Best Server for $20-$25K? | SQL Server Performance Forums

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Best Server for $20-$25K?

Can I get a recommendation for a server in $20-$25K range that is optimized for both SQL and Access. We have several Access front end, SQL backend applications as well as pure Access applications that push through hundreds of thoursands of lines of data, and Access performance is equally important as SQL. Keep in mind that that Access is not multithreaded, so we’re think that we can have one processor that is not hyperthreaded. Suggestions as far as brand/confiugurations???
Why would you want to install Access on a server? Access is not a database server like SQL Server, it is a file-sharing database application built on top of the Jet database engine. It is similar to Excel, Word, etc. – no wonder they sell it as part of the Office software suite. You can use Access to access a database on an instance of SQL Server, but the Access software should be installed on a workstation. Or on a terminal server, which boils down to the same thing. Finally, you should not install SQL Server on a server that also hosts terminal server software (like Citrix).
including or excluding software costs?
assuming you are not a large company with existing vendor contracts. normally i would recommend dual core processors for dedicated SQL Server,
but if your app depends on Access, you might be better off with the 3.6GHz single core proc start by going to the Dell web site,
price out a PowerEdge 2800
with either two 2.8GHz Dual Core Xeon processors (2x2MB cache)
or two 3.6GHz/2M Xeon procs.
4GB mem
get a total of 8 internal drives (either the 146GB 10K or 73GB 15K) with the 2×4 split backplane option
2 PCI-E dual channel RAID controllers this should run about 6-7K then go to the storage section, direct attach storage
price out a PowerVault 220, the Dual U320 version
config with 8-10 drives, again, either the 146G 10K or 73G 15K, or some mix of the 2.
this should run 5-6K the sales rep will probably try to sell you a SAN, offering many persuasive reasons.
the performance of most entry-mid range SANs invariablely sucks, or sucks really really bad, more so if you buy the installation services and follow the vendor advice,
the reason every one wants to sell you a SAN is that SANs have really spectacular margins (if you pay $40K after discounts, their margin might be 20-30K) then take this config and shop around with HP Proliant, and others, if they do not match the price, take the Dell.
accept Opteron configurations from other vendors

A bit more detaill…We are with a very large company (100,000+ employees, each with a computer), so volume discounts apply. We’ve developed several specialized programs in Access, which is what most of our people know. We use remote desktop sharing to access Access and SQL on the server. We will eventually migrate everything to SQL, but that is a long term solution. Little of what we do is on our own workstations, and only about 10 or so people will access the server at a time. This is great advice…thanks!
what i have often seen in large companies is for some reason, the SAN belongs to a network engineer,
possibly because the SAN vendor convinced the customer that the SAN is a network resource.
the network eng knows nothing of storage performance, or databases,
goes to the SAN vendor training, follows their advice on configuration and monitoring, when the database is installed, the DBA notices horrible disk performance,
the SAN eng looks at his counters, claims everything is fine, it must be the fault of SQL Server.
this fingerpointing goes on for sometime, until upper management gets fed up, and spends a lot more money, In one example, it was a $800K SAN, the companies purchased 3 weeks of onsite consulting time (that I know about) for 3 people to come in, look at it, and say that it was a disk problem that should have been resolved remotely with just a perform log.
I think the reason this was not done was because the SAN eng said storage was fine, so that why they brought in SQL people so I think it is essential that the DBA controls his own storage, so even if you want a SAN, consider who will own/control it.
I have done a lot of MS Acess to Access/SQL-VB/Access/SQL migrations and save tons of money for the company. Sometimes, sales engineer (sales people with some IT experience) really wants the sales more than the effectiveness of the proposed solution. Can you please provide 1. number of Access databases/number of Access applications with Access database/number of Access applications with SQL Server databases and their corresponding data size, complexity of the application, nature of transactions (DML vs. SELECT), how the Access application being setup vis-a-vis existing Access and SQL server databases.
2. number of SQL servers and configuration/data size
3. nature of the Access application and amount (nature means the INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE vs. SELECT or running SELECT queries/reports, data amount, frequency, etc.)
4. Existing network configurations/bandwidth between application/server, targetted bandwidth/ future expansion
5. Expected future growth in data size/# of users I know this seems to need a lot of information. Its easy to buy, heck, you can buy a beef up workstation and turn it to a server. But once that money is out, you can’t take it back. Access has max limit of 2GB (later version is 4GB). If the application is used as Application/Database, it hogs the workstation/server resources. There are proven ways on how to migrate Access solution to an Access/SQL Server, Access/VB/SQL Server, or VB/ThirdPartyReport/SQL solution. Most of the time, you retain the Access capability because of its reporting capability (don’t want to recreate the embedded complex logic to generate N numbers of Access Reports) or the client/users has already access to it (no need for additional licenses, training, etc….). But heres what I can tell you from experience, don’t be tempted on an easy way out (i just need to know an affordable hardware where i can dump these applications/data). In the long run, they’ll going back to you because Access is a resource hogger designed for small app solutions. May the Almighty God bless us all!
Besides the Dell, the HP DL585 and DL580 are great servers also. You can get DAS just like Joe mentioned for the Dell. I just priced one of these for a customer. The pricing is quite good on the DL585 right now. MeanOldDBA
[email protected] When life gives you a lemon, fire the DBA.