1.    05 Jan 2016 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 2
    Win10

    Early Design of VMware Project


    Thanks, in advance. for your helpful comments.

    Purpose:
    This is a Point Of Sale system in a retail environment. The Point of Sale (POS) software is a Visual Basic program that shares a Microsoft Access database via a shared folder.

    Hardware:
    One ‘server’ running VMware Workstation Pro
    Seven VMs running Win 7
    Remote PCs running Win 7 or Win 10
    All remote PCs are late-model Dell PCs physically located within 30 feet of the server, connected to a Gig switch using Cat 6 factory cables.

    Questions:

    1. Is Workstation Pro the best choice?
    2. What is an optimal operating system for server?
    3. How much RAM for server?
    4. Is SSD hard drive(s) a good idea?
    5. Should remote PCs connect to server via RDP or Workstation Player?


    Concerns/Comments:
    The POS software’s design occasionally has difficulty operating via the shared network folders when operating on the LAN.

    Initial tests using VMware, the POS software appears to operate with great reliability as the POS database is shared on a local virtual machine.

    Of course, the remote PCs need reliable connection to the server

    Any other suggestions or guidance is appreciated.

    -Dan
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    05 Jan 2016 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 770
    Windows 7

    Welcome to the forum.

    These are rather basic questions that have been asked but still could not be answered properly without a great deal more information. As I see it if there is no one in your organization with the required expertise you need to engage the services of a professional who does. This is going to cost time and money but in the long term it will be worth it. Otherwise you may end up paying a lot of money for a system that does not meet your requirements.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    05 Jan 2016 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Yikes! An ancient point of sale system? Access database? I can't believe this setup even meets PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards, which means a data breach in your system could make you liable for millions of dollars in transactions that could occur based on it. How are you doing credit card transactions over VMware running on another system? How would your swipe stations even work?

    In the long run, it would be a lot cheaper to just upgrade to a more modern POS system.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    06 Jan 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 2
    Win10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    How are you doing credit card transactions over VMware running on another system?
    Hi Mystere, the POS system doesn't handle the credit card transaction, only functions as a record keeper for the transactions. (Credit card transactions are external to this system).

    Dan
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    09 Jan 2016 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Canon City, Colorado
    Posts : 43
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Build 1607

    Personally I would look at using a vendor who handles the credit cards through a web interface. That is how people I see getting setup today and use a USB wired card swiper. At that point as said above use a POS to manage the sales taking place and inventory. Ye again many cloud applications could do this job as well for a much more cost effective.

    However to manage what you are asking I personally would opt for a CentOS server running Xen when dealing with a client to save money or if you want a Windows system then VMware Workstation Pro would be okay I guess but if this scenario and this was my client I would push for Windows Server 2012 using Hyper-V. I prefer to run a server OS when providing network services and I like VMware however I feel that their are benefits to Xen or Hyper-V when looking at what comes packaged to the cost.

    For the RAM I would look at giving the server 2-3 GB for CentOS and 1.5-2.5 GB for each Windows instance you are wanting to run.

    SSD's do perform better IO however in my opinion you have to be careful as you cannot go cheap on SSD's so something from Intel or a Samsung EVO pro would be best.

    Personally have never used VMware player so I would say RDP but may be wrong.

    I do need to ask why CAT6? This is a personal pet peeve of mine as CAT5E will deliver Gigabyte speed under 300 FT and cost less. Anything over that distance then yes you want to look at CAT6.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    09 Jan 2016 #6
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Oak Ridge TN, USA
    Posts : 24,523
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    Yikes! An ancient point of sale system? Access database? I can't believe this setup even meets PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards, which means a data breach in your system could make you liable for millions of dollars in transactions that could occur based on it. How are you doing credit card transactions over VMware running on another system? How would your swipe stations even work?

    In the long run, it would be a lot cheaper to just upgrade to a more modern POS system.
    First off any Access database would not be able to handle the volume of traffic that this system would require. While Access is fine for very small systems and personal use I would never consider it for anything more demanding. There are other database tools that will fit this much better.. MySql and paid databases come to mind.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    09 Jan 2016 #7

    Hi there

    for POS type client systems why not investigate Windows embedded --W7 has a great Windows embedded OS - great for POS and thin clients-- I've asked questions on the Forum as to whether W10 will have a W10 embedded version --should do if Ms want to keep their act together. Currently for a POS type environment --although I hate to say it --I'd stick to W7 and use W7 embedded until Ms give some indication as to their future directions with this stuff.

    W7 embedded still has support way up to 2020 and possibly later.

    For the server IMO the best one is CENTOS 7 -- absolutely stable --based on Red Hat's commercial enterprise server - used in zillions of commercial server farms and as stable as a rock. Red Hat is now working with Centos which is the open source version of the Red Hat enterprise server -- it really is HUGELY stable - and with a bit of work makes a great desktop too -- beats Ubuntu / opensuse / Linux mint etc - but you do need a bit of work to get it to play nice as a desktop. If you manage it -- well worthwhile - but as a FREE server can't be beat IMO.

    I'm running 7 Windows clients on it as VM's --- never a single problem with the server -- last boot over 6 months ago when I wanted to add some more hardware !!!!

    For free databases --forget Access -- it's a joke. MySQL / Postgres / MariaDB etc are Free DB's with much better functionality. Even Windows SQL server is OK but costs.

    For Linux look at LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL Php) and for Windows WAMP for Internet / remote queries to a DB or website. These will get you started. If you even THINK of using ACCESS you'll go down within the first 90 secs as soon as you have more than ONE user. !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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