Enterprise SQL Server 2005
By Andy Benner, OIT
The Office of Information Technology has been through a significant transformation in recent months. Part of that transformation is identifying exactly what services OIT needs to provide. One of the areas identified is an Enterprise solution for hosting Microsoft SQL Server.
To facilitate hosting the environment, two SQL server environments have been deployed.
The first is the Enterprise SQL server environment. This environment consists of three 64 bit servers loaded with RAM, CPUs and disks. We are starting with one server dedicated to test/development and two production servers that can be used in a database mirroring(1) environment for high availability needs. This environment will provide the enterprise with performance, high availability and recovery for systems requiring it.
The second environment has not been widely discussed but can be leveraged for significant benefit for smaller systems. We have deployed a server with SQL Server Express 2005(2). This environment is essentially a SQL 2005 engine with some limitations, mainly maximum database sizes and the number of CPUs and amount of memory available to the instance. Most small databases currently hosted on an Access platform can be migrated to this SQL Server platform with a minimum of work. This allows applications that have “grown up” to utilize a database server without a complete re-write. For agencies currently trying to run Access applications over the WAN, this can be a godsend.
I’m pretty sure that this environment as it stands now is just the tip of the iceberg. Moving forward we are seeing an increasing reliance on SQL Server from vendors. The challenge is providing an infrastructure that is secure, reliable and developer friendly. Any junior IT folks out there wondering where to focus their career should take a look at SQL Server.
For a list of SQL Services and prices: http://www.maine.gov/oit/rates/index.htm
1 - SQL Server db mirroring: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/dbmirror.mspx
2 - SQL Server Express: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/sql/