This content is part of the Essential Guide: Hardware for SQL Server: Optimizing performance
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Step-by-Step Guide: How to spec your SQL Server hardware needs

When purchasing and sizing hardware to meet SQL Server workload demands over time, many factors must be taken into account. Contributor Hilary Cotter breaks down key considerations and offers advice for optimal hardware selection, sizing and performance.

One of the more difficult tasks on a database administrator's to-do list is to make economical hardware recommendations...

for applications still under development or about to be deployed. You must select a reputable hardware vendor with a strong future, quantify various indices about your anticipated workload in order to size the hardware correctly and ensure that your hardware solution is modularized to plug in additional capacity on demand. In addition, you have to continually consider new technology advancements, such as the move to 64-bit architectures or switching from local storage to storage area networks.

Spec your SQL Server hardware needs

  • Home: Introduction
  • Step 1: Invest in good application design
  • Step 2: Understand your workload
  • Step 3: Know your memory support limitations
  • Step 4: Choose a reliable hardware brand
  • Step 5: Take advantage of 64-bit
  • Step 6: Take advantage of storage area networks
  • Step 7: Properly configure your RAID arrays
  • Step 8: Use separate disk controllers
  • Step 9: Choose and optimize your disks wisely
  • Step 10: Optimize CPU activity and speed

Hilary Cotter has been involved in IT for more than 20 years as a Web and database consultant. Microsoft first awarded Cotter the Microsoft SQL Server MVP award in 2001. Cotter received his bachelor of applied science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and studied economics at the University of Calgary and computer science at UC Berkeley. He is the author of a book on SQL Server transactional replication and is currently working on books on merge replication and Microsoft search technologies.

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