Vardecimal whitepaper available

Big decimals getting you down? Vardecimal is coming to town!

OK, I couldn't come up with a smarter way to begin this post. But if you have I/O bound operation in SQL Server in tables with many decimal/numeric values, you owe it to yourself to read the recently posted Reducing Database Size by Using Vardecimal Storage Format whitepaper.


Comments (3)

  1. John says:

    Indeed a nice feature but it can turn into a support nightmare because it is supported only with Enterprise Edition. What happens if you want to restore a db on a different system for testing, reporting or (worse) because on an emergency? No lock, it won’t restore.

    This is the kind of decision (supporting vardecimal on a subset of versions) that translates into "SQL is as complex and cost as much to support as ORA". Using VARDECIMAL on a smal database won’t make a difference anyway (or will have a negative impact) so why angry IT support staff with stupid decisions from MS marketing? (that decision can only come from marketing).

  2. John, I understand your point. You are correct in the restrictions on version – only SQL Server Enterprise Edition with SP2 supports vardecimal. Hopefully it won’t be as dire a problem – the feature isn’t enabled by default, and we’ve tried to be as clear as possible as to the implications of changing the storage format. We don’t even expect everyone to switch over to the new format – there is support for estimating the savings even before enabling the feature.

    That said, I’ve forwarded your comments to the whitepaper authors, and you can also try reaching out on, where Sunil posts more frequently.

  3. Thanks for your feedback. Vardecimal storage format is an feature for enterprise edition. The SKU behaviour is similar to we have for table partitioning. Note, you don’t need to modify your application to take advantage of this new capability.

    Regarding your point on testing, it is strongly recommended to test the production work load with same features enabled otherwise you may run into some surprises. So I would not recommend testing your workload by disabling vardecimal storage format.

    Sunil Agarwal

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