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I am in the planning process of building a new vCenter 5 server. Currently, as a SMB, my host requirements are within range of using the SQL Express install, but my VM count has grown into the lower triple digits. In my current vCenter I have been starting to experience some slowdown while loading the inventory so I am curious if my choice of SQL Express for the vCenter 4.1 install, and the VM inventory count, is causing this. What do you think?

If I do choose to install SQL 2008 R2, vs Express, would I expect to see a more responsive client when logging into vCenter and loading the inventory? As far as growth I don't anticipate going to double digit hosts or greater than 300 VMs. Could just selecting the next radio button up for the SQL Express install, even though I won't hit that amount of hosts/VMs, give better performance?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Certainly 'express' is severely limited and you may be coming against those limits - we use regular MSSQL and don't see the kinds of slow-downs you've experienced so could highly recommend going that way though you also have the option of using the new vCenter Appliance of course.

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I don't think the appliance will work for my environment. Do you think just possibly selecting the greater resources for Express would do the trick or is SQL 2008 R2 just far superior to any express install? – Chadddada Feb 16 '12 at 14:26

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express supports 1 CPU , each database can be up to 10GB, but just 1GB RAM - if you monitor the CPU activity, and the Page Life Expectancy counter in Perfmon - SQL Server - Memory Manager, this will give you an idea of whether you have hit the limits of SQL Server Express.

Or run this query at times when you are hitting the VC

SELECT [object_name], [counter_name], [cntr_value] FROM sys.dm_os_performance_counters WHERE [object_name] LIKE '%Manager%' AND [counter_name] = 'Page life expectancy'

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Thanks for you response. – Chadddada Feb 16 '12 at 14:26

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