Is 64GB of RAM enough for a SQL Server instance? It was in the past for most servers that I’ve developed software on or administered. These days I know some people have 2TB of RAM in their big database servers, which makes 64GB seem paltry. After all, I’ve had 32GB in a laptop before. However I know most of the SQL Server databases out there, in absolute numbers, are fairly small. In the low GB in size. I’d think 64GB isn’t too much for these.
The reason that number comes up is that it’s the limitation for SQL Server’s Standard Edition (SE), and apparently, it’s my fault the number is set so low. Not just my fault, but all of you out there that keep buying SQL Server licenses. I’m not sure I agree with Brent’s verbiage, but I do agree with his conclusion. As long as SQL Server sells, and it’s selling well, why wouldn’t Microsoft push people to buy Enterprise Edition and pay more to use larger servers?
Personally I think we should be charged by the scale of the system we use, rather than this weird, limited feature/scale list that MS has. They could easily say that SQL Server is $2000/core and $500/4GB. They could play with the numbers and come up with something that might be cheaper for some, more expensive for some, but it would allow us to easily buy more capacity and pay more as we needed to add hardware. That’s how the cloud works, and even how many of our virtualized systems work. Want to move from 4 cores and 16GB of RAM to 16 cores and 64GB of RAM? Flip some switches. Depending on the version of Windows, you might not even need to reboot.
I know some of you think SQL Server should be $5000 and we put it on any size hardware we like, but that’s certainly not going to happen in today’s world. We tend to value computing resources by scale, and I think that’s a reasonable way to examine software.
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