Mar 232015
 

Today I’d like to announce that I have been selected as a PernixPro for 2015! It’s a program similar to VMware’s vExpert, Microsoft’s MVP, and other community awards for those that help spread the word about PernixData. I’m very proud to be a part of this program!

For those new to PernixData, the FVP product is a great means to boost storage performance underneath virtual machines. It can leverage local host-based SSDs for I/O read and write caching. It can also leverage host memory for I/O caching as well. Redundancy capabilities include synchronous mirroring of cached data to other hosts so that if a host fails, no data is lost. This platform is incredible, and I have been using it to boost I/O performance underneath virtual SQL Servers for quite some time now. I look forward to some research soon showing some performance features once the home lab is back online soon!

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Mar 222015
 

My good friend Ed Leighton-Dick has created a great new challenge, adapted from a challenge issued by Seth Godin back in January. Are you part of the SQL Server landscape and have wanted to get into technical blogging but just haven’t gotten there yet? Now’s your chance! Ed is issuing a challenge. If you want to get into SQL Server blogging, write and publish a blog post on a topic that interests you each week in April. Log into (or create) your Twitter account and post it using the hashtag #SQLNewBlogger. The experience is great and putting your name on topics in the public domain help make you a better technology professional.

If you are an experienced blogger, you can participate too!

I’m up for the challenge! Join us! Get those blog posts started, and get them queued up for April! I look forward to reading all of your insightful posts soon.

Mar 132015
 

I am pleased to announce a brand new pre-conference training session, entitled “SQL Server Virtualization for VM Admins“, to be launched on Friday, April 10th, the day before the upcoming SQL Saturday event in Madison, Wisconsin. The price is only $100 for the entire day of training!

SQL Server professionals, now is your chance to help bridge the gap between infrastructure and data to help the business maximize your virtualized SQL Server environment. Recommend this session to your VM administrators, and then attend my session at the SQL Saturday event to learn more about how to boost the performance by “right-sizing” your SQL Server virtual machine on Saturday April 11th at 1:00pm in room 313!

Register today for this exciting new pre-conference training session!

Precon Abstract:

Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert David Klee of Heraflux Technologies leads this full-day introduction to enabling and managing a virtualized SQL Server environment. The focus of the course is to help those infrastructure systems professionals who manage a business-critical virtual SQL Server environment understand the impact of SQL Server on their environments and how to better architect the platform to maximize availability and performance. Participants will gain exposure to the impact of virtualized SQL Server to all layers of virtualization underneath SQL Server, from storage to hypervisor to the SQL Server instance, and will learn how to construct the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance. High availability, disaster recovery, multi-tenancy, and performance tuning topics will all be explored during the session.

The following topics will be addressed during the course:

  • What is SQL Server?
  • The SQL Server Virtual Machine
  • Networking, Support, and Licensing
  • High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • Performance Investigation and Tuning of the Entire Stack

Register today for this exciting event at Eventbrite! I look forward to seeing all of you at this event and at the SQL Saturday!

Mar 092015
 

VM snapshots are one of the best virtualization features ever. But…have you ever had a VMware vSphere or Hyper-V snapshot grow out of control and fill the datastore the VM resides on? You know what happens… even the best VM admins out there seem to get burned once when they create a snapshot for some routine maintenance and just forget about it afterwards. The VM crashes and goes into a suspended state until free space is added to the datastore.

Sometimes this task is harder than it sounds. If your SAN is out of space, or the SAN management tools are out of your control, you could be stuck.

But… follow a simple trick to give yourself that last little bit of wiggle room in the event that a snapshot fills a datastore.

Add a large text file to the root of the datastore that you can delete if you need headroom! I know it sounds too simple… but it’s simple and effective.

These directions are updated for VMware 5.5 environments, but the same concept applies to any hypervisor out there today.

How do you do this?

It’s easy.

Enable the SSH server, and remote into one of the ESXi hosts. This example is from a vSphere 5.5 ESXi server from my home lab.

Change directories into the root of the datastore that you want to create the file in.

snap01

Use the Linux command ‘dd’ to write a 10GB file (or whatever size of your choosing). Basically, we’re creating a file full of zeroes with a 1MB block size and ten thousand blocks. Simple, eh?

dd if=/dev/zero /of=snapshotfailsafe.txt count=10000 obs=1M ibs=1M

snap02

It will take a few minutes to create the file. You can see the file creation process with another terminal, and can see the activity in the hosts’ disk performance view in the vSphere Client.

snap03

Once done, you’ll see it in the terminal and in the datastore view screen.

snap04

vmware_snapshot_dd_06

If you have a VMware or Hyper-V snapshot that has filled the drive, just hit the datastore browser and delete the failsafe file! You just gained time to better manage the snapshot or move data around to accommodate the growth.

I know this seems unnecessary, but every VMware admin seems to get burned with a rogue snapshot once. Occasionally, it’s more than once.

How can I prevent actually needing this?

That part is pretty simple, too. Just set up a vCenter alert to warn you if you have a snapshot that is growing out of control! The directions for how to do this are located in this VMware KB article. (Just remember to set up the email server so you actually receive the emails!)

Mar 042015
 

pass_logo_smThis Thursday I will be joining an open discussion with Tegile Systems and the Lincoln SQL Server Users Group on the challenges for the DBA when it comes to handling large amounts of data. Everything from storage to CPUs and virtualization will be discussed, and both OLTP and BI systems will be addressed. Join us at Lazlo’s South at 6:00pm on Thursday for this open discusssion! RSVP today!

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Mar 032015
 

pass_logo_smI am pleased to be presenting a highly interactive session tomorrow evening that is a full end-to-end setup and management demonstration on SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups for the Omaha SQL Server Users Group.

During our November meeting, we took a quick non-scientific poll of some of the topics that the group wanted to see more of. SQL Server Availability Groups took the top slot, and when asked, attendees had spent a lot of time reading about AGs but few had actually seen them in practice. Let’s fix that! I will be walking through the creation of an Availability Group from start to finish. I will demonstrate how to create them, handle failover and failback of nodes, show how the application connects, and discuss the daily management processes such as scheduled jobs, monitoring, etc.

The Omaha SQL Server Users Group is meeting this Wednesday, March 4th, at 6:00pm, at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, 1919 Aksarben Drive, Omaha NE. Special thanks goes to Modis for sponsoring this event. RSVP today, and bring your questions!