A reader asked some great questions today.
I am looking to put my QuickBooks company files, accessed by five users, on RAID. Which RAID configuration do you recommend for this?
I know QuickBooks does not recommend RAID and you mentioned it too, but do they mean its not recommended for just for installing QuickBooks and/or the database file too?
I am thinking about getting a 64 bit Xeon, 16 GB memory, Windows 7 Pro computer to use as a server for QuickBooks Enterprise 14, what are your thoughts?
I know its an overkill but I rather be overpowered than under powered and at $600, why not?
I will be replacing the main drive with a 256GB SSD, which will also be used to install QuickBooks Enterprise 14. Again, your thoughts?
For my money, I’m following Intuit’s recommendations to not put the QuickBooks application or company files on a raid volume and to use a physical server, not a virtual server.
Regarding RAID generally; RAID 1 volumes run terribly slow. I’ve personally seen many RAID 5 volumes fail completely. I’ve also seen RAID rebuilds after a drive failure cripple a server for over 24 hours. I never use RAID 1 or 5 unless I’m backed into a corner. But, I will use RAID 10 volumes as they are much more dependable, and expensive.
I like your choice of desktop computer. You’re right about it being overkill for the server, but it would make a great client computer. In the default client-server setup with QuickBooks configured as a client-server application and native QuickBooks software installed on each client computer that accesses QuickBooks on the server, most of the processing occurs on the client computers.
I also like your choice of an SSD drive. Anything to speed up I/O will improve QuickBooks performance. That includes regular company file maintenance. RAID slows I/O performance; consequently, Intuit recommends against RAID.
I would still use a Windows XP Pro computer as my server and invest money for performance options in my client computers. I would also consider using an SSD drive in my XP Pro server.
If I was concerned about recovering a failed drive, I would use a product like Acronis to image my server for bare metal recovery. The server should be imaged after every change; like a QuickBooks version upgrade. If the server fails, bring up another server from the image, then restore your last QuickBooks backup to the new server.