Hardware Recommendations

This section describes the recommended hardware specifications which are needed for Workflow to perform well.

The following table provides general guidelines for hardware recommendations based on sizing specifications.

Project SpecificationSmall SystemMedium System*Large System*
Equipment Model Objects0 – 500500 – 2,5002,500 +
Equipment Model Properties0 – 5,0005,000 – 500,000500,000 +
Material Definitions0 – 1,0001,000 – 10,00010,000 +
Material Lots0 – 1,0001,000 – 5,0005,000 +
Production Model Objects0 – 500500 – 1,0001,000 +
Production Variables0 – 5,0005,000 – 10,00010,000 +
Number of Workflows0 – 100100 – 1,0001,000 +
Running Workflows0 – 5050 – 500500 +
Concurrently Executing Workflows**0 – 55 – 2525 +
Configured Events0 – 5050 – 500500 +
Events Triggering per Hour0 – 1515 – 100100 +
Work Requests in System0 – 100100 – 1,0001,000 +
Active Work Requests0 – 2525 – 500500 +
Active Clients1 – 2525 – 100100 +
Recommended Server RAM8 GB16 GB32 GB
Recommended Server CPUs2 CPUs @ 3GHz4 CPUs @ 3GHz8 CPUs @ 3GHz

*Many systems do not use all of the capabilities of Workflow, so some projects may match some specifications in the small system column with other specifications in the medium or large system column. Choose the column that more closely matches the targeted system.

**Any running workflow that is waiting for user input in a task form can be considered paused and is considered to be a running workflow but not an executing workflow.

Additional Factors for Hardware Recommendations

Special Application Factors

Server recommendations may need to be increased when the application uses intensive processing or significant disk access. Examples of these scenarios include reading and parsing data files from disk, custom logging or writing to output data files, advanced mathematics in code activities, custom service providers, communicating with third party products, and so on.

SQL Server on the Workflow Server

The hardware recommendations above are for servers where the SQL Server is not on the Workflow server system. If you choose to run SQL Server on the Workflow server, then you must add RAM and CPUs to the recommended amounts.

Running on a Virtualized Machine

The hardware recommendations above are for a server that is not running in a virtualized environment. For servers that are running in a virtualized environment such as a VMWare or Hyper-V image, the recommended amounts must be exclusively allocated to the server image and have as much available physical resources on the virtualization server. For example, if a server needs 8GB of RAM, then that much RAM must be allocated to the image, and the virtualization server must have 8GB of physical RAM available for that image. If the image runs out of physical RAM on the virtualization server, performance degrades significantly.

Running Other Applications

All the hardware recommendations are assuming that the machine is dedicated to running the Workflow server. If you are planning to run other applications on the machine, you will need to increase the CPU and RAM requirements appropriately to handle running these applications. This includes other GE Digital applications, such as Historian, CIMPLICITY, or iFIX.
Note: When using Windows® Server 2008 R2 or Windows® Server 2012 as the operating system, keep the following information in mind. Newer Microsoft operating systems have greater hardware requirements than older ones. Windows® Server 2008 R2 and newer use significantly more memory and more CPU. For equivalent performance, add an additional 2 GB of memory and an additional processor.

Additional Recommendations for the SQL Server Machine

For optimum performance, the databases, transaction logs, tempdb, non-clustered indexes, and back-ups should be installed on separate hard drives where possible. The following RAID specifications are also recommended:
  • SQL database: RAID 0+1, RAID 1 or RAID 5
  • SQL transaction logs: RAID 0+1 or RAID 1, and should be a separate physical device
  • SQL tempdb: RAID 0+1 or RAID 1
  • SQL indexes: RAID 0+1 or RAID 1
  • Back-ups: RAID 0 (no fault tolerance, but faster writes) or RAID 5
Additionally, the following SQL Server configuration is recommended:
  • SQL Server machine: 4 GB RAM (required minimum)
  • Use Windows Authentication only. For information on how to connect to a remote SQL Server instance using Windows Authentication, please see Configure Windows Authentication for Workflow in the Workflow Help documentation.
  • Exclude the database files from anti-virus scanning
  • Use multiple processors for every installation
  • Enable the default backup job or create a maintenance plan
  • For tempdb, the number of files configured should be based on the number of processors that the server has (for more information, see Optimizing tempdb Performance)

Other Performance Considerations

The guidelines described here are not the only aspects of a system to be considered to ensure optimum performance. Each individual system should be evaluated for other potential sources of performance issues. Examples of other sources of problems may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Networking throughput between Workflow server and client
  • Networking throughput between Workflow server and SQL Server
  • Data throughput between the Workflow server and data sources such OPC servers, Historian, iFIX, and CIMPLICITY.
  • The number of client instances active on a single client machine