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SQL Server 2008 Hardware Reccomendations


SQL Server 2008 Hardware Reccomendations

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Adam Hart-452651
Adam Hart-452651
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I posted this up in the general SQL Server 2008, but thought I might have better luck here:

Hi All,

We are looking to migrate our to a new server with SQL 2008. Currently, our biggest DB is about 50 GB in size and supports with heavy a decent amount of reads/writes between automated processes and about 20ish users on it. The server is without a doubt a mission critical sever as it houses our CRM db on it as well as a few other smaller databases.

The current server has 3.93 GB of ram and is running a 4.5 GB page file. We are a small business, so budget is far from unlimited, but what would you recommend in terms of hardware?

Thanks for the help.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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What's your current server hardware? Any benchmarks on memory/CPU avg and peak?

I would always use the existing system as a base benchmark to look at

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Adam Hart-452651
Adam Hart-452651
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Well, the current hardware is part of the problem, so I don't know that it is really suited as a benchmark. The current hardware was bought by a non DBA and is over 6 years old and is only masquerading as server hardware.

It definitely is experiencing a CPU bottleneck and everything I know about disk configurations tells me there should be an I/O bottleneck too, but perhaps the CPU is holding us back.

Windows 2003 x64
Intel P4 2.8 GHz
3.75 GB Ram

Disc 1: 20 GB has the OS and SQL on it
Disc 2: 150 GB has both the data files and transaction logs on it

I am basically having trouble convincing my boss that we need to spend money on an upgrade even though everybody complains about the slowness of the system (even my boss). I am trying to get some 3rd party recommendations as to what kind of hardware we need. I want to spend about 2.5K and get a semi-decent server for our office. He wants to tear down the current one and just replace the motherboard, processor, and RAM (which is just plain silly if you ask me).
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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I'm not sure what 2.5K will buy, depending on your class of hardware. Tearing out the MB is OK, I guess. Never done it on a server, and not sure what level of reinstall you might need to make since the underlying HAL drivers change. I'd be very nervous about bringing this back up.

First thing on the disks is that you want more spindles I'd shoot for at least 3 separate arrays if I could preferably RAID 1 or 10 to provide some safety as well as speed. The reads from R1 will likely be quicker, so this can be a good investment. Perhaps a 6 or 8 drives would be a good spend, and I bet you could get those for $1k, depending on if you need a new controller card(s) for this.

RAM is the next thing I'd add, though it depends on where your cache hit ratio is. Is it over 90%? Do you end up hitting disk very often? If not, then not sure this will help, though I wouldn't go less than 8GB these days.

It doesn't make sense to go less than dual core, though I think I've seen a few people post that a dual socket, quad core made the most economical source. A quick DELL price on a T410 gets me $1900 with 8GB, 2, 6 146GB 15k drives.

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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