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What is the "ideal" hardware configuration for SQL Server 2008


What is the "ideal" hardware configuration for SQL Server 2008

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bdavey
bdavey
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Hey Guys,
My company is looking to upgrade to 2008 and purchase new hardware as well. Being that I come from a software development backround I was wondering if anyone could give me some pointers as to what is the ideal hardware setup for SQL? I realize this is subjective but I'm looking for what is best and what is reasonable.

Thanks!
Lynn Pettis
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I'll give the short answer: It Depends.
To give a more detailed answer we would need to know more about what you are doing. dedicated server? DASD, SAN, NAS? Number of databases/instances? And the list here could go on.

Cool
Lynn Pettis

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bdavey
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Hi Lynn,
I guess I should have clarified a little more. The stuff you mentioned is what I am looking for. Should I go with a NAS or SAN, how many spindles, how many processors, how much memory, etc.

What I can tell you is that we have 2 instances, 150+ databases, and about a Gig of new data per day coming in.

Thanks
Lynn Pettis
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bdavey (5/3/2010)
Hi Lynn,
I guess I should have clarified a little more. The stuff you mentioned is what I am looking for. Should I go with a NAS or SAN, how many spindles, how many processors, how much memory, etc.

What I can tell you is that we have 2 instances, 150+ databases, and about a Gig of new data per day coming in.

Thanks


And some of that is driven by business requirements and budget.

Cool
Lynn Pettis

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Steve Jones
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You want lots of memory, enough CPU for your system load, and a few separate physical disks. These can be DASD or SAN, but you want to have data separate from logs if possible, and a third array for backups. That way you are protected. Be careful of using the SAN and piling the LUNs onto the same physicals.

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bdavey
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Ok Lynn, how about this:

If you had $200K to spend on hardware, including storage, for an SQL server setup what would it be?
GregoryF
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bdavey (5/3/2010)
Ok Lynn, how about this:

If you had $200K to spend on hardware, including storage, for an SQL server setup what would it be?


It depends on what it's used for Smile There is no one size fit's all approach. And if you plan on clustering, your useable budget just took a big hit.

Memory, # CPU's, disk (SAN or otherwise), are all dependant on what the server will be used for.

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Lynn Pettis
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Still not enough. You mention 150+ databases, adding 1GB new data daily. How much space is needed for the existing databases, how much extra disk space do you need based on the growth? When do you need to add storage space or upgrade the SAN, NAS, etc.

Do you want rack servers or are you going to use blade servers?

It still comes down to "It Depends."

What are your business requirements, SLA's, data storage, not just databases but backups, and how many? Are you going to use/need backup deduplication (that alone could add 180,000 to your price tag by the way).

Cool
Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
For tips to get better help with Performance Problems, click here
For Running Totals and its variations, click here or when working with partitioned tables
For more about Tally Tables, click here
For more about Cross Tabs and Pivots, click here and here
Managing Transaction Logs

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Steve Jones
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Gregory,

How about if we ask is there an existing system? Taking guesses on new servers without any history is hard. Any ideas on how much data/activity this system will see v some other server you have?

Adding 1GB a day doesn't necessarily help. Is 1GB being added in 8 hours? 1 hour? 24 hours? The load can be much different.

There's no ideal; it's like saying what's the best car? Best for what? A diesel pickup works in some situations better than a Ferrari. Not in others.

You want enough CPU, lots of RAM (I'd be thinking 8GB+ these days), and enough disk to handle your needs for 6months to a year, accounting for backups on separate devices. $200k is a lot, at least to me. I would be surprised that a 365GB a year db needs that cost.

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bdavey
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Thanks Lynn, Greg, & Steve. I think I see the error of may ways now. Let me define this a little more.

It is a single cluster environment (1 active, 1 passive).
It is about 90% OLTP (10% warehouse).
It has 2 instances with 150+ databases.
The total space consumed, excluding backups, is about 500 Gig.
Space is expected to grow at about a 500 Mb/day.
We expect to replace our hardware every 5 years.
Rack mount is definitely prefered.
Not concerned with SLA's at this point.
Backup replication & storage does not need to be considered in this purchase.
The majority of the growth occurs during normal U.S. business hours.
$200k is the very maximum. I would probably scale down from this.
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