Aug 202014
 

VMWorld-blogCan you believe that this year’s VMworld conference is just around the corner? It’s next week – August 24 – 28 – at the Moscone Center in San Francisco!

If you have never been to VMworld before, it’s an amazing event. VMware has a great guide for first-timers on their site for you to reference so you can get the most out of the conference. The schedule is intense and participating in the sessions and surrounding events will really help you immerse yourself in the VMware ecosystem and community.

The full content catalog is live here. Below are some of the sessions that I think you should check out if you are interested in or work with the convergence of databases and virtualization technologies.

BCO1296 – A Blueprint for Disaster Recovery of Business Critical Applications (SAP, Oracle, SQL & Exchange)

VAPP2979 – Advanced SQL Server on vSphere Techniques and Best Practices

STO3008-SPO – Decoupled Storage: Practical Examples of Leveraging Server Flash in a Virtualized Datacenter

BCO3028-SPO – Designing Virtual Environments for Efficient Recovery and DR

INF1420 – Extreme Performance Series: Understanding Virtualized Memory Management Performance

INF1469 – Extreme Performance Series: Monster VM Performance

INF2427 – DRS : Advanced Concepts, Best Practices and Future Directions

VAPP2305 – Extreme Performance Series – Understanding Applications that Require Extra TLC for Better Performance on vSphere – Deep Dive

INF1972 – Managing Database Size Growth for vCenter Server

VAPP2389 – Use Storage Virtualization to Protect Business Critical Functionality with vSphere and Oracle Extended Distance Clusters

I’ll be floating about the conference all over the place, and feel free to contact me if you want to meet up! No matter what, not only enjoy the conference but enjoy the festivities around it tooI hope to see you there!

Aug 132014
 

vbrownbag

Next Wednesday, August 20th, at 7:30pm Central I will be presenting a webinar for the Professional VMware #vBrownBag entitled “SQL Server Virtualization for VM Admins“. The #vBrownBag webinar series covers a number of VMware-related topics, and I am very pleased to be able to present my session to the group.

This webinar goes into great detail on how virtualization professionals can stop fearing the resource consuming SQL Server platform and virtualize them as painlessly as possible. Performance data collection, host validation, proper VM design, and SQL Server configuration best practices, tips, and tricks are to be presented. Best yet, a solid approach on how to discuss virtualization with your DBAs will be presented, so that you can talk with your DBAs and get them excited about virtualizing their mission-critical database systems!

To register for this free webinar, simply click here. I look forward to seeing you on this webinar!

Aug 072014
 

SQL Server CentralI’m proud to announce that yesterday the first installment of my new Stairway series at SQL Server Central has been released – Stairway to SQL Server VirtualizationVirtualization is becoming more and more common, and without an understanding how virtualization works, the DBA will have blind spots when attempting to resolving performance issues, such as reduce resource contention, or improve the backup and restore operations, and so on.

The first Level in this series answers the questions surrounding just what is virtualization, and how does it relate to SQL Server DBAs. The differences that it makes in terms of day-to-day operations, high availability, agility, and standardization are all discussed.

I hope you enjoy reading this article, and stay tuned for more Levels coming soon!

Jun 302014
 

2014_header_logoThe SQL PASS Summit 2014 community sessions were recently released. I’m very pleased and honored to announce that I will be presenting a 75-minute session entitled “Right Sizing Your Virtual Machine” at the Summit this November. It’s a topic that I spend many hours a week on in my professional duties with my company, and I am very excited about sharing the fundamentals of the topic and the methodology that I use to perform a right-sizing analysis on a SQL Server virtual machine. If you have a virtualized SQL Server anywhere in your environment – this topic will matter to you.

Abstract: Virtualizing your top-tier production SQL Servers is not as easy as P2V’ing it. Sometimes allocating more resources to the VM (Virtual Machine) is the wrong approach, and getting it wrong will silently hurt performance. What is the most effective method for determining the “right” amount of resources to allocate? What happens if the workload changes a month from now? Join this session and find out!

The methods for understanding the performance of your mission-critical SQL Servers gathered over the past ten years of SQL Server virtualization will be addressed, and valuable processes for performance statistic collection and analysis will be displayed. Come learn how to properly “right-size” the resources allocated to a VM, improve the performance of your SQL Servers, and keep it maximized well into the future.

