The Ultimate SQL Server

If you are like most DBAs, you probably don’t get a lot of opportunity to work on really big SQL Server machines. I mean the kind that can crunch a 10 million-row table in seconds without breaking into a sweat. The kind of server that can take requests from a 1,000 clients all at the same time, and even has time to take catnaps between query plans.

You know the kind of server I’m talking about. The one you wish you could administer, but the one you most likely will never see in your day. So why can’t those bean counters understand that every dollar spent on a SQL Server is well worth it. Don’t they know that bigger and more expensive is always better? If they were only DBAs, then they would understand.

My Ultimate SQL Server

Like you, I don’t yet have my ultimate SQL Server. Yea, I do have a couple of “larger” servers, but not the kind I can really brag about at the upcoming SQLPass conference.

So what if I could choose my ultimate SQL Server, what would I choose? After a little thought (about 5 nanoseconds), I think it would look something like this:


  • Eight CPUs. Sure, you can stuff more CPUs in a server, but these high-end servers are hard to come by. I want to be realistic, you know. Any more than eight CPUs would just be plain self-indulgent.

  • Intel Pentium III 900MHz Xeon Processors with 2MB L2 cache. When will Intel ever get their Xeon CPUs up to 1.7GHz, like their new Pentium IV line? Doesn’t Intel realize that SQL Servers need more oomph that a measly 900MHz? [Since this article was written, Intel has come out with much faster Xeons — Brad]


  • 64GB RAM. You might as well max out what the operating system can handle. Anything less will be a waste of potential performance. Besides, I want my entire database to fit into physical RAM, with room to spare.


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