Foreword in HPE and ScaleArc Performance Whitepaper

Heraflux is proud to have contributed an industry perspective to a recent whitepaper highlighting scale-up architectures using HPE’s Superdome X and ScaleArc. Sometimes database-specific workloads do not scale out well because of years of legacy design and engineering, and in those occasions you need to scale up. Scaling up a business-critical applications, just like scaling them outwards, is not a trivial task. Leveraging modern scale-up technologies such as the HPE Superdome X servers and ScaleArc’s database acceleration and availability solution can help you scale your applications up without dramatic and costly modifications to your code.

Check out this reference architecture for Superdome X and ScaleArc here!


PASS Linux for the SQL Server DBA Webinar - Dec 13

Join David Klee for a session on Linux administration for the SQL Server DBA as part of the PASS SQL Server on Linux webinar series marathon on December 13th!

Times are certainly changing with Microsoft’s recent announcement to adopt the Linux operating system with the SQL Server 2017 release, and you should be prepared to support it. But, what is Linux? Why run your critical databases on an unfamiliar operating system? How do I do the basics, such as backing up to a network share or add additional drives for data, logs, and tempdb files? This introductory session will help seasoned SQL Server DBAs understand the basics of Linux and how it differs from Windows, all the way from basic management to performance monitoring. By the end of the session, you will be able to launch your own Linux-based SQL Server instance on a production ready VM.

Register now for this exciting webinar series!


VMworld 2017 Recap

Heraflux was proud to participate in both VMworld USA and EMEA over the last month, and our enterprise SQL Server content stole the show!

Our VMworld USA experience was simply amazing.

First, David Klee from Heraflux, along with Deji Akomolafe from VMware Corp. presented an all-day boot camp the Saturday before VMworld on SQL Server virtualization, where we presented an incredible amount of tips and tricks on SQL Server-on-VMware performance, availability, and scalability topics.

Both of our general session presentations made the VMworld USA best-of-the-day list for Tuesday, August 29th! They are now available for you to watch and learn from out on YouTube.

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) with vSphere 6.5: Doing IT Right [VIRT1309BU] with Michael Corey

Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers [VIRT1430BU] with Thomas LaRock

Our panel session with Argenis Fernandez from Pure Storage, Thomas LaRock from Solarwinds, Allan Hirt from SQLHA, and Niran Even-chen from VMware Corp. was also a smash hit.

Thanks Argenis for the great photo!

Special thanks goes to Don Sullivan from VMware Corp. for championing the enterprise database content at these conferences!

Heraflux also announced a partnership with SIOS Corporation for an upcoming add-on for the SIOS iQ product for advanced SQL Server state collection into the iQ machine-learning platform to boost the advanced performance anomaly detection into the application layer in a virtual environment. Stay tuned for more details regarding this exciting development!

David Klee and Sergey Razin, PhD., from SIOS Corporation demonstrating the SQL Server enhancements in SIOS iQ

David Klee and Jon Shields at the SIOS booth in the exhibition hall

David also presented with Argenis Fernandez from Pure Storage in the Pure booth in the exhibition hall on SQL Server storage benchmarking fallacies.

Heraflux also met with our good friends at Rubrik to discuss the impressive state of their SQL Server-integrated backup platform, who won both the VMworld 2017 Best of Show and Gold awards for their incredible platform.

Argenis Fernandez of Pure Storage, David Klee of Heraflux, Biswaroop Palit from Rubrik

Argenis and David also presented in the Intel booth on modern CPU architectures and VMware vNUMA for enterprise SQL Server workloads.

As you can see, our VMworld USA conference was quite the show.

Just one week later, Heraflux participated in VMworld EMEA in Barcelona, Spain.

Just like in Las Vegas, all of our SQL Server content made the featured videos list! They are now available for you to watch and learn from out on the VMworld EMEA featured videos list.

