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I know this may be a 'simpletons' question but...
I'm in the process of learning/researching SQL Server 7 and have not been able to find some good information on what hardware should be considered. I am currently running the evaluation copy on an NT Server v4.0 w/SP5. The system is a P233 with 32 meg ram. I've at least learned that this will not be "the" server.
I plan on migrating an Access database to SQL Server. The current size of the database is approximately 100 meg. I know that's small but we're facing issues of slow performance from the Access file server type database. (60 users requesting data from data tables that reside on the main drive of the network that everyone else uses too).
I'm sure once we get SQL Server it will then be used for other database applications that exist in our company.
-- Anonymous, June 15, 1999
The industry standard installation for a SQL server is some sort of Compaq Proliant. These units can be rack mounted and are expandable.
The key to success with a SQL Server is expandability. 500 MB of RAM and two 400 MHz processors is a good start. You will be able to work up to four 500 MHz processors. SCSI drives give good performance, reliability, redundancy, and expandability. Keep in mind that SQL Server performance is improved by having more drive spindles, so the RAID arrays that fill up the full rack will give the best performance. (But it is best to start with the largest drives possible so that when you fill the rack you have as much disk space as possible. It is very easy to add an additional drive of the same size to a rack, but it requires a lot of technical support to change all the drives in a rack to a larger size. Thus, I would start with two 18 GB drives with a usable 18 GB of space in the rack and, as space was needed, work up to seven 18 GB drives in the same rack. This would provide 108 GB of space after you sacrifice a drive to redundancy.)
We in Washington State Government have found one advantage to the Compaq Proliant upgrade scheme. The advantage is that Compaq (at least the people we are dealing with) bases the 3 year warranty period on the age of the serial number on the rack faceplate. If you move your machine to a new rack every three years you keep the warranty alive.
Disclaimer: I may be biased. I fill out survey forms and Compaq sends me tee-shirts. ;-)
Hope this helps,
-- Anonymous, June 16, 1999