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I have recently been notified that my neighboring SQL PASS Chapter Atlanta MDF will be sponsoring SQL Saturday 167 in Columbus GA.  The Columbus GA SQL Users Group has been dubbed the “Extreme Southwest Atlanta Chapter” by Aaron Nelson (blog, twitter)  For the past two years our two chapters have worked together in promoting and hosting two SQL Saturdays in Atlanta.  Columbus GA is now having their first SQL Saturday on September 8th 2012.

The Atlanta area has already shown a lot of support with several local speakers submitting abstracts.  Now we just need to get the word out to neighboring cities to get more attendee registrations.  🙂

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WordPress creates a unique link for each of your post. They are broken out with your URL then YYYY / MM / DD then what you are allowed to name your link. This is inconvenient when trying to reference back to yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a shorter URL with your blog name in link verses publishing a TinyURL or some other shortening service.

After a little bit of research I found such a way. You have to create a new page on your blog and can keep the page private, then simply post the code below but make sure to change the “redirect_to_link” to the page you want to redirect your viewers to. You can name the page your short URL. Go ahead and visit http://timradney.com/IOPS it will redirect you to http://timradney.com/2012/07/06/iops-verses-throughput-measuring-performance-of-your-storage/ Which would you rather type?

<meta http-equiv=“refresh” content=“0; url=web_address” />

Talent Shift

Today a friend Kevin Edward Kline announced he was joining SQL Sentry.  Last week Kevin announced his intent to leave Quest Software which he has been at for over 10 years.  Being part of the SQL Community for the past 4 years, Kevin has been a staple of Quest.  When I would see a logo or hear a mention of Quest I would think of Kevin.  There is sure to be a lot of change for Quest as they are being acquired by another company but reading Kevin’s blog post on why he is leaving, he sums it up in one word.  POTENTIAL.  He sees much more potential for his career with SQL Sentry and see’s how SQL Sentry is starting to make a big impact within the community with sales and support of their products.  I wish both SQL Sentry and Kevin all the best.  I am most glad that Kevin is staying within the SQL Community and that I will still see him out and about at SQL events.

Hey, maybe now I can get SQL Sentry to sponsor SQL Saturday Columbus and send Kevin.  🙂

Working on a recent consulting job, I was asked to explain the difference in throughput, which is, measured in MB/s verses IOPS as I had recommended a storage array that would provide many more IOPS and throughput than what is currently in use.

For this client I had presented the expected IOPS per type of disk from 7200 RPM, 10K and 15K and how one would calculate the total IOPS per expansion unit but failed to explain the available throughput other than an increase in uplink speed to 6GB.

Throughput is a measurement of the average number of megabytes transferred within a period of time for a specific file size.  Back in the day this was performed using a single computer making a single request for a disk, but in today’s age with large storage arrays that are providing storage to a number of clients we need to measure based on a lot of small read/writes verses a single computer making a large request.

To measure throughput one can use the following formula.

MB/s = IOPS * KB per IO / 1024

With this formula your IO will be your block size.  For an array with 10 10k SAS drives which provide approx 145 IOPS per disk we will use 1450 IOPS, in the real world this will differ based on RAID configuration.  Other than RAID0 there is a penalty for writes.  Not with reads.  For RAID1 and 10 there is an I/O penalty of 2, for RAID 5 there is I/O penalty of 4 and for RAID 6 a I/O penalty of 6.  RAID 6 is popular among SANs.

MB/s = 1450 * 64 /1024 or 90.625 MB/s
MB/s = 1450 * 128 /1024 or 181.25 MB/s
MB/s = 1450 * 256 /1024 or 362.5 MB/s

Hard drive manufactures will advertise 100MB throughput for a hard drive so why wouldn’t you see 1000MB throughput in a RAID 0 configuration.  Because in the real world you are not performing the edge cases they are doing.  Your IO workload will be more than a single sector read.  These disk manufactures don’t share their engineering specifications or what criteria they used to benchmark their drives.  One thing you can bank on is that they do what ever it takes to get the best results possible for marketing.  Your results will vary drastically.

