Recommended Intel Processors for SQL Server 2014 Workloads


In a recent article by Glenn Berry , there was a discussion on which processors should be selected for your standard SQL Server 2014 instance.

Letting someone else pick your processors, who may not be familiar with SQL Server 2014 licensing and the demands of different database workload types, could be a lasting, costly mistake. A very common error that I see is someone picking a lower clock speed processor at a particular physical core count, from the same processor family and generation, in order to save a relatively small amount of money on the hardware costs. Doing this might cause you to give up a significant amount of performance (20-30%) in order to save a small fraction of the entire cost, including SQL Server 2014 licenses of the database server.

With the core-based licensing in SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, you need to pay very close attention to your physical core counts, and think about whether you are more concerned with extra scalability (from having more physical cores), or whether you want the absolute best single-threaded CPU performance (from having a processor with fewer cores but a higher base clock speed from the same processor generation). Unlike in the good old days of SQL Server 2008 R2 and older, having more physical cores will cost you more for your SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition licensing costs. You really need to think about what you are trying to accomplish with your database hardware. For example, if you can partition your workload between multiple servers, then you could see much better overall OLTP performance from using two dual-socket servers instead of one quad-socket server. With a data warehouse workload, it may be much more difficult to partition your workload across multiple database servers.

It is an interesting topic, worthy of your time.

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