If you did not get selected for the Summit this year, don’t fret. Keep up the great work in the community and keep submitting. Refine your topics and speaking style at various events, like SQL Saturdays, PASS Virtual Chapter presentations, or SQL Server user group sessions. All of the experience adds up, and with the right presentation background, topic, and some luck, we’ll all be speaking there next year.

I really hope that you are able to attend the Summit this year – and every year after. I consider it the most professionally important conference of the year for any SQL Server professional. Attending the conference over the last three years has changed my career and my life in a number of fantastic ways, and it can do the same for you.

Jun 252014
 

ThSQL Saturday Maineis coming weekend is the SQL Saturday #293 in Portland, Maine with my precon on Friday. I am really looking forward to attending this event. I have never been to Maine but have always wanted to go.

I am very excited to be presenting two sessions at this event!

Easy SQL Server Benchmarking - Room 211 at 8:30am

Abstract: Do you have a new piece of hardware going into service and want to see how well it performs? Or do you have a few systems and want to see how they compare against each other? Multiple free and easy ways to stress test your SQL Servers exist by simulating an OLTP workload against a real SQL Server and the infrastructure underneath. In this session we will demonstrate how to test your storage and SQL Server instances to get raw performance numbers that you can use to compare performance of machines across your enterprise. The utilities DVDStore, HammerDB, and SQLIO will be demonstrated in depth. 

Session Level: Beginner

Squeezing Top Performance from Your Virtualized SQL Servers - Room 113 at 3:05pm

Abstract: Just about anyone can click through a SQL Server installation and get it working, but more than a little tuning is required to get the most performance out of your servers. Once virtualized, additional tuning can help get even more performance out of that virtual machine. David Klee (@kleegeek) will discuss valuable details for both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V on how to tweak and tune your virtual infrastructure for business-critical virtualized SQL Servers. Tips on configuring your SQL Server installations for maximum performance when virtualized will be covered in detail.

Session Level: Intermediate

Virtualization for SQL Server DBAs Precon

Also, if you are interested, there are just a few seats left for my Preconference training session on Friday, aptly entitled ‘Virtualization for SQL Server DBAs’.

Session Information:

VMware vExpert and SQL Server performance expert David Klee leads this full-day introduction to enabling and managing a virtualized SQL Server environment. The focus of the course is to help those new to virtualization and/or infrastructure concepts to become familiar with the concept and purposes of virtualization and how it can benefit them as data professionals. Participants will gain exposure 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 the focus on SQL Server performance. 

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand key virtualization and cloud concepts
  • Determine the optimal infrastructure configuration for best performance
  • Construct a SQL Server virtual machine template with best practices for agility and performance
  • Understand how and what stack metrics to benchmark and baseline to ensure proper objective performance measurement
  • Identify and remediate common virtualized SQL Server performance killers
  • Understand proper virtualized capacity management techniques for long term management 

Attendees with the following experiences will benefit the most from this course:

  • Basic familiarity with the core components of a server
  • SQL Server installation and configuration
  • Exposure to SQL Server performance metric measurement and identification 

A working set of the screens and configuration settings referenced in the session, together with the reference slides and documentation, will be provided to attendees, for prospective reference in working with virtualized SQL Server in their own environments.

This Summer

This summer I am slowing down my weekend travel so I can get caught up on some side projects that I hope to be able to announce by the end of the summer. I also plan to spend some time spoiling my nieces! I’m taking about two months off of the SQL Saturday rounds (I know – I’ll be going through withdrawal!) so I can accomplish those goals, and then will jump back into things starting with VMworld and IT/Dev Connections in September and a whirlwind of activities planned after that!

I still have a number of webinars planned though! Stay tuned for more details on those events.

Jun 112014
 

If you are running VMware vSphere 5.5 Update 1 and are using NFS-connected storage, update your hosts ASAP (test first, of course). VMware just released a bug fix (express patch ESXi550-201406401-SG) for the All Path Down (APD) bug that has been plaguing NFS-mounted storage users for a couple of months now. Datastores can randomly go inaccessible for a few minutes, which is generally a bad thing.

If you find items in your log that resemble the following entry:

“Device or filesystem with identifier [12345678-qwerty0] has entered the All Paths Down Timeout state after being in the All Paths Down state for 140 seconds. I/Os will now be fast failed.”

…then patch quickly. NFS-mounted storage and heavy I/O workloads are prone to this bug. More details about the bug can be found at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2077360/.

Update Manager has the patch available, or you can download the patch here.

I know that this was a tough bug to crack, and kudos goes to VMware engineering for tackling this one.