Psst… Hey buddy, you want some E-Discovery?

One year ago today!

Well, sort of one year ago. Who knows when this thing will get published? Only God and Brent. And part of the calendar year fell during a leap year, which was just plain cruel, like a two part Buffy episode where the second part is the first episode of the next season DAMN YOU JOSS WHEDON!

Anyway, I started working here, annoying you guys with blog posts, giving Doug rub-downs in between video takes, and walking Ernie when the Ozar family was too full of illegal caviar and albino truffles to move. I also started running down the clock on being able to work with my favorite piece of software again. You can probably guess.


kcura_relativitySeriously, I love this thing. Not just because many of the databases I worked with under the software were hundreds of gigs, on up to 9 terabytes, but because the people behind the software really do care about the product. The customer support is aces (Hello, Pod One), and the developers are super helpful and responsive.

Plus, it’s just plain interesting. You give lawyers this crazy interface that lets them build just about any search query they can dream of, including some really, really bad ones, and see how SQL Server reacts.

If you’re a DBA who has read the execution plan of a Relativity query where saved searches reference saved searches that reference saved searches that… you get the point! I feel your pain.

It’s not just the hardware

You can’t fix every saved search and workflow immediately, which makes right-sizing hardware super important, but that’s not the only thing. Every case is different, and they often need custom indexes.

If you’re a DBA who has watched performance tank because some new search suddenly started scanning the clustered index of your 50 million row, one terabyte Documents table with a wildcard search on Email Body and Email Subject and Email Sender and Email Recipients and Email Metadata for ‘insert super common word here’, I feel your pain.

Best in Service

My other favorite part about Relativity is that they have standards. Not last call for alcohol standards, either. They keep you, as a DBA, honest. No backups? Ding. No DBCC CHECKDB? Ding. Perf in the tank? Ding.

The challenges that you’re presented with at scale are immense. You have 100 terabytes of data and you need to check it for corruption weekly. How’s that gonna work?

Index and statistics maintenance can be super important, too. Fragmentation may not matter if you’re reading 1500 pages instead of 1000 pages, but it can sure as heck matter when you’re reading 1,500,000 pages rather than 1,000,000 pages. And all those ascending keys? SQL Server is gonna make some real bad judgement calls on those, especially prior to 2014.

It’s a wild, wild life

You have users bulk loading thousands to millions of documents, users updating records during review, and then searches running on top of all that.

I am thrilled to be able to work with my favorite product again. If you’re experiencing Relativity pains, drop us a line.

Thanks for reading!

Brent says: For a refresher on this app and how we work with it, check out our past posts on The SQL Server Components of kCura Relativity, Performance Tuning kCura Relativity, Using Partitioning to Make kCura Relativity Faster, and Tiering Relativity Databases.

Previous Post
Announcing the SQL Server Theme Song Winners
Next Post
Indexes Helping Indexes

3 Comments. Leave new

  • Relativity is for sure an interesting app from a database perspective. The performance dashboard/best in service were also good incentives for management to break out the wallet. Ditto on the Pod One comment, love those guys. Hope to be able to work with them again some day.

  • soundtrack for this blog post: The Who – I’m Free

    welcome back!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.