System Hardware Requirements:
- A 24x7 Internet connection is needed, with a dedicated IP address (DHCP is not usable), and a registered domain name. A small organization can manage with a DSL line or cable modem, as long as you get a dedicated IP address. Two DSL lines (with different IP addresses on separate networks, from different vendors) can be shared to increase uptime. Typical starting costs for business DSL lines are $125/month.
A computer colocated at a web hosting service (Internet data center) will have a faster and more reliable connection, but access to your database file will be only over the Internet. This will be more expensive ($400/month up) since most web hosting services will want you to rent a dedicated server to run a database-backed web application like skyBuilders timeLines.
- Domain Name Server(s), or Domain Name Service from your ISP/Web Host. The DNS can be configured to load balance between two Internet connections. If one connection fails, requests are directed to the other automatically (details below). To add a DNS Service, go to Network Control Panel. In WinNT, go to Services tab, and say Add. Windows will build the available services list. Select DNS Service. You may need the Windows CD. In Win2000, go to Advanced menu, choose Optional Network Components... Select Networking Services (don't check the box). Click Details. The services list appears. Choose DHS Service. You may need the W2000 disk or a Service Pack disk.
- Mail Server (recommended?). Note that SMTP Server is needed for timeLined Emails, and some Mail Servers conflict (compete for resources) with SMTP Server. As of 2003, SMTP server is more trouble than it is worth, and we now reommend a separate Linux mail server with relay permissions for your web server address.
- Celeron, Pentium II/III, Pentium 4 PC, 300MHz or higher recommended.
- 256MB of RAM (more will improve scalability).
- Adequate hard drive space and speed. 100MB of free space minimum.
UltraDMA ATA drives are fine for small organizations (20GB to 80GB are very affordable). Raided Ultra-SCSI drives are more scalable for large organizations.
We recommend server baords like Intel S845 series with dual LAN.
- SVGA Monitor (800x600 minimum, small fonts).
- Additional PCs on the LAN
(e.g., the database server can be on a separate machine).
(e.g., the mail server can be on a separate machine).
(e.g., the administrator can work from a separate PC).
(e.g., hourly, daily, and weekly backups of all your files to another PC file server).
- External and Internal Firewalls (see skyPipes.com).
- Two Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs) are desirable in each machine. This allows you to have two ISP providers for redundancy. Or see skyPipes.com.
- A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) with at least one hour running time is strongly recommended. If your power fails, your telephone lines will probably not fail, so you can still serve.
- An AC generator (gasoline or propane powered).
- Site Monitor software located off-site, preferably on a different networking company than the two DSL lines (available as a skyBuilders service).
- Pagers, Alphanumeric Messaging, Cell phones with web messaging for site monitor to notify of failures.
- A backup PC connected on the LAN, with scheduled backups of the database.
- An off-site PC, with Internet-based backup of the database (available as a skyBuilders service).