Hardware

Eyes up here, kid

Pop Quiz: What Do These Things Cost Today?

Hardware
17 Comments
Price check on Aisle 2021. My main consulting job is a 2-day SQL Critical Care® where I help turn around slow SQL Servers. Companies come to me because they’re not sure if it’s a hardware problem, a database configuration issue, bad app code, or what, and they’ve been getting conflicting answers from different teams. Before…
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From The Server To The SAN

Hardware, SQLBits, Storage
6 Comments
Enter SANdman When people buy SANs, it’s often quite a large investment. Whether it’s all SSD, all flash, or there are tiers of storage that different types of data live on, those disks aren’t cheap. When people visualize their SAN, it’s usually just the server and the pool of drives. But there’s some important stuff…
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New White Paper: SQL Server Performance Tuning in Google Compute Engine

You’re a database administrator, Windows admin, or developer. You might even be a marmot. You’re building your first SQL Servers in Google Compute Engine, and you’re stuck at the create instance screen. How many CPUs should you use? How much memory? How are you supposed to configure storage? Will it be fast enough, and what…
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What Do You Wanna Know About Storage?

Storage
35 Comments
The Great Hardware Robbery of 2016 During Dell DBA Days 2016, we got to hang out with Doug Bernhardt of Dell’s storage team. He’s the guy who publishes Dell’s SQL Server documentation, builds their Fast Track reference architectures, and gets to play with all kinds of cool toys. Doug emailed us and asked: Is there any…
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Build Me A Build: Assembly Olympics

Hardware
39 Comments
Overall, this was pretty easy I’m thankful that generations of enthusiasts have agreed (mostly) on standards, and written oodles of documentation and guides to make stuff like this easy. Seriously. To put things in some perspective, when I first started building and tinkering with desktops, I remember having to manually set IRQs when there was…
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Build Me A Build: What Would You Do?

Hardware
8 Comments
We already know what I’d do In my last post, I talked about the desktop I’m building with my hardware budget for this year (and, uh, some of next year’s, too…). Based on awesome feedback from you all, I made a few changes to the specs. And holy cow, ordering made things even more different.…
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Build Me A Build: What’s Your Hardware Budget?

Hardware
51 Comments
UPDATED 12/15/2016 Spending Brent’s Money Reason number infinity spacetime + 1000 why working here rules is having a generous annual tax writeoff hardware budget. The first time around, I basically blew it all on working from home essentials. This time around I’m building a cool toy: a big beefy desktop. Why, in the age of…
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Is your SAN’s cache killing tempdb?

SQL Server, Storage, TempDB
3 Comments
Let’s start with definitions Many SANs have caching built in. What kind of cache is important, because if you’re dealing with non-SSD storage underneath, you could be waiting for a really long time for it to respond. Let’s start with some definitions of the most popular caching mechanisms available for SANs. I’m not going to…
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How to Use HP System Management Homepage

Hardware, SQL Server
21 Comments
One of the big reasons you spend big money on server-quality hardware is to get cool stuff to make administration easier. Each hardware vendor provides their own software tools – Dell includes OpenManage, IBM includes Director, and HP includes their System Management Homepage. To illustrate how it works without violating anybody’s NDAs, I picked up…
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Monitoring SSD Performance

SQL Server, Storage
2 Comments
Everyone wants to make sure they’re getting the best performance out of their solid state storage. If you’re like a lot of people, you want to make sure you’re getting what you paid for, but how do you know for sure that the drive is performing well? Watch that Average The first way to monitor…
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How to Interview Storage Vendors

Storage
14 Comments
Buying SAN gear is hard work.  You have to compare vendors based on performance, capacity, reliability, ease of implementation, quality of support, and of course, price.  When I’m working with a client buying new storage, here’s the questions I have them ask each prospective storage vendor. Q: If we buy SSD, SAS, and SATA drives,…
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