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Lesson 3Hardware considerations
ObjectiveDescribe hardware considerations.

Hardware considerations for ecommerce

Computer Hardware
Computer Hardware

Hardware Related Considerations

Here are a few of the many hardware-related considerations an architect must keep in mind when creating an e-Commerce solution.
Client hardware is usually a given, meaning it can be assumed that the client will connect to a remote server using a PC or Mac. Rare instances where this may not be the case include:

Why do Companies Upgrade?

Organizations usually upgrade hardware based on internal policies and budgets, and seldom allocate budgets for project-based client hardware purchases. Choose server hardware for performance and architectural fit
Ecommerce architects should determine hardware based on an organization's:

Twenty years ago companies talked about the hardware they purchased. Today companies talk about their architectures. Hardware is now viewed as part of an overall solution. Organizations with a Microsoft bias will usually possess Intel-based servers. Organizations with a Oracle bias will usually possess Sparc-based Unix servers running Solaris. In reality, most large organizations have heterogeneous hardware and operating systems environments.

Oracle acquires Sun Hardware

When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in January of 2010, they also acquired Sun's hardware product lines, including the Sun E250 and Solaris Machines. Oracle already had a small hardware business, but the acquisition of Sun gave them a much larger and more diverse hardware portfolio. This included servers, storage, and networking products. Oracle has continued to develop and sell Sun hardware products since the acquisition. For example, the Sun E250 is now known as the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Platform. Some people have criticized Oracle for its handling of Sun's hardware business. They argue that Oracle has not invested enough in new hardware development and that the company has not done a good job of integrating Sun's hardware with its own software products. However, Oracle has also made some positive investments in Sun's hardware business. For example, Oracle has built new manufacturing facilities for Sun hardware and has invested in new hardware development projects. Overall, the acquisition of Sun's hardware business has been a mixed bag for Oracle. The company has gained a large and diverse hardware portfolio, but it has also faced some challenges in integrating Sun's hardware with its own software products and in developing new hardware products.

How do Multimedia Requirements affect Hardware Selection

Multimedia requirements affect hardware selection in a number of ways. Some of the key factors to consider include:
  1. Type of multimedia: The type of multimedia that you will be working with will have a big impact on the hardware requirements. For example, if you are working with high-definition video, you will need a computer with a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and a fast storage drive.
  2. Complexity of the multimedia: The complexity of the multimedia will also affect the hardware requirements. For example, if you are creating complex animations or video games, you will need a more powerful computer than if you are simply editing photos or videos.
  3. Number of users: If you will be working on multimedia projects with multiple users, you will need a computer that can support multiple users simultaneously. This will require a more powerful processor and more RAM.
  4. Budget: Of course, your budget will also be a factor when selecting hardware for multimedia. If you are on a tight budget, you may need to make compromises on the power and features of your computer.
Examples: Here are some specific examples of how multimedia requirements can affect hardware selection:
  1. Processor: The processor is the brain of the computer and is responsible for carrying out all of the instructions that you give it. A more powerful processor will be able to handle multimedia tasks more quickly and efficiently.
  2. RAM: RAM is the computer's short-term memory and is used to store data and instructions that are currently being used by the processor. Multimedia applications often require a lot of RAM, so it is important to have a computer with enough RAM to support your needs.
  3. Storage: Storage space is needed to store multimedia files, such as photos, videos, and audio files. If you are working with large multimedia files, you will need a computer with a large storage drive.
  4. Graphics card: The graphics card is responsible for displaying images on the computer screen. A more powerful graphics card will be able to display high-resolution images and videos more smoothly.
  5. Sound card: The sound card is responsible for playing audio on the computer. A more powerful sound card will be able to produce higher quality audio

If you are unsure about what hardware you need for your multimedia needs, it is a good idea to consult with a computer expert. They can help you to determine the best hardware configuration for your specific needs.
If an ecommerce solution requires rich multimedia options, such as streaming media or VRML, specialty hardware choices are usually required. This type of solution is likely to involve Silicon Graphics for VRML-based applications.
Do not ignore organizational preference in software. It is in the best interest of an architect to go with an obvious organizational bias. A rich set of tools and products exist to build and deploy e-Commerce solutions for all major hardware/operating systems pairs. Wintel (Windows NT/Pentium) and Sparc/Solaris have the highest server-side market penetration for Web and e-Commerce solutions.

[1]Streaming Media: Allows client browsers or plug-ins to start displaying audio or video data while the file is being downloaded.

[2]VRML: Specifies rules for displaying 3-dimensional objects on the World Wide Web. VRML is sometimes referred to the 3-D equivalent HTML.