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Re: Performance of Checkins/Checkouts

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Posted by Tommie Mademark on May 10, 2001 at 12:03:06:

In Reply to: Performance of Checkins/Checkouts posted by mjuras on May 08, 2001 at 14:11:24:

: Our performance for checkin/checkout is bursty: It will be move along at about 1-2 files per second then it will stop and take a 30-90 seconds for one file ( small text files!) . I think it is a contention/locking problem. Any theories?

: I was wondering what type of performance others are seeing with there installations.

: StarBase says we should separate SQL Server and StarTeam. I recall some benchmarks showed better performance with both on one bigger box.

: Our Server is dual 866 with 640MB Ram. We have about 20 concurrent connections.

Hi Mark,

Yes, StarTeam will perform much better on a server with dual or more processors. Since the release of StarTeam 4.0, the VTS will also make use of more than one CPU if available on the server. Almost all installations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway that use a DBMS (not Access) use a dual CPU server as their StarTeam VTS. Ericsson uses a quad CPU server with Oracle 8 and they have about 120 users, 400000 files in 200 projects and performance is not an issue. Two other users have a dual CPU setup with 60+ users and MS SQL Server 2000 and no performance problems.

One point that I always stress is that you should use a dedicated server for your StarTeam VTS and never run anything else on that server. Is that the case with your server or do you use it for any other apps or is your DBMS used by any other applications but StarTeam? Which DBMS are you using? If a "late model" MS SQL Server, dB2 or Oracle, don't try and tweak any the DBMS settings such as memory, use of CPU's. All major DBMS of a late version are very, very good at self-tuning (adaptive). I have tested just about every setting there is in SQL Server 2000 and none makes any difference to the performance. Is it always the same file where it slows down?

I know what I would do Mark:

[Mark] One SQL 7.0 Server (throttled to 322MB Max) Should I open this up?
[Tommie] Yes! Click every single button in the SQL Server 7 settings that says "Default". Don't set SQL Server to use a particular processor either. Make your swap file contigues and 3 times the size of your physical RAM. In your case = 1920 MB. The reason Microsoft says size of physical RAM + 11 MB is because the OS will take somewhat longer to start when you boot the server, but as it will increase the speed of your server and your server should not have to be re-booted to often anyway.

[Mark] The workspaces for all developers, managers and deployers.
[Tommie] Move to a different server!

[Mark] The deployment spaces for all systems
[Tommie] Move to a different server!

[Mark] We would like to run IIS/ASP as well to provide served SCM utilities.
[Tommie] No!

I know that your StarTeam server hardware might have set you back a few bucks, but what happens if the system hangs, crashes becomes corrupt and your development comes to a halt? Ask yourself if you can afford that? You have 20 developers using StarTeam. I don't know how much money they make, but if the company cost is $100/ hour/developer, and the StarTeam server goes down as a result of someone stores something on his workspace, or an ASP on the IIS chokes the server or chashes it, and it takes you a day to fix the problem, that translates into:

8 hours x $100 x 20 developers = $16000!!! Here in Sweden that kind of money buys two Compaq servers configured the way your current server is build. Can you afford this to happen? Below is what I tell my customers to buy:

Compaq ProLiant DL380 Intel? Pentium? 933/133 Rack Model (128MB)

$6,934.00 Configured Price
48-Month Lease

System Configuration

Intel? Pentium? III 933MHz
Intel? Pentium? III 933MHz (Option Kit)
512MB Total SDRAM 133MHz (2x128, 1x256)
Integrated Smart Array Controller (Ultra2)
Hot Plug Drive Cage-Ultra2 - 4 x 1" (up to 6 x 1" with optional drive cage)
No RAID setting
9.1GB Pluggable Ultra3 SCSI 10,000 rpm Hard Drive (1")
9.1GB Pluggable Ultra3 SCSI 10,000 rpm Hard Drive (1")
9.1GB Pluggable Ultra3 SCSI 10,000 rpm Hard Drive (1")
9.1GB Pluggable Ultra3 SCSI 10,000 rpm Hard Drive (1")
1.44MB Floppy Disk Drive - Included
High Speed IDE Low Profile CD-ROM - Included
Compaq 10/100 TX UTP - Included
12/24-GB DAT Tape Drive with VERITAS QuickStart Software ($1150 value)
SmartStart & Compaq Insight Manager
Compaq 3-Year Limited Warranty

I just made the above configuration on Compaq's site and no, unfortunately we do not sell Compaq so I don't get a commission :-(

Here is a funny story for you:
One of the guys in our company yesterday used the system that I build to test the StarTeam performance on. The system is not a Compaq machine, but an Intel motherboard with dual 550 MHz Xeon processors, 768 Megs of RAM, 6 x 9.1 GB SCSI drives configured as RAID 0+1 (2 pair of disks are mirrored and then the 3 sets are striped into a single logical C-drive that is controlled by a RAID controller with 64 MB cache RAM) housed in an Intel chassis with 3 hot swappable, redundant power supplies, hot swappable fans and so on. The system has no other disks!!

This guy was going to install a Process Control software application on the server to do some testing so I did not run any SQL Server or StarTeam processes. He had never used this server before. I went into a meeting and an hour later I checked back with him. He tells me that he couldn't install from the installation CD, despite making several attempts. So I asked if he could do it again and show me when it stopped. So he clicks on the Setup program and the installation programs starts. 8 seconds later it stopped and he said that that was it and looked puzzled because it usually took him minutes to install. I told him that the software in fact did install and was done in 8 seconds flat! He had never seen anything like it!

My reasoning is that you buy/build a much optimized server for your StarTeam VTS! When you are done and have your backup routine in place, lock the server and throw away the key! Never, ever run anything but the DBMS with the StarTeam database and the StarTeam VTS on that server.

Best Regards,


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