Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to What is hardware specification for OpenACS?
1. For development, a slower system is adequate.
2. For stress-testing or production boxes, you will need more powerful hardware.
3. OpenACS (and www.openacs.org) is usually associated with PostgreSQL. ACS (and www.arsdigita.com/asj) is usually associated with Oracle. Same ancestor. Different wives (uh.. developers)
4. RDBMS are ram pigs.
I saw Non-ECC 512Meg PC133 SDRAM for less than NT$3000 (NT$2650-NT$2700)two days ago in Taipei NOVA store. What a shock. Just do the math. Divide NT$3000 by 30 (very very stupid rough exchange rate) to get the USD. It was twice that only a few month ago. So obviously if you don't take ECC ram seriously (and you really really should--once you get enough ram in the system and PostgreSQL/Oracle together), one slab of this should go into your development/production box.
What PostgreSQL want: 128Meg of ram to 64 for development. 256Meg to 128 makes a PostgreSQL production box very happy. As long as you know SQL enough to tune it.
What Oracle wants: I am not even going to get into this (it's kinda religious). But needless to say Oracle8i on Windows 2000 crawls on 256Megs of ram and a few megs of trivia data. Obviously 256Megs will do you no good for development. But if you have clients who pay for Oracle licenses, do please get ECC ram for your production box (read other threads in OpenACS about purchasing [REAL] ECC RAM). All of this really costly.. so figure out if you need ECC ram for development purposes (most people think no--but maybe...)
5. Development boxes for RDBMS in the perfect world would be disk hogs.. because in the perfect world everyone would be a master SQL tuner and spend days optimizing and stress-testing every little SQL statement they ever pump out. Until that day comes, get a 20 gig drive.
PostgreSQL is not a hard disk pig. Oracle is. This is not counting the data (because PostgreSQL have been known to handle a cargo load of data without forcing the user to pay a penny more). Buy a cheap 20 gigger IDE and it will be fine for development purposes (and lots of MP3s on the PostgreSQL side). If you want to be a kick ass Oracle DBA someday.. get your company to invest in some IDE or SCSI RAIDs (haha yeah right). The only rule is don't buy the biggest drive you can get.. but get as many number of smaller drives you can purchase and a decent RAID subsystem. Most development box I see (doing SQL and forms work) make do with plain old single IDE drives though. Again, the RAID is for tuning-happy admins doing stress-testing and production. There are a lot of how-tos on this on the net without spending on books.
6. When you can remember the difference between RAID 0, 1, and 5.. buy the book "Scaling Oracle" and read at least the first half of it.
7. There is a seach function on both openacs.org and www.arsdigita.com/asj -- use it. It will get you more information about hardware recommendations.