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Hardware Configuration for ASP.NET Server

I'm looking for information as to what considerations I should make when
configuring an ASP.NET web server. I realize that a lot of factors need to
be considered, but I'm just looking for a good starting point.

Right now, I have a Windows 2000 (IIS 5) web server (P4 2.8 GHz, 1GB RAM,
80GB SATA HD) that is used to host an ASP site, which gets hit by 400-500
simultaneous users during peak hours (according to perfmon's Current
Anonymous Users counter). Currently, this pegs the CPU to 100% pretty much
constantly. Even when there are about 200-300 users, it hangs around 100%
quite a bit. Admittedly, the code could be better optimized, but I have
already done quite a bit of optimizations and it doesn't seem to put a dent
in this utilization. Also, just FYI, the database is on a separate server,
but that is beyond the scope of my question.

Anyway, I'm looking at moving the most high-traffic portions of the site to
ASP.NET 2.0, and I'm also looking at purchasing a new server. The server
would definitely have Windows 2003 Web Editition. But beyond that, I'm not
sure what I should be looking at. I don't want to go overboard, but I want
to get something within reason that will not only relieve some of the
pressure off the CPU, but also provide some padding for future growth.
Ideally, I would like the server to handle 2,000 simultaneous users, if not

Right now, I'm considering a Windows 2003 server with 2 Dual Core 3 GHz
Xeons, 2GB 533MHz (4x512MB) RAM, and a 36GB SAS 15K RPM HD.

Is 2 dual core CPU's overboard, or will that go a long way in allow more
simultaneous users, and would be better getting a single faster dual core
CPU? Should I consider getting Windows 2003 Standard server which would
allow more than 2GB RAM, or should 2GB RAM suffice? What are yout comments
on SAS vs. SATA hard drives in regards to a web server?

Again, I realize a lot of this is subjective, and really depends on the
situation. But if there are any specific considerations that should be made
when deciding between the above, please let me know.

Also, I would love if anyone could point me to a good site that listing
various recommendations for an IIS web server configuration, as I've checked
and have been unsuccessful at finding anything of value.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Aug 21 '06 #1
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