From server sprawl to SQL savvy, it's an evolving mind-shift

Tap into cell-based architecture

Data centre managers aren't getting the most out of their SQL Server 2005 installations, unaware of the benefits available in the latest release, according to Raj Gill, CTO of consulting firm, Scalability Experts.

Benefits include slashing power and cooling bills by as much as 150 percent.

Gill said hardware vendors have always provided non uniformed memory (NUM) architecture, but software stacks, like previous versions of Windows running in SQL server 32bit were unable to take advantage of it.

"We have consolidated SQL data centre servers from 40 to three," he said.

"This was done by maximizing the use of SQL's NUMA capability, available on Hewlett-Packard's Integrity Server cell-base architectures running Windows 64-bit on Intel Itanium-2 CPU's.

"It allows users to cut CPU counts from 200 to less than 70."

Gill is currently on tour down under to lecture "high-end" Hewlitt Packard customers from the federal government, manufacturing and major financial and retail sectors on maximizing the benefits of SQL Server 2005.

Gill, who has dropped power and cooling costs by 85 to 150 percent on 32 different SQL-based consolidation efforts, said he will expose customers "to benefits they wouldn't even think of" simply by sharing experiences from other customer using the platform.

He said customers can build single databases up to 35 terabytes, with total data storage of about 200 terabytes using the latest SQL Server technologies.

Customers need to focus on shared services, workflow governance, and consolidation to squeeze out theses benefits, according to Gill.

"Shared services is a consolidated environment where lower applications are grouped together, [and] it allows customers to stop low end server sprawl and reduce TCO," Gill said.

Previous SQL Server releases did not allow low-end applications to co-exist.

"Work flow governance allows customers to tap into cell-based architecture which allows resources to be utilized based on priority," he said.

Gill rejected the green data centre concept as a silver bullet for cost woes.

He said the rising cost of server power consumption is simply due to customer demand.

"The trend in greening data centres addresses the management of floorspace, power and cooling, but it doesn't deal with net server energy consumption; if customers can cut down on the number of servers they host, from say 150 to 20, they will consume less energy and cut costs," Gill said.

"It is an architecture change, and a mind-shift that has evolved over the last decade. Its a significant shift away from the server sprawl method of buying more low end servers."

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