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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Why SQL Server over other databases?

    Hi

    We have a server hosting about 150/200 webpages. The webpages content are provided by Access databases. Now we are planning to change to other platform, but we are not sure about the most suitable solution to our business in cost/performance terms.

    We work in .NET platform, so in a first sight the most suitable database to work is SQL Server. The licenses for this platform costs nearly 6000 $ per CPU (our server is built with 4), so it's necessary to evaluate if really other cheaper or even free databases (as Firebird, MySQL, Oracle -don't know how cost this platform-) could be suitable for our server.

    Which advantages have SQL Server 2005 over the rest of databases?. You think the budget necessary for Microsoft's database could be profitable at long range?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Before I start this discussion, it is important to note something: I'm suggesting that you consider this option, not that you blindly implement it.

    One thing that you might want to consider is that (at least in the United States) you can legally license only one CPU instead of all CPUs in a server IF you can get someone to configure your copy of SQL to only use one CPU. This isn't hard to do, but it requires a pretty deep knowledge of how you intend to configure and use your server.

    This will probably add some consulting cost, but will reduce your licensing cost by enough that the net effect should be wildly in your favor.

    Without knowing a lot about what you are doing and who you have doing it, I can't give you a good analysis of the benefits of using SQL Server. In general, if you have an "in house" development staff you can teach them to use almost anything, but nearly everyone you hire/contract/collaborate will have experience with SQL 2005. Unless you have complete control of your environment and relatively little turn over of employees, I'd bet that SQL 2005 will be the cheapest overall solution for you.

    -PatP

  3. #3
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    Hi Pat, and thanks for your attention

    Hm, I didn't knew the possibility of buy just one CPU license, and use it for 4 legally. Are you sure?. Reading the Microsoft 'Processor licensing model' webpage (http://www.microsoft.com/sql/howtobuy/processor.mspx), we can read this:

    "Under this structure, a customer acquires a separate Processor license for each processor that is located in the server running the SQL Server software. If you have made a processor inaccessible to all operating system copies on which the SQL Server software is set up to run, you do not need a software license for that processor. This licensing model is most appropriate for applications that are accessible through the Internet and for internal applications with a high client-to-server ratio."

    Really, if we could buy just 1 license and configure the SQLServer for all the cpu's, it would be the best choice (I'm refering to SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition).

    Our webpages have a simple mechanism: A website have some news pages, that are updated eventually. This information are called until now from Access databases. Also we are planning to develop some mdb's to make these news in more languajes.

    Really I'd like to know the real advantages of SQL Server over rest of databases, and also the disadvantages of these platforms.

    Greetings

    Borja.

  4. #4
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    Would SQL Server Express be appropriate for this?
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blindman
    Would SQL Server Express be appropriate for this?

    Which is free

    SQTeam supports it's tech web site using it, unlike here which uses mySQL
    Brett
    8-)

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borjaserrano
    Hi Pat, and thanks for your attention

    Hm, I didn't knew the possibility of buy just one CPU license, and use it for 4 legally. Are you sure?.
    I think you misunderstood Pat. You can set the affinitiy mask to use only a single CPU. 1 SQL instance on a 4 CPU box using only one of the CPUs on the box. You only pay for the CPU you use.
    Testimonial:
    pootle flump
    ur codings are working excelent.

  7. #7
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    As Pootle pointed out, if you only use one of your CPUs then you can license only one of your CPUs. You can not license one CPU and still use all four of them.

    The licensing agreement for SQL 2005 is significantly different on this point than the agreement for SQL 2000. I haven't ever needed to configure a machine this way, so I don't pay close attention to that part of the agreement.

    Based on how I understand the licensing agreement for SQL 2005 Express, it can not be licensed for use as a production web server. Maybe the folks at SQL Team know something that I don't.

    -PatP

  8. #8
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    i use sql server because it is pretty and knowing how to write queries and do backups and stuff keeps me in new CDs and sporty shoes.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan
    As Pootle pointed out, if you only use one of your CPUs then you can license only one of your CPUs. You can not license one CPU and still use all four of them.

    The licensing agreement for SQL 2005 is significantly different on this point than the agreement for SQL 2000. I haven't ever needed to configure a machine this way, so I don't pay close attention to that part of the agreement.