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) with vSphere 6.5: Doing IT Right [VIRT1309BU] with Michael Corey

Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers [VIRT1430BU] with Thomas LaRock

David also presented a session for the vBrownBag TechTalks series called vNUMA and You.

We even held an impromptu SQL Server architect open Q&A in the VMvillage to help folks successfully improve their SQL Server virtualization experience.

The announcements from VMware at both of these shows were a bit mixed, in our opinion. The announcement of the general availability for VMware Cloud on Amazon AWS is an interesting shift in strategy. Pivotal Container Service shows VMware’s commitment to containers and workload portability, which to us is a sign of the direction of VMware Corp. On-premises virtualization is generally seen as the new beige at this point, and the unified direction of VMware, based on the messaging from these shows, demonstrates that VMware is shifting to attempt to be the conduit between the various platforms for on-prem virtualization and public cloud providers. The jury is still out on how well the industry will adopt and embrace this shift, but we at Heraflux are quite interested to know your thoughts!

We’ll see you at the next one!


Q&A Session with SQL Server on VMware Experts at VMworld EMEA

Greetings everyone! We had so many people stay after our SQL Server on VMware sessions at VMworld USA to ask great questions, I thought I’d extend an offer to everyone at the European show coming up in a week! Let’s talk SQL Server! We are going to crash the VMvillage hang space on Tuesday, September 12 at 3pm local time to hold an open-ended SQL Server on VMware Q&A session. This unscripted and unofficial session is for you, has no official agenda, and marketing is strictly off-limits.

Our illustrious experts include:


Michael Corey, Founder – Corey and Associates

Thomas LaRock, Head Geek – Solarwinds

Argenis Fernandez, Principal Architect – Pure Storage

Niran Even Chen, Double VCDX, VMware Corp.

… and me!

Mark your calendars, and bring your questions, specific challenges, or discussion points, and let’s do this! Anything goes – performance, availability, setup and configuration, conflicts between best practices for SQL Server and VMware, anything!


SQL Server on VMware VMworld USA Videos Now On YouTube

We just saw that our two SQL Server on VMware sessions that David Klee co-presented on Tuesday at VMworld USA, both of which made the top 10 sessions of the day list at the conference, are now on YouTube! They are free to watch for everyone!

For those of you with virtualized SQL Servers, regardless of platform and cloud or on-premises, we urge you to watch these two sessions at your convenience.

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) with vSphere 6.5: Doing IT Right (VIRT1309BU) (co-presented with Michael Corey)

Performance Tuning and Monitoring for Virtualized Database Servers (VIRT1430BU) (co-presented with Thomas LaRock)


New eBook with Pure Storage - Overcoming SQL Server Storage Challenges

Heraflux is proud to announce a new ebook as part of our joint partnership with Pure Storage! This ebook, entitled Overcoming SQL Server Storage Challenges, discusses the current state of infrastructure technologies and how it interacts and impacts the performance of Microsoft’s flagship database engine SQL Server. Arguably, storage has historically been the slowest part of the infrastructure stack underneath the database, so much so that the core database engine makes some assumptions that it will always be the case. Modern CPUs, memory, and even the network are much less a bottleneck than administrators commonly realize. Even modern SQL Server in-memory features, such as in-memory OLTP and columnstore indexes, are heavily dependent on the performance of the storage underneath them.

Learn more about how SQL Server and the enterprise storage your data rests on complement and contradict each other in this exciting new ebook authored for Pure Storage! Download this exciting PDF today!


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!


Preconference Session at SQL Nexus - SQL Server Virtualization

If you are attending this year’s SQL Nexus conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, from May 1st to 3rd this year, we urge you to attend David Klee’s preconference training session – “The Complete Primer to SQL Server Virtualization“. The architecture of the infrastructure underneath your mission-critical SQL Servers is vital to the well-being of your databases, and if any little component underneath is not running at its peak potential, your SQL Servers are artificially bottlenecked and your performance suffers.

