SQL Server Consolidation & Virtualization Practice..

Posted by Deepak Kumar | Posted in SQL BI/DW/SSRS, SQL DBA, SQL Dev, Uncategorized | Posted on 22-12-2010



    image Consolidation by definition is the process of combining multiple SQL Server Databases & Servers running on different machines (could be geographically separated) onto a smaller number of more powerful machines in a central location. However in my opinion regarding SQL, its a process of getting organized, spending for what you need or use, and off-course saving at the same time. Lets see how consolidation and virtualization works together?

    Microsoft SQL Server since beginning is overall self maintaining, secure by default and self tuning DBMS that requires a very little or basic configuration during installation or later during usage, In a large Enterprise size organization its easier adaptability and usage can lead into uncoordinated installations, wasted hardware and licenses, lack of standards and security holes.

Think Again!  You should consider adopting Virtualization and Consolidation technique if you have similar questions:

  • Looking by your SQL Server inventory list, you realized that number of SQL servers are going up every month?

  • Looking by server utilization reports, you realized that your team or vendor over estimated database server hardware requirements and workload; leading into buying excessive hardware that your application is never going to use?

  • Every time it take months to plan & implement SQL patching, upgrades, installation etc, Applying SQL Server best practices and security updates/settings are complex and far of reach.

Better together Approach: You can consider three best possible scenario to implement, but are having its own benefits and concerns.

  • One OS/One SQLinstance- multiple databases
    Its the best that you can get, in simple words evaluate your application that uses a few database(s); move your databases to a shared database server. Concerns: shared cache, SA permission, similar name databases or objects and logins, maintenance window, remote desktop connection (rdp) etc

  • One OS/Multiple SQL Instance
    Build a server having multiple SQL Server instances for applications that require its own unique collation, SQL version & build, own dedicated memory/cache, tempdb etc. Concerns: SA permissions, remote desktop etc.

  • One OS/One SQL Instance (virtualization)
    For applications having extreme performance needs and unique set of configurations. build a server with multiple virtual Operating systems and each OS running SQL Instance.
    Software dependency: Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware, hp polyserve etc


      Consolidation & Virtualization benefits

      • Reduced Software & Operating System Licensing cost
      • Reduced Server Hardwar cost, fewer number of servers required
      • Datacenter space, Power consumption, Cooling Cost cut down (GreenIT)
      • Monitoring & Support cost; fewer resources needed to monitor/control/patch servers etc
      • Easier Server move-ability with scale up & scale out solutions
      • High availability option (depends on setup)


        • Single point of failure (But, you can implementing a good high availability solution to deal with this issue)
        • Takes time & efforts to consolidate (But, once setup year by year return in terms of savings)
        • Complex Service Charge Model. If your organization do the billing of services provided to various business units, then you may need to do complex calculation based on usage before billing to individual units.

          Milestones to Destination

          • Inventory: Prepare inventory of SQL Server hosted in your environment. You may consider using Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool (MAP)
          • Hardware Sizing: Document database server resource available on the server like CPU, Memory, Storage, DISKIO, etc
          • Hardware Usage: Identify database server usage/utilization over a period of time, prepare histogram of Peak, Low & average usage. You may use perfmon or 3rd party tools like VMware capacity planner.
          • Savings: Calculate server operational cost in current setup and compare with new consolidated & virtualized model.
          • Going ahead: You may want to ask some specific database related questions to application owners
            • Is it a vendor supported/provided SQL Instance with limitations or internal home grown application? and what is workload or capacity planning guidelines for future.
            • Any significant reason a physical server is required? or why physical to virtual (P2V) should not be done?
            • Can Databases’ from SQL Instance be clubbed/consolidated with other SQL Instance? what is frequency of database changes/deployment or downtime requirements.
            • Can SQL instance be upgraded to latest SQL Server version & build? as per virtualization standard in your environment?
            • What are high availability options implemented for the databases & SQL Service?
          • Best practices:

            • Its better to divide entire SQL Server inventory into multiple smaller sections. Example- Should look at creating 5 subset of 100 servers rather than going in for virtualization of all 500 servers in a single attempt. Apply learning, experiences and best practices in later subsets.
            • Use single machine with individual SQL Named Instance or VM for Production/Test/Development/Staging db requirements. (depends on application/environment)
            • Never ever, oversubscribe resources for your server on virtual platform
            • Calculate total server workload in virtualization model with real-time application and database workload in different scenario or timings.
            • Carefully choose virtualization technique and server hardware to implement

