Building SQL ConstantCare®: What Cloud Hosting Costs

In our behind-the-scenes posts about building SQL ConstantCare®, I’ve written about how we picked serverless architecture for the application layer, and how we picked AWS Aurora for the database layer. Hosting costs were a big driving factor in those decisions – so how has that worked out? Presented for your enjoyment, here are our total…
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Updating Paste The Plan to use the Serverless Framework

I just updated PasteThePlan, and the change you’ll notice first is that we’re using the latest version of Justin Pealing’s html-query-plan. It adds missing index hints, yellow bangs for warnings like implicit conversions and no join predicate, and more. Check out this example plan: PasteThePlan, June 2018 Edition Plus variable line widths for different amounts…
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7 Things I Learned About Aurora at AWS re:Invent 2016

Richie and I attended the AWS re:Invent conference in Vegas last week. Here’s some of my favorite takeaways about Amazon Aurora, their homegrown relational database with MySQL compatibility. 1. AWS has a grudge against Larry Ellison. Andy Jassy’s keynotes made repeated jokes about Oracle’s cloud product (or lack thereof), the high cost of proprietary databases,…
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SQL Server Timeouts During Backups and CHECKDB

So you’re hosting your SQL Server in the cloud – say Amazon EC2, Azure VM, or Google Compute Engine – and you’ve noticed that when you’re running a backup or a DBCC CHECKDB, you suffer from extreme performance problems. Queries run slow, and even worse, applications report timeout errors even just trying to connect to…
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When Should You Hire a Consultant for Amazon RDS?

Powered By Somebody Else’s Database on Somebody Else’s Computer You’re hosting your SQL Server databases in Amazon RDS, and performance has been getting slower over time. You’re not sure if it’s storage IOPs, instance size, SQL Server configuration, queries, or indexes. What’s the easiest way to find out? Ask a few questions: Are you using…
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Sizing SQL Server for AWS

Let’s skip the shenanigans and get right down to it – you’re responsible for SQL Server and someone in your company wants to move things into Amazon Web Services (AWS). You’ve got SQL Server setup covered thanks to our helpful SQL Server setup checklist and you’re confident you’ve got hardware under control, but things are…
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What Amazon RDS for SQL Server Users Need to Know about Multi-AZ Mirroring

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) now supports multi-availability-zone SQL Servers. This means you can have a primary database in one data center, and a secondary replica in another data center. Those Portland folks were always a little bit backwards anyway. When your primary server goes down, OR when the entire AZ goes down, you can fail…
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Auto-Scaling SQL Server Always On Availability Groups with Virtualization

Time for a thought exercise. Thought exercises are hard. You’ve got a database application that has bursty and unpredictable loads. Out of nowhere, you’ll suddenly get socked with a large amount of SELECT queries. Due to the way the app is written, you can’t cache the query results – the queries keep changing, and the business…
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Cloud Alternatives to Microsoft SQL Server

When people say “cloud”, they’re simplifying a lot of different solutions into a single catchphrase. Let’s break out the different options and compare them. 1. SQL Server in Amazon EC2 and Azure VMs Amazon EC2 is a virtualization platform. Amazon buys servers, installs their secret sauce software, and rents you Windows virtual machines by the…
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Amazon Web Services Architect Training Recap

Going into Amazon Web Services (AWS) architecture training last week, I expected to get whiteboard-level training for project planners, and it met expectations.  We spent time talking about how Amazon’s most popular services fit together and how they can be used to solve our business needs.  Nothing in the training itself was groundbreaking for me – I keep…
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