SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, March 2, 2006--SAN vs. SATA Drives

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March 2, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Using a SAN or SATA Drives--Benefits Versus Price

    2. News & Views

  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition as a Database Platform Seminar
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Wikis
  • New Instant Poll: BOL

    3. Events and Resources

  • DevConnections--Register Now
  • Web Seminar: Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition
  • Web Seminar: Rethinking SQL Server Backup and Restore Strategies
  • Windows IT Pro Toolkits

    4. Featured White Paper

  • Learn About Complying with the PCI Data Security Standards

    5. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Updating an Oracle Trigger for SQL Server 2000
  • Hot Article: Feature Pack 2005
  • In a Nutshell: Friday at PASS Europe 2006
  • Hot Threads

    6. Announcements

  • Save 50% Off the SQL Server Magazine Master CD
  • SQL Server Magazine--SAVE 58%

    7. New & Improved

  • Replicate Data Across Heterogeneous Databases
  • Simplify and Centralize SQL Calculations

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    1. Perspectives

    Using a SAN or SATA Drives--Benefits Versus Price
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Interested in learning how you can achieve faster database I/O performance at 1/40th the price of a high-end SAN? Then you must read the March SQL Server Magazine article "Pare Down and Power Up," at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/49011/49011.html. Read it and you’ll learn how Rich Johnson and his colleagues at Microsoft Consulting Services leveraged the work of Dr. Jim Gray, a senior researcher and manager of Microsoft's Bay Area Research Center, to build a 24TB data warehouse capable of more than 2.2GB per second for sequential reads and 2.0GB for sequential writes.

    Even if you don't have a strong background in hardware I/O, you’ll find that the 2.2GB-per-second throughput is probably as good as or better than any database throughput numbers you can achieve using a conventional SAN solution, regardless of how much money you want to spend. How did Rich do it? He used Serial ATA (SATA) drives in a direct-attached storage system.

    This week’s editorial isn’t designed to fight the arguments that SAN advocates will raise regarding the availability and other manageability benefits of a SAN, and I’m certainly not going to attempt to address the issue of reliability of a SATA drive versus a SCSI drive. This week's column is simply about making you think. Sure, I’ll concede that a SAN is really nifty for all sorts of reasons. But let’s focus on the possibility of getting performance that equals or exceeds that of a SAN for 1/40th the price. Spending $50,000 rather than two million for a high-end, multiterabyte data warehouse will intrigue many people. All of a sudden, the extra benefits a SAN provides might not seem so attractive or cost-effective.

    The information Rich presents in his article won't make SANs obsolete, but it might make readers realize that many customer solutions will be better served by considering a direct-attached SATA-based solution. Over the next year, I expect a tremendous amount of FUD from system vendors that have vested interests in protecting the SAN status quo and their large profit margins. I also expect a lot of innovative solution providers to find ways to deliver reliable, available, highly scalable database I/O solutions by using the ideas presented in Rich’s article. Read the article and let me know what you think.

    P.S. You might want to also read the commentary from Douglas McDowell, "Are you ready for the "SQL Server Microwave"?," at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/49561/49561.html .This article describes Rich Johnson's new prototype BI Server and storage platform he's been testing.

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    2. News & Views

    Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition as a Database Platform Seminar

    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Recently, Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 Release 2 (R2) Enterprise Edition, which includes many system changes. Database developers will be most interested in the Cluster service and Microsoft Metadirectory Service (MMS). Cluster service provides disaster tolerance and the ability to have as many as eight geographically dispersed servers working together and appearing as a single system. MMS used with Active Directory (AD) lets you link data sources together and manage the identity information from a central source. Learn how to use Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition as a database-hosting platform for SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition and how this solution can support requirements for a large database. Register for this online seminar, which takes place on April 11, 2006, at 12 PM EDT, at
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/seminars/microsoft/database/?parterref=

    Results of Previous Instant Poll: Wikis
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp"Do you trust the content in wikis?" Here are the results from the 45 votes:
  • 27% Yes, I think they are good resources
  • 38% Yes, but I often double-check their facts
  • 22% Sometimes, but I take them with a grain of salt
  • 13% No, I don’t trust wikis

    New Instant Poll: BOL
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp "Have you used SQL Server Books Online (BOL)?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page (http://www.sqlmag.com ) and submit your vote for:

  • Yes, I use BOL all the time
  • I have accessed BOL just to try it
  • No, I haven't used BOL

    3. Events and Resources

    DevConnections provides world-class education for developers, architects, DBAs, and IT professionals.

