SQL Server with Mr. Denny


July 1, 2015  10:00 AM

Splitting Files for SQL DW

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Azure, SQL Azure, SQL Server, Windows Azure

When doing data warehouse loads into SQL DW you’ll want to break your single large file that you extract into multiple smaller files in order to do loads into the SQL DW (via Azure Blob Storage) as fast as possible. There’s a few ways that you can do this. One way would be to handle this in your ETL that extracts the data from your source database. Depending on how you are extracting the data this can be anywhere from painful to REALLY, REALLY painful.

A much easier way is to just extract the data to a single text file, then split that single text file using a command line tool. Now you are probably asking yourself where you might get this handy command line tool. Well thankfully you can download it right here. While doing some work for a client on SQL DW we went ahead and put this tool together for you which as a command line tool you can easily build into your ETL process. The only requirements for using the tool is that you have .NET 4.0 installed on the machine which is running the tool. It runs very quickly and will create evenly sized files from your large source file. I used it recently on a ~16.7 Gig file and it was able to process the file in about 20 minutes (keep in mind I was using a slow 7200 RPM consumer hard drive. Smaller 2 Gig files processed in about a minute (again same slow disk). As time permits we’ll work on making the software run even faster.

Denny

June 27, 2015  5:36 AM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for June 26, 2015

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Internet of Things, Net Neutrality, SQL Server, SQL Server transaction logs

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: Rad_Reza also known as Reza Rad

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


June 24, 2015  6:00 PM

Why I WILL Be Speaking at @VMworld

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Conferences, IT conferences, IT conferences and events, SQL Server, VMware, VMworld

Back on June 17th, 2015 I posted about how I wouldn’t be speaking at VMworld 2015. Oh what a difference a week can make. Apparently that got the attention of some people at VMware, and I’m happy to report that now I will be speaking at VMworld 2015.

Now sadly I won’t be at VMworld for the entire conference as just before VMworld I’ll be in India at SQLServerGeeks Annual Summit just before. So VMworld is going to schedule my sessions for Thursday morning (thanks to the jetlag I’ll be up first thing in the morning without issue) as I won’t be able to get back to San Francisco until late Wednesday afternoon.

The two sessions that I’ll be giving will be a talk on SQL Server High Availability, and a second session on SQL Server Clustering and VMware VSAN. These should be some fun sessions as there’s a lot of new information coming out on both of these topics between now and when VMware comes around in September.

Personally I’m thrilled that I was able to work with the VMworld team and the fine folks at VMware to make it happen at this event. I’ve attended VMworld several times over the years, and I’ve always loved attending and I’m thrilled to say that I’m able to give something back to the event; and I look forward to meeting some great people at the conference.

Denny


June 19, 2015  11:46 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for June 19, 2015

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: AlvinRamard also known as Alvin Ramard

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


June 17, 2015  6:00 PM

Why I Will Not Be Speaking at VMworld

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Conferences, IT conferences, IT conferences and events, SQL Server, VMware, VMworld

I love speaking at conferences. I get to meet new people, I sometimes get to visit a new city. But I’m sad to say that I will not be speaking at the North America or Europe VMworld events this year, even though I was accepted.

My reasons are pretty basic. VMware (who puts on VMworld) has decided that they will not only, not pay their speakers but they expect their speakers to pay their own costs to go to the event. VMware expects me as a community speaker to pay for my own hotel and airfare to get to the conference. VMware doesn’t even give speakers a full conference pass, the speaker gets a day pass for the day which they are speaking.

Now in reality for the North America conference my flight costs, probably aren’t all that much as I’m a short flight to San Francisco from San Diego (I’d actually be coming from India from another conference so it’d basically be a flight change fee). The hotel for the conference will probably be in the $300 a night range I’m assuming. VMware will pay for one night in the hotel if I’m giving two sessions, which is what was selected for the North American conference.

For the European conference things get even worse. I’m expected to pay for my own international flight from California to Spain, and I have to pay for my own hotel as only one of my sessions was selected for VMware Europe. So according to them, apparently I should just fly in give my talk and fly out the same day. That really doesn’t seem like it’s conductive conducive to me giving a good presentation. There’s a 9 hour time difference between here and Spain, so I’d need at least a couple of days to dejetlag. Those jetlag days, I’m used to paying for those myself as that’s pretty normal.

