ProLiant Servers - Netservers

Best HP Server for MS SQL

Nairobi Mtandao
Occasional Contributor

Best HP Server for MS SQL

I have many SQL server Databases of about 10-20GB with many developers executing scripts and backing up and restoring the databases concurrently. This grinds the server to a halt and no one is able to work. Working this way is vital because we support many clients with large SQL DBs of different versions that need to be running on our systems.

I currently have an HP Server (4GB of RAM, I TeraByte, 3.2 Ghz Xeon Processors ) it has been very disappointing. I have other lower spec'ed HP servers and they are - of course a lot worse.

Is there a way I can optimize my current servers, or do I need to buy a new server altogether, and if so, what would you recommend?


Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: Best HP Server for MS SQL

SQL will only use 2GB of RAM, unless you are running enterprise version. I believe there is a work around that will give you 3GB.

You should sit the databses, logs and partition that you keep your backups on on seperate scsi channels. This can easily be done with a ML370 as you can run 2 scsi bus's (1 for 6 drives, 1 for the other 2 under the CD drive).

Otherwise, you could look at a SAN, but i would stay away from the low end san's, which are typically just a smart array in a disk enclosure and you will probably see the same performance problem. You'd need to go up to something like a HP EVA 4000 upwards.

Also, try and spread your storage over more physical disks. You could get an external storage enclosure and attach it to a second array card. If you had say 2x SA6402's (or 1 SA6404 but i'd recommend 2x 2ch for better performance) then you could use the 2 drives under the CD drive for the OS, the other 6 drives for say the logs, and the external array for the databases and the backup files, but mount the 2 volumes over 2 different channels - you need to buy an external storage enclosure with 2 channels to the host.

What model server do you have? The above is based on an ML370 (G4 onwards).
Nairobi Mtandao
Occasional Contributor

Re: Best HP Server for MS SQL

Thanks for your speedy response Chris,
I am using the developer edition of SQL server so I think I am exempt from the 2GB limitation.

I have an HP ProLiant ML350 G4p Server and my other server is a HP ProLiant ML350 G4 with a 1GB RAM, 200GB HDD (I can hardly use this one to do anything ).

I think having the backups and Logs on a separate SCSI is a good idea, I will try that.

By the way, the costliest operations are restoring and backing up of databases. Operations like running scripts are not eye-popping fast but reasonable. When someone tries to backup or restore, the speeds are tear -shading. Even if I have one person restoring one database at a time, the Server is still simply unusable to the point that everyone has to wait for the restore to end before going on with their work.

The tests I have done show that RAM is the most affected resource. And the server pages a lot.