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I need to upgrade our internal Development Sql Server hardware. Right now it's an Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz. I feel that the CPU is fine.

It's got 4Gig ram - yuck.

It's got a sub-par HD in it.

So i'm thinking of pumping up the RAM and the HD to a few (eg. OS on Sata, HD's on SSD - not sure about the system tables .. maybe move them on to the SSD and logs on SSD (we don't really care/use the logs for our dev).

Lastly, we backup the DB's over the intranet to another device/server/HD.

So - does anyone have any good recommendations for

  • Motherboard
  • Case (and a PSU possibly, if case doesn't have one).
  • SSD's.

I can get RAM all over the place. I'm guessing I'll want at least 8Gig. Would love to go 12 or 16. I'd want to use the same CPU unless i'm convinced otherwise. Remember, this a DEVELOPMENT SQL Server, with half a dozen users hitting it MAX .. which is never the case, really. Also, something a bit conscience to the enviro would be sweet. Small form-factor a huge win.

Oh, finally -> i don't want to buy some dell Rackserver or prepackaged thing. I love building my pc's, etc. Any ideas folks?

UPDATE

Here's a link by an Aussie SQL SERVER GROUP about using SSD's for Sql Server.

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MySQL - MsSQL..??? You sound like such an Australian.. hehe –  Arenstar Nov 16 '10 at 3:36
    
@Arenstar ??? cause I am... and what's the software got to do with the Rig hardware? –  Pure.Krome Nov 16 '10 at 4:24
    
Relax, Its just simple curiousity :) –  Arenstar Nov 16 '10 at 15:25
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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Having tons of memory is counterproductive to "going green" in general. See http://www.behardware.com/articles/670-3/pc-s-actual-power-consumption.html

Find the most power friendly PSU you can, and don't get one that is extremely large compared to what you need. A very large PSU may draw more power due to internal loss than one that is appropriately sized. Find out what your hard drive(s) take, motherboard, etc. and select a PSU based on that.

Get a modern hard drive or SSD. If you don't need speed on the main disk power can be saved, but the really power friendly drives are slow compared to power hungry but fast drives. Perhaps use a laptop drive, as they are designed for a mix of power and reasonable speed.

SSD should save considerable power though over a spinning media drive.

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Supermicro.com has decent rackmount cases and motherboards to match.

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er -- some more info would be nice. I'm not after places but some hardware products.... –  Pure.Krome Nov 16 '10 at 4:25
    
SuperMicro is a manufacturer, no ta place. Check their site - supermicro.com. The cases ROCK for power servers. Up to 72 discs in one rack case. –  TomTom Nov 16 '10 at 5:52
    
I was thinking more like using a simple motherboard I can buy at any hobbiest shop - not a quality production grade hardware.... –  Pure.Krome Nov 16 '10 at 23:13
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SSDs may not be the way to go. Database are still tuned to assume traditional disks (with rotational latency) out of the box. What you want are at least 4 good (preferrably 10K SAS) disks to set up in raid 10.

As for RAM, if this is really a dedicated box for sql server (nothing else running) with load from only a few people, you should be fine at just 8GB.

What I would look for is a motherboard with a real, hardware-based raid controller onboard.

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re: motherboards:: ok .. such as... ??? re: SSD vs SATA .. I've read other things stating SSD's are better. Here's an ServerFault question: serverfault.com/questions/69037/… –  Pure.Krome Nov 16 '10 at 4:27
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Please provide something to back up your claim on (good) SSDs being less than ideal for databases. –  Alex Holst Nov 16 '10 at 7:42
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SSDs work fine for databases. Any database that assumes a physical drive with rotational delay would be wrong about any in-memory caching done by the OS, RAID controller, or even on the drives. Or with RAID, any number of drives would throw it off. Sorry, I don't buy that databases expect this sort of thing anymore. Gone are the IBM days... –  Michael Graff Nov 16 '10 at 9:59
    
Well said Michael :) I tend to think like that, also. –  Pure.Krome Nov 16 '10 at 23:12
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Maybe you can go green by consolidating development servers, if you have 10 development machines, perhaps you can build 1 or 2 monster machines and have everything running on them. You'll save heat, energy and space and it will be easier to maintain. Virtual machines are the way to go.

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