            Resources: Microsoft, VMware, MS PDF

            Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 4 RTM

            Posted by Deepak Kumar | Posted in SQL DBA, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-12-2010


            Service Pack 4 (SP4) for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is now available for download. SQL Server 2005 service packs are cumulative, and this service pack upgrades all service levels of SQL Server 2005 to SP4 . You can use these packages to upgrade any of the following SQL Server 2005 editions:

            Enterprise Evaluation

            SQL Server 2005 SP4 includes SQL Server 2005 SP3 cumulative update 1 to 11, customer requested fixes, along with instances of the SQL Server 2005 SP4 database Engine support for DAC operations.


            Get Notification as soon as SQL Services are restarted

            Posted by Deepak Kumar | Posted in Scripts, SQL DBA, SQL Dev | Posted on 17-09-2010


            Being production DBA and responsible for a dozen to 100+ SQL Servers running in your organization or datacenter, Sometimes, you must be wondering that how you can make sure you are fully aware what is going when you are not at work. There is an easy way to stay in touch with your SQL Server(s), you can create a SQL job on the server, relax and hope you never get such alarm. yup, as soon as SQL Services will restart, the first thing its going to do is send you an email for restart notification.


            DECLARE @UpTimeDays int
            DECLARE @SQLSvcStarted varchar(20)
            DECLARE @rc int
            DECLARE @msg varchar(1000)
            SET @UpTimeDays=(select DateDiff(D, CrDate, GetDate()) from master..sysdatabases where name='tempdb')
            IF @UpTimeDays = 0
            SET @SQLSvcStarted = (select convert(varchar(20), CrDate, 113) 
            from master..sysdatabases where name = 'tempdb')
            SET @msg='The SQL Services on <b>'+@@SERVERNAME+'</b> was restarted on <b>'+@SQLSvcStarted +'</b>'
            EXEC @rc = msdb.dbo.sp_send_dbmail
            @profile_name = 'SQLMailProfileName',
            @recipients = 'dk@sqlknowledge.com',
            @importance = 'high',
            @subject = 'SQL Server Restart Notification!',
            @body_format = 'html',
            @body = @msg,
            @exclude_query_output = 1
            IF @rc = 1 RAISERROR('xp_smtp_sendmail Failed', 16, 1)

            Database Logshipping issues & Considerations!

            Posted by Deepak Kumar | Posted in SQL DBA, Uncategorized | Posted on 04-06-2010


            While working on SQL Server logshipping a DBA must consider following points to have log shipping setup running smoothly over a long period of time. Logshipping architect will look like:


            • Transaction log Backup and restoration jobs should work constantly (in parallel) and if backup/restoration jobs are not in sync due to network/server or any other issue it will crash logshipping setup and you may need to setup again or apply full backup restore once again. A DBA must add good number of alerts to notify as soon as transaction log backup, file copy or restoration job fails and act immediately to resolve it.
            • Its highly recommended that you should use almost similar set (size/drive name) etc on both servers. if your database log file increases to 100GB on primary server that means your secondary server should have 100GB capacity also. Similarly if you add new log/data files on primary database it should have similar location on secondary server, or you may need to manually restore TL backup on secondary server with move command.
            • Primary database can create huge transaction log backups during alter index/dbreindex tasks that you may find hard to move to secondary server(s); to mitigate the delay and risk you may choose to buy 3rd party products like Red-Gate/ Idera etc with logshipping features.
            • Use a customized script to transfer SQL Server logins to secondary server(s).
            • Logshipping failover is not fully automatic, manual DBA intervention is expected to recover databases during failure.
            • For SQL 2000 logshipping is good, however if you are using SQL2005 or 2008 use database mirroring which is advance to logshipping with hot standby feature of SQL Server.

            How long does a SP stay in the cache?

            Posted by Deepak Kumar | Posted in Scripts, SQL BI/DW/SSRS, SQL DBA, SQL Dev, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-04-2010


             image As a SQL Database Administrator, developer, designer you must be eager to know how long does a stored procedure execution plan stay in the cache? On what basis and parameters Microsoft SQL Server decide age of an execution plan to reside in cache? The quick answer is, it is based on the cost factor and number of reference to that object in cache. Let’s see how it goes in details:

            Once the execution plan is generated for a SP, it stays in the procedure cache. SQL Server 2000 Lazy writer keep looking and throwing out unused plans out of the cache “only when space is needed in cache”.