    Based on how I understand the licensing agreement for SQL 2005 Express, it can not be licensed for use as a production web server. Maybe the folks at SQL Team know something that I don't.

    -PatP

    Are you sure you're not confusing express with developer edition?
    Brett
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  10. #10
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    I hope to learn something from this thread because I'm behind the times; from the old school when MS was encouraging folks to switch from Access dbs to MSDE 2000. I don't know the details of licencing with Sql Server 2005 Express and MSDE 2000. If you have the capability of managing your databases; like with .Net, isn't MSDE supposed to be a better, server based database than Access, basically free without license restrictions?
    I really don't know, that's why I'm asking.
    Don't Bogart That Squishee!

  11. #11
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    After looking closer at the Microsoft site, I see that MSDE 2000 won't be supported on Vista. Going the way of VB6...
    So watch out for planned obsolescence.
    Don't Bogart That Squishee!

  12. #12
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    SQL Server 2005 Express is the new MSDE. If you are looking for a free sql server, it's the one to try.

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys for your replies

    I think a database running just under 1 processor isn't enough for our business, cause the server must support a generous number of connections concurrently (the server hosts just 150 / 200 websites, but 1 website can be accesed in some cases, by 20 / 30 clients at the same time, and also the number of websites / clients are growing almost every week. We did some stress tests accesing to the server at the same time using just 1 cpu, running just 16 clients, and the cpu gives up. So we need at least a db running under 4 cpu's. The point is evaluate if the free databases that runs with a free number of processors could be a great opponent of SQL Server 2005, in terms of functionality/easy developing/scalability/prize.

    Maybe if the time that we have to use to migrate all Access databases to any free platform, (for example, Firebird) and develop all the code calling the db's exceeds for much the time to migrate db's and code from Access to SQL Server, maybe SQL Server could be more profitable at a large range, because of a develop saving time.

    Does anyone worked with Firebird, MySQL or other free database before?, you think, for a web-content use only, any of these platforms could be better than SQLServer? (computing the Microsoft's platform budget).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borjaserrano
    Thanks guys for your replies

    I think a database running just under 1 processor isn't enough for our business, cause the server must support a generous number of connections concurrently (the server hosts just 150 / 200 websites, but 1 website can be accesed in some cases, by 20 / 30 clients at the same time, and also the number of websites / clients are growing almost every week.
    You're a hosting company?

    What? Are you doing this for free?

    And connections have nothing to do with the # of CPU's you need.

    How much data do you have?

    Besides, anyone here will tell you that wait time on the hard drive is where you are going to be experiencing performance isssues.

    And if you are using Access now, there is now way you can't get by with 1 cpu...I would just suggest you bump up to as much memory that can be supported...because it sounds like all of your data could be resident and would eliminate any i/o operations.

    How much data are we talking about, and are you storing documents in the database? if so, save them to to the file share.

    You need to explain to us your architecture that yopuhave in place today
    Brett
    8-)

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  15. #15
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    Hi Brett, and sorry for the reply delay. I had a busy weekend

    We are not properly a web hosting company. We develop software for insurance brockerage companies, and also we offer their web site development, which is hosted in our server. The web site content size is not overmuch important. Each website have some sections, as news.. services.. whose content is provided by Access databases, and we don't host too much significant documents. The biggest website database size is about 5-6 Mb. Each website has a independent database files

    Now we are planning to change the database platform, but before we must to be sure of the database which is most suitable to the server, because we must to export the Access databases without any trouble. Also this server must support about 15 / 20 connections simultaneously for each website (about 175 websites, growing each week)

    We have an IBM XSeries-336 server, built by 2 Intel Xeon 3.2 Ghz (may have a hyper-threading feature or something similar, because the OS detects 4), and 4 Gb (3,2 because of 32-bit architecture) RAM memory, and a single 80 Gb hard drive (don't know if SCSI or SATA), for web hosting.

    Really, at first sight, SQL Server Express would be better than Access, but we would like someone who has pretty database skills (like the folks of this forum ) could give us a opinion. We thought the server may need all the cpu's to run the large number of connections we need to support, but really if just 1 processor may do the task, we can try SQL Server Express.

    However the limitations of this platform makes us to doubt, so we would like to have an expert opinion

    Thanks.

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