To best support your SQL server and the needs of a migration, it's recommended that all production Migration Manager for Email Archives deployments run on a dedicated instance of Microsoft SQL Server.
Migration Manager for Email Archives is a feature-rich product and can therefore result in very diverse SQL Server load profiles between customer deployments. As Migration Manager for Email Archives scales, additional databases and the associated increase in load will require scaling of the SQL Servers to meet the load.
Although Enterprise Edition of Microsoft SQL Server is recommended, Standard Edition may be used if the SQL instance uses the recommended (not minimum) resources associated with the size of migration you are performing. Planning for additional time will be required to accommodate regularly required offline maintenance.
There are many factors which may influence the deployment, but an initial server sizing guideline would be to provision the CPU cores and RAM described in the information below arranged in as many servers as desired, evenly distributing the Migration Manager for Email Archives databases if deployed as multiple SQL servers.
The SQL Server that manages these databases must reside on a separate server than the Migration Manager for Email Archives core and modules. The only exception is for a non-production pilot/demonstration system.
Migration Manager for Email Archives keeps track of every item it exports/imports for auditing purposes. It places a reliance on SQL Server for this task. An adequately prepared SQL Server that meets the recommended specification is essential for a fast migration. Ensuring that an adequately prepared SQL Server which meets the recommended specification is essential for a fast migration.
NOTE: Performance of the migration will be impacted if the SQL Server environment is not sufficient for the needs of the migration.
We recommend that Migration Manager for Email Archives SQL servers run a single SQL Server instance only, with no other applications or services running on the servers. SQL Server needs to fully utilize the server resources, and another application may introduce contention issues that will result in undesirable performance.
The power of a server is not necessarily determined by the CPU speed in terms of cycles per second. Factors such as the server architecture and number and type of processors and cores can provide a far greater benefit over increasing CPU speed.
Hyper-threading technology is said to provide up to 30% improvement in performance. These processors contain two architectural states on a single processor core, making each physical processor act as two logical processors. However, the two logical processors must share the execution resources of the processor core, so performance gains may not be attained and in some circumstances can even lead to degradation of performance.
Multi-core technology provides similar performance to a comparable multi-CPU server. These processors contain multiple complete processor cores, which act as complete physical processors. Each physical core has its own architectural state and its own execution resources, so the performance gains are reliable.
With the ever-increasing number of processor core combinations and high clock speeds, the traditional x86 Front Side Bus architecture can start to become a bottleneck beyond eight processor cores. A popular and cost-effective method of scaling up the x86 architecture is to use an architecture that supports non-uniform memory access (NUMA). Processors and memory are grouped into nodes that have high-speed local access. However, access to memory co-located with other processor nodes is slower. Therefore, the operating system (and potentially application software) needs to be NUMA-aware and optimized to make the best use of processors, cores, and their associated resources. Windows server and SQL Server support NUMA.
NOTE: See the Microsoft TechNet article: .
NOTE: Hyper-threading is not recommended to improve the database performance due to potential performance problems when the database places a load on the memory. See the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 322385 and the MSDN article " " for further information. If hyper-threading is to be used, particular attention should be paid to the MAXDOP setting as described in KB322385.
In most cases, the SQL Server instance should manage the CPU resources. Do not set the CPU affinity mask unless absolutely necessary, as this can significantly impact the performance. When running multiple SQL Server instances, the most common reason for setting the CPU affinity mask is to prevent an instance being starved of resources.
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