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Separating the Application and Database server

20 October,2017 by Tom Collins

“I have a new product we need to install. The vendor documentation supports both co-located application and database server , and also remote access to the database server”

This sort of comment is standard amongst product documentation. As a DBA I need to review and ensure the product implementation is in line with the organisation standards and the standardisation standards required in managing large amounts of servers.

Consolidate.Data Center Migration.Cloud Computing.VM Disaster Recovery , these are some of the background themes when establishing an approach to managing a database server environment.

We’re in the age of Server consolidation and services oriented development. Adding Solid State Disk (SSD) has changed the performance landscape.

There are pros and cons to both approaches.

>Instead of competing for Memory, CPU, Disk on the same machine, now they have their own dedicated resources. DB servers and application server often have much different IO patterns. Read\Write ratios can be vastly different, requiring different server configurations and IO path setups.  Working with your ESX administrators and storage specialists you can design the optimal configuration for db server throughput

>If database server goes down, a properly designed client could cache data, and then sync to the database server once it comes back online.

>Distributing the risk of hardware outage or OS corruption causing an outage. For example, if the application server is unavailable – then at least the database server remains available

>Security hardening around database server

>More options around Database clustering. High Availability can be a critical service for Enterprise services supporting business continuity

>Implementing SQL Server Security Policy is potentially easier if database server is segregated

>Horizontal Scaling – If you start with 1 database server and 1 application server , then it will be easier to expand out to 2 app servers, without reinstalling another db server

>Cost – Maintaining multiple servers may have licensing and other costs associated

Read More on application and database server separation

SQL Server - Database Server Consolidation

Database Cost Savings

Author: Tom Collins (


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