SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, August 25, 2005--Dual-Core Pricing for SQL Servers

SQL Server Magazine Web Exclusive DATE: August 25, 2005 TITLE: DualCore Pricing for SQL Server InstantDoc ID 47519 by Various Authors

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August 25, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • The Price of DualCore Performance
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • SQL Server 2005's APPLY Operator
  • 3. News & Views

  • Annual Salary Survey Goes Live
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server BI Tools
  • New Instant Poll: How's Your Work Week?
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • SQL Server 2005 Roadshow is Coming to a City Near You
  • Roll Back Data to Any Point in Time, Not Just the Last Snapshot or Backup
  • Identify the Key Security Considerations For Wireless Mobility
  • Avoid the 5 Major Compliance Pitfalls
  • 5. Featured White Paper

  • Consolidate Your SQL Server Infrastructure
  • 6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Discovering Your SQL Server User Account
  • Hot Articles: The Verdict Is In
  • Hot Threads
  • 7. Announcements

  • SQL Server Magazine Gives DBAs and Developers What They Need
  • SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, & Forums
  • 8. New & Improved

  • Add a Web Interface to Your SQL Server Database
  • Add 64Bit Support to Your Encryption Library
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    1. Perspectives

  • The Price of DualCore Performance

  •     by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    If you're like me and many other database professionals, you might not have as much time as you'd like to keep up with the latest trends in hardware development. So when Microsoft recently clarified its database pricing policy for SQL Server running on dualcore servers, it occurred to me that many SQL Server folks might not even know what a dualcore server is. This commentary isn't the proper place to explore all the ins and outs of dualcore technology. A simple Internet search for "dual core CPU" will turn up plenty of information to satisfy the inner geek that lurks within you. But to give you the background you need to keep up with SQL Server pricing, I'll give you a simple explanation of dualcore technology.

    Historically, increasing CPU processor power has meant putting more circuits on every chip. The more circuitry that chip makers could pack into a CPU, the faster the CPU could run. But eventually, there's a limit to the number of circuits that will fit on one small piece of silicon. Also, both power consumption and heat creation increase as the number of circuits on a chip increases, which creates a new set of engineering problems. Dualcore chips are essentially two separate processorsspecifically, multiple processingexecution unitson one chip that plugs into one CPU socket on the motherboard. This design lets manufacturers create dualcore chips that run at lower clock speeds, consume less power, and generate less heat than their singlecore cousins.

    I'll be honest, I'm not enough of a hardware geek to fully explain the engineering behind why all this makes a difference. But here's what I know: Multiprocessoraware applications such as SQL Server can readily take advantage of dualcore technology. From a database perspective, dualcore processing is conceptually similar to Intel HyperThreading CPU technology. Both dualcore and HyperThreading technology provide the database with what looks like another CPU. But the additional CPU in a HyperThreading solution is simply a logical CPU, not a true CPU. The extra CPU that a dualcore chip provides is a separate, physical device. Although a HyperThreaded CPU can be beneficial in a database environment, it's simply not as good as having a genuine physical processor.

    All things considered, dualcore servers offer about the same CPU performance as a singlecore solution that has two processors. But for a variety of reasons, dualcore servers tend to be less expensive. Today, moving from a fourCPU box to an eightCPU box can be expensive. I haven't had a chance to fully study vendor pricing plans for highend dualcore servers, but the manufacturing costs of an 8way server that uses singlecore CPUs are greater than the costs of making a server with four dualcore CPUs. Today, 4x HyperThreaded servers are the standard "commodity box" that many of my customers use. Soon, I expect this standard to be a 4x dualcore server. The costs probably won't be too much more than a singlecore 4x HyperThreaded box, but the performance of the dualcore server with eight "real" processors should be noticeably better.

    Now that you know what dualcore technology isand why it's interesting to database folkshere's the skinny on Microsoft's pricing model. Microsoft will charge per CPU socket, not per core. So a fourCPU dualcore server (i.e., eight cores) would require a fourCPU license. This price model is somewhat different from the pricing of other major relational database vendors. IBM charges per CPU for x86based platforms but charges per core for its POWER5based systems. Oracle has come up with the slightly confusing model of treating each core as 75 percent of a CPU and rounding up to the nearest integer. According to the Oracle model, a singleCPU dualcore server would be priced as 2 x .75, or 1.5 CPUs, which rounds up to two CPU licenses. A 4x dualcore box would be priced as 8 x 7.5, or six CPUs. I'll be a bit surprised if Oracle sticks to this pricing model because it gives Microsoft an even greater cost advantage than it currently enjoys.

    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • SQL Server 2005's APPLY Operator

  • SQL Server 2005 introduces APPLY, a handy new operator that's used in a query's FROM clause. The APPLY operator basically lets you apply a table expression to every row of an outer table. In his August TSQL 2005 column "SQL Server 2005's APPLY Operator," Itzik BenGan explains this cool new operator and its benefits and gives you some ways you can put it to good use. Read the entire article today at

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    3. News & Views

  • Annual Salary Survey Goes Live

  • SQL Server Magazine's second annual salary survey, which profiles the careers, salaries, and job satisfaction of SQL Server professionals, is available online, and we need your help. We want to find out all about you and your job: what kind of work you do, how much you make (and how that figure compares to your peers!), what challenges you face, and what makes you satisfied in your job. When you complete the survey (which should take about 15 minutes), we'll enter you in a drawing for one of five $100 American Express gift certificates. Look for the survey results in our December issue. Take the survey now at

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server BI Tools

  • "Does your organization use SQL Server's outofthebox BI tools?" Here are the results from the 53 votes:

  • 11%   Yes, we bought SQL Server specifically for its BI capabilities
  • 23%   Yes, we use SQL Server, and the free BI tools are a bonus
  • 13%   No, but we plan to
  • 25%   No, we use thirdparty BI tools
  • 28%   No, we don't do BI
  • New Instant Poll: How's Your Work Week?

