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I gather SQL Server 2008 Express requires a minimum of 512MB RAM to be installed to run on Windows Server 2003, however will this be sufficient to also run Full Text Search on about 50,000 records? I don't want to pay too much and I have seen a 512MB RAM VPS option that interests me.


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closed as not a real question by sysadmin1138 Jan 9 '12 at 21:40

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

50,000 records of what? – gahooa Nov 4 '09 at 17:10

The 50K record is completely irrelevant from your question point of view because it might happen that 1 record is 1024 bytes or 1Mb the first case we are talking about ~50Mb data second case ~50Gb data, i think the relevant information would be the dataset size, without indexes of course. The another question is the full text search implementation. You might want to consider the operating system needs as well. To be honest in 2009 512Mb RAM is bit less then optimal :)

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512MB is most likely the minimum RAM it needs to get itself running. However from memory a running SQL instance with nothing loaded into RAM doesn't need that much.

Things you will want to look at include size of the data being stored and what level of performance you are going to be happy with.

At a guess I'd suggest looking at the size of the data you are going to index and seeing if it will fit comfortably within whatever memory is available in your database once everything has been loaded into memory. If it's not then SQL server is going to page to disk and everything will slow down.

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The only real answer I can give is "maybe".

When hosting on a VPS provider it is more important than otherwise to try have enough RAM such that as much of your data and indexes (or at least the normal "working set" plus some) fit into RAM. You will be sharing the I/O subsystem with other VPS accounts that might be running heave apps on underspecced VMs so saving even a small amount of disk access can make your app much more responsive at times when other VMs are active.

The best way to test this would be install the app and database (full of test data of appropriate size if you don't have a live set yet) in a VM using one of the free virtualisation solutions, run some benchmarks against the app (or just get some users to click around), and watch how much I/O results via the relevant Windows performance counters in the VM. Repeat the tests with different RAM allocations until you find the sweet spot where adding more RAM makes little difference to the I/O load.

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I dont think its a question of will it run, rather how well will it run. SQL Server by design will eat up as much memory as you can thru at it, once that happens, it will start to page out to disk. At this point things will appear to slow down as paging to disk is much slower than to memory.

A windows 2003 box uses around 256mb (I think?) without SQL server or any other services running. Which leaves half of your memory for sql server to work with. How big is the size of the database? Will it fit in memory as well as the index? How critical is the speed?

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