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Case Studies

National Home Retail Company

Market Segment: Retail

Problem/Opportunity

The objectives for the SE engagement was to optimize their SQL Server environment in order to meet their growing operational demands, lower the cost of maintenance (patch management, versions, backup/restores) and reduce the complexity of administration for approximately 200 servers. In addition, the customer wanted recommendations on how to best maximize their hardware\software investments and implement a centralized SQL Server strategy to shrink the physical footprint of their SQL Server (and associated costs) and be able to improve the overall manageability and scalability of their computing environment. 

Solution/Capabilities

SE completed a performance and configuration profile of selected servers and defined the customer’s IT and database business requirements. During the analysis SE examined 98 servers with 100 instances, 127 servers (including 29 failover clusters) across 278 physical processors with 746 cores and 18 Virtual Machines across 31 vCPU’s. The SE analysis and report provided conclusions from the analyzed data, identified options to improve their performance level and a recommendation on a new design architecture that included a roadmap to consolidate and virtualize the environment.

Results

SE determined that due to server sprawl and their decentralized computing environment, on average the servers evaluated were only performing at a 28% utilization rate, with a standard deviation of 25 (the lowest being 2%, and the highest being 99%). SE also identified potential security risks that were prevalent across some of their SQL 2000 Servers and SQL Server 2005 infrastructure. To reduce their operating costs and improve their manageability and scalability, SE recommended ways to consolidate and virtualize their environment that would allow them to move from 93 different servers down to just four 64bit HP DL980 G7 servers.   The resulting smaller footprint and consolidated platform not only made for a more efficient operation, but the new architecture would allow for easy scalability as demand grows.