PCSchool System Requirements

System Requirements & Recommendations

Performance

As with any network application, overall performance is based on a range of factors. It is our experience that PCSchool performs best with the following server and network setup:

      • Dedicated virtual SQL Server (Windows 2016/2019 recommended) with a minimum of 4 cores (Applies to SQL Server Standard, SQL Express will not fully utilise the additional cores or RAM), at least 8Gb RAM and a 1GB switched network backbone, minimum 100 MB to clients if not running as a Remote App.
      • Server 2016 has proven to yield better performance for both SQL and RDP severs however Server 2012 is still fully supported. Small schools can contact PCSchool to discuss individual needs if they do not have a server environment.
      • IIS can be installed on the same server as SQL or on its own server. It does not not to be as fully spec’d as the SQL Server however having both on the same server eliminates and network traffic bottlenecks.

Client Requirements

Ideally the PCSchool windows application should be set up on a virtual Terminal Server on the same host as the SQL Server and published as a remote app for the end users. This allows more controlled access as well as easier maintenance.

If not running a thin client environment, a recent desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or greater.

      •  4 Gb RAM (PCSchool is a 32 bit application).
      • Colour Monitor, minimum 1024 x 768 resolution.
      • A cabled connection highly recommended for the Back Office client. Wireless is fine for the Spider interface. As the Back Office application is continually updating from the server, wireless connections can have issues when the wireless becomes busy causing display or time-out issues.

Server Environment

Speed and reliability of your server is crucial to the reliability and performance of PCSchool within your school. The following are recommendation’s based on our own past experience:

      • Server 2016 preferred but Windows Server 2012 or above can be used.
      • SQL Server 2016/17 standard performs faster, however SQL Server 2012 and above supported (SQL Express supported but recommend only for smaller schools.)
      • Do not run Terminal Services on the same server as the SQL application.
      • Limiting physical/network access to data files is critical to providing a secure environment.
      • Disable indexing, live backups and virus scanning of directories containing data files
      • SAS/SCIS drives are better as they have faster I/O and seek times. SATA are acceptable.
      • Ensure VM’s are backed up on a regular cycle. Recommended to use RAID 5 or 10 for physical servers in case of hard drive failure.
      • Defrag your drives during off-peak times (evenings) using appropriate software for the OS.
      • Use a Network Card with an on-board processor
      • Set cache to maximum.

PCSchool ‘Spider’ Web Application – Server Requirements

The following are recommendation’s based on our own past experience:

      • Depending on the network configuration, a separate server may be used to expose Spider to the outside world however it can be installed on the same server as the SQL databases to negate potential network traffic bottlenecks.
      •  Microsoft Internet Information System (MS IIS) installed.
      • .NET Framework 4 installed with a minimum Version 4.6.

PCSchool ‘Spider’ Web Application – Client Requirements

The following are recommendation’s based on our own past experience:

      • Intranet or Internet connection (wireless or cable)
      • An up-to-date web browser which is HTML 5 compatible. Chrome has proven to be a very reliable browser.