If you are utilizing a Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) server, then it is most likely already running at it’s limit. Microsoft developed SBS for small businesses, so they would not have to purchase 3 different licenses and 3 different servers to run the essential pieces of software for a small business. The problem is that the software that they bundled together was actually intended to be separated out on their own machines.
Microsoft’s design was that each network would have 1 dedicated Domain Controller, 1 dedicated Exchange server, and 1 dedicated file server (and 1 dedicated Terminal Server). By combining them into one machine, they are saving you a lot of money, but they are pushing that server to the limit of what it can do.
If you have the Office Tools database installed on an SBS server, the most performance minded thing you could do would be to move the database onto another machine. A basic workstation with 2GB of RAM and a 2GHZ dual core processor would be a much better candidate for the Office Tools database than even the best SBS servers out there.
Here is a perfect example:
Here is an older Core 2 Quad workstation with Server 2008 R2 x64 installed and 8GB of RAM. It has 25 concurrently logged in and active users using the software all day, and and experiences very minimal delays.
If you look at the image below, you will notice that sqlservr.exe takes up nearly 1.5GB of RAM. This is optimal… for performance you want to give sqlservr.exe as much memory as possible to cache query results and common execution plans (technical speak for ‘commonly used data’).
If you install it on a box that is running other software, it will not have the resources it needs to fully cache its data, therefore it is forced to read/write it to disc (drastically reducing performance).
In some cases, a lack of system memory will prevent workstations from being able to connect to the server for Practice Management.
You do not need a top-of-the-line machine to work as a server, just a box that is completely dedicated to OTP and has enough RAM for sqlservr.exe to cache results. If you choose invest in a machine that is solely dedicated to running the Practice Management server, the performance and stability increase will be well worth the money.