Apr 102018
 

I am proud to present an in-person presentation for the New England SQL Server Users Group entitled “Level Up Your Cloud Infrastructure Skills” on Wednesday, April 11, at 6pm Eastern.

Abstract: Think infrastructure in the cloud is still just for sysadmins? Think again! As your organization moves into the cloud, infrastructure skills are more important than ever for DBAs to master. Expert knowledge of cloud-related infrastructure will help you maintain performance and availability for databases in the cloud. For example, know what an IOP is? How many does your database consume during a given day? Properly sizing a cloud database depends on your knowledge of this metric. Failure to properly configure storage performance at the time of deployment will slow down your SQL Server considerably. Come learn many of the key cloud infrastructure points that you should master as the DBA role continues to evolve!

RSVP for this webinar here! Bring your questions!

Mar 012018
 

You might have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. We’re working on a super top secret internal project here at my company, and we’ve got the need to ingest a LOT of data around the clock for some analytics work. My preferred DBMS is, of course, Microsoft SQL Server, and like a lot of DBAs, we want to make this swiss army knife of a relational DB platform do everything we can dream up. Thankfully, it can perform most of the tasks we throw at it pretty well. But, the pragmatist in me asks – “Is this the best tool for the job?”. Because we’re just starting this project, we can step back a bit and look at all of our options.

For our project, we do not want to deal with a datacenter of our own. Yes, we’re known as on-prem virtualization enthusiasts, and there in certainly many reasons for keeping things on-prem for some time to come, but cloud is the right choice for us for this project. We’re working on the cloud platforms just as much as we are on-prem these days, and we’re seeing the shift occurring in the industry.

Take a look at the costs of SQL Server licensing in the cloud. To design a SQL Server that can consume upwards of a few million data points a minute, we’re likely to need to spend quite a bit of capital on this platform. It’s just overkill for a straightforward ingestion then export platform. Then, we need to accommodate high availability, disaster recovery, reporting, and analytics needs.

Hmm.

Cloud brings some differences that might be advantageous here. We’re partial to MS Azure as a cloud platform for our company internally, so what does Azure have that can help us?

Azure Cosmos DB.

Now, it’s not as simple as that. Cosmos DB is a collection of APIs for different database types under the hood.

Each one are used differently, and all of the options include many differences in operation and architecture. Of the five listed platform APIs, which should we use? That’s a good question. For this particular project, we want the ability to store tons of inbound data and then will be pulling it out for analysis. Azure Table API seems to work best for this purpose.

SO! Over the next few months, expect a number of blog posts from me here exploring Azure Table on Cosmos DB and the questions, challenges, and experiences we have on ramping up on this new platform.

Sep 152017
 

PASS has continues to ramp up the plans for the PASS Summit in Seattle this October, and my precon session, “Virtual SQL Servers – Right to Ludicrous Speed” has a few open slots for this Tuesday session. This topic is near and dear to my heart, and I’m thrilled to be able to present to the group advanced SQL Server VM tuning techniques learned from over 17 years of performance tuning.

If any of you want to excel your DBA skills, not only for your on-premises SQL Server VMs but also your VMs in the cloud, I hope all of you can join me in what I consider the best SQL Server ecosystem conference in the world.

Session Details:

Join this full-day introduction session focused on managing and boosting the performance of a virtualized SQL Server environment. The focus of the course is to help those new to virtualization, infrastructure, and cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service 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, no matter if on-premises or in the cloud, and will learn how to construct the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance.

Intended Audience
The intended audience of this course is information workers (both business and IT-centric) involved with architecting a virtualization strategy for SQL Server, or managing business-critical SQL Servers that have already been virtualized.

Course Topics
The following topics will be addressed during the course:
• The Physical Infrastructure Underneath the VM
• Storage and SAN Concepts and Design
• Virtualization and Infrastructure Fundamentals
• The SQL Server Virtual Machine
• Networking, Support, and Licensing
• SQL Server Infrastructure in the Cloud
• High Availability and Disaster Recovery and SQL Server
• Performance Investigation and Tuning of the Entire Stack

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 strategic reference in working with virtualized SQL Server in their own environments.

Register today! Seats are sure to fill up for these precons!

Sep 072017
 

This is just a quick reminder to encourage you to attend my next round of all-day precon training session at the upcoming SQL Saturday in Minnesota on Friday, October 6 called ‘The Complete Primer to SQL Server Infrastructure and Cloud‘.

The focus of the course is to help those new to the enterprise server infrastructure concepts become familiar with the concept and purposes 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 will learn how to review and engineer the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance.

The following topics will be addressed during the course:

  • Datacenter Fundamentals
  • Cloud versus On-Premises
  • Infrastructure Stack Fundamentals
  • Storage and SAN Concepts and Design
  • Networking and Interconnect Topologies
  • Physical Server Technologies
  • The SQL Server Virtual Machine
  • High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • Performance Investigation and Tuning of the Entire Stack

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 strategic reference in working with SQL Server and the infrastructure underneath in their own environments.

I am really happy to be delivering this precon, and look forward to seeing you all there! Reserve your seat at this exciting event here. Tickets are available at just $110!

Sep 072017
 

Greetings everyone! We had so many people stay after our SQL Server on VMware sessions at VMworld USA to ask great questions, I thought I’d extend an offer to everyone at the European show coming up in a week! Let’s talk SQL Server! We are going to crash the VMvillage hang space on Tuesday, September 12 at 3pm local time to hold an open-ended SQL Server on VMware Q&A session. This unscripted and unofficial session is for you, has no official agenda, and marketing is strictly off-limits.

Our illustrious experts include:


Michael Corey, Founder – Corey and Associates

Thomas LaRock, Head Geek – Solarwinds

Argenis Fernandez, Principal Architect – Pure Storage

Niran Even Chen, Double VCDX, VMware Corp.

… and me!

Mark your calendars, and bring your questions, specific challenges, or discussion points, and let’s do this! Anything goes – performance, availability, setup and configuration, conflicts between best practices for SQL Server and VMware, anything!

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