Jun 302017
 

I’m proud to announce that my sessions for this year’s VMworld 2017 conference in Las Vegas have turned up in the VMworld Content Catalog! I have four exciting sessions (if you’re a database geek) at the conference, and for those DBAs with VMware administrators attending this conference, tell them to attend these sessions so they can help build a better platform for your data.

ALL DAY SQL Server on VMware Boot Camp

The second revision of our business critical applications and databases pre-conference workshop is to be held at VMworld 2017 US this year on August 26th!

We will cover all pertinent aspects of best practices for deployments and ongoing management of MS SQL Server running in virtualized infrastructure. This deep-dive full-day workshopwill be delivered by VMware technical SQL Server specialists working in concert with world renowned external SQL Server and Virtualization experts, including me! The attendee will experience a workshop rich with technical content to include subjects such as vMotion for Failover Cluster Instances, Availability groups, SQLaaS with vRealize Automation and Site Recovery Manager. The content will be focused on best practices for design, implementation and management augmented with anecdotes of successful customer implementations.

SQL Server professionals, listen up. If your infrastructure admins are attending VMworld this year, please let them know about this course. Training them in the intricacies of the VMware platform as it relates to SQL Server, and having the training come from SQL Server professionals, is going to make your virtualization experience better.

Register for VMworld here! Add the training course at the bottom of the VMware Education courses during the registration process.

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) with vSphere 6.5: Doing IT Right [VIRT1309BU]

with Michael Corey

VMware vSphere 6.5 has made a lot of changes to enhance the performance of Monster virtual machines (VMs). Databases by their very nature are the classic Monster VMs. If Monster VMs are not virtualized properly, they will never perform well and can negatively impact the performance of other VMs on the hosts. In this presentation, we will teach you how to properly virtualize Monster VMs/databases with vSphere 6.5. We will discuss why you should virtualize and take a look at some installation issues as well as how to architect for performance in terms of vSphere 6.5 specifics, including the storage layer, the processor, memory considerations, and the network layer. Topics will also include NUMA, memory reservations, and how to avoid common mistakes. These lessons will help you optimize any workload you are virtualizing.

Performance Tuning and Monitoring with Virtualized Database Servers [VIRT1430BU]

with Thomas LaRock

Business-critical database platforms are the last holdouts to enterprise virtualization. These systems are the most resource-demanding and latency-sensitive applications, and at the first symptoms of infrastructure challenges the DBAs blame the infrastructure. Successful virtualization of these platforms requires a different approach to virtualization from other applications. The speakers will share their years of experience in virtualizing data platforms. You will learn how to validate your VMware environment and manage the performance properly. Scalability concerns will be addressed through discussions on scaling database VMs upwards and outwards as you work with the DBAs to manage the data lifecycle. Key talking points will help you learn how to perfect database virtualization from a technical, an organizational, and people level.

SQL Server on vSphere: A Panel with Some of the World’s Most Renowned Experts [VIRT1930PU]

with Niran Even-Chen, Thomas LaRock, and Allan Hirt

Continuing from last year’s successful session, learn from some of world’s most renowned SQL Server experts’ real-life experiences gained while virtualizing the most demanding SQL Servers! In this panel discussion, you will also have the chance to ask your own questions about SQL Server on VMware vSphere and get answers from the SQL Server gurus.

For those of you who don’t manage SQL Servers in a VMware environment, check out all of the fantastic sessions in the performance tuning areas, as they are sure to help you boost performacne across your vSphere farms.

Register for VMworld USA today, and make sure to select the SQL Server on VMware boot camp as part of registration! I look forward to seeing you all there!

 

 

May 052017
 

This past week, I presented a preconference session and regular session at this year’s SQL Nexus conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. I highly recommend this conference!

The preconference session called “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization was well received! The attendees were well prepared for deep discussions on SQL Server virtualization, infrastructure, and cloud XaaS topics, and the questions were wonderful.

