Convergence 2007 Diary: NAV on SQL Server: Benefits and opportunities

Michael Meissner's challenge was to convince us that choosing SQL Server as database server is a right choice.

The challenge is simple. He summed up the different tools you have inside the SQL Server suite:

  • Integration services: to move data around
  • Analysis services: to analyse your data / everything around reporting
  • Reporting Services: the open, extensible enterprise reporting solution
    • (Power)users can build their own reports with report builder.

Next big thing about SQL Server is the high availability:

  • Database mirroring: two storage systems: if the bomb drops on one, the other can take over. Two identical databases - instant standby.
  • Failover custering: Hot standby.
  • Log Shipping: Can have multiple other servers. Don't have to be for failover. Can also be for reporting. Warm standby.
  • Replication: Warm Standby.
  • Offline availability solutions: Backup/restore - Cold standby

It wasn't very well explained .. But it' obvious ... SQL Server can offer much more than C/SIDE datbase.

All of this comes together in the SQL Server Management Studio. It is actually an "integrated management".

   

To sum up the scalability and performance:

Feature

Express

Workgroup

Standard

Enterprise

Number of CPU

1

2

4

No Limit

RAM

1 GB

3 GB

OS Max

O Max

64 bit support

WOW

WOW

Yes

Yes

Database Size

4 GB

No Limit

No Limit

No Limit

Data mirroring

  

  

Yes

Yes

Failover Clustering

  

  

Yes

Yes

How does it run today:

  • The NAV application runs on SQL Server and on the native db.
  • There have been SQL improvements since the firsts version on SQL Server, plus, a platform for business intelligence.
  • Actually, the main advantages of SQL Server are:
    • Industry leading database server
    • Platform for business Intelligence and Reportin
    • Better Database Management Tools
    • Locking Mechanism (record level locking).

Michael assured that they are constantly benchmarking. The results are compared and it seemed that SQL2005 is much better and more stable. My assumption is that this can only be the case after tuning the database.

He also assured us that they are working on taking advantage of new SQL Server functionality. That is very important, of course, but as some of us know, a lot can be improved towards the future... .

Michael recommended to upgrade/migrate to SQL Server to benefit the most out of it (see the above). If you're planning to do this, and you're coming to Directions, there is going to be a session about the steps that are needed for migrating to SQL Server. I reviewed the contents and commented on this session myself (will be presented by Mark Brummel) and it is going to be very interesting and complete, I promise you Wink. Anyway, the migration process was presented here as a simple project , but my experience tells me there are quite many things to think about ... .  

Small remark, in the new version of SQL Server (2008), there is going to be a new possibility to store performance monitoring data out-of-the-box. He didn't go deep into it, but it sounds great!  

... I'll have to stop soon, because my battery is dead ...

I was hoping he would say something about the advantages of 64 bit, but nothing :(.

For me, there was nothing new in this session, unfortunately. It was more marketing fluff to recommend SQL Server (I could have known by looking at the title ...). Useful for customers, may be useful for partners, not useful for developers... .

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