PASS Summit 2016 Wrapup

PASS_2016_WebsiteLast week, Heraflux was proud to present multiple sessions at this year’s PASS Summit 2016 in Seattle, WA. David Klee presented three sessions at the conference, including one all-day workshop!

20161025_081313On Tuesday, David presented an all-day training session entitled “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization” to a full house. This session covered a soup-to-nuts series of topics for all of the layers underneath the SQL Server databases, including storage, networking and interconnects, physical servers, virtualization, and the VM construction, and discussed critical topics such as performance tuning and availability for SQL Server VMs.

20161026_162913Wednesday, David presented a general session entitled “Virtual SQL Servers. Actual Performance” to a packed room of die hard attendees who stayed to the last session of the day. This session was designed to discuss all of the major performance tuning aspects of virtualized SQL Server, and to give the attendees the most information possible for a 1.25 hour presentation.

Thursday morning David sat on a panel session with Denny Cherry, Joey D’Antoni, and Geoff Hiten called PASS the Bacon, all sponsored by SIOS and SanDisk.

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20161028_091418Finally, Friday morning David presented with Argenis Fernandez and Lou Lydiksen from Pure Storage in a session called “Storage Testing for Database Professionals“, where they talked about real-world storage testing and how conventional tools are less accurate than you think.

Thanks goes to all of the attendees, sponsors, and volunteers for making this great event a must-attend cornerstone of any database professional’s training calendar. Special thanks goes to the PASS organization, who always go above and beyond to make sure this event is truly special.

We look forward to being a part of this event next year! Until then, keep learning!

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VMworld Europe 2016 Wrap Up

vmworld-2016This past week we had the pleasure of attending our first VMworld Europe conference, held this week at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain. What a great experience!

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The key takeaways from the conference are quite interesting. The announcements from last and this week indicate some challenges in portions of their strategy going forward. This photo from the speaker room sums up our thoughts on the state of VMware right now – many of the important puzzle pieces are in place, but there are some significant holes that need to be addressed for a more complete picture.

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Sessions

20161018_103107-copyFirst up, I presented a session entitled “Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers” with Thomas LaRock from Solarwinds. We talked about the need to monitor each layer at and underneath the databases for becoming proactive in active performance troubleshooting and monitoring. We presented to a packed room and fielded a number of great questions afterwards.

A little later in the day, I presented a session entitled “Performance Perspectives” for the vBrownBag TechTalks, where I talked about how VM admins need to understand that measuring performance statistics only from the hypervisor presents only a portion of the actual performance of the system.

At the end of the day, I sat on a panel session with Patric Chang and Jonathan Flynn from SanDisk, and Jase McCarty from EMC entitled “Running Business Critical Applications and the Software Defined Data Center on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and VSAN” where we discussed the implications of business-critical applications and their intersection with hyperconverged and all-flash systems.

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Wednesday

20161019_104942-copyWednesday was also a day filled with presentations and meetings. I started with a fun and action-packed session with Michael Corey entitled “Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) Doing IT Right” where we gave a rapid-fire stream of useful tips and tricks on maintaining maximum performance of virtualized SQL Server and Oracle VMs.

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That afternoon I presented a repeat session of the “Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers” to another near capacity room. Thank you to all of the die-hard attendees that came for the repeat session when you could not get into the previous session.

Next, VMworld has a lounge area that they call “Meet the Experts“. Michael Corey and I chatted with numerous attendees about their unique challenges with virtualizing business-critical apps, especially databases, and hopefully our answers will help them go and solve some of their concerns!

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Announcements

At this conference, VMware announced the next version of their flagship virtualization suite, vSphere 6.5. The whole list of updates and improvements are found here. I feel that this release is a solid evolutionary step towards the future of the on-premises software defined datacenter. I am exceptionally happy about the new REST-based API for managing the environment. We’ve got some ideas that we’re working on where this will come in handy! VMware says general availability of this release is scheduled for later on this year.

However, the overarching buzz at the conference was from VMware’s announcement last week. VMware is partnering with Amazon AWS to provide the means to extend the on-prem VMware deployments to the Amazon public cloud in order to create a seamless hybrid cloud approach. The reaction from the attendees was mixed. I am going to save my thoughts on this announcement for an upcoming blog post. It does open a lot of questions about target platform performance, database licensing implications, and operational management.

Barcelona

I did get to venture outside of the convention center and briefly explore Barcelona on Monday with several other SQL Server presenters. Barcelona is an incredible city. I wish I had a full month to just go exploring!

Thanks for having me speak at the conference VMware! This was my first trip to VMworld Europe, but it will certainly not be the last!

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SQL Saturday Washington DC Preconference Training Session

Heraflux is pleased to announce that we are launching our next round of all-day precon training session at the upcoming SQL Saturday in Washington DC on Friday, December 2 called ‘The Complete Primer to SQL Server Infrastructure‘.

