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SQL Server Hardware Paperback – June 6, 2011

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I wanted this book to be a little different from the multitude of good, existing books about SQL Server performance and scalability. I wanted to start, from the ground up, showing how to evaluate and choose hardware and storage subsystems from a SQL Server specific perspective.
Next, I wanted to show how to properly install and configure the operating system and SQL Server itself for the best performance, scalability, and reliability. I also wanted to give you ammunition for convincing your boss or customers why newer versions of the operating system and newer versions of SQL Server were a better solution than older versions. Finally, I wanted to talk about the tangible performance benefits you get from SQL Server Enterprise Edition, that make it worth the extra licensing cost. I think that I accomplished most of these goals, but I will leave that judgment up to the reader. I really enjoyed writing this book, and I hope it is a valuable resource to you!

About the Author

Glenn Berry works as a Principal Consultant at SQLskills in Parker, CO. He is a SQL Server MVP, and has a whole collection of Microsoft certifications, including MCITP, MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD, MCAD, and MCTS, which proves he likes to take tests. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at University College, University of Denver, where he has been teaching since 2000, and he has completed the Master Teacher Program.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Red gate books (June 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906434638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906434632
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brent Ozar on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
You probably only buy a couple of SQL Servers per year. You probably just tell your sysadmins, "I need a 2-socket server with 32GB of memory," and then you just assume everything's okay.

Scratch that. Let's be honest. It's just us here, you and me, so I can be frank. You don't trust those bozos. They sit around playing Capture the Flag while your server is down, and you've got a sneaking suspicion that they use your server as a BitTorrent host for a few weeks before they actually give it to you. You're lucky if it's even got the right OS, let alone the right CPUs.
Yes, I used pink Post-It notes.

It's time to take the problem into your own hands, and Glenn Berry is here to help. Glenn, like me, is a hardware addict who loves reading Anandtech and digging through the details of the latest CPU architectures, memory configurations, and storage options. Unlike me, Glenn wrote an entire book on the topic, all by himself, and this book kicks ass. It's everything you need to know to get the right hardware and get SQL Server set up correctly on it.
Hardware, Budgeting, and More

Let's pick just one page. Page 21 explains the difference in speed and quantity for all kinds of data - storage, memory, L3 cache, L2 cache, and L1 cache. Glenn then explains why you care about each and how to pick the right CPU for SQL Server. He finishes up (we're still on page 21, mind you) by discussing why you might want to invest more in CPU power than memory - something that seemed blasphemous to me until I read his explanation, but now I'm sold too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
For most people working with relational databases, a lot of time, effort and money is spent on the software. SQL Server Hardware by Glenn Berry focuses on one of the most important, and most overlooked, aspects of setting up SQL server - the hardware (as you may have guessed from the title). If you've ever had a question about the type of hardware you might need and what to do with it once you have it, this book will answer all your questions.

Not only is this book basically an exhaustive look at all aspects of database hardware, the author clearly has a passion for the subject - and that is what makes it a truly great book. The author's enthusiasm and expertise is obvious throughout the book, which makes it interesting as well as informative. The author has a long string of very impressive acronyms after his name - all leading up to the fact that he is a SQL Server MVP, and it shows here in this book.

This book goes into in-depth detail about the best way to install and configure SQL Server on your hardware to get the best performance possible out of your machines. Topics in this book include current and upcoming hardware you should know about, like processors, memory, and storage; how to determine what hardware you need for specific SQL Server uses; the pros and cons for the various versions of Windows server available and why some work better with SQL Server; how to install and configure SQL Server, as well as the patches, fixes, and updates you need to know about. Calling this manual the "bible" of SQL Server hardware would not be an exaggeration.

Honestly the best part of the book is - it answers following questions.
1. What kind of CPU I should use to get best out of my Database?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott G. Newman on July 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very very good book. This book delves into the gory details of setting up sql server properly from the very ground up. Processor specs, IO subsystems, bench-marking, windows & sql server installation'll find it all.

If you follow the advice in this book, I guarantee that you will not only have the most optimal running sql server, you'll look like a rockstar as well.

This book should be on every DBA's bookshelf, and should be the first one you reach for when provisioning a new server. It's that good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jes Schultz Borland on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is designed to help anyone who needs to build or troubleshoot a SQL Server system understand different processors and storage available, how to benchmark the hardware, and the differences in versions and editions of SQL Server.

I've given it a 4 instead of a 5 because now that SQL Server 2012 is out, some of the advice has changed - but it's still a fantastic book!

I've never been a hardware nerd. I used to build my own desktop systems, but I found the process of comparing processor L2 and L3 cache sizes unbearably boring, and wondered if different types of memory were really going to make a difference when I went to surf the internet and write .NET programs. I am not the type to sweat over what hard drive speed is best (SSD, baby). I'd rather have someone hand me a box and tell me it's the best there is.

However, there are times a DBA will need to provide input on what hardware to buy for a new system, and many times she will need to know what hardware is underlying a system to troubleshoot it. This book is a great primer for anyone who has been avoiding getting to know the base layer of their systems.

Chapter 1: Processors and Associated Hardware

The motherboard and pieces that get attached to it are the core of your system. Glenn guides you through cache size, clock speed, hyper-threading, and different models to help make the best decision for your system. One thing to note here is that this book was written pre-SQL Server 2012. The licensing model for SQL Server has changed, and that may affect the type of system you buy now. He also covers memory types, NICs, and motherboards. Remember that everything has to work together, and you'll be fine.
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