    WinConnections (2 conferences for the price of 1): April 9-12, 2006, Orlando, Florida, http://www.winconnections.com

    DevConnections (4 conferences for the price of 1): April 2-5, 2006, Orlando, Florida, http://www.devconnections.com

    DevConnections Europe coming to Nice, France, April 24-27, 2006.
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    Web Seminar: Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Learn why new features in Windows Server 2003 R2, including large clustering, increased RAM, and 64-bit support make it the ideal platform for your collaboration tools. Live event: March 28; 12 PM EST
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    Web Seminar: Rethinking SQL Server Backup and Restore Strategies
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Learn how to leverage new features in SQL Server 2005 to extend your existing backup and restore capabilities. View the on-demand Web seminar now!
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    Windows IT Pro Toolkits
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    4. Featured White Paper

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    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Get the tips you need to prepare for and comply with the PCI Data Security Standard, including how to define the 12 major requirements and how those requirements affect IT.
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    5. Peer to Peer

    Hot Tip: Updating an Oracle Trigger for SQL Server 2000
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp by Microsoft’s SQL Server Development Team, [email protected]

    Q. I previously used Oracle's BEFORE and AFTER triggers to update tables. Now that I'm using SQL Server 2000 it seems like I have to use INSTEAD OF triggers. Is this true?

    Read the answer to this question today at
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://www.windowsitpro.com/sqlserver/article/articleid/48461/sqlserver_48461.html

    Hot Article: Feature Pack 2005
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Microsoft recently released a feature pack for SQL Server 2005 Server. In his March SELECT TOP(X) column "Feature Pack 2005," Michael Otey lists his 10 favorite features. Read this article today and post your comments at
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://www.windowsitpro.com/sqlserver/article/articleid/49002/sqlserver_49002.html

    In a Nutshell: Friday at PASS Europe 2006
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Last week, Kevin Kline attended the 2006 Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) European Conference in Spain. In his blog, Kevin lists some of the sessions he attended and links to two documents about troubleshooting SQL Server 2005 performance problems and PSS Service Center labs that Microsoft France's Patrick Guimonet highlighted during his sessions. Read his summary and find the links to the articles at
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/49507/49507.html#post

    Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://www.windowsitpro.com/sqlserver/forums/

    Administration: Not enough server storage is available to process this request.
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=60&threadid=46336&enterthread=y

    T-SQL: Dropping ALL Triggers But the Trigger Names are Not Known
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=80&threadid=46331&enterthread=y

    Performance: Execution Plan, Index Order
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=62&threadid=46304&enterthread=y

    Security: Give a developer permission to create a server login and govern its permissions
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    6. Announcements

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    7. New & Improved

    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp by Blake Eno, [email protected]

    Replicate Data Across Heterogeneous Databases
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp HiT Software announced DBMoto 5, a data-replication solution for your enterprise servers and desktops that supports SQL Server 2005, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, Microsoft Access, and PostgreSQL. DBMoto consists of Enterprise Manager, a GUI that lets you define your replication tasks, and DBMoto Engine, DBMoto's processor, which optimizes your replication and synchronization tasks. Other new features include Visual Basic.NET scripting, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, and real-time replication monitoring. A free trial is available. For more information, contact HiT Software at [email protected] or 408-345-4001.
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    Simplify and Centralize SQL Calculations
    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp AppFusion announces Advanced Modeling, a new component for its business intelligence (BI) and collaboration platform. This product lets you treat relational data as multi-dimensional arrays so that you can easily perform complex SQL calculations. Advanced Modeling eliminates the need for complex SQL JOIN and UNION statements and lets you perform hierarchical or customized financial modeling, time-series analyses, and iterative calculations. In addition, the product lets you manage all the calculations within the BI and Collaboration Dashboard. For more information, contact AppFusion at 858-587-2574.
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