Apr 302019
 

We have a discount code for last-minute attendees looking to go to our exciting preconference training session at this year’s SQL Saturday Atlanta on May 17th, 2019, called “Level Up Your Data Platform Cloud Infrastructure“! The discount code is PAPERJAM, and enter it on the EventBrite signup page. If you’re even remotely thinking of the cloud for any of your servers, this precon is for you!

Abstract: While your on-premises infrastructure is likely maintained by another team, in the cloud this responsibility falls on you. Whether your organization is just planning for the cloud, all-in, or leveraging a hybrid architecture, this course is designed to ramp you up on maximizing your investment in the cloud components that you utilize.

Infrastructure skills are essential when managing your environment in the cloud. Knowledge is power; key items such as firewalls and connectivity, storage presentation and performance, baselining, and even platform selection are all necessary areas of concern. Capacity management is also crucial, as the old ways of “throwing hardware” at a performance problem will translate into a larger bill each month.

Attend this session to learn how to efficiently manage cloud resources, set yourself apart from your peers, improve the performance of your mission-critical workloads, and potentially save your employer money!

Register for this exciting preconference training session today! If you’re even remotely interested in the cloud, this session is for you!

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.

Continue reading »

Mar 202017
 

On Thursday, March 23rd, at 2pm Eastern, I will be hosting a webinar with Argenis Fernandez from Pure Storage where we will talk about infrastructure challenges as organizations start to adopt SQL Server’s in-memory features, such as In-Memory OLTP and Columnstore Indexes.

Details: The in-memory features that accompany modern versions of SQL Server, such as In-Memory OLTP and columnstore indexes, are some of the most ground-breaking and exciting enhancements to SQL Server in recent memory. However, have you explored these features and found that the performance boosts are not quite as great as advertised? The dependencies on a blazing fast infrastructure underneath SQL Server have never been higher. While these features are lightning fast when used appropriately, the speed of the infrastructure underneath, mostly CPU, memory, and storage, can hold back the performance of these features. Join David Klee, Heraflux Technologies, and Argenis Fernandez, Pure Storage, to learn how to leverage these features to boost your database performance, detect and diagnose any infrastructure performance issues that might exist, and learn about possible long-term improvements to your infrastructure that can safeguard your performance for years!

Register for this exciting webinar here! I look forward to seeing you all there!

May 122016
 

SQL-GG-Side-CoverI’m pleased to announce the general availability of a new free ebook collaboration with James Green from ActualTech Media called “Modern Storage Strategies for SQL Server“.  Storage is so vitally important to SQL Server performance, but the intricacies of one side’s administrators are rarely known by the other. My goal for this ebook was to set out to educate SQL Server professionals on how the storage underneath their data actually operates, how to work with the storage administrators on topics specific to SQL Server, and show them how they can make the most of it to improve the performance and availability of their databases.

In This Gorilla Guide You’ll Learn:

  • The basics of SQL Server and database workload characteristics
  • Key considerations for storage architecture with regard to SQL Server
  • Useful tips for protecting SQL Server from disasters
  • Best practices for leveraging flash storage for SQL Server
  • How to modernize SQL Server by taking advantage of the latest updates to the platform

Download this free ebook today! Let me know what you think!

May 082015
 

A few weeks ago Bala Narasimhan from PernixData and I recorded a short conversation where we discussed the tips and tricks that both DBAs and Infrastructure Administrators need to maximize the performance of their systems without significant re-architecting of their environments.  Check it out!

May 052015
 

drive-harddisk-3My recent post on using the new DiskSpd utility to help you benchmark your storage is a great primer on how to use DiskSpd. But… what if you want to run multiple tests? For example, what if you want to run both read and write tests with a varying degree of threads or operations per threads to see the ramp up curve? What if you wanted these automated? What about putting the results from all of these tests into something that you can quickly review?

Now you can – with a PowerShell script that I’m releasing for free. I call it DiskSpd Batch.

Not only does the script help automate your test cycles, it leverages the great DiskSpd feature of saving the results to an XML file. After the testing cycles complete, it then extracts the relevant information from each test cycle and places it into a CSV output file. You can use this file to perform your own analysis on the results.

This PowerShell script is available for free over at my business web site at Heraflux.com.

Usage

First, download DiskSpd from TechNet, and extract it to your hard drive on the server that you wish to test. Read the documentation that comes with it.

Next, find the subdirectory that matches your system architecture (32 or 64-bit). This path becomes your location to the DiskSpd executable.

Download and copy the DiskSpd Batch script into a folder on your file system.

From an elevated PowerShell prompt, execute the script with the following parameters that you specify.

Syntax

Parameter Description
-Time Duration for each test cycle, measured in seconds
-DataFile Path and filename for the workload file
-DataFileSize Workload file size, in the format “500M” for 500MB, or “10G” for 10GB
-OutPath Results output file location (output file is automatically named)
-SplitIO “True” tests permutations of read and write tests in the same test cycle, in increments of 10%. “False” only tests 100% read or write test cycles.
-AllowIdle So as not to overwhelm a storage device’s ability to flush inbound I/O to disk, pause for 20 seconds between test cycles

Example

A normal test cycle might resemble the following screenshot.

The script performs numerous tests in the testing cycle, and then extracts the relevant data from the resultant XML file and creates a CSV file with the information that matters.

The output file can be opened with your favorite spreadsheet program. The columns that you will find the most interesting are:

  • WriteRatio
  • IsRandom
  • MB/s
  • IOps
  • Read MB/s
  • Read IOps
  • Write MB/s
  • Write IOps
  • Read and write latencies, broken out by percentile


Download and experiment with it! Remember, storage testing can be dangerous to an IT infrastructure. Not only can you overwhelm one server that’s doing the testing, you can also negatively impact (or even bring offline) the entire storage device and all of the other dependent systems located on it. Do not execute any storage tests in your environment outside of your own workstation until you have the express permission to execute the tests during a pre-specified window of opportunity. Heraflux is not liable for any damage or disruption to your business from you executing these tests in your environment.


Special thanks goes to my friend Mike Fal ( b | t | l ) for helping me with the PoSH in this script. He’s an incredible PoSH resource!

If you have any feedback on these scripts, or have bugs or ideas for improvements, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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