The SQL Server on Linux session was also solid and well attended, as we discussed common administration tasks around tasks that are necessary when making the transition to SQL Server on Linux, such as backing up databases and logs to a file share, and how to configure and mount additional disks for objects such as tempdb, database data, and database log files.

The slides for the SQL Server on Linux session are available for you to download here.

SQL Nexus, thank you for a great time! We really enjoyed our discussions and deep-dives with attendees and other speakers, and would be very happy to return next year to this conference!

 

(@sqlreeves getting into American food in Europe)

More @sqlreeves just chillin’ with the ‘Hoff

Oct 212016
 

vmworld-2016This past week I had the pleasure of attending our first VMworld Europe conference, held this week at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain. What a great experience!

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The key takeaways from the conference are quite interesting. The announcements from last and this week indicate some challenges in portions of their strategy going forward. This photo from the speaker room sums up our thoughts on the state of VMware right now – many of the important puzzle pieces are in place, but there are some significant holes that need to be addressed for a more complete picture.

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Sessions

20161018_103107-copyFirst up, I presented a session entitled “Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers” with Thomas LaRock from Solarwinds. We talked about the need to monitor each layer at and underneath the databases for becoming proactive in active performance troubleshooting and monitoring. We presented to a packed room and fielded a number of great questions afterwards.

A little later in the day, I presented a session entitled “Performance Perspectives” for the vBrownBag TechTalks, where I talked about how VM admins need to understand that measuring performance statistics only from the hypervisor presents only a portion of the actual performance of the system.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhYxiZPSvGE[/embedyt]

At the end of the day, I sat on a panel session with Patric Chang and Jonathan Flynn from SanDisk, and Jase McCarty from EMC entitled “Running Business Critical Applications and the Software Defined Data Center on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and VSAN” where we discussed the implications of business-critical applications and their intersection with hyperconverged and all-flash systems.

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Wednesday

20161019_104942-copyWednesday was also a day filled with presentations and meetings. I started with a fun and action-packed session with Michael Corey entitled “Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) Doing IT Right” where we gave a rapid-fire stream of useful tips and tricks on maintaining maximum performance of virtualized SQL Server and Oracle VMs.

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That afternoon I presented a repeat session of the “Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers” to another near capacity room. Thank you to all of the die-hard attendees that came for the repeat session when you could not get into the previous session.

Next, VMworld has a lounge area that they call “Meet the Experts“. Michael Corey and I chatted with numerous attendees about their unique challenges with virtualizing business-critical apps, especially databases, and hopefully our answers will help them go and solve some of their concerns!

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Announcements

At this conference, VMware announced the next version of their flagship virtualization suite, vSphere 6.5. The whole list of updates and improvements are found here. I feel that this release is a solid evolutionary step towards the future of the on-premises software defined datacenter. I am exceptionally happy about the new REST-based API for managing the environment. We’ve got some ideas that we’re working on where this will come in handy! VMware says general availability of this release is scheduled for later on this year.

However, the overarching buzz at the conference was from VMware’s announcement last week. VMware is partnering with Amazon AWS to provide the means to extend the on-prem VMware deployments to the Amazon public cloud in order to create a seamless hybrid cloud approach. The reaction from the attendees was mixed. I am going to save my thoughts on this announcement for an upcoming blog post. It does open a lot of questions about target platform performance, database licensing implications, and operational management.

Barcelona

I did get to venture outside of the convention center and briefly explore Barcelona on Monday with several other SQL Server presenters. Barcelona is an incredible city. I wish I had a full month to just go exploring!

Thanks for having me speak at the conference VMware! This was my first trip to VMworld Europe, but it will certainly not be the last!

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Oct 172016
 

lisa16_button_neat_180I am proud to present that Deji Akomolafe from VMware Corporation, Cody Chapman from our team at Heraflux, and I will be presenting at this year’s USENIX LISA16 conference in Boston, MA, from December 4-9th!