            Each query plan and execution context has an ‘associated cost factor’ that indicates how expensive the structure is to compile. These data structures also have an age field. Each time the object is referenced by a connection, the age field is incremented by the compilation cost factor.

            For example, if a query plan of SP has a cost factor of 8 and is referenced twice, its age becomes 16. The lazywriter process periodically scans the list of objects in the procedure cache. The lazywriter decrements the age field of each object by 1 on each scan.

            The age of your SP Execution plan is decremented to 0 after 16 scans of the procedure cache, unless another user references the plan. The lazywriter process deallocates an object if these conditions are met:

            • The memory manager requires memory and all available memory is currently in use.
            • The age field for the object is 0.
            • The object is not currently referenced by a connection.

            The same way, certain changes in a database can cause an execution plan to be either inefficient or invalid, like below:

            • Any structural changes made to a table or view referenced by the query (ALTER TABLE and ALTER VIEW).
            • New distribution statistics generated either explicitly from a statement such as UPDATE STATISTICS or automatically.
            • Dropping an index used by the execution plan.
            • An explicit call to sp_recompile.
            • Large numbers of changes to keys (generated by INSERT or DELETE statements from other users that modify a table referenced by the query).
            • For tables with triggers, if the number of rows in the inserted or deleted tables grows significantly.

            You can read more from SQL 2000 BOL: Topic under “Lazy Writer”, ‘Freeing and Writing Buffer Pages’ OR online at: Link


            CHECKPOINT Forces all dirty pages for the current database to be written to disk. Dirty pages are data or log pages modified after entered into the buffer cache, but the modifications have not yet been written to disk.

            SQL Server Buffer Mgr: Lazy Writes/Sec:

            This counter tracks how many times a second that the Lazy Writer process is moving dirty pages from the buffer to disk in order to free up buffer space.

            Below are some documented and undocumented DBCC commands available in SQL Server 2000 to deal and find more information about SQL Server cache.

            To monitor the cache:

            DBCC PROCCACHE

            To clean the cache:


            Hopefully I have not put too many new questions in your mind. But if I have, feel free to post your comments!

            List of Undocumented DBCC command..

            Posted by Deepak Kumar | Posted in Scripts, SQL DBA, SQL Dev, Uncategorized | Posted on 10-03-2010


            List of Undocumented DBCC command..

            DBCC activecursors [(spid)]

            DBCC addextendedproc (function_name, dll_name)

            DBCC addinstance (objectname, instancename)

            DBCC adduserobject (name)

            DBCC auditevent (eventclass, eventsubclass, success, loginname, rolename, dbusername, loginid)

            DBCC autopilot (typeid, dbid, tabid, indid, pages [,flag])

            DBCC balancefactor (variance_percent)

            DBCC bufcount [(number_of_buffers)]

            DBCC buffer ( {‘dbname’ | dbid} [, objid [, number [, printopt={0|1|2} ][, dirty | io | kept | rlock | ioerr | hashed ]]])

            DBCC bytes ( startaddress, length )

            DBCC cachestats

            DBCC callfulltext

            DBCC checkalloc [(‘database_name'[, NOINDEX | REPAIR])] [WITH NO_INFOMSGS[, ALL_ERRORMSGS][, ESTIMATEONLY]]

            DBCC checkcatalog [(‘database_name’)] [WITH NO_INFOMSGS]

            DBCC checkconstraints [( ‘tab_name’ | tab_id | ‘constraint_name’ | constraint_id )] [WITH ALL_CONSTRAINTS | ALL_ERRORMSGS]


            DBCC checkdbts (dbid, newTimestamp)]

            DBCC checkfilegroup [( [ {‘filegroup_name’ | filegroup_id} ] [, NOINDEX] )] [WITH NO_INFOMSGS[, ALL_ERRORMSGS][, PHYSICAL_ONLY][, ESTIMATEONLY][, TABLOCK]]

            DBCC checkident (‘table_name'[, { NORESEED | {RESEED [, new_reseed_value] } } ] )

            DBCC checkprimaryfile ( {‘FileName’} [, opt={0|1|2|3} ])