So on top of not billing clients for two weeks (assuming that I actually attended the full conference, and if I’m going why wouldn’t I want to attend), I’m expected to pay thousands in flight and hotel (not to mention a full conference badge so I can attend the rest of the days) for the privilege of presenting at a conference.

Now yes, I’m a consultant so if you went to the SQL Server booth at Ignite or if you’ve been to the PASS Summit the last couple of years you’ve seen my in my booth, but at VMworld I’ve got zero chance to meet attendees unless it’s after my session. So time to really network and meet people, and yes drum up business (here’s a little secret, this is why consultants go to conferences). So where’s the upside for me? I get to say that I spoke at VMworld? Big deal.

So needless to say, I’m not willing to drop $10k+ (between not billing, flights, hotels, and a conference pass) for the privilege of speaking at a conference that VMware makes a ton of money on (I’m guessing several million dollars at the least).

Denny

UPDATE (2015-06-18): After reviewing the speakers portal some more, I’ve learned that external speakers do in fact get a full conference pass. So I’ve updated the post to reflect that.


June 12, 2015  6:00 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for June 12, 2015

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: IT_Recruiter_FL also known as Bianca Diosdado

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


June 10, 2015  6:00 PM

Buffer Pool Extension File Location

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL Server, SQL Server 2014

If you are planning on using Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) in SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2016 you need to think about where you want to put the BPE file on the SSD, especially as it relates to the Windows OS Security on the file system.  The most important think to remember when placing the BPE file on the hard drive is that you want to place it into a folder, not directly into the root of the drive.  The reason for this is that the Windows OS has User Access Controls (UAC) enabled which will prevent the SQL Server from writing to the root of the drive.  Even if you have UAC disabled today (which I don’t recommend) if it gets enabled in the future this could cause problems with access to the BPE file.  It is much easier to simply put the file into a folder and not have to worry about UAC biting you.

Denny


June 10, 2015  5:58 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for June 05, 2015

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: way0utwest also known as Steve Jones

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


June 3, 2015  6:00 PM

Why don’t the memory usage numbers from Task Manager and vSphere match?

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Performance Monitor, Performance monitoring, SQL Server, Task Manager, VMware vCenter

This question comes up a lot. Windows Admins and DBAs see one number in Task Manager and the VMware Admins see another number in vSphere. And often the VMware Admins want to reduce the amount of memory that the server has available because of the memory utilization number. Here we see two screenshots from a server at a client’s site. One from task manager and one from vSphere.

TaskManager     vSphere

You can see that according to vSphere the VM is using about 37 Gigs of it’s memory, when the host has 60 Gigs allocated.  Looking at Task Manager we see that all the memory is in use (43 Gigs with Windows saying that 18 Gigs is available).  When I look at the PLE for this server, the number is shockingly slow, just 44 seconds (the server is a replication distributor so that actually makes sense).  But we can still see a major disparity in the numbers between Task Manager and vSphere.

So who’s right?

That’s the problem, they both are.

Task Manager is right because that’s the amount of RAM in use within the OS.  vSphere is also right because it’s showing the amount of memory which has been recently used (I’m not really sure what recently actually means in this instance).  The problem is that the vSphere number isn’t measuring things in a way that makes sense for a database server (SQL, Oracle, DB2, MySQL, etc.).

Database platforms store data in memory in order to make that data available for use as needed without hitting the disks again.  Just because that data hasn’t been used in an hour (well outside what VMware considers to be “Active”) doesn’t mean that the data should be purged from RAM forcing the database to read the page back from the disk.  After all RAM is cheap, and high speed disk isn’t.  If the VM admin forces the amount of RAM to be lowered they aren’t allowed to then complain that SQL is pushing the disks harder, because that is exactly what will happen.

The Active Guest memory value is useful for servers running IIS, application servers, etc.  For SQL Server it’s useless as databases manage their memory much differently than most other applications.  The VM admins are going to need to start trusting that when the DBAs request 64 Gigs of RAM that they actually know what they are talking about.

Thanks,

Denny


May 29, 2015  6:00 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for May 29, 2015

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: heigesr2 also known as Rick Heiges

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


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