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Automated Tiered Storage for Databases

Database administrators want just one kind of storage: fast. Companies want just one kind of storage: cheap. Since fast storage isn’t cheap, and we can’t put everything on slow storage either, we end up buying different tiers of storage. Let’s start by pretending that we’re buying a new HP DL370 G6 to act as a…
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Iomega StorCenter PX4-300d NAS

Iomega StorCenter PX4-300d NAS Review: iSCSI Monster

I wanted to love this monster from the moment I read the spec sheets: Iomega StorCenter PX4-300d NAS Network attached storage device with 4 or 6 hot-swappable drive bays Available empty (so you can bring your own drives, including SSDs) iSCSI server with 2 network ports, jumbo frame support, VLANs Official VMware ESX/ESXi, Hyper-V, Windows…
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The stickers are optional.

How to Buy Your First Mac

So you’re tired of craptastic plastic, and you’re noticing more and more Windows people toting around shiny metal computers? Here’s what you need to know. Update October 2013 – updated to include the current Apple laptop lineup. Running Windows On Your Mac If you’re reading this, you probably make a living working with Windows software,…
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SAN Snapshot Smackdown

On Twitter, several SAN pros were saying their snapshots can pull off some nifty stuff.  Well, it’s time to find out just how true that is. Let’s say we have a data warehouse with: One 2TB database, using SQL Server partitioning – needs 8 data files and 1 log file One 200GB database for reporting…
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Fusion-IO ioDrive

Fusion-IO ioDrive Review

Solid state drives (SSDs) have gotten a lot of press because they can be dramatically faster than magnetic hard drives.  They use flash memory instead of spinning magnetic platters.  Since any bit of memory can be accessed at any time without moving a hard drive’s head around, SSD random access is insanely fast. Fusion-IO ioDrive…
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How to Make a Dell PowerEdge Quieter

I’ve got a few servers in my home lab and I’ve always taken steps to make sure they’re quiet.  I like running my lab out of my office closet, but I don’t want to hear any of them running.  I’ve blogged about how to build a silent PC, but today I’m tackling another noisy beast…
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Jimmy May explains Partition Alignment (#sqlpass)

Before attending this session, I’ve always gone to KB article 929491 article on partition alignment.  I thought I kinda sorta understood what was going on, but Jimmy’s presentation drew on the best graphical illustrations to show it.  Not to mention his audio stylings like, “Holy correlated wait stats!” Get your binoculars out Partition alignment is…
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IBM SVC Entry Edition pricing out

IBM just unveiled a smaller-scale edition of their storage virtualization solution called IBM System Storage SVC Entry Edition.  From the interwebs comes a press release which includes this juicy quote: “The idea is to make it more affordable for smaller companies – the entry edition is priced per disk drive with a starting configuration costing…
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SAN Tips for First-Time Users

If you’re thinking about buying your first storage area network, do yourself a favor and go to the Aston Martin dealership first.  Smell the leather – that is, if they’ll let you sit in one – and play with the switchgear to feel how nice and solid it feels.  Pretty nice, huh? Or maybe that’s…
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SQLIO Tutorial: How to Test Disk Performance

SQL Server, Storage
Storage is a black box, right?  The SAN admins ask how much storage space you need, you tell them, and then they give it to you.  They don’t tell you how fast (or slow) it is, they don’t know whether it meets your needs, and they probably don’t know where the bottlenecks are. It’s time…
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Why DBAs should care about storage virtualization

Vendor hype aside, storage virtualization is really expensive technology that few shops really use.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the technology, but seriously, it’s expensive.  And that’s just the hardware/software – try hiring somebody with storage virtualization experience – hoo, boy.  But something is coming that’s changing the game, redefining what storage virtualization means.…
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