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SQL Server scalability?

SQL Server scalability?

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Is SQL Server is only as good as the operating system – discuss

The ability of SQL Server to make use of underlying hardware is often held up by the operating system, or to put it another way, pretty much as soon as there is support for some new thing the SQL Server team have a version that uses it.  If we go back to SQL Server 2000 , then it wasn’t too long after windows could run on intel’s shiny new itanium processor that SQL could too, and it was the same for the subsequent generations of AMD & Intel x64 CPUs.

Windows Server 2008 R2 can now support 256 cores (the previous limit was 64), and hot on the heels of that is SQL Server 2008 R2 which can also do that.  There isn’t too much hardware out there yet that even breaks the 64 core limit, but I did find a man who has such a rig, Henk van der Valk from Unisys.  He runs a query from hell on it against a SQL Server 2008 R2 database on a 96 core Unisys E7000, just to see how fast he can do stuff!

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I was impressed so I grabbed the film crew and made a quick five minute video on TechNet Edge which you can watch here.

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BTW Henk has worked on a lot of the performance tests on SQL Server such as the ETL World record and this guide on tuning Integration Services.

My parting thought – How big does the server have to be before the perception that SQL Server doesn’t scale finally dies out?

Comments
  • "My parting thought – How big does the server have to be before the perception that SQL Server doesn’t scale finally dies out?"

    When it tops the TPC.ORG performance charts, not just the price/performance charts.

  • Tonyr08

    A couple of comments on your comments..

    But SQL Server uses the more realistic TPC-E benchmark

    and other vendors don't because they have optimised their engines for TPC-C.

    the other game changer is SSD, if cost is no option and SQL Server makes very good use of this as well.

    Happy to take this off line

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