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.

Jun 042014
 

sqlsat307_webThis coming weekend is the SQL Saturday #307 in Iowa City, Iowa. I am really looking forward to attending this event again. I have been to this event before, and I really enjoy the attendees warm enthusiasm!

I am very excited to be presenting two sessions this year!

SQL Server Virtualization 101Room 2520C at 1:00pm

Abstract: What is virtualization? What impact does it have on DBAs and their systems? What aspects of their job stays the same, and what changes? What is really going on inside that black box? The fundamentals of private cloud computing and how it impacts data professionals will be discussed in this interactive session. Tips on how to use the best of virtualization to improve their daily tasks and efficiencies will be demonstrated, and common questions and concerns will be addressed.

Session Level: Beginner

 

How to Argue with Your Infrastructure Admins – And Win! - Room 2520D at 4:00pm

Abstract: Do you feel like you spend hours going round-and-round with your system, storage, and virtualization administrators over SQL Server best practices? Are their application-agnostic requirements hurting your SQL Server’s performance, or worse, their reliability? David Klee (@kleegeek) will discuss valuable insight into how to start and work through the common conversations with them on the SQL Server infrastructure practices that matter to you the most, and how to succeed in getting what you need while keeping everyone happy.

Session Level: Intermediate

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.

Upcoming Precons

Coming up are two more SQL Saturdays with my preconference sessions in Rochester, NY (precon) and Portland, ME (precon)! If you are in the area, I urge you to check out the SQL Saturdays in these towns, and if my preconference session is intriguing for you and your organization, register for the precons today! I look forward to seeing you at these events!

After these three events, I’m taking a short break from SQL Saturdays for a couple of months to work on some exciting projects that I will be unveiling here soon. Check back frequently for more information as these become publicly available!

May 122014
 

Ever since it was released, the vSphere Web Client is not the most responsive of web GUIs. After some digging, you can work around it to boost the responsiveness! It looks like the Java-based front-end is a bit starved for memory under the covers. Now, YMMV and it might put you in an unsupported state, but tinker if you wish.

On your vCenter server, edit the wrapper.conf file at:

c:\program files\vmware\infrastructure\vspherewebclient\server\bin\service\conf

Change:

wrapper.java.maxmemory=1024m

to

wrapper.java.maxmemory=3000m

May 082014
 

These last few weeks have been quite a blur of projects, travel, and end-user training, and I’m enjoying every bit of it! Here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to, with links to the educational materials for you to download and review.

On April 25, I presented a SQL Saturday Chicago preconference training session called “Virtualization for SQL Server DBAs” to a packed house in Addision, IL. We had a great time and all learned a lot, and I thank each and every one of my wonderful attendees for their enthusiasm, open dialogue, and great questions.

The following day was SQL Saturday Chicago. I presented two sessions – SQL Server Virtualization 101 and  Virtualized SQL Server Performance to standing room only classes. Thanks to all of the great attendees in these sessions! The slides for these two sessions (Virtualization 101 / Performance) are available now for you to download and review.

Heraflux-Logo-Color-SMAlso, this was the first event that my company, Heraflux Technologies, has sponsored. We co-sponsored the event with a new partner organization of ours, Yucca Group. We were very happy to raffle away two SQL Server books and a copy of VMware Workstation as part of the end-of-day give-a-ways.

yucca_groupHeraflux is known for our world-class SQL Server virtualization services, and Yucca Group is known for Oracle virtualization services. It’s a fantastic match, and look for more co-sponsoring opportunities and joint community education seminars from the two of us in the future!

Teglie-Logo-Blue-Transparent-smallNext, on Thursday May 1 I presented a webinar on Easy SQL Server Benchmarking, hosted by Tegile Systems. The topics covered how to use SQLIO, DVDStore, and HammerDB. We ended up with a problem with the webinar software, and some registrants were not get into the webinar. The webinar recording is now live and available for you to watch at your convenience here.

On Saturday May 3, I was fortunate enough to be selected to speak at the SQL Saturday Atlanta event. I spoke on my Virtualized SQL Server Performance  session again, and due to popular demand and exceeding room capacity, had the opportunity to re-present the session later in the day to those who missed out that morning. As always, the slides are now available for you all to download.

Thank you to all of the coordinators, volunteers, sponsors, attendees, and other speakers for all of these fantastic events. We appreciate each and every one of  you and your contributions to these world class events.

sql saturdayComing up, I’m speaking at SQL Saturdays in Detroit, Iowa City, Rochester NY, and Portland ME. I’m also giving my Virtualization for SQL Server DBAs preconference training day the Friday before the SQL Saturday in Iowa City, Rochester, and Portland. Register soon for these SQL Saturdays, and if you are interested, one of the precons for the events. It’s the best education that you can get on key topics, and the price you pay is just a fraction of the amount that it is worth. I’d enjoy having you in my class!

PASS_VC_VirtualizationI am also presenting the second in a four part webinar series for the SQL PASS Virtualization Virtual Chapter entitled ‘Virtualization for SQL Server DBAs 201‘ on May 14th. If you were not able to catch the previous 101 session, it is available for you to watch before the upcoming 201 session. RSVP for this free event today!

It’s an exciting time! I can’t wait to see you at these events!