The focus of the course is to help those new to the enterprise server infrastructure concepts become familiar with the concept and purposes of each layer of the architecture around their databases, and how this knowledge can benefit them as data professionals. Participants will gain exposure to all layers of infrastructure and virtualization underneath SQL Server, from storage all the way through to the SQL Server instance, and will learn how to review and engineer the entire stack with a strong emphasis on SQL Server performance.

The following topics will be addressed during the course:

  • Datacenter Fundamentals
  • Infrastructure Stack Fundamentals
  • Storage and SAN Concepts and Design
  • Networking and Interconnect Topologies
  • Physical Server Technologies
  • The SQL Server Virtual Machine
  • High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • 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 SQL Server and the infrastructure underneath in their own environments.

We are really happy to be delivering this precon training session, and are looking forward to seeing you all there! Reserve your seat at this exciting event here. Tickets are available at just $175!


Heraflux Presenting at USENIX LISA16 in December

lisa16_button_neat_180Heraflux is proud to present that Deji Akomolafe from VMware Corporation, and Cody Chapman and David Klee will be presenting at this year’s USENIX LISA16 conference in Boston, MA, from December 4-9th!

The three of us are presenting a half-day workshop entitled “Designing Your VMware Virtual Infrastructure for Optimal Performance, Resilience and Availability – Straight from the Source” from 1:30p – 5:00p on Monday, December 5th.

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IT/Dev Connections Wrapup

ITnDevConnections_logo_TylerOptimized_236x59Last week Heraflux had the pleasure of presenting at this year’s IT/Dev Connections conference at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas. David Klee presented two sessions entitled “Business Continuity for Virtual SQL Servers” and “SQL Server Infrastructure Performance” during the week.

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Thanks to all of the event attendees that came to our sessions! This is a great event, and if you have not considered IT/Dev Connections before, this conference is a must-visit. The variety of topics, from software development, data, professional development, and enterprise IT is quite unique and rewarding for organizations of all sizes. Connections is not small by any stretch of the imagination, but has sessions presented in a more intimate setting, rather than massive events such as Ignite, and you can spend time with the speakers, network with your peers, and do it all without feeling overwhelmed by the huge crowds.

Thanks everyone! Save the date for next year. It’s going to be held at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, CA, from October 23-26, 2017.


Special Discount for PASS Summit Precon

Heraflux is honored to be speaking at the PASS Global Summit again this year in Seattle during the week of October 24th. David Klee is presenting two sessions on our favorite topic – the convergence of infrastructure and data. We have a special discount code for you if you have not already registered for this exciting class!

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Heraflux at IT/Dev Connections This Week

ITnDevConnections_logo_TylerOptimized_236x59This is just a friendly reminder that Heraflux is speaking at this year’s IT/Dev Connections conference held at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas this week!

The first session is to be held on Wednesday, October 12th, at 11:00am, and is titled “Business Continuity for Virtual SQL Servers“.

Session Abstract: Do your SQL Servers have a different high availability or disaster recovery strategy than the rest of the servers, and the differences cause some friction with the infrastructure admins? SQL Server provides many features for improving high availability and disaster recovery resiliency, and they continue to evolve and change with each release. However, do these strategies and features complement or conflict with the current infrastructure strategy? How do these layers work together to protect the business? What if you can augment (or possibly replace) a complex SQL Server BC solution with a simpler, but just as effective, solution using some of the virtualization features available in today’s virtualized environments? This session will discuss strategies for improving your SQL Server uptime while reducing the complexity of your overall SQL Server continuity strategy.

The second session is to be held on Thursday, October 13th, at 10:30am, and is titled “SQL Server Infrastructure Performance“.

Session Abstract: The compute infrastructure beneath your critical SQL Servers is just one layer in the application system stack, but if issues are rampant under your data, your database performance is guaranteed to suffer, and your end user application performance experience is sure to be poor. As a DBA, we are usually at the mercy of the groups managing this hidden layer, but it does not have to be this way. Learning more about these layers of the system stack – physical compute server, virtualization, storage, interconnects, and networking – will help you understand how the infrastructure responds to a query request, and will make you a stronger database professional. You can also indirectly (or even directly) measure the performance of these layers to gain critical insight into their peculiarities.

This conference is not one to miss! Contact us if you want to meet up at the event to talk tech!


Presenting #vBrownBag TechTalk Session at VMworld Europe

vmworld-2016Heraflux is proud to announce that David Klee is presenting a session in this year’s VMworld Europe #vBrownBag TechTalk lineup entitled “Performance Perspectives“.  Currently it is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18th, at 2:30 PM local time. The 15-minute session will discuss how the perspective on performance and resource consumption from the VM-layer is not the only perspective that should be weighed when evaluating large, mission-critical app VMs. Come check out this and the other sessions near the Hang Space at VMworld Europe!