Microsoft’s official recommendations to set up an SQL server include 6 GB of hard-disk space, 1 GB of RAM and 2.9 GHz of processor speed. However, these requirements will help you successfully install a server application but don’t guarantee the optimal performance of your database and additional applications.
A SQL server requires enough memory to cache data requested by users. Some sources recommend at least 4 GB of RAM per SQL instance and more as the size of the SQL database increases. The optimal specs also depend on the percentage of the database that will be used at any given time.
Why ARMS is different
These requirements are based on the needs of a typical business environment. Database usage is more significant in law enforcement agencies where the ARMS database is an integral part of several workflows.
While a typical business SQL database might only have a small percentage in use at any given time, the ARMS database requires a much higher amount of RAM to function properly since multiple users are likely to use a significant portion of the database at any given time.
Our experience is that clients who run into performance problems don’t have enough RAM for their SQL database. Their server doesn’t have enough RAM to sustain round-the-clock usage or can’t handle requests during peak usage times.
There are two rules of thumb you can use to get an idea of how much RAM you will need for your ARMS SQL database:
- Add 1 GB of RAM per year of data stored in the database to 0.5 GB per concurrent police dispatcher using the system. Assess the number of users during peak usage time instead of basing your calculations on an average number of users.
- Look at the size of the database MDF file. The value for the size of the MDF file in gigabytes is equivalent to the optimal amount of RAM in gigabytes. Add at least 1 GB of RAM to run the server OS.
More is better
Don’t hesitate to invest in hardware with more RAM than what is initially needed for your ARMS database. The two rules listed above are meant to give you a general idea of how much RAM you will need, but keep in mind that more RAM would be ideal during peak usage time.
Besides, you will need more RAM as your database grows in size or as you add more users.
Meeting these RAM requirements means your server can run an SQL database. However, you will need more RAM if your server also runs the ARMS application or doubles as a web server for the software. Additional applications such as antivirus software will require more RAM.
Take the responsibilities and usage of your SQL server into consideration when determining how much RAM is needed. The rules of thumb listed above apply only to the SQL database and won’t cover additional applications.
If you aren’t sure about optimal requirements to run ARMS and its associated SQL database, or you need recommendations for building a new server environment, get in touch with us. We can help you figure out the required specs to achieve optimal server performance.