Trends and news around the convergence of data, cloud and infrastructure

Webinar with Rubrik: Simplifying SQL Server Data Protection – Near Zero RTO

Heraflux is proud to contribute to a new webinar with Rubrik on Thursday, June 22 at 8AM PT / 11AM ET where we talk about the trials and tribulations of living as a Database Administrator and the challenges when handling SQL Server backups with the same tools as a VM-level backup.

If you’re a SQL DBA, you know that protecting and restoring your databases is critical. Plus, there are a lot of related items – ad hoc queries, test/dev queries, etc. – that the business needs but can be very time-consuming and/or expensive to handle. With the Alta Release, Rubrik is proud to announce SQL Live Mount – simply put, a very cool feature but also very powerful in day-to-day usage.

Join Andrew Miller, Technical Marketing Manager at Rubrik, Mike Fal, Database Solutions Engineer at Rubrik, and David Klee, SQL Server MVP and Founder and Chief Architect of Heraflux Technologies, as they walk through the simplicity of using Rubrik’s Cloud Data Management platform to protect, secure, and manage your SQL Server workloads. With demos throughout, we’ll cover:

Protect

  • Using Rubrik to protect SQL Overview
  • Creating + Applying SLA policies
  • Protection best practices from Andrew and David

Restore

  • Classic Restore Options – In Place Restore & Export
  • SQL Live Mount – Specific Use Cases & Demo
  • Restoration best practices from Andrew and David

When: Thursday, June 22 at 8AM PT / 11AM ET

Presenters: David Klee, Heraflux Technologies | Mike Fal, Rubrik | Andrew Miller, Rubrik

Register for this exciting free webinar today!


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PASS Summit Precon on Virtual SQL Server Performance

PASS has just announced this year’s precon sessions for the PASS Summit in Seattle this October, and I am humbled to announce that my session, “Virtual SQL Servers – Right to Ludicrous Speed” has been selected for one of the Tuesday precon slots. This topic is near and dear to my heart, and I’m thrilled to be able to present to the group advanced SQL Server VM tuning techniques learned from over 16 years of performance tuning.

If you are less interested in SQL Server infrastructure than other topics, I urge you to check out the other precons being presented at this conference. The topics and presenters are world class, and if I was not presenting this precon on Tuesday, I’d be in one of the other precons!

I hope all of you can attend what I consider the best SQL Server ecosystem conference in the world. I’ll never miss it, and I look forward to meeting you all there!

Session Details:

Join this full-day introduction session focused on managing and boosting the performance of a virtualized SQL Server environment. The focus of the course is to help those new to virtualization, infrastructure, and cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service concepts to become familiar with the concept and purposes of virtualization and how it can benefit them as data professionals. Participants will gain exposure to all layers of virtualization underneath SQL Server, from storage to hypervisor to the SQL Server instance, no matter if on-premises or in the cloud, and will learn how to construct the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance.

Intended Audience
The intended audience of this course is information workers (both business and IT-centric) involved with architecting a virtualization strategy for SQL Server, or managing business-critical SQL Servers that have already been virtualized.

Course Topics
The following topics will be addressed during the course:
• The Physical Infrastructure Underneath the VM
• Storage and SAN Concepts and Design
• Virtualization and Infrastructure Fundamentals
• The SQL Server Virtual Machine
• Networking, Support, and Licensing
• SQL Server Infrastructure in the Cloud
• High Availability and Disaster Recovery and SQL Server
• Performance Investigation and Tuning of the Entire Stack

A working set of the screens and configuration settings referenced in the session, together with the reference slides and documentation, will be provided to attendees, for strategic reference in working with virtualized SQL Server in their own environments.

Register today! Seats are sure to fill up for these precons!


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Improving the Performance of Third-Party Vendor SQL Server Databases

Heraflux is proud to announce our next installment of live online training with Bob Pusateri (@SQLBob). The focus of this training session is called “Improving the Performance of Third-Party Vendor SQL Server Databases“, and focuses on how to help you get the most out of your vended databases without voiding the warranty.

In order to accommodate most DBA schedules, the session will be held in two four-hour blocks on the following dates and times.

Part 1: Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM (Central)

Part 2: Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM (Central)

DESCRIPTION

Microsoft Certified Master Bob Pusateri leads this course on improving SQL Server performance for third-party vendor applications. It’s not uncommon for applications to demonstrate lousy performance due to suboptimal schema design or poorly-performing database queries, and you know how to make it better. However, many vendors make it either impossible or outright forbidden to change that code. This all-day course will focus on the many options that Microsoft SQL Server offers to improve the performance of an application without altering its queries. Attendees will be exposed to numerous performance tuning practices at both the SQL Server and infrastructure levels, and will learn how to review key points of their stack to ensure optimal SQL Server performance for almost any vendor application.

The event runs in two four-hour windows, 1-5pm on Tuesday, July 18th and Wednesday, July 19th, so that data professionals can attend without having to take an entire day away from their ongoing responsibilities.

The following topics will be addressed during the course:

  • Wait Statistics
  • Execution Plans
  • Query Store
  • Plan Guides
  • Monitoring
  • Blocking and Locking
  • Primary and Foreign Keys
  • Parallelism
  • Server Configuration
  • Indexing & Statistics
  • Routine Maintenance
  • Hardware & Infrastructure
  • Tools & Scripts

More details about this exciting training class are available at Heraflux.com. We look forward to having you learn from our own certified Master!


