Introducing the Azure SQL Data Warehouse DWU Calculator


Over a year ago my colleague at Microsoft, Justin Henricksen, introduce the Azure SQL Database DTU Calculator this tool is designed to examine your existing workload and estimate the service tier required to fulfill the workload when migrated to Azure SQL Database.  I discussed this effort with Justin, and we decided it would be a great idea to follow the same pattern with Azure SQL Data Warehouse.  Like the DTU Calculator the this new DWU Calculator  is designed to be easy to use and give you a good idea where to start when provisioning your Data Warehouse.  Unlike the DTU Calculator it uses different metrics for its calculations to align better to usage patterns of data warehouses and the nuances of the Azure SQL Data Warehouse service.

While I will get into more details on this utility, the premise of it is really quite simple.

  1. Run a utility via powershell or a simple executable to capture metrics from the server while under load.
  2. Upload the captured csv file to the calculator.
  3. Examine the recommended performance level(s) and determine your starting point.
    **Note:  This step is important because typically not all of the captured workload will fit in a single performance tier.  The calculator will tell you what percentage of the observed workload fits in each tier and make a balanced recommendation.

I soft launched this utility (meaning I published it without telling anyone) back in July and haven’t had any major issues.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be cleaning up some documentation in advance of a more formal introduction.

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