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Metrics to determine switch to Enterprise Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:55 PM


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Hi,

I have a couple servers currently running on 2008R2 Standard edition. They're likely going to be virtualized in the near future, but before doing that I'd like to take a look at what they're up to in a way that would frame the decision making process to upgrade. I understand the differences between versions already, and the main driver will likely be the 64Gb RAM limit of Standard. How can I tell if Standard is adequate running with that much RAM, or if we need to expand? I need numbers more than "well, no one's complaining..." type anecdotal evidence.

PLE is probably a good start, but what else would you guys check out?

As much as I'd like to hop on 2014 since Standard apparently allows for 128Gb, we're not ready for that big of a version jump at the moment.

Thanks

Post #1562043
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:57 AM
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If you're considering upgrading to SQL 2012, be aware that the licensing model is changing to per core. Another factor you may want to look at apart from maximum RAM is whether you need any of the Enterprise-only features. If not, the difference is cost is quite big to do it just for the RAM limits. You would be better off having two servers with 64GB of RAM running Standard than one with 128GB running Enterprise. There are subtle performance-related benefits to take into account, however, such as the automatic use of indexed views by the query optimizer. Also, be sure that you're OS supports your desired amount of RAM - are you on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise?

You can see a comparison of the different versions and features including costs here -
SQL Server Version and Edition Comparison

As for metrics to look at when evaluating the upgrade, this is a good article on measuring memory pressure by Jonathan Kehayias - Great SQL Server Debates: Buffer Cache Hit Ratio


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Post #1562741
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:28 AM
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SpeedySQL (4/17/2014)
If you're considering upgrading to SQL 2012, be aware that the licensing model is changing to per core. Another factor you may want to look at apart from maximum RAM is whether you need any of the Enterprise-only features. If not, the difference is cost is quite big to do it just for the RAM limits. You would be better off having two servers with 64GB of RAM running Standard than one with 128GB running Enterprise. There are subtle performance-related benefits to take into account, however, such as the automatic use of indexed views by the query optimizer. Also, be sure that you're OS supports your desired amount of RAM - are you on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise?

You can see a comparison of the different versions and features including costs here -
SQL Server Version and Edition Comparison

As for metrics to look at when evaluating the upgrade, this is a good article on measuring memory pressure by Jonathan Kehayias - Great SQL Server Debates: Buffer Cache Hit Ratio


I think you'd be better off with two SQL instances on a single server with 128GB, which is the point I was making earlier.

With 2-node clusters now being a part of standard licensing (at least last I checked), many places no longer need Enterprise except for RAM usage. Therefore, I suggest looking closely at CPU licensing and using multiple Standard installs on one server (with a single licensing cost, since they are on the same CPUs) vs a single Enterprise install, since Enterprise is much more costly.


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Post #1562758
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:10 AM


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We wouldn't be going to 2012 on these, I don't think. I took a look at things yesterday, and it's a little hard to judge because neither server currently even has 64Gb of RAM in it (one is as 16 and one is at 32 ) So ideally we'd bump the current servers to 64Gb and observe, but they're pretty old and I'm not sure we'd get a good snapshot of how they'd perform on new hardware and full memory.

The most likely scenario is for them to both be virtualized on the same fancy blade machine with 192Gb of RAM so they can both max out and we can have room for Windows and whatnot to run.

I took a look at a bunch of memory counters yesterday on the box with 32Gb of RAM, and PLE was pretty low (136.000), there were a lot of compilations compared to batches requested (~15%), so while they're not getting killed, they definitely need some help. Just probably not the ~7k per core kind of help.

Thanks to you both!

Post #1562789
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