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Recently we have got problems with performance in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise.

One idea to solve it is to scale up, i.e. improve hardware of the server.

SQL Server 2008 has 2 instances that are running under 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Enterprise.

The configuration of the server is the following:

  • CPU: Quad-code AMD Opteron™ Processor 2356, 2.51 GHz (2 Processors). CPU is normally 20-35% in use if not under stress, and 80-90% if under stress.
  • RAM: 30 G, 24,6 G for both instances of SQL Server.

How do you think the configuration of the server is weak enough to be improved?

I wanted to have a sensation which configurations are in use by other companies, and if you know yours you might also post it. Thank you.

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Well even thought your processors aren't massively old (2007/2008 vintage) I do think you'd see some very clear processing efficiency gains as well as significant memory latency benefits if you moved to a newer system. You don't mention your disk config but there could be improvements to be had their too. Ideally I'd look for a two-socket box with dual six-core or better 56xx-series xeons, 6 x 8GB memory and whatever volume you need of 6Gbps SAS 15/10krpm disks and/or some pro-quality SSDs. There's lots of manufacturers selling that kind of spec server (IBM/HP/Dell etc.) and other than the disk shouldn't be too expensive either, it's the spec of the boxes we're buying right now for MSSQL and Oracle and we're happy.

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I find you configuration better than ours, but I'm afraid that it wouldn't be enough for our needs. I have seen 4 socket boxes with ten-core intel processors. Another question: how do you scale your databases if, for example, number of request increases? – Tim Jul 26 '11 at 9:32
Well certainly boxes such as HP's DL580 G7 and DL980 G7 (both of which I have and love) are great, especially with the 10-core (and soon 12/16 core!) CPUs, the memory config can be exceptional too. But personally I'd sooner scale out rather than up, I use more smaller dual-socket servers myself, load-balanced front and back into the traditional web/app/db layers with significant caching between them all and in front. – Chopper3 Jul 26 '11 at 9:43
Very good answer! Thanks! May you advice some architectures (probably described in articles) how one may scale out an SQL Server database? With applications it seems easier than with database or? – Tim Jul 26 '11 at 9:51
I'm less confident with MSSQL than I am with Oracle RAC, maybe ask a differently focussed question instead? you'll get better answers from a wider audience than just this comment-chain. – Chopper3 Jul 26 '11 at 9:53

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