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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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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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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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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How Fast Does Your SAN Need to Be for SQL Server?

Storage
9 Comments
Let’s oversimplify the bejeezus out of this complex problem.  Suspend your disbelief for a second and work with me: We have a database server hosting just one 100GB table.  Sure, in reality, we’ve got lots of databases and lots of tables, but we’re going to keep this simple.  We’ve got a simple sales table that…
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Automated Tiered Storage for Databases

Storage
24 Comments
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

Storage
71 Comments
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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SAN Snapshot Smackdown

Backup and Recovery, Storage
36 Comments
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

Storage
36 Comments
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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