Server & Supporting Hardware

We sell pre-configured servers that generally exceed our recommended specifications. If you would like to use a server that you built (or are hosting your own virtual machine), please use the below specifications in choosing or building your server. If you’re going to use a server not provided by us, please understand that there are certain hardware related support issues that we may be limited in our ability to assist with, mainly providing help in the event of hardware failure within the server.We will provide support for our software regardless of if the server came from or was configured by Foundation Systems, Inc. as long as the server meets the minimum requirements specified below. We will strive to provide as much support as possible in any circumstance; however we cannot always provide support for the operating system and/or the server’s hardware when the server did not come from Foundation Systems, Inc. or the operating system was not properly configured by Foundation Systems, Inc.
Minimum Requirements
Operating System 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise 6 or Cent OS 6
Processor / CPU 1 GHz Dual-Core
Memory / RAM 2 GB
Disk Space 50 GB
Recommended Requirements
Operating System 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise 6 or Cent OS 6
Processor / CPU 2 GHz Dual-Core
Memory / RAM 4 GB
Disk Space 100 GB
CD / DVD DVD Burner
Scanned Document Storage 4 GB * # of Sites * # of Years
This is in addition to the standard disk space

The minimum and recommended requirements were last updated on 1/15/2015.

Backing Up

It is the policy of Foundation Systems, Inc. that all pharmacies backup their data every day. This daily backup can be to any of the compatible destinations listed below. However, it is also our recommendation that each pharmacy does a backup to a single-use CD-R and/or DVD-R once a week or once a month and store that off-sight. Every destination other than these single-use discs are volatile and prone to degradation or accidental deletion. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs also degrade over time but at a far slower rate than other media and devices. For this reason, we include a DVD burner with every server we sell.

Compatible Backup Destinations

  • CD-R / DVD-R
  • USB sticks
  • Tapes
  • Hot-Swap Hard Drives
  • FTP or NFS Servers*
  • Samba / Windows Servers*

* – These backup destinations are not officially supported by Foundation Systems, Inc. but are known to work. We have limited capabilities in assisting on issues with these backups as they generally involve another party / company that manages the destination. The exception is when using a Synology NAS purchased from us as a destination for these backups; see the next section for more details about Synology NAS devices.

Mirroring & Server Redundancy

We understand that computers aren’t 100% reliable and that a crashed server can be a huge issue, taking down your ability to fill prescriptions for a day or more. To help with this, we have created what we refer to as ‘mirroring’. This will make an on-the-fly, mirrored copy of data from one server to another as the data is entered. In the event of a hardware failure or operating system crash, the mirror server can normally be put into service as the primary server within minutes.

Mirroring does not help with human errors as the incorrectly entered data would be duplicated to the mirror server. Mirror servers are not to take the place of regular backups. It is recommended to not use mirroring if both the main and mirror server would reside within the same virtual host environment as mirroring is primarily for hardware failure.

Scanned Document / Image Storage

Scanned documents & images are not included in the standard server backup commands. This partly is due to the amount of data they consume and because it is state and federal law that scanned hard copies cannot be used for legal reasons, and should only be used as a secondary resource. Pharmacies should still store all physical hard copies in a safe and secure location.

Having said that, we understand that these scanned documents and images can play a major roll in speeding up verifying of prescriptions and so they should be backed up. We have developed and sell software that backs up these documents and images to a Synology NAS. Synology NAS devices are network attached storage devices that have multiple hard drives for redundancy and can also back themselves up to additional USB or eSATA hard drives. We have tested multiple brands of NAS devices and have found Synology brand products to be the best combination of reliability and usability.

We do not recommend that scanned documents and images be kept for longer than 5-7 years. Any longer than this can cause the document and image backup to take to long, interfering with the operation of the use of our software.

Synology is a registered trademark of Synology, Inc. Their website is found here:

Running Within A Virtual Environment

We’ve had lots of inquires about running our software within a virtual environment and we’re happy to say that our software will work as long as the above requirements are met for the virtual machine created for our software.

Foundation Systems, Inc. technical support staff members are not certified nor trained in installing, configuring, or maintaining a virtual machine host environment. Therefore we cannot provide assistance when issues with the host environment arise. We do provide service for the virtual machine our software is operating on if the virtual machine is built to at least the minimum requirements specified above and the operating system is configured to our recommendations.

If possible, our software prefers more GHz than more cores (with two minimum). Also if additional RAM is available, 8GB of RAM can be helpful if there are more than 10 expected clients connecting to the server.

Over the years, we have seen a hand full of issues come up when moving customers to a virtual environment. Here are the primary issues seen and their possible solutions:

Issue / Question Solution
USB or Parallel based printers connected directly to the server don’t work properly. The use of network LPD or JetDirect based printers, which is the most common way we setup printers anyway.
Modems don’t seem to work when “bound” to a virtual machine, causing problems when billing third parties and sending auto-faxed refill requests to doctors. Internet connectivity is the preferred way to communicate with 3rd parties and FSI. Most third parties do not accept modem claims anymore. Refill requests are more commonly sent via SureScripts or email, both requiring internet access. We’ve seen more and more doctors refuse to accept faxed refill requests as well.
CD/DVD burners, USB sticks, and tape drives don’t always work properly when “bound” to a virtual machine, causing problems with backups. Proper virtual machine hosts should be able to take a ‘snapshot’ of the server; these should be taken regularly in place of physical media backups. We also recommend configuring network based backups using either the NFS protocol or FTP. Backing up to Windows Shares usually work too but are not officially supported by our software as we’ve seen them be less reliable.
Is mirroring a viable option for virtual servers? If both the primary and secondary servers are contained within the same virtual environment (same host / cluster / etc.), mirroring is far less effective. Our mirroring system was created to help in the event of hardware failure, not software failure. The ability to take and restore from snapshots provides a much better alternative.
If the secondary server is on a different virtual environment or is a physical server on the same network, mirroring is a viable option.

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