New StackOverflow database server coming

Stack Overflow
SQL Server for StackOverflow
SQL Server for StackOverflow

Today, Jeff Atwood blogged about StackOverflow’s new SQL Server hardware: a Lenovo RD120, the artist formerly known as an IBM x346.  Notice the big heart on the box.  Servers run faster with love.

Next, I’m aiming to do log shipping from the box pictured here over to Amazon S3.  The StackOverflow transaction logs will be copied up to cloud-based storage in S3.  That will enable us to do log shipping to the cloud without actually running a SQL Server on the other end until it’s absolutely necessary, thereby avoiding the expensive cloud-based SQL licensing (around $1/hour at the moment).  When disaster strikes, we’ll turn on a SQL Server in EC2, apply the logs, and be up and running quickly.

Well, I dunno about running, but we’ll be able to get up and walking, I suppose – EC2 disk performance isn’t exactly stellar.  A couple of months ago, I ran SQLIO performance tests on Amazon EC2 to see how it performed, and the results were horrific.

In fact, EC2 performance doesn’t even come close to what Jeff was able to get with relatively cheap off-the-shelf hardware. You can replicate those same disk performance tests yourself on your own gear, although be aware that it hammers the server for about a day.

Stay tuned and I’ll be documenting how to log ship SQL Server into the cloud.

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