Aug 11, 2014

Should You Really Purchase SQL Server Enterprise?

Paul Bell

Paul Bell

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Many of my clients balk at the cost to license their brand new, dual socket, 10-core processor database server.  And rightfully so, because $136,000 was more than the hardware and professional services costs combined!

I’ve recently written about not cutting corners on the server in light of licensing costs. I make sure my clients get a processor with a high clock speed, a high L2/L3 cache in that processor, SSD storage, fast memory, and a lot of fast memory! This post will focus on the budget buster—do I really need SQL Enterprise?

Review the following questions and make note of any time the answer is “yes” for your situation. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but it will hit the main drivers for most installations.

– Do you have more than 256 GB of “hot” data that is performing poorly?Can you not use local SSDs for Buffer Pool Extensions for hot data rather than RAM?

– SQL 2012 limited to 256 GB, SQL 2014 limited to 512 GB of data

– Does the business/application require significantly less than one minute of downtime for failover?

– Are you unable (or limited by the application) to invest in index changes, code changes, end user usage, and expectations?

– Is Log Shipping inadequate for Disaster Recovery?

– Is Log Shipping inadequate for secondary reporting?

– Do you need online (and parallel) index rebuilds?

– Do you need instant schema changes?

– Will data compression make a significant performance increase in your application?

– Are you running a high number of instances and/or databases on this server such that Resource Governor is required to limit memory/IO/CPU for a specific database?

– Do you require native, transparent database encryption?

– Do you require using database snapshots?

For each of the questions you answered “yes” to, approach the person driving that answer and ask them the following question: “This request will make a $108,800 (for a 16 core server) difference in the price for this server. Knowing this price tag, how can I better meet your business/application requirements without having to purchase SQL Enterprise?” I routinely find out that:

– The app really is performing well enough with 64 GB of memory

– 60 seconds to failover is really not that bad

– We can use athird party tool for encryption instead

To contact an SQL Ninja, email or call 972.759.1836. For more information on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012 and 2014, please visit our blog or follow us at @CrederaMSFT and @CrederaIT.

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