  • "How many hours do you work in a typical week?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=11E76:285886 ) and submit your vote for

  • Up to 40 hours
  • 41 to 50 hours
  • 51 to 60 hours
  • 61 to 70 hours
  • More than 70 hours
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • SQL Server 2005 Roadshow is Coming to a City Near You

  • Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present realworld information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a bestpractices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your databasecomputing environment. Attend and receive a 1year membership to PASS and 1year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now!

  • Roll Back Data to Any Point in Time, Not Just the Last Snapshot or Backup

  • Have you lost data because it was saved right after your last backup? Most of us have been in this situation. Continuous, or realtime, backup systems provide realtime protection, but are they right for you? In this free Web seminar, you'll learn about the design principles that underlie continuous data protection solutions, how to integrate them with your existing backup infrastructure, and how to best apply continuous protection technologies to your Windowsbased servers.


  • Identify the Key Security Considerations For Wireless Mobility

  • Wireless and mobile technologies are helping enterprises gain competitive advantages through accelerated responsiveness and increased productivity. In this free Web seminar, you'll receive a checklist of risks to factor in when considering your wireless mobility technology evaluations and design. Sign up today and learn all you need to know about firewall security, transmission security, OTA management, management of thirdparty security applications, and more!

  • Avoid the 5 Major Compliance Pitfalls

  • Based on realworld examples, this Web seminar will help Clevel executives, as well as IT directors and managers, avoid common mistakes and give their organizations a head start in ensuring a successful compliance implementation. Register today and find out how you can avoid the mistakes of others, improve IT security, and reduce the cost of continually maintaining and demonstrating compliance.

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    5. Featured White Paper

  • Consolidate Your SQL Server Infrastructure

  • Shared data clustering is the breakthrough consolidation solution for Microsoft Windows servers. In this free white paper, learn how shared data clustering technology can reduce capital expenditures by at least 50 percent, improve management efficiency, reduce operational expenses, ensure high availability across all SQL Server instances, and more! Download your free copy now.

    6. Peer to Peer

    Hot Tip: Discovering Your SQL Server User Account
        by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, [email protected]

    How can I determine whether my SQL Server (which is running on Window NT) is using the domain account or the local account as its Windows user account?

    Read the answer to this question today at

    Hot Articles: The Verdict Is In

        by the SQL Server Magazine Editors

    Get an overview of the Readers' Choice Awards program and see which vendors took the top honors in this year's contest. See which products your peers picked in more than 50 categories.

    BestinClass Awards:
    SQL Server Management Tools:
    Business Intelligence Products:
    Development Tools:
    DisasterPrevention/Recovery Tools:
    Technical Resources:
    Security Products:

    Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.     http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=11E6D:285886

    SQL Server 2000/7.0 General Discussion: Creating a New SQL Server Database from Microsoft Access
    Replication: How Can I Get the List of Publications?
    Data Transformation Services (DTS): How to Determine Package Name in a Scheduled Job
    OLAP/Data Warehousing: Help with an MDX Query
    Development: Stored Procedure Execution Deteriorates from ASP Page to Query Analyzer
    Administration: Viewing All Jobs If You're Not a Sysadmin

    7. Announcements

    SQL Server Magazine Gives DBAs and Developers What They Need
    With SQL Server 2005 right around the corner, it's important to note that SQL Server Magazine is on target to deliver comprehensive coverage of all betas and the final release. If you aren't already a subscriber, now is the time to subscribe to gain exclusive access to the entire SQL Server Magazine online article database (over 2300 articles) and save 44% off the cover price!

    SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, & Forums
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    8. New & Improved by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]

  • Share Your Story and Get a TShirt!

  • Have you used a product that saved you time or made your job easier? Send us a short note about how your favorite product solved a SQL Server problem for you, and if we print your submission in the magazine's Hands On department we'll send you a SQL Server Magazine tshirt. Send your email today to [email protected]!

  • Add a Web Interface to Your SQL Server Database

  • XlineSoft announced ASPRunner Professional 3.2, an enterprise solution that Webenables corporate databases. The product creates sets of ASP pages to access and modify any ODBC data source, including SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, and MySQL databases. The product creates a wizardlike interface and templates that let DBAs perform database searches, data entry, and Webbased reporting without writing code. The latest release of the product includes such enhancements as multilevel user permissions on tables and multilingual support of more than 20 languages. Pricing for ASPRunner Professional is $249 for a single copy, and a free 21day evaluation version is available at the vendor's Web site. For more information or to download the product, contact XlineSoft at 8882906617 or [email protected]

  • Add 64Bit Support to Your Encryption Library
  • ActiveCrypt announced XP_CRYPT 4, software that gives DBAs an effective, affordable, simple encryption tool for column and row data in SQL Server 2005, 2000, and 7.0 and MSDE databases. The product manages the entire key system, using serverside data encryption and decryption. XP_CRYPT supports four symmetric algorithms (AES, Triple DES, DESX, and RC4) and two asymmetric algorithms (RSA and DSA). The program's direct interface to encryption functions lets users build their own encryption features, including hashing functions, blocking, and stream ciphers. XP_CRYPT fully supports the Windows 64bit platform; XP_CRYPT 64Bit Edition supports up to 32GB of RAM and 16TB of virtual memory, enabling faster encryption of large data sets. For pricing or to download a free trial version, contact ActiveCrypt at [email protected]

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