The high-end editions of Windows Server 2008 enhance the capability of your databases. As the customer base and sheer volume of information grow, reliable database systems become even more important to your business.
The key to database scalability and reliability is to integrate your database solution with your operating system. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition provides superior reliability and scalability, and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than competing products. The reliability and scalability features of Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition augment the features of SQL Server. In fact, the use of a 64-bit version of Windows Server is required to run the 64-bit version of SQL Server; therefore, with the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 R2, you can easily integrate your 64-bit systems. ServerWatch points out that the performance enhancements produced by Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition become clearer when Windows Server is used in concert with SQL Server. See the ServerWatch article, Windows Server 2003—Is the Third Time the Charm?
Seven of the top 10 (including all of the top 3) systems listed by the Transaction Processing Performance Council for TPC-C by price/performance are Microsoft SQL Server databases built on Windows Server 2003 systems. See the Top Ten TPC-C by Price/Performance benchmark results.
SQL Server 2005 Always On Technologies include:
Used separately or in combination, these features help minimize downtime and keep your critical enterprise systems highly available. Here we cover the reliability and scalability benefits of SQL Server and the Windows Server high-end editions better together story. Also see: SQL Server 2008 High Availability Always On Technologies.
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise makes your database solution more scalable. Instead of making all design and implementation decisions up front, the Windows Server 2008 architecture empowers you to move from scale up to scale out, and does not lock you into one mode of scalability. Developers can thus avoid the need to make design decisions prematurely. The only changes required are to the configuration of the server—not to the application. You can also scale up and scale out in the same server farm, adjusting both the number of servers and the capabilities of each server to meet your needs. This reduces development and deployment costs compared with mainframes or overbuilt server farms, and speeds time to market without undermining future scalability.
Because SQL Server is part of the Windows Server System, customers gain the benefits of reduced total cost of ownership and faster development time. This is due to the increased manageability and integration resulting from the common engineering strategy implemented across Windows Server products.
16-Way Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)
You can add up to 16 processors to your database system with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter, high-end editions of Windows Server 2008. SQL Server and Windows Server high-end editions can run on SMP hardware systems with up to 64 nodes. These systems can have up to 64 gigabytes (GB) of memory with the 32-bit Intel architecture and up to 2 terabytes of memory with the 64-bit architecture. These systems demonstrate excellent SMP scalability, both on audited benchmarks and in real applications. The largest of these servers are capable of processing more than 1 billion business transactions per day.
Hot Add/Replace Memory and Processors
When you want to increase the memory of your database system, you don’t want to have to shut the server down. Hot Add/Replace capabilities give you the ability to add/replace additional RAM and processors to your server without the need to interrupt service. (Windows Server 2008 Enterprise only has the Hot Add Memory feature.) So, should you have a sudden increase in volume, Windows Server high-end editions allow you to scale up your IT infrastructure to keep pace with your business needs without any downtime.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite enables people to securely, easily, and instantly access their applications and data from anywhere, anytime, on any device, over any connection) is the global leader in access infrastructure solutions. Citrix now takes full advantage of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. Terry Treder, principal architect of Citrix Systems, Inc., says, “Windows Server 2003 gives us better scalability and stability. Our customers get more users per server and don't have to do as much maintenance.”
Read the case study.
Along with being scalable, your database must be reliable. The database tier of your infrastructure is an essential component of many of your key systems. SQL Server supports high availability through built-in failover and replication technologies enhanced by complimentary features of Windows Server high-end editions. The data stored in a database is most likely crucial to your enterprise, whether it be customer information, human resources information, or other data warehouses. Therefore, a database must be available whenever you need to access it, even if that means constant access.
“If we deliver faster than our customers can calculate the information for themselves, the whole market will benefit,” says David Lester, CIO of the London Stock Exchange. The London Stock Exchange, with technology partner Accenture, decided on the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system, with the Microsoft .NET Framework connection software and the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 development system. For the database component, they chose Microsoft SQL Server. Its new system provides the London Stock Exchange with a platform on which to deliver new information services products that will help it meet long-term strategic goals as well as nearer-term revenue targets. It can deliver value-added information to customers in less than a second and, if there is a hardware failure, the software keeps the service going. No data is lost during hot failover between servers, so server outages are transparent to users. “This is an innovative, high-performance system that delivers time-critical information faster—an important advantage to both our customers and our market,” says Lester. “The system is designed for the demanding real-time environment in which market professionals work. We are confident that the Microsoft solution has all the reliability, performance, and scalability needed for many years to come.”
Read the case study.
Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)
When you consider reliability, it is not only key to factor in prevention of downtime (as provided by failover clustering), but also recovery time. In addition, the sensitivity and importance of information stored in a database necessitates frequent and reliable backups. VSS provides such a reliable backup method, ensuring that data can be quickly restored in the event of an unforeseen disaster. In addition, VSS creates the backup without causing downtime and minimizes restoration time when restoring a backup. Both of these aspects minimize downtime, thus helping an enterprise achieve the desired four nines (99.99 percent) uptime.