SQL Server Performance

sql server 7 - solution for under £1k

Discussion in 'Performance Tuning for Hardware Configurations' started by luzippu, May 30, 2006.

  1. luzippu New Member

    Hi everyone, hope you can guide me in the right direction:

    Current configuration:
    - Optiplex GX260 running on Win2k Pro SP4
    - P4 2Ghz, 1Gb RAM
    - 40 Gb HD storage
    - MS SQL Server 7
    - 1 administrator (scheduling/running DTS, INSERT, UPDATE, CREATE etc.)
    - 5 power users (SELECT only using ODBC links to the Server)
    - Average of 200 Crystal reports a month scheduled through the server.
    - No need for extra users for the near future

    I need to upgrade the above (with the minimum expenditure) in order to:
    - Improve performance: at peak times queries tend to time-out
    - Increase space: 4Gb of free space left on the HD
    - Add security: would prefer a 2nd HD to backup database, DTS, reports etc.

    - Cannot upgrade MS SQL Server 7(thus OS needs to remain Win2k)

    - Will a faster desktop (P4 HT or dual core) with 2 HD and more RAM do the job?
    - If a new Desktop/Small Server is suggested, can I then transfer the current setup on the new enviroment? (ie: can i keep the same server name or do i need to change/repoint all DTS's etc?)

    Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
  2. cmdr_skywalker New Member

    I am not sure why can you not upgrade to SQL 2000 (business constraints or application constraints)? And nature of your upgrade entirely depends on your goals, budget, and business constraints. If you don't have any other constraints, usually, adding more RAM on your existing system will provide the boost to your system, assuming you haven't max out its capacity. You can also throw in a SCSI RAID card (if GX supports it, for redundancy/security) and faster/larger drive (200+GB are reasonable).

    Your timeout should be investigated starting with your queries and tables/indexes load/config and not just blindly assume that you need a hardware upgrade. You may need to distribute the i/o load betweed harddrives (depends on what you have). You can start by using the profiler to capture the queries or extract the queries from SQL designer (if you're using SQL designer) and check what the Index Tuning Wizard will recommend.

    If you want another desktop for increase capacity/performance/redundancy, I suggest you buy a small business server with RAID support (if its in your budget). Otherwise, you can buy a beef up workstation (the more RAM, the better), dual CPU if you can afford it, and higher drive capacity with SQL 2000.

    May the Almighty God bless us all!
  3. joechang New Member

    i would go for the lowest price dual core box, either athlon or pentium d,
    actually a Core Duo is probably best if you can get it in a desktop

    try to get 3-4 disk drives, on your budget, you are looking at SATA
    be sure to get the latest generation, but low capacity.
    no telling what you will get with Dell.,

    I would probably go to a dealer who can build an unbranded box, with one of the above processors, 2 GB memory.

    then 3-4 disk drives:
    if Seagate, insist on the Barracuda 7200.9 line, your choice of 80,120,160,200GB.

    key specs for disks are: SATA 3Gb/s, NCQ (don't bother running a database without NCQ)

    check to see which Intel motherboards support NCQ, if not, get a separate SATA controller that supports SATA 3Gb/s and NCQ
  4. joechang New Member

    The motherboard below supports NCQ, i believe any Intel board with the ICH7 and RAID enabled probably supports NCQ, prices in $

    Intel BOXD955XCSLKR 955XE $189
    Intel Pentium D 930 3.0GHz 2x2 $193
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3250824AS 250GB $90 ea (get 4)

    figure $200 for 2GB memory, a chassis with a good power supply, with easy access to 4-6 disks drives runs $200,
    for you are probably looking at $1200, plus misc items.
    what's the pound to dollar these days?
    also, these are price in US, not sure what you guys pay in England
  5. satya Moderator

    these are price in US, not sure what you guys pay in England
    You can equal the amount (GBP) exactly double to your ($) price.

    Satya SKJ
    Microsoft SQL Server MVP
    Contributing Editor & Forums Moderator
    This posting is provided “AS IS” with no rights for the sake of knowledge sharing.
  6. luzippu New Member


    fantastic guys, thanks for your help. i have now a better view on desktop vs server scenario.

    skywalker, i cannot upgrade to server 2k until the whole company does. i'm only running part of an "indipendent" business unit. i've never used the profiler before, but i will give it a go. thanks!

    joechang, thanks for your feedback on the hardware. i believe i'll investigate more on sata ncq configuration before doing anythingelse.

  7. joechang New Member

    are tariffs still that high?
    way back when (statute of limitations has expired) i smuggled a risc workstation for some one, claiming it was my demo machine, that i would not be leaving in the country

    you suppose there is still a demand for servers to be brought in as demo machines?
  8. satya Moderator

    I meant those values if you want a branded machine (you can still get lesser than US value from local market).

    I'm not sure about demo machines though.

    Satya SKJ
    Microsoft SQL Server MVP
    Contributing Editor & Forums Moderator
    This posting is provided “AS IS” with no rights for the sake of knowledge sharing.

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