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My organization currently uses a third party for .NET hosting. They have a web farm set up with load balancing and real-time failover across two web servers. The third party also does the administration and monitoring of IIS and the server for us.

In general this model works but we have had some service issues with the third party, and I'm trying to convince my bosses (but also myself) that we could get our own server in house and do the configuration and monitoring of IIS ourselves and save money and have better service.

So, the first step of this is for me to figure out what size server we would need to purchase. How much RAM should it have? Processor power? # of processors? Etc. Also, do we really need two servers load balanced, or would we be just fine with one server?

How should I go about answering these questions? How do you size an ASP.NET web server? Assume I can get the necessary data such as requests / second, average size of response, etc. Are there guidelines from MS on this?

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that we could get our own server in house and do the configuration and monitoring of IIS ourselves and save money and have better service

Choose two. Save money and better service - dont move inhouse.

So, the first step of this is for me to figure out what size server we would need to purchase. How much RAM should it have? Processor power? # of processors? Etc. Also, do we really need two servers load balanced, or would we be just fine with one server?

See, bad service. Two servers are NOT for load balancing - they are so that you can put patches into one and reboot it without interrupting the website.

How should I go about answering these questions? How do you size an ASP.NET web server? Assume I can get the necessary data such as requests / second, average size of response, etc. Are there guidelines from MS on this?

No, and can not be - it really depends what you do. Not every request / website is generated equal. Put sme numbers here, give us the URL and we may be able to get you an idea.

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Well I guess I'll accept this as an answer, but I was hoping for some more specific help other than "don't do it you're wrong". I can't give the URL because it is an intranet app. For that same reason I can't give many details. Oh well. –  RationalGeek Nov 9 '10 at 1:01
    
Then sadly there is not a lot to do. I have seen pages render in 15ms (from a CMS), and others that took a minute of processor time to prepare (heavy calculations). Obviously the applications need are part of the requirements. –  TomTom Nov 9 '10 at 5:39

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