Hi good people,
I am new to SambaPOS and I am planning to use it for my cafe. I am thinking of using on Desktop PC as main POS and 2 tablets (Android) as peripheral POSes for the waiters.
-Do I need also a server as an addition to the Desktop PC or the Desktop PC can do the work of the server as well. If yes what should be the CPU and RAM to support the solution?
-Do I need access points for the tablets (mobile POSes) or they can communicate throught WiFi?
I would appreciate much if you could explain me some things about the physical layout of the solution with 2 mobile POS and 1 Desktop POS.
Thanks in advance.
I recently setup a similar situation and some of the people on this forum were kind enough to share their knowledge, so ill do my part.
Based on my testing i would see there being no problems with using SambaPOS on what will act as the server and having the Tablets connect to that server via WiFi.
I would recommend not skimping on hardware and investing in good quality equipment both for the server, router/accesspoint and tablets. Otherwise you may experience some slowness and dropouts in your system (which im sure you dont want).
For my setup i used a Cisco Router/AP (SRP 547w) as well as lenovo and toshiba tablet (had trouble with a chea unisurf, ended up returning it). I also opted for win 7 tablets as a personal preference. I believe android tablets (not 100%) will connect to the server via RDP, which could work well, but in my experience comes with a bit of lag.
For my server i opted for an i7 with 8GB of ram connected to the network via ethernet for stability.
Everything is running smoothly. If you need any more information, let me know and id be happy to take you through my experience.
Thanks for the analytical and fast response. I will summarize what I understood from your case and if you find something wrong please correct me.
-You are using one strong PC (i7, 8gb ram) as a server and is used also as the main/desktop POS.
-2 thermal printers one for receipts and one for the kitchen/bar which are installed and connected to the server.
-You are using >2 tablets which run on windows 7 to avoid lag.
-You installed SQL Server 2012 Express in every machine (embedded database) or only in the server!!??
-You connect with ethernet the Access Point (AP) with the server and then the tablets communicate with the server through the AP? Do you have some other cheaper (but still reliable) suggestions instead of the Cisco SRP 547w because it costs a lot?
Sorry for the silly questions but I am new to that and I want to be 100% on the equipment before buying it.
So in my setup, not exactly, ill go through my setup first.
-I am using an i7 with 8GB of ram as the server. This isnt used as a POS terminal, allthough i often remote desktop in to it to make modifications while the system is live. I also use this server to administer spotify for music in the cafe. I opted for an i7 with 8GB of ram as it really isnt that much more expensive to build over an i5 or an i7 with 4gb of ram. We are probably talking a few hundred dollars difference which for me isnt worth risking any performance over.
-I am using a single thermal printer at the moment. The printer is connected to the network via ethernet and is accessed directly from each terminal. Using the same type of setup there would be no reason you couldnt connect mulitple printers to the network and setup multiple printers in samba POS to print to the kitchen and bar.
-I am using windows 7 tablets as for me they are easier to troubleshoot and configure and additionally my experience with remote desktop comes with a little bit of lag.
-SQL is installed only on the server and each terminal accesses the database on the server. All instances of Samba POS run on the same db.
-The server and the printers are connected to the AP via ethernet. The tablets connect to the server and the printer via wifi. I haven’t had a great deal of experience with other network hardware but i was using a netgear home router previously and it couldnt keep up with the task. Another user on this forum has recommended cradlepoint and i have had good experience (not with samba POS though) with billion hardware before.
Hope that helps!
BTW I will mention that with Version 5 when it releases there will be added support for Database connections in particular with regards to wifi connections, aka tablets, it now has a reconnect feature in case signal dropped. It will no longer crash or lose data as long as it can reconnect within a preset amount of time. V4 does not have this feature so this should be HUGE for those of you using or planning to use WiFi with tablets running windows 8.1 or windows 10 when it releases.
I have personally tested this and while it was difficult for me to really test it because my setup rarely loses signal I did stress it to purposely lose signal and the reconnect is very nice feature. Again this is with Version 5 which is currently being tested and is not available nor is it announced yet, however it shouldn’t be too long before we see it announced.
Thank you Barchie and Kendash for the info.
@Barchie archie: Your description was clear and helpful. If I use the server for additional tasks specifically for playing music, as you do, and also a POS terminal (for special cases not intensively) will this influence the performance. From what I understood you are running the POS tasks only from the tablets right?
@Jesse: Thanks for the heads up. But I doubt that there would be a problem using V4 for WiFi and tablets, right? When you plan to release the V5?
I currently run SambaPOS
v4.1.82 v5.1.60 on a ZOTAC ZBOX ID91. This mini-pc has:
Intel Core i3-4130T 2.9GHz
4GB 8GB DDR3 RAM
500GB HDD (5400 RPM) 256GB SSD (Crucial)
Dell Touch (USB) monitor
Epson TM-T88V thermal printer (USB)
8.1 Core/Basic 10 Home 64-bit
SQL Server Express
2014 2016 64-bit
WinAmp for music
IIS 8 hosts a few low-traffic PHP websites including a SambaPOS Inventory Control System
EDIT: Also now hosts GQLmodules
Connected via wired ethernet to Asus RT-AC66U router, separated into 3 WiFi Networks
This “server” is the only Terminal, and does everything.