Session Details
Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert David Klee leads this full-day introduction to enabling and managing a virtualized SQL Server environment. The focus of the course is to help those new to virtualization and/or infrastructure 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, 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
  • Virtualization and Infrastructure Fundamentals
  • The SQL Server Virtual Machine
  • Networking, Support, and Licensing
  • Performance Investigation and Tuning of the Entire Stack
  • Similarities and Differences with Cloud versus On-Prem

Course Objectives
Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand key virtualization and cloud concepts
  • Determine the optimal infrastructure configuration for best performance
  • Construct a SQL Server virtual machine template with best practices for agility and performance
  • Understand how and what stack metrics to benchmark and baseline to ensure proper objective performance measurement
  • Identify and remediate common virtualized SQL Server performance killers
  • Understand proper virtualized capacity management techniques for long term management

Prerequisites
Attendees with the following experiences will benefit the most from this course:

  • Basic familiarity with the core components of a server
  • SQL Server installation and configuration
  • Exposure to SQL Server performance metric measurement and identification

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 your own environments.

We look forward to seeing you all there! Register today, as seats are limited!


Heraflux at SQL Saturday Madison April 8

Heraflux is proud to support the next SQL Saturday in Madison, WI this coming Saturday, April 8th. Both Bob Pusateri and David Klee from Heraflux will be presenting sessions at this exciting event.

Starting sharp at 9:00am, Bob is presenting a session entitled “Supercharging Backups and Restores For Fun and Profit“, where he’ll be showing tuning techniques for your routine SQL Server backups.

Abstract: Super-fast queries are an essential part of any business process, but speed will never be more important than during a disaster when you need to restore from backup. Come and see how both backups and restores can be tuned just like a query. In this demo-intensive session, we will discuss the different phases of the backup and restore processes, how to tell how long each of them is taking, and which are the easiest to significantly speed up. You just might be surprised how simple it is to achieve dramatic results – cutting your backup and restore times by 75% or more is absolutely possible using the methods covered here.

Also at 9:00am, David is presenting a session entitled “SQL Server Infrastructure – Cloud and On-Prem Options“. He’ll discuss the nuances of the infrastructure underneath SQL Server, and the similarities and differences with the regular options we’ve all used for years.

Abstract: Years ago, DBAs worked side-by-side with the infrastructure teams who managed the equipment their databases ran on. Today, organizations are more siloed than ever, and DBAs have less visibility into this layer than ever before. What is actually under the OS? Why does it matter? Physical servers, enterprise virtualization, and cloud servers all provide solid platforms for you to run your databases on, but improperly configured and tuned platforms can lead to performance nightmares. Let’s explore the various layers, options, and performance characteristics of the different systems underneath SQL Server so you can improve the performance of your systems.

We look forward to seeing each and every one of you at this event! If you’d like to meet up and talk about SQL Server performance and infrastructure, contact us!


Webinar with Pure Storage Mar23 2pm Eastern

On Thursday, March 23rd, at 2pm EasternDavid Klee from Heraflux will be hosting a webinar with Argenis Fernandez from Pure Storage where we will talk about infrastructure challenges as organizations start to adopt SQL Server’s in-memory features, such as In-Memory OLTP and Columnstore Indexes.

Details: The in-memory features that accompany modern versions of SQL Server, such as In-Memory OLTP and columnstore indexes, are some of the most ground-breaking and exciting enhancements to SQL Server in recent memory. However, have you explored these features and found that the performance boosts are not quite as great as advertised? The dependencies on a blazing fast infrastructure underneath SQL Server have never been higher. While these features are lightning fast when used appropriately, the speed of the infrastructure underneath, mostly CPU, memory, and storage, can hold back the performance of these features. Join David Klee, Heraflux Technologies, and Argenis Fernandez, Pure Storage, to learn how to leverage these features to boost your database performance, detect and diagnose any infrastructure performance issues that might exist, and learn about possible long-term improvements to your infrastructure that can safeguard your performance for years!

Register for this exciting webinar here! We look forward to seeing you all there!