Enterprise Project Server deployments involve a m lange of technologies that are installed on one server or distributed across many. A single installation may serve a workgroup, a department, or an entire company. To complicate things further, Project Server can be deployed to serve a company under one umbrella or by segregating instances within a single deployment.
In this chapter I sort through the pros and cons of various approaches, from compact implementations to distributed models. I discuss these approaches conceptually here to aid you in your planning process. Chapters 5 and 7 cover the tactics and techniques you’ll need to deploy these configurations. Chapter 7, in particular, covers the more advanced material.
Along with the misconception that Project Server is going to be a snap to install, many folks have the notion that it will perform well on any old PC box. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although Project Server seems to be a simple Web application, under the hood it uses power-hungry technologies. Even a small implementation deserves hardware designed for server applications.
When I use the term “server hardware,” I’m referring to a box with a backplane, and a minimum of two processors and 2GB of RAM. Your hard drives should be fast SCSI preferably configured in a RAID 5 array. Without the RAID controllers, boxes like this from Dell and Compaq price out at just under $5,000.00 at the time of this writing. This should be your minimum standard. Very large implementations will benefit from using isolated gigabit segments for connectivity between the servers and SQL clusters running on Fibre Channel RAID arrays. Yes, Fibre Channel technology is very high end, and it’s applicable only to very large implementations, but my point is that there’s fast hardware, and there’s really fast hardware.
If you’re contemplating a large implementation, one that’s intended to serve as many as 1,000 users, expect to dedicate up to five servers to your installation. Project planners, who must update project plans across the Internet or across high-latency and low-bandwidth connections, require a solution such as Terminal Services or a similar technology. You’ll need to add a server to support this, too.