OTRS is an exceptionally flexible ITIL compliant ticketing/helpdesk solution, which runs beautifully on almost any LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl (yes, I know it’s PHP really;-)) server, but what happens when you work in a Windows-only environment? OTRS does have a Windows installer, but it is somewhat clunky and requires almost as much work to configure as manually installing. Installing as components allows you to upgrade portions of the system and have more granular control over the setup.
I’ve recently installed OTRS on a Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit) server, including experimenting with various combinations of IIS/Apache, MSSQL2008/MySQL, ActiveState Perl 32-bit/64-bit, different configurations and setups - these are my findings:
- IIS7, MSSQL (64), ActiveState Perl (64) – to make use of the native IIS7 webserver and 64-bit Perl. The server does run but performs abysmally, and you have to force IIS to run a 32-bit application pool to get Perl to work.
- Apache2.2 (32), MSSQL (64) and ActiveState Perl (32) – again OTRS will run but performance is grim
- Apache2.2 (64 unofficial binaries), MySQL (64) and ActiveState Perl (64) – this seemed the most promising approach but without a 64-bit version of mod_perl the performance was worse than the final combo
- Apache2.2 (32), MySQL (64) and ActiveState Perl (32) – this performed the best, and although there are slow portions (SysConfig) the general user experience was good.
None of these combinations came close to the performance of OTRS running on a native Linux server, my 64-bit Ubuntu server absolutely flew, with less processor and RAM than the Windows box. In short, if you have the skills, use the Linux option. Yes, yes I do feel a little dirty now, sorry Mr Gates.
So, the final setup I have opted for is:
- A Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2008, 2GB RAM and 2 vCPUs at 3.2Ghz
- MySQL Server 5.5, 64-bit
- Apache 2.2, 32-bit
- ActiveState Perl, 32-bit