SQL Server 2019: Please Increase the RAM Limit For Standard Edition

C’monnnn

It’s that time of the release cycle again! Microsoft has published the stuff that different editions of SQL Server 2019 will do or not do.

First up, I don’t disagree with any of the feature choices. They’re fine.

Second up, the RAM limit on Standard Edition is still a cruel, cruel mockery.

Here’s Why

I could point out that I have a desktop with 128 GB of RAM, or that current gen laptops allow up to 128 GB of RAM.

Sure, I could point out that many larger instance sizes in Azure and AWS make no sense for Standard Edition (even with constrained CPUs in Azure).

I could trot out charts and graphs and talk about how the limit is only for the buffer pool.

But the bottom line is this: If the automatic and intelligent query tuning features are that powerful, then giving Standard Edition either a 256GB buffer pool cap, or a buffer pool cap that scales with CPU licensing spend still won’t make it competitive, because hardware isn’t solving the kind of problems that those features do.

If they’re not, they shouldn’t be Enterprise only. Clearly hardware is the differentiator.

Increasing the buffer pool limit is a free choice

Microsoft gave away most of the important programmability features with 2016 SP1 to Standard Edition, and they’re giving up TDE in 2019.

Those are features that cost real human time to develop, support, and maintain. A larger buffer pool costs nothing.

Thanks for reading!

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