FirstClass Server Recommendations

December 11, 2003 - There have been some recent changes in tuning recommendations for FirstClass servers.

Recommended OS Versions - no recent changes

Classic Macintosh OS - Macintosh OS 8.6 or later, 9.2.2 preferred

Macintosh OS X - The recommended OS version is 10.2.8. There have been no major issues with 10.3 (Panther), but there has not yet been enough QA lab testing or field experience to recommend it.

Windows - Windows NT4 or Windows 2000, each with the latest available service packs from Microsoft (NT - SP6a, 2000 - SP4). Windows 9x, ME or XP are not recommended. There are no major issues with Windows 2003, but there has not yet been enough QA lab testing or field experience to recommend it.

Recommended Server Tuning - no recent changes in these documents, but they include the current, published recommendations for each OS

Classic Macintosh OS - click here.

Macintosh OS X - click here - Download the pdf document available from this link

Windows - click here.

New Recommmendations - Paul Whittemore, lead developer for the FirstClass Server has been discussing various revisions to these documents in the FirstClass Online conferences. Among his current recommendations are:

- Server Priority - "In general, we have found that the server performs best at medium priority, regardless of platform or configuration. However, in some cases, a server may perform better in high priority. In the absence of site-specific performance data, medium priority is recommended." Internet Services can be set to High if on a separate box.

- Multiple Processors - although FirstClass can use up to 4 processors, the current state of hardware seems to suggest two processors are better as the fastest processors in 2 processor machines are faster than those available in 4 processor machines.

- FirstClass Server for Windows needs very few of the standard Windows Services, specifically, the following items have been identified as not needed by FirstClass, although you may need some of them for your specific configuration such as DHCP Client or if you are using network shares:

- Computer Browser

- DHCP Client

- Messenger

- Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

- Remote Procedure Call Locator

- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service

- Telephony

- Any Windows Services not needed should be turned off.

- In the link above for Windows NT Tuning, it is recommended to set the server Performance Options to Applications. In a long discussion on FCOL, Paul recommends setting Performance Options to Background Services in nearly all cases, and suggests it as the safest alternative in the remaining cases. The discussion can be found on FCOL in the path FirstClass Online (conference) > Technical Discussions > FCO Intranet Server > Re: Win2K-Optimized for Applications? dated Nov. 18, 2003 - 4:02:19 AM

- In the Windows NT Tuning document, it recommends "Rename LogFiles folder (in the post office) to disable standard log file creation - Use Stats instead. Stats are more useful for an administrative view of server activity." The Log File generation process has been found to be more of a load on a server than the Statistics collection operation. Rewriting the code for Log Files to lessen the server load is in the plans for the future. This recommendation can be applied to any OS version of FirstClass Server.

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