi all,
>> > If it is not the place to ask this question forgive me Please any one
>> > tell me a place to ask this question.
>> > I want to know the most suitable hardware configuration for Tomcat. We
>> > have to run both Tomcat and Oracle 8i on it. It  is business( intranet 
>> )
>> > application with about 10 users accessing at starting but planning to
>> > take
>> > it to 60 users in future. Then we can increase the RAM to accommodate
> new
>> > users. I assume by increasing RAM we Tomcat can service more users. Am 
>> I
>> > right ?
>> > I am not an admin or hardware expert. We plan to buy an assembled
>> > system. We can afford only Intel based system. I have several 
>> questions.
>> > Do
>> > Tomcat need the processing power of dual processor PIV or single Xeon
>> > processor ?. What kind of memory shall I use SDRAM or DDR ?  Do Tomcat
>> > need
>> > large amount of memory or high speed memory ?.We plan to use a single
>> > hard
>> > disk. What type of hard disk is best for this configuration ?. SCSI or
>> > IDE ?
>> > When I lloked at the Intel site I have seen different categories like
>> > server,mainstream ,work station, performance etc. Remember I can't
>> > recommend
>> > any latest high cost technology.
>> > At present three developers are using a single Pentium 4 based system
>> > with 512 MB of SDRAM with Oracle and Tomcat running. It runs fine in 
>> it.
>> > We
>> > dont have conducted any stress test on it. We dont know to use JMeter 
>> or
>> > something else. I have to give the config details within 2 days.
>> > Any comments will be apprecited.
>> >
>> > Regars
>> > Antony.
>> >
>> >
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