Is adding RAM worth upgrading Windows? | SQL Server Performance Forums

SQL Server Performance Forum – Threads Archive

Is adding RAM worth upgrading Windows?

We have Windows Server 2003 Standard box running SQL Server 2000 that we are in the process of upgrading to SQL Server 2005 Standard. It has been bogging down throughout the day from I/O activity – mostly reads from huge tables with the occasional batch jobs that write like crazy. I’ve been able to find plenty of articles that tell how to identify the bottleneck and in plenty of places they’ve said to put as much RAM in your SQL Server as possible. My question is… I would like to know ahead of time if adding more RAM memory will reduce the I/O load, even if the memory performance indicators (pages/sec + available bytes) are not showing memory is the bottleneck. Several articles have indicated that adding RAM can help with I/O, but will adding RAM so the tables are kept in memory still help if the memory counters aren’t showing memory to be the problem? The big reason for this question is that in order to add and use more RAM, we would need to upgrade to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition – adding over $2000 to the cost of adding RAM. RAM itself is cheap, but the ability for the OS to use it leads to the much larger cost of upgrading. Not to mention I’ll end up looking pretty bad if I talk management into spending thousands of dollars to add more RAM if it doesn’t make a dramatic difference. The server’s current hardware configuration is a 5 disk Raid 5 array for the data and a 2 disk Raid 1 array for the OS and transaction logs with 4GB of RAM. I put the 3GB switch in the boot file so SQL Server is now using 2.7GB of memory. How do I know if it’s worth it to upgrade the OS in order to add and use more RAM?
Louder+Harder+Faster >= Better
Hm – also depends on which edition of SQL Server you’re running if it supports more than 2 GB.
SQL Server 2005 Standard which supports unlimited memory. Louder+Harder+Faster >= Better
do a proper analysis of whether you need better disk capability,
query/index tuning
or more memory follow my directions on