When considering buying a laptop that’s going to cost me
around £5,000 I really need to justify the purchase from a business
perspective; my Lenovo W700 has served me very well for the last 2 years, it’s
an extremely good machine and as solid as a rock (and as heavy), alas though it
is limited to the 8GB.
As SQL Server 2012 approaches and with my interest in
working in the Business Intelligence space over the next year or two it is
clear I need a powerful machine that I can run a full infrastructure though
For High Availability / Disaster Recovery research and
Machine for a domain controller
Four machines in a shared disk cluster (SQL Server Clustering active – active etc.)
Five machines in a file share cluster
(SQL Server Availability Groups)
For Business Intelligence research and demonstration
Not entirely sure how many machine I want to run here, but
it would be to cover the entire BI stack in an enterprise setting, sharepoint,
sql server etc.
For Big Data Research
I have a fondness for the NoSQL approach to scalability and
dealing with large volumes so I need a number of machines to research VoltDB,
As you can see the requirements for a SQL Server consultant
to service their clients well is considerable; will 8GB suffice, alas no, it
will no longer do. I’m a very strong believer that in order to do your job well
you must expense it, short cuts only cost you time, waiting 5 minutes instead
of an hour for something to run not only saves me time but my clients time, I
can do things quicker and more importantly I can demonstrate concepts.
My W700 with the 8GB of RAM and SSD’s cost me around £3.5K
two years ago, to be honest I’ve not got the full use I wanted out of it but the
machine has had the power when I’ve needed it, it’s served me and my clients
Alienware now do a model (the M18x) with 32GB of RAM; yes
32GB in a laptop! Dual drives so I can whack a couple of really good SSD’s in
there, a quad core with hyper threading i7 and a decent speed.
I can reduce the cost of the memory by getting it from
Crucial, so instead of £1.5K for 32GB it will be around £900, I can also cost
save on the SSD as well. The beauty about the M18x is that it is USB3.0, SATA 3
and also really importantly has eSATA, running VM’s will never be easier, I can
have a removeable SSD with my VM’s on it and can plug it into my home machine
or laptop – an ideal world!
The initial outlay of £5K is peanuts compared to the
benefits I’ll give my clients, I will be able to present real enterprise
concepts, I’ll also be able to give training on those real enterprise concepts
and with real, albeit virtualised machines.