New Amazon X2iedn High-Memory Instances

Amazon just announced new X2iedn instance types for Amazon RDS SQL Server. They’re a sweet deal for people who want a high-performance managed database, with really fast cores and more memory per core than you can get in Azure’s managed SQL offerings.

Say your workload needs 8 CPU cores. Here’s a quick comparison between a few instance types, all priced with SQL Server Standard Edition licensing included:

So if you want >64GB RAM, but you want to stay with a low core count, you can.

However, if you want to use as much of that memory as possible, there’s going to be a price to pay. SQL Server Standard Edition is limited to around 128GB of memory for the buffer pool, although it can go over that amount for stuff – that’s beyond the scope of this blog post. If you’re looking to upgrade to Enterprise to leverage every last byte:

Or, another way to think of your 8-core options:

  • 64GB: $35/GB
  • 128GB: $30/GB
  • 256GB: $19/GB

The more you buy, the more you save. Go figure. And of course, along those lines, you can save big on those by using Amazon’s Reserved Instances, as I discuss in my Running SQL Server in AWS & Azure class.

Does this mean Amazon RDS SQL Server is better than Azure SQL Managed Instances? Not at all: it’s just one of a bunch of attributes to consider. For example, even today, Amazon still doesn’t offer SQL Server 2022 in RDS – although I do have to point out that it’s been almost a year, and SQL Server 2022 still isn’t ready.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • “The more you buy, the more you save.” As an old commercial used to actually say, “… and you walk away with your pockets stuffed full of savings.”

  • Interestingly or bizarrely , Microsoft offers constrained VM’s where the VM cores maybe 32 but for SQL purposes they could be capped to 16. I guess this may be Amazon’s body blow counter to Microsoft.

  • Wow, you actually get to have more memory without being forced to pay for more cpu cores! So much better than the Azure cpu constrained skus, where you still have to pay for the cpu cores you don’t have.


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