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SQL processing: Best Hardware?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I'm building a custom PC for a friend that processes SQL files. In paticular MSQ 2005 on MS 2003 OS.

I'm unfamiliar with SQL and it's specific hardware requirements.

I'm curious to ask if GPU computing would be compatible with SQL.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. My specialty is hardware assembly but this is new for me.

From what I do know is he has programmed his own custom software and it is used to manage massive user databases (addresses, phone numbers, and other info)

Also if you think I've posted this in the wrong section let me know what the best section would be.

Thank you all in advance for any info you might have!
post #2 of 8
Choosing hardware for system running SQL can be tricky. So I recommend that you first read the guides on the Microsoft site. They should help in working out the actual spec required to run the databases. Once you have worked out the spec requirement, then choosing the hardware is a lot easier.

Please note that normal home PC hardware may not be up to the job for high load SQL servers, so you might have to look at proper servers from company's like Fujitsu, DELL, HP, etc
Edited by Zeus - 6/5/11 at 4:26am
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post #3 of 8
From what I know, running sql server with multiple databases can be quite I/O intensive. So I would think that fastest harddrive/ssd I/O subsystem would be beneficial.
post #4 of 8
Generally, you want throughput, like fast drives, fast network connections, etc.

However, since you are using rather retro SQL engines, you will probably see no benefit from modern processors, as MS SQL will probably not be able to take advantage of multiple cores. Some versions will be locked in - we have a huge heap of problems right now trying to get MS SQL 6 to behave with any new machines, it seems that XP SP2 is the absolute limit, and it ends up broken or borked on SP3, or Vista or Win7.

My preference is to go with something mainstream, like MySQL - which is much more modern and can run cross platforms; rather than the bag of hurt MS SQL is. Not that it is "bad", but in my workplace, we have run into so many dopey problems with running older versions on new hardware - and of course, new versions just don't work on old hardware.

Now, we could probably fix all of our problems by migrating to a modern server with a modern OS and a modern SQL engine - but then, someone at IT would have to remove themselves from their game of Crysis in order to install said equipment in the IT closets...
post #5 of 8
How big is that database?

Is it selects or is updates/inserts/deletes?


Database tend to be bottlenecked by the storage subsystem. High performance databases utilize RAM for caching or storage. If the data is too large, then they also utilize SSDs.
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post #6 of 8
Gpu does not matter at all.

You need piles of RAM for a good SQL box. More ram > Fast ram. Depending on workload you want a pile of SSD or HDs. If you are getting HDs, make sure they are rated for 24x7 operation rather than your typical desktop drive (Generally $20-50 more).

For the number of processor/cores, check to see what his MS SQL server license is good for (If its licensed for 2 cores, get a proc with 2 fast cores over 4, etc).
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanPitts View Post
However, since you are using rather retro SQL engines, you will probably see no benefit from modern processors, as MS SQL will probably not be able to take advantage of multiple cores. Some versions will be locked in - we have a huge heap of problems right now trying to get MS SQL 6 to behave with any new machines, it seems that XP SP2 is the absolute limit, and it ends up broken or borked on SP3, or Vista or Win7.
Are you serious? You're saying that SQL Server doesn't take advantages of multiple cores? That's just not correct at all. And why suppose he is using a "retro" version? Especially when he actually stated that he is using SQL Server 2005.

Anyways, like someone said above, typcially disk I/O is typically the biggest database bottleneck. You'd want something like RAID 1 or 10, as RAID 5 is not recommended for lots of writes. However, you did describe "processing SQL files." If this is a single small application/database, you're not going to need to spec this out as you would an average OLTP server.

Really though, I'd just purchase a server from a vendor like Dell or HP. There's no reason to run a database for a business on a consumer level PC.
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tand1 View Post
Are you serious? You're saying that SQL Server doesn't take advantages of multiple cores? That's just not correct at all. And why suppose he is using a "retro" version? Especially when he actually stated that he is using SQL Server 2005.

Anyways, like someone said above, typcially disk I/O is typically the biggest database bottleneck. You'd want something like RAID 1 or 10, as RAID 5 is not recommended for lots of writes. However, you did describe "processing SQL files." If this is a single small application/database, you're not going to need to spec this out as you would an average OLTP server.

Really though, I'd just purchase a server from a vendor like Dell or HP. There's no reason to run a database for a business on a consumer level PC.
Good information, You've successfully discouraged me from attempting this project. Not a bad thing. I had my suspicion that a prebuilt server will serve them better in the long run.

They were concerned with the price of a server like this so this thread has also put their mind to rest on the cost of a Dell SQL server.

Thanks guys! You've been a big help!
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