            DBCC checktable (‘table_name'[, {NOINDEX | index_id | REPAIR}]) [WITH NO_INFOMSGS[, ALL_ERRORMSGS][, PHYSICAL_ONLY][, ESTIMATEONLY][, TABLOCK]]

            DBCC cleantable (‘database_name’|database_id, ‘table_name’|table_id, [batch_size])

            DBCC cacheprofile [( {actionid} [, bucketid])

            DBCC clearspacecaches (‘database_name’|database_id, ‘table_name’|table_id, ‘index_name’|index_id)

            DBCC collectstats (on | off)

            DBCC concurrencyviolation (reset | display | startlog | stoplog)

            DBCC config

            DBCC cursorstats ([spid [,’clear’]])

            DBCC dbinfo [(‘dbname’)]

            DBCC dbrecover (dbname [, IgnoreErrors])

            DBCC dbreindex (‘table_name’ [, index_name [, fillfactor ]]) [WITH NO_INFOMSGS]

            DBCC dbreindexall (db_name/db_id, type_bitmap)

            DBCC dbrepair (‘dbname’, DROPDB [, NOINIT])

            DBCC dbtable [({‘dbname’ | dbid})]

            DBCC debugbreak

            DBCC deleteinstance (objectname, instancename)

            DBCC des [( {‘dbname’ | dbid} [, {‘objname’ | objid} ])]

            DBCC detachdb [( ‘dbname’ )]

            DBCC dropcleanbuffers

            DBCC dropextendedproc (function_name)

            DBCC dropuserobject (‘object_name’)

            DBCC dumptrigger ({‘BREAK’, {0 | 1}} | ‘DISPLAY’ | {‘SET’, exception_number} | {‘CLEAR’, exception_number})

            DBCC errorlog

            DBCC extentinfo [({‘database_name’| dbid | 0} [, {‘table_name’ | table_id} [, {‘index_name’ | index_id | -1}]])]

            DBCC fileheader [( {‘dbname’ | dbid} [, fileid])

            DBCC fixallocation [({‘ADD’ | ‘REMOVE’}, {‘PAGE’ | ‘SINGLEPAGE’ | ‘EXTENT’ | ‘MIXEDEXTENT’}, filenum, pagenum [, objectid, indid])

            DBCC flush (‘data’ | ‘log’, dbid)

            DBCC flushprocindb (database)

            DBCC free dll_name (FREE)

            DBCC freeproccache

            DBCC freeze_io (db)

            DBCC getvalue (name)

            DBCC help (‘dbcc_command’ | ‘?’)

            DBCC icecapquery (‘dbname’, stored_proc_name [, #_times_to_icecap  (-1 infinite, 0 turns off)]) Use ‘dbcc icecapquery (printlist)’ to see list of SP’s to profile. Use ‘dbcc icecapquery (icecapall)’ to profile all SP’s.

            DBCC incrementinstance (objectname, countername, instancename, value)

            DBCC ind ( { ‘dbname’ | dbid }, { ‘objname’ | objid }, { indid | 0 | -1 | -2 } )

            DBCC indexdefrag ({dbid | dbname | 0}, {tableid | tablename}, {indid | indname})

            DBCC inputbuffer (spid)

            DBCC invalidate_textptr (textptr)

            DBCC invalidate_textptr_objid (objid)

            DBCC iotrace ( { ‘dbname’ | dbid | 0 | -1 }, { fileid | 0 }, bufsize, [ { numIOs | -1 } [, { timeout (sec) | -1 } [, printopt={ 0 | 1 }]]] )

            DBCC latch ( address [, ‘owners’] [, ‘stackdumps’])

            DBCC lock ([{‘DUMPTABLE’ | ‘DUMPSTATS’ | ‘RESETSTATS’ | ‘HASH’}]|[{‘STALLREPORTTHESHOLD’, stallthreshold}])

            DBCC lockobjectschema (‘object_name’)

            DBCC log ([dbid[,{0|1|2|3|4}[,[‘lsn’,'[0x]x:y:z’]|[‘numrecs’,num]|[‘xdesid’,’x:y’]|[‘extent’,’x:y’]|[‘pageid’,’x:y’]|[‘objid’,{x,’y’}]|[‘logrecs’,{‘lop’|op}…]|[‘output’,x,[‘filename’,’x’]]…]]])

            DBCC loginfo [({‘database_name’ | dbid})]