I have no remote terminals. I have a single Terminal running Kitchen Display via GQLmodules. Everything runs smooth. Fast.
@QMcKay This look like a good alternative for low budget like my case. Do you think that if I add two mobile terminals will influence the performance of a solution similar to yours?
I don’t think you would have any issues with Server load. If you think it may be a concern, you cold go with an i5 and 8GB RAM to accommodate the remote Terminals. Personally, I haven’t seen the RAM Commit Charge go over 2.9GB. That said, I am going to put another 4GB stick in the box (total of 8GB) and a 256GB SSD to speed up initial loading times - not that it is that slow now.
I don’t think the performance on the remote terminals will be dictated by the Server in this case; rather, it will be the WiFi reliability and speed.
Thanks for the fast respones @QMcKay. Now concerning the WiFi I have a rather silly question but I want an answer just to double check because is the first time that i try to do something like that. Here it comes:
-Is the workload of the WiFi internet which is used from the customers (for facebook, reading news etc.) affected or affects the workload of the WiFi network which is used from the mobile terminals to communicate with the server?
What I mean is that the WiFi internet connection is a different network from the WiFi network for the dedicated SambaPOS machines (tablets and server/POS).
Do you have any documentation on how to to setup the network in such a scenario (with WiFi dedicated for the internet and WiFi network dedicated for the sambaPOS terminals)?
That is going to depend on your Router Firmware and how it can be configured. You might be able to prioritize bandwidth between networks; you might not.
If it is Dual-band (2.4/5GHz) you could consider placing your customers on 1 band, and your terminals on the other.
Honestly, I don’t have any experience with wireless terminals or how well they operate in congestion or otherwise, so you will need that advice from another user.
In my experience the load on the router/ap, regardless of where it is coming from tends to affect the entire WiFi network. I wouldn’t worry about it too much if you invest in quality hardware, but if not i would expect some complications.
As an example (a little off topic) i run an office with wifi and 24 users in it. When they are all using skype or downloading things simultaneously other people in the office experience wireless drop outs -not necessarily to the internet but just general droping out of the network connection, unable to access internal printers or networks storage.
I would just make sure you spend an extra few dollars on your access point and you should be right.
Thanks for your insights QMcKay and Barchie. I will ask also some friends who do networks and stuff and when I would have finish the setup of the system I will share my experience with the SambaPOS community.
Have a wonderfull day
Wasn’t aware we had that reconnect feature on v5.
So I have a windows 8.1 dell venue tablet and I installed samba v4 on there directly a little while ago and it ran with highly noticible laggy loading times whenever you click on order tags, catagories, etc. I did it through rdp and that worked great but im not a huge fan of rdp, Id rather have samba installed directly.
Now I also settup my desktop pc to connect through its wifi module and that performed perfectly fine. And yes both tablet and pc were right next to the wifi router and had full signal.
Im really confused because the tablet is decently fast and its clear that the lag only exists when samba is trying to read/write some data to the database.
Not all tablets have good wifi modems. it could have been a bad modem.
Why does your surface perform great as if connected via ethernet cable?
Surface Pro Tablets have awesome modems in them. They are also very fast with intel core i5 cpu. I also have a very good router.
Were you also running the SQL Server on the tablet? EDIT: NM duh you answered that.
Laggy loading times if hooked via wifi but not ethernet is indicator of poor wifi performance.
Im not too familiar with the venue pro but I think it uses an older Atom cpu?
Yes it uses an older atom cpu, and its actually the older version venue pro so im sure todays version has a better processor. The only thing is I am looking for no larger then 8" and they dont really make quality windows tablets like the surface at 8".
So your surface performs great over wifi without any issues whatsoever?
Also what router do you have? I am considering testing out the ASUS RT-AC68U.
Cradlepoint MBR1400 router with an Amped Wireless Professional Repeater.
The cradlepoint is not cheap and I only use the repeater for a specific location in the kitchen thats behind some equipment that interfered pretty badly.
Hello to everyone,
This is my first post though I have been using SambaPOS for some time. From my experience I have concluded that you need a separate router if you want to give internet access to your customers. A workaround to this is buying a router that can host more than one SSIDs, such as the Microtik 2011. As Kendash mentioned above, all devices do not have the same performance regarding there connectivity features. For those reasons you need access points throughout your site to keep the devices from disconnecting or lagging.
I have used Windows tablets and Android phones with rdp connections and the conclusion is almost the same, if your network is bad everything will crumble down.
I would recommend you to build to Wi-Fi’s so nothing interrupts with your internal network.
I suggest you always keep sambapos on a centralized unit (a server), so your data is kept backed up and available on all times. The microservers that HP sells for the last years are great for this job and are cheap.