Always Ask for the Moon


We are sizing and spec’ing hardware for a new product we are building. It is still on-premise (but could go to the cloud some day, honest!) so that means real honest to God servers. We were trying to decide on how best to do it while if possible not straying from what we typically ship for our other solutions. One of the servers will be a database server, meaning it will run SQL Server. All by itself – no other software on the box (this is a big deal for us – we generally just throw everything on one box and throw it out the door – best practices be damned).

When it came time to figure out what set of spindles to put TempDB on, I remembered that you could put it in RAM. The machine has a fair amount of RAM, so it was a reasonable thing to consider. Our manager of Core Technologies, whom the DBAs report up to, went to the DBAs to finalize the configuration plan with them. When he suggested putting TempDB in RAM, they looked at him in awe as if to say “are we really allowed to do that?” They had wanted to do it for a while, but were afraid to ask. They wanted to do something to make the system better, but never tried to see if they were allowed.

The morale of this story, always ask for the Moon. Don’t expect to get what you ask for, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never get it.