Mar 232017
 

I am proud to announce that we contributed to the latest revision of the Microsoft SQL Server on VMware best practices guide, freely available at this address. This document outlines some of the common VM-level tweaks and adjustments that are made when running enterprise SQL Server VMs on VMware platforms. This guide is considered a must-read if you manage these sorts of SQL Servers, which cannot be treated as general purpose virtual machines.

This guide was recently updated for vSphere 6.5, and we consider it an absolute must for your enterprise management library!

Special thanks go to Niran Even-chen for his efforts in making this guide continuously current, plus Allan Hirt and Deji Akomolafe for their incredible contributions as well.

Mar 202017
 

On Thursday, March 23rd, at 2pm Eastern, I will be hosting a webinar with Argenis Fernandez from Pure Storage where we will talk about infrastructure challenges as organizations start to adopt SQL Server’s in-memory features, such as In-Memory OLTP and Columnstore Indexes.

Details: The in-memory features that accompany modern versions of SQL Server, such as In-Memory OLTP and columnstore indexes, are some of the most ground-breaking and exciting enhancements to SQL Server in recent memory. However, have you explored these features and found that the performance boosts are not quite as great as advertised? The dependencies on a blazing fast infrastructure underneath SQL Server have never been higher. While these features are lightning fast when used appropriately, the speed of the infrastructure underneath, mostly CPU, memory, and storage, can hold back the performance of these features. Join David Klee, Heraflux Technologies, and Argenis Fernandez, Pure Storage, to learn how to leverage these features to boost your database performance, detect and diagnose any infrastructure performance issues that might exist, and learn about possible long-term improvements to your infrastructure that can safeguard your performance for years!

Register for this exciting webinar here! I look forward to seeing you all there!

Mar 152017
 

I hope you all can join me for an upcoming webinar as part of the Datacenter Madness webinar series, presented by ActualTech Media, Nutanix, and Intel. The Madness is moving from the basketball court to the cloud. It’s time for the ultimate data center showdown where opponents will go head-to-head debating the hottest methods IT pros are relying on to eliminate IT complexity and build the Enterprise Cloud of the future.

I’m dueling in Round #2 on March 28th at 2pm Eastern to discuss traditional RDBMS versus NoSQL databases and separate virtualization stacks versus integrated hypervisors. It’s sure to be a blast!

In the second round of March DC Madness, we’re all about applications. How will applications evolve in the age of cloud? How will they be run? Watch the referee for this one—it’ll be a heated match-up!

RDBMS vs. NoSQL:

How will enterprise applications evolve and what type of databases will hold the PBs of data generated in the coming years? Will RDBMS continue to rule the DC, or will the challenger NoSQL be the new king?

Virtualization Throwdown:

Now that the market has embraced virtualization as the norm for practically all workloads in the datacenter, does it make sense for applications and VMs to run on a separately deployed virtualization stack? Or has the hypervisor become another integrated feature?

Register for this exciting series of webinars today!

Mar 062017
 

VMware’s VMTools package has some options for synchronizing the in-guest clock with the time of the ESXi host. By default, these are set to disabled, and under most circumstances, the hypervisor follows these settings and everything is fine. However, several situations exist where the hypervisor will reset the in-guest time, even though the VMTools setting is explicitly set to not allow this to happen.

  • A virtual machine is resumed from a suspended state
  • A vMotion occurs
  • A snapshot is taken
  • A snapshot is restored from
  • A virtual disk is shrunk
  • The VMware Tools service is restarted, which includes a guest reboot

Of these tasks, vMotions for load balancing and snapshots for VM-level backups are very common routine operations for VMs.

These time sync actions can move a guest’s time backwards as well as forwards. More details about this conflict of settings are found in VMware KB1189. If the host time is out of sync, such as when a BIOS battery fails, bad things can happen. This action is extremely detrimental to the state of SQL Server high availability features, such as Availability Groups and Failover Cluster Instances, which depend on the in-guest time closely aligning with the Active Directory synchronized time. This action must be explicitly disabled to ensure that these maintenance items do not trigger an unexpected failover of the SQL Server HA solution. To disable this action, perform the following tasks.

To correct this action, first shut down the virtual machine. Then, edit the virtual machine’s advanced configuration parameters under VM Options, and add the following keys and values.

Key Name Value
tools.syncTime 0
time.synchronize.continue 0
time.synchronize.restore 0
time.synchronize.resume.disk 0
time.synchronize.shrink 0
time.synchronize.tools.startup 0
time.synchronize.tools.enable 0
time.synchronize.resume.host 0

Save the configuration. Power back on the VM.

Feb 222017
 

I just wanted to remind everyone that the SQL Saturday in Chicago is coming up, and that both Adam Machanic and I are holding precons the Friday before the event. The SQL Saturday in Chicago this year has hit peak capacity two months before the event. However, if you enroll in one of the precons, and hopefully my “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Infrastructure and Cloud” session, email the SQL Saturday coordinators with your EventBrite receipt and your admittance will be guaranteed!

This event is to be held on Friday, March 10th, at the DeVry University Campus in Addison, IL. This course has been updated to include key concepts about SQL Server in the cloud, including the similarities, differences, and performance characteristics.

Session Details: Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert David Klee leads this full-day introduction to getting the most out of the infrastructure underneath your SQL Server environment, whether on-premises or in the cloud. The focus of the course is to help those new to the enterprise server infrastructure concepts become familiar with function and purpose of each layer of the architecture around their databases, and how this knowledge can benefit them as data professionals. Participants will gain exposure to all layers of infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud underneath SQL Server, from storage all the way through to the SQL Server instance and database, and will learn how to review and engineer the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance.

Registration is now open here, and seats are limited! Register today!

Feb 212017
 

The response to our most recent job position was incredible, and I’d like to thank all of the folks who responded and submitted their CVs to us for consideration. In the end, we had one open position, and we selected the most qualified candidate for the position.

I’d like to introduce Bob Pusateri as our new Data Platform Solutions Architect!

Bob Pusateri is a Microsoft SQL Server Certified Master and highly experienced SQL Server DBA with over 10 years of deep SQL Server experience. he holds an MS in Computer Science from DePaul University. His primary interests involve database internals, performance tuning, and VLDB management. He is an active member of the SQL Server community, including speaking at many national SQL Saturday events and active with both of the Chicago-area local PASS user group chapters. He has also presented at the PASS Summit. Bob is on Twitter at @SQLBob and has a great blog site at bobpusateri.com.

We welcome Bob on board, and are extremely proud to have him contribute to our customers’ success!

 Posted by at 10:42 am