Clients and Case Studies

What Is Commodity Hardware?

You may have heard the term “commodity hardware” thrown around when describing solutions like Redis, Elasticsearch, or kCura’s new Data Grid. Commodity hardware refers to cheap, standardized servers that are easy to buy off the shelf from any vendor. Here’s a typical example of a 2u, 2CPU commodity hardware server: Supermicro SYS-1028R-TDW 1U rack server Two Xeon E5-2600…
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Announcing kCura Relativity 9, Data Grid, Elasticsearch, and SQL Server

Today at Relativity Fest in Chicago, kCura Relativity 9 introduces the option to move some text storage out of Microsoft SQL Server and into kCura’s new Data Grid, a tool built atop the open source Elasticsearch. Is kCura abandoning SQL Server? No, but understanding what’s going on will help you be a better database administrator and developer.…
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Tiering kCura Relativity Databases (Or Any SaaS Product)

When you’re the database administrator working with a software product that stores every client’s data in a different database, the sheer number of databases can be intimidating. As you grow from dozens to hundreds to thousands of databases, you can’t treat all of them equally. Start by making a graph of the database sizes –…
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Update on Stack Overflow’s Recovery Strategy with SQL Server 2014

Back in 2009 (wow, seems like only yesterday!), I wrote about designing a recovery strategy for Stack Overflow. Back then, I wrote: With these answers in mind, Stack Overflow’s decisions not to do transaction log backups, offsite log shipping, database mirroring, and so on make good business sense. Us geeks in the crowd may not like it,…
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Performance Tuning kCura Relativity

In the e-discovery business, kCura Relativity is the big gorilla, and I’ve been working with kCura and their clients since 2011. I think it’s one of the most interesting businesses I’ve ever worked with – up there with StackOverflow – and like Stack, they’re really open with their customers. George Nedwick and I staffing the…
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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Always On AGs at StackOverflow

I recently finished helping the StackExchange team migrate their SQL Server 2008 infrastructure to SQL Server 2012. These servers power StackOverflow, DBA.StackExchange.com, the new AskPatents partnership with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and hundreds of other Q&A sites that together form one of the biggest web site networks. It’s one of the most visible…
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StackOverflow VC, SQL Server, and Whuffie

Yesterday StackOverflow announced that they’d accepted $6 million in venture capital funding.  Joel Spolsky held a quick public chat to discuss it, and there were some interesting questions from the audience.  I’m going to paraphrase some of the questions and give my own answers. Q: Now that StackOverflow is going to be big, will they…
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New StackOverflow database server coming

Stack Overflow
SQL Server for StackOverflow Today, Jeff Atwood blogged about StackOverflow’s new SQL Server hardware: a Lenovo RD120, the artist formerly known as an IBM x346.  Notice the big heart on the box.  Servers run faster with love. Next, I’m aiming to do log shipping from the box pictured here over to Amazon S3.  The StackOverflow…
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StackOverflow’s SQL 2008 FTS issue solved

Whew – the Microsoft folks really came through on this one and tracked down the problem pretty quickly.  I want to personally thank Denis Churin, Nikita Shamgunov and Sundaram Narayanan for their detailed investigation into the issue and helping us get it fixed. I’m going to explain the issue to help anybody else get through…
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A little ninja work before breakfast

Mornings like this, I can’t believe I get paid to do this stuff: That’s Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror and Stack Overflow, whose blog I’ve been reading for years.  I actually bought a t-shirt with his site’s logo way back in 2006.  Jeff effing Atwood.  If I saw him, I’d ask for his autograph on…
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