“We had NO server for ten years. Two years ago we bought our server. Why would we need a second server now or at all?” I’ve struggled to answer this question in a way that would make sense to the poser. If someone out there in the cloud has a good answer, I’d be glad to hear it … especially when you consider the relevance to Accpac 6.0 and any kind of web deployment.
Will a second server improve performance? It might. In an Accpac environment, there could be advantages to splitting off a database server or a domain controller. Both of these can be hammered in a large installation and create contention problems. The problem with using this reason is that it when a customer tries out this solution, it will seem like there is no performance gain whatsoever. Any advantage is likely to only show up in the most contentious 5-10 hours in a 200 hour month.
Is a second server a helpful part of a recovery strategy? It could be. Doing a test restore or a data integrity check on your primary server isn’t the greatest idea in the world. If your server goes down, having a warm stand-by server would be really nice. The trouble with this reasoning is that the benefit seems fuzzy and conditional. I’ve heard customers say, “We have a backup!” in an annoyed tone of voice. Sure, but have you ever tried to restore that 5 year old tape using a drive that no one makes anymore?
Will a second server be necessary in an Accpac 6.0 environment? You’d think so. A database server normally is in the most protected area of your network. A web server normally runs in a de-militarized zone – if it’s not exposed to the internet with self-service applications what good is it? I’ve tried convincing customers of this. The argument almost works, but something in their glazed-over eyes tells me they’re not completely convinced.
It’s easy to dismiss any single reason to add a second server. Isn’t the truth, “Experience shows that there are many advantages to segmenting network functionality?” Building a network doesn’t end with server number one. I’d like a better sounding answer. Does anyone else have one? If so, I’d be glad to hear it.