Feb 012018

I recently had a great question on some of the differences in virtual machine disk presentation from one of our amazing clients, and I thought I’d share the answer here because it’s a common question that I receive.

Some hypervisors (including some hyper-converged compute platform vendors who shall remain nameless) do not give you much flexibility in the way storage is presented to a VM. You pick the VM and click to add drives. That’s it. No knobs to turn, no mess, no fuss. It’s meant to be easy, and for almost all situations, that’s just fine.

But, that might not be the completely optimal way to configure a VM that is hungry for I/O (such as a large SQL Server), if you have the option to configure it a bit more closely.

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Aug 262015

If you are one of the lucky ones who gets to attend VMworld USA this year, and you have any number of virtualized databases in your environment, you need to attend these sessions!

First and foremost, Thomas LaRock (@sqlrockstar) and I are presenting a session called “VAPP4696 – Will It Blend and Scale? Monster Database Virtualization Techniques“. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate why virtual database servers (SQL Server and Oracle included) are some of the largest resource consumers in your virtual environment, why performance-oriented engineering matters more here than ever, and show ways to help boost your database performance to beyond that of their physical counterparts.

Some other fantastic sessions on various database topics, in no particular order, include:

VAPP5129 – Database Virtualization: Doing IT Right with vSphere 6.0 by Michael Corey and Jeff Szastak
Are you ready for the single-most rapid-fire tech session ever? This session is PACKED full of goodness!)

VAPP6952-S – Project Capstone: VMware, HP & IBM by Mark Lohmeyer, Randy Meyer, Todd Muirhead, and Michael Kuhn

VAPP4786 – SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery by Denny Cherry

STO4544 – Using Virtual SAN to Maximize Database Performance by Rawlinson Rivera and Thomas LaRock.

CTO6453 – The Future of Software-Defined Storage – What does it look like in three years time? by Richard McDougall

VAPP4634 – Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases by Marlin McNeil and Sudhir Balasubramanian

VAPP6437-GD – Business Critical Applications and Virtualized Infrastructure, a Match Made in Palo Alto by Mohan Potheri, Deji Akomolafe, Sudhir Balasubramanian, and Vas Mitra

VAPP5165 – Extreme Performance Sieries: Monster VM Database Performance by David Morse and Todd Muirhead

VAPP6441-QT – Microsoft Applications in the SDDC by Michael Corey and Deji Akomolafe

STO4525 – Architecting Disaster Recovery of Tier-1 Applications (SAP, Oracle, SQL Server, and Exchange) using Site Recovery Manager and vSphere 6 by Kannan Mani and GS Khalsa

VAPP6023 – Licensing Oracle and SQL Server on vSphere by Scott Salyer and Don Sullivan

VAPP5598 – Advanced SQL Server on vSphere by Scott Salyer and Wanda He

I urge you to attend all of these sessions if you can. Virtualized databases are arguably the toughest challenge in your virtual infrastructure, and the business depends on you getting it right. These sessions can help you get there!

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 Gareth wrote about this too but 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!


Jul 242014

Today I presented a fun session for the SQL PASS Performance Virtual Chapter’sSummer Performance Palooza 2014” entitled “Infrastructure Tuning for SQL Server”.

Abstract: Mention SQL Server performance to any DBA, and the impulse is to dive headfirst into the database and queries. However, if the infrastructure underneath the data is your performance bottleneck, the time spent tuning at the database layer is usually in vain. Server hardware, operating system parameters, storage, interconnects, and networking will all be discussed in depth in terms that DBAs can relate to. Practical architecture guidelines and troubleshooting techniques will be presented so you can analyze your environments and see if your performance bottlenecks are where you think they are.

The slides for today’s session are available for you to download here, and the recording – as well as all of the other session recordings – will be available at performance.sqlpass.org within the next week. Thank you all for attending, and I look forward to the next time!

Oct 102013

I am proud to be selected to speak at this weekend’s first ever SQL Saturday in Charleston, SC. I am very excited be a part of their first SQL Saturday and to get back to one of my favorite cities. I grew up not far from here, and it is exciting to revisit the town and then see the sights.

Title: Database Health and Performance

Abstract: Everyone knows that sick servers generally do not perform well. But, how well are your servers running? Let’s perform a health and performance check! In this session, we will perform a holistic system health and performance analysis where we dive through common tasks that you should routinely perform. Once the health and performance analysis is completed, a remediation plan is developed. Baselines are established and updated. Coming out of this session, you will have a tried and true methodology for examining your system state, checking for unhealthy components, analyzing performance, and keeping things that way for years to come.

Come see me in Room 3 at 1:30pm! You might win something fun!

Following this event, I am traveling to the SQL PASS Summit! It is the premier event for SQL Server professionals every year, and I whole-heartedly say that you should attend. I am so very lucky to be presenting a spotlight session at this year’s conference entitled ‘Squeezing Top Performance from your Virtualized SQL Server‘.  I hope to see you all there.

Apr 252013

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to give a new presentation to the SQL PASS Performance Virtual Chapter called ‘It’s All About the Performance, Right?’ The feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly positive, and I would like to thank the coordinators and all of the attendees! Your questions were top-notch, and I look forward to continued involvement with this amazing chapter! My primary focus in this phase of my career is data performance, and I am very happy to share what I know. You all are great, and I look forward to giving back to this amazing community!

The presentation was recorded, and I will post the link to the recording here as it becomes available. In the meantime, I have the slide deck for you to download and review. As always, if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to email me with your questions. It might take me a few days to respond, but I promise that I will respond. Thank you again!

Abstract: Just about anyone can click through a SQL Server installation and get it working. But, it is not running close to efficient, and as the workloads grow, it will only get worse. This session provides valuable details on how to tweak and tune your SQL Server installations to ensure maximum performance, as well as tips on capacity management so you know when you need to add more hardware to take your server to the next level.

Slide Deck – It’s all about the Performance, Right

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