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For our soon-to-be-hosted application I need to choose between SQL Server 2008 Web edition, Standard, or Enterprise edition. There isn't any "must-have" functionality: the application currently runs on SQL Express, but it will exceed the 10GB maximum size that SQL Express imposes.

I'm looking at this comparison chart, and the most significant table in this page "Scalability & Performance". As tables get larger, functionality like "Table and Index Partitioning" would be vital to guarantee performance speeds. But at what table sizes would this be required?

What strategies should I use to determine if the size and usage of my database requires the Standard (or even Enterprise) Edition Scalability and Performance functionality?

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What about SQL Standard? It has almost all the features of Enterprise for a fraction of the cost. –  Mark Henderson Jan 21 '11 at 3:10
    
@Mark - Thanks for your point. I've reworded the question accordingly –  Andrew Shepherd Jan 21 '11 at 3:30
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The most important difference in basic database functionality that I see between Web and Standard edition according to the comparison chart is the lack of SQL Profiler in Web Edition, I don't know if is possible to attach a remote profiler, but if not, lack of that feature alone would disqualify it from my environment. –  Michael Eklöf Jan 21 '11 at 9:37
    
@Michael Eklöf: That's an interesting point. But do we actually use the profiler in production? I posted this as a different question: dba.stackexchange.com/questions/818/… –  Andrew Shepherd Jan 23 '11 at 22:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This question can really not be answered. A lot depends on what you do with your data, and what your hardware looks like. For example, you say:

As tables get larger, functionality like "Table and Index Partitioning" would be vital to guarantee performance speeds

This is not true. This function is necessary to allow distribution of data over more IO sets than before. In order to separate IO laod between different disc sets. But when you need this really depends on your hardware and load. For example, with high speed RAID 10's, and distributing a filegroup over let's say 9 groups of those, with8 discs each, you could have 9 data files that run separate IO... in a 4 unit rack case. This is a LOT of io work to start with. I dont think you have an idea about the dimensions Enterprise targets. I know a 190 disc database that does NOT use those features because they are not yet needed there.

More important things are for you: * The ability to reindex in the background, as reindexing can take hours. * Some backup / mirroring ability.

For the rest:

What strategies should I use to determine if the size and usage of my database requires the Enterprise Edition Scalability and Performance functionality?

You want to play with the big toys, behave like one. Basically start buying a test environment to make real data tests and find out how the situation is in your concrete scenario. Then buy another 2 systems for production,standby and use the original one for development.

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