            DBCC matview ({‘PERSIST’ | ‘ENDPERSIST’ | ‘FREE’ | ‘USE’ | ‘ENDUSE’})

            DBCC memobjlist [(memory object)]

            DBCC memorymap

            DBCC memorystatus

            DBCC memospy

            DBCC memusage ([IDS | NAMES], [Number of rows to output])

            DBCC monitorevents (‘sink’ [, ‘filter-expression’])

            DBCC newalloc – please use checkalloc instead

            DBCC no_textptr (table_id , max_inline)

            DBCC opentran [({‘dbname’| dbid})] [WITH TABLERESULTS[,NO_INFOMSGS]]

            DBCC outputbuffer (spid)

            DBCC page ( {‘dbname’ | dbid}, filenum, pagenum [, printopt={0|1|2|3} ][, cache={0|1} ])

            DBCC perflog

            DBCC perfmon

            DBCC pglinkage (dbid, startfile, startpg, number, printopt={0|1|2}, targetfile, targetpg, order={1|0})

            DBCC pintable (database_id, table_id)

            DBCC procbuf [({‘dbname’ | dbid}[, {‘objname’ | objid}[, nbufs[, printopt = { 0 | 1 } ]]] )]

            DBCC proccache

            DBCC prtipage (dbid, objid, indexid [, [{{level, 0} | {filenum, pagenum}}] [,printopt]])

            DBCC pss [(uid[, spid[, printopt = { 1 | 0 }]] )]

            DBCC readpage ({ dbid, ‘dbname’ }, fileid, pageid, formatstr [, printopt = { 0 | 1} ])

            DBCC rebuild_log (dbname [, filename])

            DBCC renamecolumn (object_name, old_name, new_name)

            DBCC resource

            DBCC row_lock (dbid, tableid, set) – Not Needed

            DBCC ruleoff ({ rulenum | rulestring } [, { rulenum | rulestring } ]+)

            DBCC ruleon (  rulenum | rulestring } [, { rulenum | rulestring } ]+)

            DBCC setcpuweight (weight)

            DBCC setinstance (objectname, countername, instancename, value)

            DBCC setioweight (weight)

            DBCC show_statistics (‘table_name’, ‘target_name’)

            DBCC showcontig (table_id | table_name [, index_id | index_name] [WITH FAST, ALL_INDEXES, TABLERESULTS [,ALL_LEVELS]])

            DBCC showdbaffinity

            DBCC showfilestats [(file_num)]

            DBCC showoffrules

            DBCC showonrules

            DBCC showtableaffinity (table)

            DBCC showtext (‘dbname’, {textpointer | {fileid, pageid, slotid [,option]}})

            DBCC showweights

            DBCC shrinkdatabase ({dbid | ‘dbname’}, [freespace_percentage [, {NOTRUNCATE | TRUNCATEONLY}]])

            DBCC shrinkdb  is no longer supported. Please use shrinkdatabase instead

            DBCC shrinkfile ({fileid | ‘filename’}, [compress_size [, {NOTRUNCATE | TRUNCATEONLY | EMPTYFILE}]])

            DBCC sqlmgrstats


            DBCC stackdump [( {uid[, spid[, ecid]} | {threadId, ‘THREADID’}] )]

            DBCC tab ( dbid, objid )

            DBCC tape_control {‘query’ | ‘release’}[,(‘\\.\tape<n>’)]

            DBCC tec [( uid[, spid[, ecid]] )]

            DBCC textall [({‘database_name’|database_id}[, ‘FULL’ | FAST] )]

            DBCC textalloc ({‘table_name’|table_id}[, ‘FULL’ | FAST])

            DBCC thaw_io (db)

            DBCC traceoff [( tracenum [, tracenum … ] )]

            DBCC traceon [( tracenum [, tracenum … ] )]

            DBCC tracestatus (trace# [, …trace#])

            DBCC unpintable (dbid, table_id)

            DBCC updateusage ({‘database_name’| 0} [, ‘table_name’ [, index_id]]) [WITH [NO_INFOMSGS] [,] COUNT_ROWS]

            DBCC upgradedb (db)

            DBCC usagegovernor (command, value)

            DBCC useplan [(number_of_plan)]

            DBCC useroptions

            DBCC wakeup (spid)

            DBCC writepage ({ dbid, ‘dbname’ }, fileid, pageid, offset, length, data)

            © 2010 SQLKnowledge.com Increase your website traffic with Attracta.com