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The company I work for has an old sql server based legacy system, it's been around for about 7 years old with a 13gb database. There are two servers, web + sql. If we were to partition the database on dates and make a copy for each year, each copy would be <2gb for that year. This would make the system faster for a smaller amount of effort than trying to performance-tune it. Also it would allow us to scale it out onto more than 1 sql server.

My question is, if we do this we won't need SQL Server Standard Edition licenses, ie Express should be ok as it's under 4GB. Are there likely to be any problems by using Express as opposed to standard?

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SQL Express 2008 /R2 now have a 10GB Database size limit – JS. Sep 16 '10 at 10:24
I'd say you need to balance the cost of buying any additional licenses you need for the existing server, and the costs of what sounds like quite a complex setup. Depending on your web app requirements, you might also find it a lot easier using some free open source database that doesn't have any kind of db size limitation or license issues. What is wrong with the existing server asides from some license issues? If it is worries related to old hardware, I'd recommend virtualising it. – dunxd Sep 16 '10 at 11:50
Make an effort performance tuning as well - amazing gains can be made. – Sam Sep 17 '10 at 0:07
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Please note that Express Edition miss scheduler, so you won't be able to schedule a backup inside SQL for example or any other script. You'll need external scheduler that runs sqlcmd.

Regards, D.

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Are you prepared to handle the negatives, like the fact that you loose referential integrity and query performance?

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And the lack of an agent. – DanBig Sep 16 '10 at 14:01
you can get around the agent, these other problems are worse. – Sam Sep 17 '10 at 0:05

It depends on how you define 'problems'

Will you be able to cope with the limitations of 1 processor, 1 Gb RAM and 4Gb of storage as per the Microsoft site

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He can cope with them by upgrading. The limit is 10gb now. – TomTom Sep 16 '10 at 11:26
I just grabbed that from the MS site, so can only go on what they say – Ben Quick Sep 16 '10 at 12:26
Your MS Site seems to be outdated. I jsut checked the dition comparison at – TomTom Sep 16 '10 at 14:13 says 10GB per database. – ThatGraemeGuy Sep 16 '10 at 14:32
But that still leaves the problem of 1GB of RAM and 1 processor. – Sean Howat Sep 16 '10 at 14:36

A single CPU license costs $6000. If you have a dual cpu server with 6 cores that would be 12,000. I'm willing to bet you are going to eat up more staff time mucking with these additional integration efforts. You will also need to buy more windows licenses if you're thinking of scaling.

Tune your existing application or spend some cash for the tools. Doing some basic query tuning is not that difficult - look into sql profiler, query execution plans and getting a handle on what your worst performing queries are.

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