I'm part of a small company so as usual covering a number of different roles. The latest of which is procuring a dedicated SQL Server box for our .NET web app. We've been quoted on a dual Xeon E5-2620 (six core) 2.00 GHz CPU configuration (12 cores in total), with 32 GB of RAM. This has left us with a limited budget for the disk array, which would essentially consist of two 2.5" SAS 300 GB drives (15k RPM) in a RAID 1 config.
I know that the disk setup is sub-optimal for SQL Server and I'd really like to push for RAID 10 so we can put the database, log files and tempdb on their own drives. In order to make this compatible with our budget should I consider reducing the number of CPU cores? or would I get better bank for buck keeping the cores and using fewer drives, perhaps 4 in a dual RAID 1 setup?
Here are some additional stats
The SQL Server database is tilted towards high numbers of reads to writes, probably 80% vs 20% respectively. The current DB size is around
10 GB26 GB at present, growing at rate of 250 MB per month.
Currently running on SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard on a single quad core Xeon box shared with the web-server (12 GB Ram, 2 x 10k 300GB SAS drives in RAID 1), looking to move to SQL Server 2012 Standard.
Database serves approx 100-150 concurrent users with some background scheduling tasks thrown in. Reading this, I'm thinking that 12 cores is serious overkill!
I deployed the whole application to an Azure cloud service (2 small instances) linked to an SQL Azure DB. Although performance was reasonable when testing (almost zero load) I lost the courage to use in production due to the unpredictability I'd read so much about. It may work better with a scale-out approach, but with just a 10 GB database I can probably get away with scaling up right now and save some cash.
I initially overlooked the licensing costs and didn't realise that SQL Server 2012 licensing is based on the number of cores. I have a BizSpark MSDN subscription with a SQL Server 2012 Standard licence so I'd need to read up on how many cores this would utilise out of the box.