Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

SQL Server scalability?

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?