Server Hardware or Coffee?

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715064

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Server Hardware or Coffee?

  • bob.low

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 29

    Hmmm...seems kind of simplistic to look at purely hardware costs.

    What about software licensing costs? Now that Microsoft only licenses their Enterprise Edition through a per-core model, ramping up the hardware has a direct relationship to this as well.

    And the cost is far more than just coffee....

  • jarick 15608

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1235

    One thing I would like to point out is that if your queries are poorly written, there comes a time when the law of diminishing returns or Amdahl's law start to take effect. Adding CPU Cores and memory can work well for some workloads but as the data set size increases, you will reach a point where adding enough resources for significant gains can get very expensive.

    There is still something to be said for tuning queries, especially when you are dealing with ever increasing data sets.

  • xsevensinzx

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 25531

    jarick 15608 (11/2/2016)


    One thing I would like to point out is that if your queries are poorly written, there comes a time when the law of diminishing returns or Amdahl's law start to take effect. Adding CPU Cores and memory can work well for some workloads but as the data set size increases, you will reach a point where adding enough resources for significant gains can get very expensive.

    There is still something to be said for tuning queries, especially when you are dealing with ever increasing data sets.

    Course, there are cases where you can only do so much with queries. It's just a lot of data that requires more processing power and memory than what you have available. For example, large reads. Then the only thing you can really do then is scale up or change the model with added support to make it less expensive to query.

    That's my life in a nutshell. How to support super large reads on a single machine without breaking the bank.

  • sean redmond

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5623

    I had never thought so much that hardware was expensive, rather more that software licences and people were expensive. Microsoft play an expensive game.

    In my experience, coding well is not the main criterion for managers. Instead, basic functionality within a given time-frame is what is demanded.

    It does not really matter if the web-page takes 15s to load, as long as the user-story was completed within the given sprint and the data displayed (or whatever is done with it) is correct.

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 16763

    Every company and every industry I've worked in has had different trade-offs in these matters. Currently I have complex processing requirements but a smaller user base and moderate (relatively) data sets. My answer now as to what hardware is appropriate, working in agriculture, is very different to my answer working in insurance or legal sectors. Effective coding is similarly tuned differently - a base of good practice allowing time to be spent on the gnarliest stuff is common to all though.

    Still I'll definitely agree that using EC2s can provide an answer for most requirements that you can come up with - and everyone likes to avoid major capex filling in time!

  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    ...and the coffee tastes good.

  • Luis Cazares

    SSC Guru

    Points: 183531

    Sean Redmond (11/3/2016)


    I had never thought so much that hardware was expensive, rather more that software licences and people were expensive. Microsoft play an expensive game.

    In my experience, coding well is not the main criterion for managers. Instead, basic functionality within a given time-frame is what is demanded.

    It does not really matter if the web-page takes 15s to load, as long as the user-story was completed within the given sprint and the data displayed (or whatever is done with it) is correct.

    Those are the same managers that freak out when they're overloaded with defects concerning time outs once the queries use production volume data. And those defects prevent any story from completing creating a further problem.

    Luis C.
    General Disclaimer:
    Are you seriously taking the advice and code from someone from the internet without testing it? Do you at least understand it? Or can it easily kill your server?

    How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help: Option 1 / Option 2
  • Chris Harshman

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 41700

    I worked at a .com company before for 3 years, and the problem I had there was that they often ran into unknown unknowns. The people building the hardware for the database never consulted me or any of the other database people. It was too processor heavy and memory light. The disk configuration wasn't optimal either. On another database server they built later, they did ask me about how I wanted the disks setup, but they were only offering me 6 physical disk drives, and wanted to take 2 of them away. I had to tell them that if anything we'd probably want more disks since this was a production box, but none were available. At least it was a smaller system running on this and not the main SaaS system.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124989

    So instead of the traditional Scope Triangle of Time / Cost / Quality, we may need to now add Coffee.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124989

    Iwas Bornready (11/3/2016)


    ...and the coffee tastes good.

    That depends on how much budget our company has allocated to coffee.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • sean redmond

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5623

    The horrifying thought is that Microsoft will start to include the coffee-factor into their licensing calculations. Enterprise Edition users are allowed unlimited cups of coffee and a better quality brew with the extra cost dependent on the number of coffee-machines and quality of bean used in the company.

    Standard edition users will have to choose between up to 6 cups of ordinary brew or 2 cups of superior brew from the one coffee machine in the building while Express Edition users are allowed one espresso (and no more) per day.

    I won't go into the use of Java-beans here.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124989

    Sean Redmond (11/3/2016)


    The horrifying thought is that Microsoft will start to include the coffee-factor into their licensing calculations. Enterprise Edition users are allowed unlimited cups of coffee and a better quality brew with the extra cost dependent on the number of coffee-machines and quality of bean used in the company.

    Standard edition users will have to choose between up to 6 cups of ordinary brew or 2 cups of superior brew from the one coffee machine in the building while Express Edition users are allowed one espresso (and no more) per day.

    I won't go into the use of Java-beans here.

    That would work for me since I manage more enterprise edition servers than I even know about.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75109

    Sean Redmond (11/3/2016)


    The horrifying thought is that Microsoft will start to include the coffee-factor into their licensing calculations..

    Try Oracle licensing and you will never complain about Microsoft licensing ever again.

    I got the shock of my life when the licensing review presented bills for using the equivalent of SQL profiler. Things you take for granted as part of the deal with Microsoft are extra cost items with Oracle.

    Don't assume open-source licencing is cheap either. "Community edition" may be free but you quickly reach the limits and need to go for the "Enterprise" edition at which point the price advantage disappears faster than a BREXIT promise.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715064

    bob.low (11/2/2016)


    Hmmm...seems kind of simplistic to look at purely hardware costs.

    What about software licensing costs? Now that Microsoft only licenses their Enterprise Edition through a per-core model, ramping up the hardware has a direct relationship to this as well.

    And the cost is far more than just coffee....

    Yes and no. It really depends on the differential. If you are buying 4 EE cores, then if you move to 8, there's a cost. However, look at that cost in terms of business, in terms of what this means for your system. It might, or might not, be significant.

    If you're looking at RAM, why not just look at hardware?

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