Depends on your needs. Using the same box reduces network traffic and dependencies and keeps things very simple - "that box runs all of Jira". But a separate server means you know that the database server processes won't consume resources that JIRA could be using and vice-versa. So there's no simple answer to this one really!
Not a lot, unless you start trying to do "clever" things like ignore the API and talk directly to it, or run reports of it etc. Jira databases tend to be small - most users will find the database chews up a few Gb at most. On a well-tuned/monitored Jira, you'll mostly find the CPU ticks over at a couple of % usage most of the time. However, that said, it's really not easy to just say "well you can just use a small weak machine". It depends on your usage. Whatever you do, monitor the database service.
Hi Rich, if your enviroment is big enough I would recommend you to have in different servers. Plus, if your JIRA server goes down you can have a second enviroment and point it to the database. Remember is not recommended to have two working enviroments pointing to the same database.
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