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SQL Server on Linux Series: Operating System Differences

SQL Server administration, once installed and running, doesn’t vary too much based on your operating system, but the differences in the operating systems are pretty significant. To properly administer a production SQL Server on Linux, an administrator needs to understand the core basics of the Linux operating system.

I’m going to limit the scope of these discussions to the currently supported (as of CTP 2.1) operating systems for SQL Server on Linux, namely Red Hat / CentOS, SUSE, and Ubuntu. Most of the images in the screenshots will be from Ubuntu, my preferred distribution of choice, but the core concepts are very similar across all distros. If you’re looking for production systems, you should want to pick a distribution where you can purchase production-grade support.

First, installing Linux is pretty straight forward.  Similar to Windows, an installable image is downloaded, usually in the form of an ISO. Go to their respective web sites, download the ISO image, and follow their installation guides to perform the most minimal installation possible of their distro.

Red Hat Linux installation guide

CentOS Linux installation guide

SUSE Linux installation guide

Ubuntu Linux installation guide

Just do a basic installation with nothing else but an SSH server installed. One of the primary benefits of Linux is that the installable footprint is tiny, keeping the security and maintenance as small as possible. I personally don’t even want a GUI installed, as I’d just use it as a front end for a terminal anyways.

Once installed, now what?

Use SSH to get access into the console of this new server. Log in with your login and password that you created when you installed the operating system. To make things even more secure, you can use certificates to streamline your login process.

Now, let’s explore some of the commands that we need to use to get around the operating system. This is just a short list of the main commands you need to know when navigating the console of a Linux system.

The primary ones are ‘cd’ to change directory, ‘ls’ to list folder contents, mkdir and rmdir to make and remove folders, ‘rm’ and ‘mv’ to remove or move a file. ‘pwd’ tells you your present working directory.

You’ll want to learn the syntax for one of the console-based text editors. My personal favorite is ‘vi‘. It’s quick, streamlined, but does have a significant learning curve. Emacs is another editor that works great. Many others are out there, and your options open even more if you’re using a GUI. You’ll need an editor to edit configuration files.

The folder structure of Linux is one of the biggest changes. Whereas Windows is based off of an arbitrary drive-letter assignment system that dates back to the DOS era, Linux is is based off of a tree structure. All folders and files are based on a single point, ‘/’ or the root folder, and everything is based off of folders from this point. Certain folders from Windows, such as C:\Windows, C:\Users\username, or %WINDOWSTEMP%, are mapped to certain folders within the Linux operating system.

Your home directory is at /home/yourusername. SQL Server for Linux installs at /var/opt/mssql, at as of CTP 2.1 cannot be changed.

But… as you start to poke around the operating system, you’ll start to notice that some folders state ‘access denied’. Everything that you normally execute runs in a minimal least-privilege level of access.

Elevated Access

The biggest concept of Linux is the concept of ‘root‘.

We’ve all seen this in Windows:

This prompt is so that you are running your normal commands without elevated privileges, so that any significant system change cannot be made without an additional layer of authorization. The ‘root’ user in Linux is essentially a full-access account, similar to ‘sa’ in SQL Server.

Issuing a command that requires elevated privileges usually ends with an error like this.

You start with the ability to issue a single command with ‘sudo command’, or super-user do this. You can execute one of these elevated commands as follows to execute this single command with elevated privileges.

Use sudo sparingly, just as you would with Windows and good security principals. If you need to run a series of commands as the elevated user, issue ‘sudo su –‘ to switch to the root user for the session. Type exit to exit this level of elevation and switch back to your normal user account.

You’ll want to explore the system logs at /var/log, as these are a significant source of information about how your operating system is running.

Use ‘cat file’ to view these files to the console, and ‘tail -f file’ to see the changes to these files as they occur.

Things you’ll want to do before you continue to installing SQL Server:

  • Patch and get the operating system up to date
  • Set a static IP address
  • Verify and set your hostname
  • Specify your DNS servers and DNS entry
  • Verify your security to ensure that the operating system is locked down. Your respective operating system distribution is sure to have hardening documentation for you to follow.

One tip – want to visually manage the system remotely and quickly? Install Webmin! Follow the directions specific to your operating system. Browse to your server with a web browser at https://servername:10000/ and log in with your credentials.

Poke around, install, configure, and explore your new operating system’s basics! (Admittedly, it’s not too exciting at the moment. You’ve got a console. Woohoo!)

Next stop – installing SQL Server on Linux!

This post was originally posted at DavidKlee.net and syndicated here.


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Upgrading to Modern SQL Server – eBook with ScaleArc

Recently David Klee contributed his thoughts in a new ebook from ScaleArc called “Industry Perspectives: Upgrading to Modern SQL“. Modernizing the datacenter is an ongoing struggle for those of us in the operational trenches, and a number of us in the industry contributed our thoughts to ScaleArc to help administrators sift through the options and learn how to make these upgrades easier. It’s a great read, and learning from the great contributors is fun! Check it out!


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