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Linchi Shea

Checking out SQL Server via empirical data points

What's the difference between a server and a desktop?

By server, I mean a computer that is fit for an enterprise data center.

Different people will no doubt look at this question from different angles. If you are into computer technical specs, you probably would be quick to point out the difference in the number and type of processors they support, the number and type of expansion slots they support, the difference in fault tolerance, and so on and so forth.

I spent a few years doing testing and stress testing for a living, and have been conditioned to look at the question from that perspective. As such, my answer is that a server is not supposed to crash under stress test, whereas you probably don’t want to subject your desktop under severe stress workload (unless of course you are a manufacturer or work for a test lab).

Published Wednesday, May 06, 2009 12:19 AM by Linchi Shea
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GrumpyOldDBA said:

I'd probably say a server supports multiple users whereas a desktop is a single user as being the main difference.

My current client provides a quad core pc with 8gb ram etc. etc. as a desktop machine, I've worked for some clients where their ( prod ) servers have less power.

May 7, 2009 4:25 AM
 

Linchi Shea said:

> I'd probably say a server supports multiple users whereas a desktop is a single user as being the main difference.

Nothing prevents you from using a desktop for multi-user applications. In fact, we often see people running such apps on their desktops.

May 7, 2009 11:01 AM
 

Denis Gobo said:

I like to think of it this way...

if a desktop crashes 1 or maybe 2 people get upset and the desktop will be replaced or repaired when there is time

If a server crashes a whole lot more people get upset and the server will be fixed replaced ASAP since people can't do their job

May 7, 2009 3:01 PM
 

Joe said:

the diff is in the disk/s

May 14, 2009 4:07 PM

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