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An Impressive SQL Server

By Steve Jones,

This editorial was originally published on May 6, 2011. It is being re-run for the Christmas holiday.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Recently I heard about one SQL Server with 1TB of RAM and another one that was handling over 10,000 transactions a second. I read a note about a 1.1PB database, built on SQL Server to hold data from telescopes. That particular data warehouse is producing 1.4TB a day. I know it's mostly binary data, but that's a lot of 1s and 0s being stored in SQL Server.

Over the years I've heard regular complaints and concerns from executives about SQL Server scalability. Those complaints have dwindled, but I think there are people in the relational database world that still question SQL Server's ability to handle high volumes or data sets.

This Friday, I wanted to see what might change their mind, or maybe what might make you view SQL Server differently. While I suspect most of you are SQL Server fans, that doesn't mean that you don't have concerns at times about how far you can push SQL Server. The question this week is:

What company would impress you if SQL Server backed their main systems?

This isn't scientific, and I'm not defining which systems impress you. It could be their web site, their supply chain management, their largest data warehouse, or anything else. What company talking about using SQL Server in one of their systems would impress you? And which system would you like to see backed by SQL Server?

When I think about a lot of data, high volumes and rates, I think of a few things. The stock market, sports, and Amazon. If Amazon switched their website and ordering systems to SQL Server, I'd be impressed. If Major League Baseball, or the National Football League were to run all their statistical systems on SQL Server, I'd be impressed. With all the fantasy sports fans out there, the gathering and processing live data for real time calculations of performance, would be impressive.

I've left out other companies. Wal-Mart using SQL Server for supply chain management would be impressive. UPS managing packages on SQL Server would be something. I'm sure have your own ideas, and let us know this week.

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