some LinkedServer + some replication vs Lot of Linked server and very few replications

which is better, performance wise:

one main server replicating to 3 next level servers.
then 5 servers have linked server connection to each of the above 3 servers.

so the first 3 get their supply for data from main server through continuous replication. then the remaining 15 get access through linked servers to the 3 servers.


18 servers hit the main server through linked server.

(they are all the same database in the 19 servers). as the main server is updated, local copy is needed in 18 servers..  that is the plan..

which do you think is reasonable and more efficient in all seasons.. (in general standards recommendation)

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Anthony PerkinsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I am afraid I do not understand your question, other than it sounds like you are comparing apples to oranges.

The only thing I would add and this may possibly be something you have overlooked and that is that Replication uses linked servers to keep the data in sync.
25112Author Commented:
all 19 servers are dedicated Sql servers, and they have other databases also, of course in each one of them.

the main server is sql 2008.. and the remaining 18 are some 2008, some 2005 and some 2000
Chris LuttrellConnect With a Mentor Senior Database ArchitectCommented:
If you are referring to setting up a linked server on the database and then running queries with fully qualified references like [LinkToMainServer].[DatabaseName].[SchemaName].[TableName] to get at data from the remote servers, then those queries are very inefficient.  Especially if joining tables across the link they often cannot take advantage of optimizers and/or default to dragging all the data from the remote server (from the perspective of the server the query is run on) over to the local server to operate with and it ends up being a big, indexless operation.
True Replication, if you can do that going backwards to the 2000 machines would probably be the thing to look into.
25112Author Commented:
OK.. we will phase out the [LinkToMainServer].[DatabaseName].[SchemaName].[TableName]  operations..
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