Microsoft – SQLServer – Frenemy
In the “Microsoft SQL Server” Ecosystem, there are many frenemies.
There are many ways to define that term, but I will settle on Wikipedia’s:
Someone who really is your friend but is also a rival
Obvious friends are the chip vendors:
Obvious friends also includes the server hardware vendors:
Software Application Vendors (Enterprise):
Software Infrastructure Vendors:
Intel & AMD
To praise the chip vendors for the work they have done in raising the bar for computing is to say so very little.
- AMD in sticking with the original x86 microsoft design and starting the craze to add more CPUs
- And, Intel in catching up and arguable surpassing AMD in some quarters
- Memory Addressability up to 2 TB (increasing the size of memory that can into a box)
- NUMA & Local Memory (with all these microprocessors and memory in a box, to get the best performance, one has to gracefully handle the interaction)
- Hardware Assisted Virtualization (Hypervisor -> Live Migration)
- Reliability – Hardware error recoverability (Machine Check Recovery)
- Energy Savings & Power Efficiency
After the chip manufacturers, the group that has the most to do with your database performance is the host manufactures, the HP and the Dells of the world.
Their work is to add everything up – do the hard work in the LAB and publish Reference Architecture that talks up the design principles and guidelines.
With iSCSI, Fiber Channel, and them buying up HBA companies they are “elbowing” a bit into the Storage area. And, so their footprint is only growing.
Same with the investment that they are making with Network Switches & Routers.
The fruits of Dells overarching investment can be explored @
Implementing SQL Server
- Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Fast Track – Reference Configuration using PowerEdge R720 and PowerVault MD3620i http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/business/solutions/whitepapers/en/Documents/sql-fast-track-r720-md3620i.pdf
- Achieve a high performance OLTP Database with SQL and PowerEdge R720
- SQL Server 2008 x 64 on Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 on PowerEdge 2950
- Using the R820 with Express Flash to accelerate the performance of a large SQL 2012 Database
Traditional SAN Vendors such as EMC are starting to enable high speed storage —
- Introduction of Flash Drives – “FAST cache uses enterprise Flash drives to extend existing cache capacities up to 2 terabytes. FAST cache monitors incoming I/O for access frequency and automatically copies frequently accessed data from the back-end drives into the cache. FAST cache is simply configured and easy to monitor” – Fully Automated Storage Tiering – http://www.emc.com/corporate/glossary/fully-automated-storage-tiering-cache.htm
Read more @ “EMC Fast Cache” — http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/white-papers/h8046-clariion-celerra-unified-fast-cache-wp.pdf
- EMC Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server with EMC VNX Series – Applied Best Practices Guide
- Microsoft SQL Server on EMC Symmetrix Storage Systems
- EMC Clarion Database Storage Solutions : Microsoft SQL Server 2008 in Virtualized Environments (Best Practices Planning)
Infrastructure Software Vendors
There are plenty of published resources from VMWare regarding MS SQL Server.
- Virtualizing Enterprise Architecture
- Virtualizing Microsoft SQL on VMWare
- VMWare Blogs
- Microsoft SQL Server on VMWare
Enterprise Software Vendors
To say that SAP is a big friend is an understatement. Here are some sites:
- SAP on SQL Server
- Running SAP on SQL Server
For specific MS SQL Server version:
- MS SQL Server – v2012
- MS SQL Server – v2008 http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/4ab89e84-0d01-0010-cda2-82ddc3548c65?QuickLink=index&overridelayout=true&45135811399903
- MS SQL Server – v2000
- SAP R/3 Performance Tuning Guide for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa226172(v=sql.70).aspx
A good listing of documents available for those interested\invested in suporting Oracle Applications on Microsoft Infrastructure is available @:
Microsoft and Oracle Applications and Technology Platform
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Tuning Tips for PeopleSoft Applications
- SQL Server 2008 with Siebel CRM Applications
Consumers – Governments & Corporations:
The paying customers continue to be the fuel that is driving the exponential growth in Technology.
- They buy the software and ask for it to run all the time
- They ask for the Power Savings so that they do not have to keep building new data houses
- They fund by employing all those who produce the white-papers, blogs, and discussion forums out in the wild
Just like MTV did for Singers and Song-writers, the Internet has made it cool to be an introvert and prefer to code than to talk.
So here is to the players…
- US Government, Defense Industry, Telcos for laying the pipe
- The Robert Metcalfe (Ethernet), Vincent Cerf (Internet)
- Google for making it faster to search for something on Net than even one’s own brain — forget from your cube mate
- Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) & Matt Mullenweg & Mike Little (WordPress)
- Microsoft Bloggers
- QA forums – StackOverflow, Serverfault
- Community forums (SQL Server Central [Steve Jones] – http://www.sqlservercentral.com/)
All in all, everyone on the table is doing a tremendous job in the back-rooms and on the Net. They are spending a lot of resources and evangelizing like crazy.
So that each one of us can continually ask, have we done enough. Have you really gotten as much as you can get from your Technology Portfolio.
I know Engineering and the Operations side of the house is quite different. Operations job is to keep things running; and Engineering is to architect firm, reliable, optimized, and systems built to grow.
So if you find yourself in Engineering, ask where your bottlenecks are and how much you ‘re leaving on the table?
To rest a bit on one of my favorite Rap Lyrics — Everything on the table, someone paid for it, another slaved for it, and God gave the increase.
And, that is why we talk about it.
References – Intel
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Nehalem micro-architecture based
- Expandable Intel® Xeon® Processors: Enhanced Scalability for Mission-Critical Applications