I'm working on a project right now, which I need to ask about limitations of SQL Server. There is an expectancy that we could have some tables with a serious amount of rows, perhaps close to a billion or even more.

  1. Is this feasible? Can it handle that?
  2. What are the drawbacks?
  3. Does it require specific hardware?
  4. Will it require tuning?

Also, would this be the correct solution to handle this kind of stuff? Would you suggest alternatives that could better handle it considering the same level of security?

BTW I'm not a DBA, so wanted to check with DBAs your opinion on this and recommendations.

Thanks in advance!

  • 3
    Knowing nothing about the usage of the data and workload it's impossible to say if an RDBMS is the right tool for the job. Having worked with multi TB SQL Server databases with many billions of rows, I can say SQL Server is certainly capable if the hardware is appropriately sized.
    – Dan Guzman
    Sep 18 '16 at 1:30
  • 1.It will handle that much data. 2. Drawback is it will take 1000 times longer to work through 1B rows than it will for 1M, and then some. But drawback compared to what? Not storing the data and having the company fold? 3. No, you don't need a particular design or make of box but it will likely be a high spec one. 4. Can you wait a week for the results or do you want them the same day the query's submitted? Sep 18 '16 at 11:04
  • 1
    A good answer will depend on the read / write pattern and the size of the working set. Voting to close. Sep 18 '16 at 11:08

This is what SQL server does. The limitations would be on the person who designs and implements the database and the hardware available.

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