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SQL Server Express anyone ?

February 18 2015 at 4:24 AM
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newbeatz 
from IP address 165.165.230.154

Hello all.

Our company is on the proverbial cost reduction drive, and we are thinking about replacing
the existing SQL Server Standard edition (I think), with the free SQL Server Express.

Would we be taking a sizeable risk in doing this ?
I am lead to believe that the Express version is "not supported", but would it would nevertheless ?

Anyone out there successfully running a Production instance on Express ?

Our environment :
2 X EPM instances, Production and Dev
Shared Services, Essbase, EAS, Essbase Studio, Web Analysis. Not Planning, HFM etc.
Version 11.1.2.2 Windows 2008 R2 Server
About 100 users

Any comments would be most welcome.
Thanks in advance

 
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AuthorReply
Santiago

90.174.2.20

Word of warning

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February 18 2015, 6:55 AM 

Hi,
assuming you're willing to go without Oracle Support (you shouldn't, you're still on a supported release), there's something you should know.

SQL Server Expresss imposes a 1GB memory limit on each hosted database. That is, for very small environments like the one you'd host on a VM and use only for testing, SQL Server Express works *as long as you never hit the memory limit*

If you have around 100 users and ESPECIALLY HFM (which requires quite a bit of memory and database power), then this will definitely NOT work.

Here's the memory limit on the different SQL Server 2008 releases, the most recent one supported if you're on EPM 11.1.2.2

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143685%28v=sql.105%29.aspx

 
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John A. Booth

24.1.193.132

Really bad idea for HFM, not good for other products

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February 18 2015, 7:48 AM 

This is a bad idea.

The equation that isn't being looked at is system performance and availability of the data, read on for further details. I think your CAO/CFO needs to have a heart to heart with your CIO.

There is no free lunch. If you are ok "saving" a few thousand dollars and making every HFM consolidation take 2-10 times longer then you are trading a few thousand license dollars for tens or hundreds of thousands of labor dollars and also putting your close process at risk.

Additionally under a heavy used server you will begin to see application hangs (across products as they are hitting tables especially during your close) when the SQL server is at 100% of it's one core utilization.

Core based SQL Server Standard Edition (which is the only kind you should use) is not that expensive in the DB world -- if this license cost is causing heart burn I think you need to consider hosting services or finding an organization yourself who understands the value of Finance software and the proper environments it requires to work well.

While you may see I use SQL Express on the earlier Amazon EPM Test Drives -- this is a 1 user environment. You get into some interesting behaviors due to the design of SQL Express when you scale users and load.

As far as "is it supported" -- I believe for non-Oracle databases a version is specified only not a level of product. So technically it may be supported
however there are RAM limitations (1 GB as Santiago posted I believe) and CORE limitations with the express product line. The express products limit your cores to 1 in most cases. Newer releases (definitely not certified) may let you go to 2.

Kind Regards,

John A. Booth
http://www.metavero.com

 
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John A. Booth

24.1.193.132

Bump

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February 18 2015, 8:17 AM 


 
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newbeatz

165.165.230.154

SQL Server Express anyone ?

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February 18 2015, 9:18 AM 

John and Santiago, thanks so much for your responses.

Much appreciated.


 
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Cameron Lackpour

70.193.192.187

An example would be EPMA

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February 18 2015, 10:31 AM 

When I was young and foolish (as opposed to being older and still foolish) I tried to use SQL Server Express for an EPM install.

It went tits-up until John stepped in and solved it:
http://camerons-blog-for-essbase-hackers.blogspot.com/2010/01/epma-weirdness-and-kindness-of.html

Now I am older and somewhat wiser and I wouldn't touch EPMA with a 40 foot barge pole, but that is a digression rant. :)

John is spot on in not recommending the Express version of the tool. It's crippleware.

Regards,

Cameron Lackpour

 
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