Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 

Consolidation Matters

By Steve Jones,

Throughout my career I've been looking to consolidate SQL Servers when I find them. The typical employer I've had usually grows their IT infrastructure over time and many projects look like this:

  • Build or buy a software package
  • Buy a new server
  • Install SQL Server and one database for the application

Over time this means I find lots of individual servers running at much less than full capacity. That's something that DBAs like, because it means that we can handle the inevitable spikes in resource usage that our workloads will encounter. However that's not what the rest of the business, especially the financial management, wants. Underused resources mean money that isn't spent well.

As a result, I've often looked to consolidate instances where possible. Often I let an instance run by its own hardware for a period of months, perhaps even a year, during which I can get a good idea of what level of resources the database and application require. Once I have that, I try to match up the needs with an existing SQL Server that might be underutilized by at least that amount of resources. Typically I'm looking at RAM and CPU since disk resources can often be transferred to a new piece of hardware. It's not quite as simple as it sounds as I also need to look at workload patterns and potentially match up instances whose workload peaks occur at different times.

I've successfully consolidated many instances this way, often reducing the amount of physical hardware in data centers substantially. As hardware cycles turn over and newer machines are purchased, I can usually repeat the process again and again. The advent of virtualization has made this even easier as bad guesses can usually be reversed or corrected by moving the database to a different instance.

I suspect that virtualization will become more important in the future, especially as licensing changes in SQL Server make it much more expensive to add the ad hoc instance on its own hardware. I'd encourage you to plan on consolidating new databases from the beginning to ensure that your organization gets the most performance out of the hardware that it has purchased.

Total article views: 95 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
 
Related Articles
FORUM

SQL Server Consolidation candidates

SQL Server Consolidation candidates

ARTICLE

SQL Server Hardware

SQL Server Hardware will provide the fundamental knowledge and resources you need to make intelligen...

ARTICLE

Server Consolidation

Are you thinking about consolidating your SQL Servers on to fewer machines? It is an interesting ide...

FORUM

Sql Server Consolidation

how to acheive sql server consolidation

FORUM

Server Hardware Sizing

Guidelines for server hardware sizing

Tags
administration    
consolidation    
editorial    
 
Contribute

Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones
Editor, SQLServerCentral.com

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones