Updated: March 2017
High Availability for SQL 2016 Standard edition now has the “Basic Availability Group”.
The Basic Availability Group is based on AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAG) that was released in SQL 2012 Enterprise. AAG continues to be an Enterprise edition feature set.
Basic availability groups use a subset of features compared to advanced availability groups on SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition. Basic availability groups include the following limitations:
” … For a limited time — up to one year after the new operating system launches — Windows 7 and 8 users will get a free upgrade to Windows 10. …”
For further details on the ESI Suite and all of its components click here
Click here to download a copy of ESI 3.5
EMC Microsoft Community site | https://www.emc.com/everythingmicrosoft
Excellent ESI overview videos by David Lloyd (@davlloyd) | http://www.youtube.com/user/davlloyd69 | http://youtu.be/9effRPY7uLU | http://youtu.be/CveZDDBf6pE | http://youtu.be/VVdOA7LsZw0 | http://youtu.be/0Vy3uNlAbsc | http://youtu.be/_22OiKxsV_Y
ESI and VNX | http://youtu.be/rL3o9hG72HI
EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows is the ultimate set of tools to ease storage provisioning for the Windows administrator. In addition, ESI will provision application level components (such as Exchange databases, SharePoint sites, and SQL databases). With ESI, the Windows admin will no longer have to wait for other teams to perform tasks on their behalf in order to provision storage for their applications.
The Windows admin will use familiar tools (such as MMC, PowerShell, and System Center) to work with storage. ESI combines the functionality of many desperate tools into one GUI interface and one set of PowerShell scripts. This will ease the learning curve and streamline the process for systems management.
Example process improvement:
Should you be a PowerShell scripter, ESI includes a rich set of PowerShell libraries for provisioning and managing of EMC storage.
In addition, the ESI suite includes full integration of EMC products into System Center (SCOM, SCVMM, and SCO)
Storage monitoring with ESI Management Packs (SCOM)
Storage management from within Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)
ESI System Center Orchestrator Integration Pack
EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows Suite is a set of tools for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft applications administrators. ESI for Windows provides the ability to view, provision, and manage block and file storage for Microsoft Windows, Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint.
The suite includes:
EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows has a UI based on Microsoft Management Console (MMC). ESI can be run as a stand-alone tool or as part of an MMC snap-in.
ESI supports storage provisioning and discovery for Windows virtual machines (VMs) running on Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and VMWare vSphere and vCenter.
- Create VHD and VHDX files, and pass-through SCSI disks
- Create hosts disks and cluster shared volumes (CSVs)
- Create VMDK files and raw device mapping (RDM) disks with or without virtual compatibility mode
- Create SCSI disks
- View datastores
- Create VHD files and storage repositories
ESI supports the EMC Symmetrix® VMAX® series, EMC VNX® series, EMC VNXe® series, and EMC CLARiiON® CX® fourth generation (CX4) series of storage systems. ESI requires that you install the applicable adapter for your specific storage systems.
Summary of the key New Product Features included in this release (3.5):
This release adds the following new functionality:
Storage System and hypervisor software prerequisites
Microsoft Office 365 (minus 1)… Well it is only a 99.9% SLA anyways…
Most customers might not deem their email as a tier 1 application, but just wait till it is down. Email is by most definitions is an important business application and should be treated as such. How long can your business survive without communications to your customers, partners, or employees?
Would you put your other business critical applications in the public multi-tenet cloud?
> Want credit for June’s Exchange blackout? File a claim
> Microsoft’s “Exchange Online” becomes “Exchange Offline” as service goes dark.
My notes from the session OneDrive for Business
75% of businesses allow personal devices, Only 25% have a BYOD policy
Productivity versus Compliance
File/Sync/Share – Very similar to SyncPlicity
All my files in one place
1TB of storage
Sync client – various clients
Office client integration <- Cool feature
Co-authoring <- This is really cool. Being to see other authors updates on a document in realtime
Search & Discovery
Part of SharePoint and O365
File upload size 2GB
Post to Yammer
“Shared with me” view
Which version should I use?
SharePoint features update every 3 years
O365 updates very frequently
Custom apps can be developed on top of OneDrive
Site Folders – Team site document libraries
Recent Documents – across all office clients that you use <- Cool feature.
Launch “new” documents from O365
Rich preview from O365 <- Cool feature.
Edit from O365 with co-authoring in real time ( you can see the other person edits live) <- Awesome feature.
External sharing is optional via policy
Post to Yammer – can limit to groups and users
Search – my docs and shared with me
Workflows, Check in/out, workflows – just like in SharePoint
Email with attachment or link to doc with Outlook in O365
Code name Oslo “Office Graph” – New Search and Discovery across all Office content, includes edits, comments, trending, liked, relationships, adheres to permissions (only shows content that I have access to)
Mac Sync Client
Native Android app
Encryption at Rest
Oslo + Office Graph
New Admin panel for SharePoint on-premise
Pricing – Standalone offering $2.50/user/month, 1TB per user, includes Office Online
Part of Office365 ProPlus
My notes from the TechEd session on SQL inside of Azure VMs
This stuff is confusing. No standard storage terminology being used.
Someone asked if the disks in the BLOBS where Thick or Thin. Answer: We don’t use those terms.
Performance Guidance for SQL Server in Windows Azure Virtual Machines
Azure VMs tie to Azure Storage – need to understand how Azure Storage works
Azure service is a shared service, multi-tenet service
Azure BLOB storage
VHDs stored in BLOB
3 copies automatic – persistent copies
Shared service – noisy neighbors can be an issue
No direct performance correlation between disk requests made by VM and the underlying physical disk
No performance SLA’s
500TB / BLOB
Total requests rate 20,000 /sec
Geo-redundant storage = 10gb/sec Ingress, 20 gb/sec Egress
Local redundant = 20gb/sec Ingress 30 gb/sec Egress
Two tiers of service for VMs
VM Basic tier = A0-A4 tiers
VM Standard tier = A5-A9 tiers
C:- 127GB – persistent
D: Temp drive – 20GB-605GB depend on tier – may be wiped on reboot – local disk, low latency
Data Disks – up to 1TB each (thin)
Where and when you provision your VM matters – the service can move your VM around
Maintenance operations have an effect on performance – notified from Microsoft when they do maintenance
C:- D:are local disks versus Azure disks stored in a BLOB
– need to test to determine scenarios for performance of where to put what
VM Disk Cache
“Host Cache Preference” when creating a disk
Two tier cache:
Tier 1 – Most recently accessed data stored in RAM of physical virtualization host. This cache is sharedby all VMs on that host
Tier 2 – Less recently accessed data stored on the local disk of the physical host (disk based cache). Ther is cache space reserved to each VM OS disk and Data disk based VM size.
Network Bandwidth and Delay
I/O go through separate stack from Guest VM network
“Cloud Service” is a management, config, security, networking and service model boundary
Affinity group : Compute and storage to be placed close to each other
Going through load balancers adds latency
IO paths on Azure VM
Use Data disks (not local OS disk) for DBs larger than 10GB
Use “None” for high OLTP – random I/O
Use “Read” if workload is sensitive to latency
Use “Read/Write” for sporadic disk access – not a write back cache
Static data, seldom accessed
Cache setting can be changed via PowerShell
VM instance size and limits
Place user DB & logs on different data disks
If on OS drive:
Avoid OS disk stripping, use SQL striping (ie. file group)
Warm up disk before measuring performance
After initialize the file by writing some bit patterns sequentially using SQLIO
Consider enabling SQL data compression (row, page) for I/O bound workloads
CPU usage can increase
Enable instant file initialization
Don’t use auto-grow, pre-allocate instead
Use 64KB DAU
Placement of data files
Option 1: DB across multiple files with a file group
Option 2: Create an “OS volume” on top of multiple disk
Option 3: Multiple striped volumes each with one or more data disks (based on specific I/O performance requirements)(Host level RAID 0)
Place on OS or Data disks
Don’t use D: temp drive – performance issues can occur
Disk warm up
Disk Load balancers – cold disks get less performance, hot disks get better performance
Idol disks (cold) for 20 mins will reduce your performance. Azure remove disk load balancers from cold disks.
Manually Warm up disks for 10 mins – will get you better performance
Use a Script to warm up
Monitor tab for storage account
Storage analytics logging
Minimal or Verbose
Aggregated data place into hidden place in BLOB “&log” – accessible via PowerShell
Moving to the cloud doesn’t solve app design issues
Performance baseline needed prior to moving to Azure in order to understand performance
Repurposing of data -??
How to populate test/dev?
You may think that EMC and Microsoft are bitter competitors, and you may be right because in some areas they do fiercely compete. But more often than not, the two companies work together to solve customer problems with joint solutions from both sides. Even with competing products, overlapping functionality, and differences in approach, it is the customer who ultimately drives the decision. That decision is rarely a one sided architecture. Most often we see a blend of technologies from both EMC and Microsoft that come together to solve business issues and initiatives.
Microsoft has competitive technologies, guidance, and solutions in several areas. EMC has a different set of direction and federation partners.
Such examples are:
Microsoft however is hedging its bets by providing technology into their software that will leverage and take advantage of shared intelligent storage.
EMC and Microsoft have a long standing and mutually beneficial relationship. This relationship is formalized as EMC being a Microsoft “Global Alliance Partner”. Together EMC and Microsoft provide Industry leadership in cloud computing and IT Transformation.
There are several areas that show the commitment to this partnership:
As a Microsoft Certified Partner (with 16 competencies and a 21-time Partner of the Year winner), EMC offers our joint customers expertise and technologies to confidently integrate their Microsoft applications with EMC solutions. EMC and Microsoft have programs and solutions that can accelerate customers to transform their IT to private clouds, and provide IT as a Service. EMC is committed to the Microsoft platform and ecosystem, and actively continues to add value by added functionality, solutions, and leadership.
Even though the two companies compete in several areas, every customer of EMC has Microsoft in their environments to some degree. It is imperative that we talk to our customers about their Microsoft applications and communicate EMC’s value for Microsoft.