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Virtual Environment Guru question allocating resources / SQL Server

Hello all.

Question so let's say hypothetically I have 20 customers and each customer has roughly 20K users for a web application that fronts to each SQL Server backend.   It is very expensive to spin up 20 VM's with separate SQL server licenses.    So in this case it would be 20 VM's with SQL Server for each customer.   If I had for example 5 servers with 4 customer 'databases' on each server so now of course I increased my load possibly 80K users, with memory etc. does it make a difference cause it's going through the same hardware and I would in this case just need to allocate more RAM to each of the 5?  Looking for a good answer on this as far as performance.

Thanks
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sbornstein2
Asked:
sbornstein2
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burditCommented:
Basically you are dealing with a scale 'up' or scale 'out' problem. In terms of VMWare we (the company I work for) are using the scale out approach. You can can allocate all the ram you want to your 5 servers but you will reach a cpu core cap and ram cap eventually. SQL licenses are per core, so setting up 20 vms 1 core each is the same price as 5 vms with 4 cores each.
Here is the VMWare best practices guide for SQL Server:
Best Practices SQL Server & VMWare
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sbornstein2Author Commented:
So pardon my lack of knowledge here on the hardware side can you elaborate just a little more on the cpu core cap and ram.   So if SQL Server is installed lets say on one machine with 5 databases and it takes a heavy load many users banging on it with connections etc.   Then eventually is it a single processor when you say (core) that eventually will cap out?   Sorry again im a developer so clueless on the hardware networking side sometimes but a very good developer :).

I guess what I am trying to determine is the right way as far as performance to have seperate VM's each with a SQL Server instance versus the multiple on say the 5 VMs?   It would be multiple databases on a SQL instance so one license for that versus a seperate instance and one database for example.

Not sure im making sense hopefully lol.
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sbornstein2Author Commented:
I guess I am understanding what your saying with the cores.  If I decide to run them on 4 VM's I would want more cores likes you said 4 cores per server and licensing is per core.  I got it.   Thanks
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sbornstein2Author Commented:
thanks a lot this was helpful.
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