I was reading an article over the weekend where the author pointed out that the standard naming convention for SQL Server database files was .MDF for the data file, LDF for the log file and NDF for additional data files.  This was good stuff so far, then the author stated that these can be changed if you want to mess around with your other DBA’s.  I have known for years that the file extensions are merely suggestions (best practice) and that you could change them if you so chose.  Some companies may have policies defined that data files must have an extension of .001 and logs .002, etc.

What I wish the author had pointed out was that if you deviate from what is standard for file extension naming for your data and log files, please make sure your security department adds those new extensions to the list of excludes for your virus protection.  If not, you will have successfully launched a denial of service (DOS) attack against yourself.

 

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It has been nearly one week since SQL Saturday 132 in Pensacola Florida.  I was chosen to give my talk on “Know Backups and Know Recovery”.  The session was in the first time slot and when I arrived at the event just before 8:00 AM I had to walk through about 4 inches of water soaking my feet.  It was raining pretty hard and shortly after arriving the thunder and lightening arrive and I am not talking about Devin Knight or SQL Chicken.

I walked around and caught up with some of my friends and then headed up to my room to get setup.  It took a little longer and I would have liked to get the audio visual equipment hooked up but I made good use of the time asking questions that would lead into my presentation.  I was honored to have Tony Davis from Simple-Talk attend my session and spend some time with me afterwards.  It was great getting his feedback on my session.  It was a bit eerie though watching the fierce wind, rain and lightening out of the windows of in the back of the room.

My intention was to leave the event shortly after my session to spend some time with my wife and three kids that were back at the resort on Pensacola Beach.  I couldn’t quite leave when I wanted due to the really bad lightening.  Once there was a quick break I was able to venture out into the parking lot with water just below my knees.  When I got in my wife’s new Jeep Rubicon and backed out of the parking space I noticed several inches of water in the passenger side floorboard.  Oops.

I thought that would be the worst of it but upon leaving the university and driving down the canals of downtown Pensacola (they couldn’t call them streets that day) I encountered water levels of about 3 1/2 feet deep.  It was a rather strange feeling driving the streets of Pensacola in 4 wheel drive worrying about submerging your vehicle in too deep of water.  It was even more strange driving 15 MPH across a mile long bridge in a complete white out.

Once I crossed the toll bridge onto Pensacola Beach the clouds stopped dropping the wet stuff and it was rather pretty.  I pulled in the parking garage of Margaritaville and pulled the drain plugs out of the floor board of the Jeep and let the water drain out, then put on my swim suite and had some fun with the kids and wife on the beach and in the pool.

It was fun watching the twitter feed seeing all the new hashtags.  #sqlswim, #sqlscuba, #sqlmonsoon, #sqlflood, etc.

The drive home Sunday was just as adventurous with heavy rain the entire way.  We might not have had all the fun in the sun that the kids came down for, but we managed to spend time together, worked in some beach, ocean, pool time and got to be part of history for Pensacola.  All in all I think the kids will have some great memories from this trip.

Lets hope for better weather in Fort Lauderdale this weekend for SQL Saturday 141.

 

 

 

The Columbus GA SQL Users Group will be hosting their first ever SQL Saturday on September 8th 2012 at Columbus State University.  We currently have 5 classrooms reserved and have the ability to add a couple more if needed.  Each room holds over 40 people so our current capacity is 200 attendees.

SQL Saturday’s are a free event for attendees.  Anyone can attend and get free Microsoft SQL Server training.  If our event is like all overs we will have a nice selection of sessions to pick from.  Topics of interest will include database administration, business intelligence, power shell and professional development.

I have been involved with helping to organize the last two SQL Saturday’s in Atlanta GA and have spoken at eleven SQL Saturday’s since Jan 2011.  I am hoping that through my involvement in other events that myself and my leadership team here in Columbus GA can pull of a very successful event for our local SQL Community and help grow the Columbus GA SQL Users Group.  Currently the only other event on this day is SQL Saturday #162 in Cambridge and a few friends have already submitted to that event.  If I had the funds I would be there too.  Would love to see my UK buddies.

Here’s to happy planning.