What are the most important aspects of a server when running a database?

When building a database server ( Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition on Windows 2012 Server R2 ) what are the most important aspects of the server hardware?  Are SSDs better than regular HDs?  More RAM the better? Bus speed? Processor?

Richard SmithersAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
My recommendation would be to install SQL Server in a virtualized environment versus installation on baremetal.  The important factors to consider are:

- SSD if you have high transaction (i.e. high disk IO)
- Plenty of memory
- Ability to migrate database server to different server in a virtualized environment (high availability in an event of hardware failure)
- Use a SAN

What you may want to consider is multiple instances for following reasons:

- Assign specific cores to specific applications
- Separate tempdb files
- Security/isolation of different groups to different databases
- Ensure one application cannot consume most of the resources affecting other applications

Bus speed on all new servers should be good.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
First of all, choose the right SQL Server version and Edition.
- Why are you going for 2012 version and not 2014?
- Why Enterprise Edition? Standard Edition doesn't give you all you need? And is much more cheap.

Invest on RAM. Specially if you are dealing with large databases and fast disks of course.

Security is very important:
- Databases should be behind a firewall, specially when they store sensitive data.
- Chose the right service account to run SQL Server and the correct authentication mode. The links are from articles I wrote about those subjects.

Have a good maintenance plan. Run away from the Maintenance Plan feature offered by Microsoft but you also don't need to reinvent the wheel. Ola Hallengren's scripts are the best and very easy to use.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2012

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.