The three of us are presenting a half-day workshop entitled “Designing Your VMware Virtual Infrastructure for Optimal Performance, Resilience and Availability – Straight from the Source” from 1:30p – 5:00p on Monday, December 5th.

akomolafe_deji_100x115  chapman_cody_100x115  klee_david_100x115

Continue reading »

Oct 102016
 

pass_2016_websiteI’m very honored to be speaking at the PASS Global Summit again this year in Seattle during the week of October 24th.I have a special discount code for you if you have not already registered for this outstanding conference. Please use the discount code PRE250DK for $250 off of the full three-day conference registration with a pre-conference training session. This discount code expires at midnight on Thursday, October 13th, so act fast!

I’m presenting two sessions on my favorite topic – the convergence of infrastructure and data.

The first is an all-day preconference training session on Tuesday, October 25th, entitled “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization“.

Abstract: Your SQL Servers are probably virtualized at this point, but do you feel you have lost that control over the infrastructure that you used to have when they were physical servers? Do the virtual SQL Servers “feel” slower after they were virtualized? When architected and managed with SQL Server in mind, this added layer will help improve the SQL Server’s availability and ability to change with the business, but only when executed properly.

The second general session is a rapid-fire deep-dive on the virtualization topic for those that cannot make the precon session, entitled “Virtual SQL Servers. Actual Performance.

Abstract: Virtualizing your business-critical SQL Servers should not imply that they will run slower than if they were physical. When properly architected and managed, virtual SQL Servers should be equally as fast as their physical counterparts, if not faster. However, if not properly constructed, silent and seemingly random performance killers can strike and significantly hurt your database performance.

This session is packed with many tips and tricks gained from years of experience for getting the most performance from your virtual SQL Servers. The major roadblocks to performance will be discussed and the knowledge gained will help you work with your infrastructure engineers so you can optimize the system stack for performance. Tools, techniques, and processes will be demonstrated to help you measure and validate the system performance of the key components underneath your data.

I really hope each and every one of you can make it to this conference. I’ve said it before, and I will undoubtedly say it again, that this conference is the best SQL Server conference of the year, and speaker or not, I will always make time to attend this event. The speaker lineup is amazing, and the education is world class. I cannot wait until then!

Sep 082016
 

ITnDevConnections_logo_TylerOptimized_236x59I’m happy to announce that I’m speaking at this year’s IT/Dev Connections conference held at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas from October 10th – 13th.

The first session is to be held on Wednesday, October 12th, at 11:00am, and is titled “Business Continuity for Virtual SQL Servers“.

Session Abstract: Do your SQL Servers have a different high availability or disaster recovery strategy than the rest of the servers, and the differences cause some friction with the infrastructure admins? SQL Server provides many features for improving high availability and disaster recovery resiliency, and they continue to evolve and change with each release. However, do these strategies and features complement or conflict with the current infrastructure strategy? How do these layers work together to protect the business? What if you can augment (or possibly replace) a complex SQL Server BC solution with a simpler, but just as effective, solution using some of the virtualization features available in today’s virtualized environments? This session will discuss strategies for improving your SQL Server uptime while reducing the complexity of your overall SQL Server continuity strategy.

The second session is to be held on Thursday, October 13th, at 10:30am, and is titled “SQL Server Infrastructure Performance“.

Session Abstract: The compute infrastructure beneath your critical SQL Servers is just one layer in the application system stack, but if issues are rampant under your data, your database performance is guaranteed to suffer, and your end user application performance experience is sure to be poor. As a DBA, we are usually at the mercy of the groups managing this hidden layer, but it does not have to be this way. Learning more about these layers of the system stack – physical compute server, virtualization, storage, interconnects, and networking – will help you understand how the infrastructure responds to a query request, and will make you a stronger database professional. You can also indirectly (or even directly) measure the performance of these layers to gain critical insight into their peculiarities.

This conference should be a blast! Please register for this conference here, and make sure to get in early so we can meet up and talk about your virtual and cloud-based SQL Servers!