Application Server Solutions for Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)

Expert independent computer consultancy solutions for application server technology

Custodian offer independent consultancy for your server solutions. Not being tied into any one manufacture ensures we can offer you the best solution for hardware.


When choosing the hardware for a application server, there are a number of points to be considered.

Processor Type:

  • Single or Dual Pentium
    The Pentium 3 processor is a fine workhorse for small to medium office environment. It's low cost and ability to work in dual processor applications makes it an ideal choice for entry and mid-level servers. The latest Pentium 3 CPU's have 512KB of embedded cache to increase performance.
  • Single Pentium 4
    Again, for entry to mid level servers, the Pentium 4 offers excellent performance for the cost. It is only available in single processor options, which limits it's scalability somewhat, however for standard office network applications it remains an excellent choice.
  • Single or Dual Athlon MP
    The Athlon MP processor offers a much higher level of performance than both the Pentium 3 and 4. It has a particularly fast mathematics processor on board, making this an ideal choice for numerical intensive applications. Large databases running on SQL, and indeed other applications that are CPU intensive will run exceptionally well on the Athlon MP processor platform. The Athlon MP is available in singe and dual processor configurations.
  • Single or Dual Xeon with Hyperthreading
    For really top, scaleable performance, the Intel Xeon processor is an excellent choice. Surprisingly affordable the Xeon will scale up to four processors in some configurations and also includes Hyperthreading. Hyperthreading is a process which allows multiple threads to run concurrently on a single processor, giving the effect of more processors in a system than there actually are.

Disk Size and Type:

  • IDE or SCSI?
    Choosing the interface to the disks may seem like a trivial choice, but it can make all the difference to the overall performance of your server. Most servers performance is affected by the speed at which data can be moved to and from the storage subsystem. Choosing a storage interface that is not suited to the overall specification of the server can have adverse affects.
  • Multiple Disks? RAID?
    Having more than one single disk in the server can become difficult to manage, give multiple drive letters and generally cause a system administration headaches. If additional storage and some failure tolerance are a requirement then RAID is well worth considering.
  • Why Use RAID?
    Redundant Array of Independent Disks, (RAID) gives the advantages of enhanced performance, large arrays of disks acting as one single storage area and fault tolerance, depending on the RAID level chosen.
  • RAID Level 0
    RAID 0 simply means striping data across two disks to offer the advantage of greater performance and storage capacity. It has no redundancy and if any single disk fails the entire array is lost. RAID 0 is suited to applications where fast data transfer and large storage capacity are required, but not where files will be stored permanently due to the increased risk of data loss. File servers will not generally use RAID 0
  • RAID Level 1
    RAID 1 is the simplest RAID level offering failure tolerance. Data is “Mirrored” onto two disks, giving single disk failure tolerance. Available storage capacity is limited to the size of one disk only. For SME file servers RAID 1 is extremely common.
  • RAID Level 5
    RAID 5 is a slightly more complicated RAID Level. It combines data striping across multiple (minimum of 3) disks with distributed parity for data protection in the even of a disk failure. The entire array can be seen by the operating system as one “Logical Disk” making managing the storage space simple for the system administrator. Extremely large arrays can be created using RAID 5 which is a common RAID level for use in file servers.

Network Interface:

    A common current standard is 10/100Mbps. There is, however, a rapid migration to Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps) so installing two network cards, with at least one being Gigabit is recommended.

Case Options:

    Pedestal, often called Tower systems are the preferred choice for the office environment. Trident branded servers are available in black or beige. If the server is to be rack mounted we can also supply a range or 1, 2, 4 and 5U servers to mount into 800mm deep racks.

Backup Solutions:

    DAT, DLT, Ultrium, VXA and autoloaders. The size and type of backup solution is wholly determined by the server and backup requirement. Remember – we offer free advice for choosing the backup solutions, servers and even whole network installations.


    Uninterruptible Power Supplies. A must for any server, to both condition the mains and provide a temporary power source should the power fail. Giving valuable minutes to automatically (or manually depending on the installation) shut down the server is absolutely essential. No network should be without one!

    As you may be aware the hardware market changes on a daily basis. In this fast and furious market Custodian Computer Services are updated daily by manufactures and suppliers about new hardware changes and current price changes. This information is passed onto to our customers. Always being in a position to advise and offer the best, most cost effective solution for customer needs.

3 Years onsite warranty direct from the manufactures on most machines.

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