Disk Partition Alignment: It Still Matters–DPA for Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012, and SQL Server 2014

Introduction I continue to receive dozens of inquiries each year about this issue.  The “fix” in contemporary versions of Windows Server combined with the absence of formal guidance since the white paper’s publication has led some to believe that disk partition is no longer a best practice.  This is incorrect.  Partition alignment remains a best…


SQLIOSim Parser by Jens Suessmeyer & Yours Truly

New! Improved! v.3.3.0 Now Available on CodePlex!  Preamble SQLIOSim Parser shreds the results of SQLIOSim.log.xml in seconds, allowing easier & more accurate interpretation of the output of SQLIOSim. SQLIOSim is a tool written by CSS Engineer Bob Dorr.  Many of you know Bob from the excellent insights he shares on the CSS SQL Server Engineers blog. …


xPerf: Once I Was Blind and Now I See

I’ve been aware of the buzz around xPerf for quite some time.  I flagged emails from Microsoft Premier Field Engineers Clint Huffman (author of PAL) & Shane Creamer (author of Vital Signs) who in internal DLs both cited the tool way back in 2008. Robert Smith is also a Microsoft PFE.  He is one of…


Disk Partition Alignment (Sector Alignment): Make the Case: Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

I recently collaborated with Microsoft PFE Daniel Janik to create a template to make the case for disk partition alignment.  Perhaps your customers or stakeholders within your organization can benefit.  This work was recently broadcast throughout PFE DLs as well as the April 2009 SQLRAP Newsletter.  Thanks also to Cindy Gross & Ward Pond for…


Analyzing Storage Performance by Robert Smith on the Counter-of-the-Week (COTW) Blog

In my role with MS IT’s Assessment, Consulting, & Engineering (A.C.E.) team, I work with some of the best application perf engineers in the world.  However, A.C.E. doesn’t have a monopoly on talent; there are some great engineers throughout Microsoft. One such geek is Robert Smith who has just published a great new post on Clint Huffman’s Counter…


Disk I/O Case Study: Classic Case of SAN Over-Subscription

SAN Over-SubscriptionThere are a variety of challenges related to I/O performance.  One common problem is “SAN Over-Subscription”, which is characterized by the the following symptoms: High disk latency and Low IOPs & Throughput As MS PFE & fellow perf engineer Shane Creamer describes it, think of sucking your favorite adult beverage through a pinched straw….


Disk I/O: Microsoft SQL Server on SAN Best Practices from SQL CAT’s Mike Ruthruff (& Prem Mehra)

While at the PASS Community Summit in November 2008, I had the pleasure of attending a handful of excellent presentations.  One of the best was delivered by Mike Ruthruff (& not just because he shilled for my presentation on disk partition alignment later that day—though I suspect he contributed to my session being SRO). Mike…


Disk Partition Alignment (Sector Alignment) for SQL Server: Part 4: Essentials (Cheat Sheet)

The purpose of this post is to document Disk Partition Alignment Essentials. It is intended for engineers who are already familiar with disk partition alignment yet want a “cheat sheet”.   As most of you know, partition alignment is an essential best practice. We are seeing I/O enhancements in the lab & at important real-life…


Disk Partition Alignment (Sector Alignment) for SQL Server: Part 3: PASS 2008

I’ve spoken publicly several times this year to crowds large-&-small: TechReady 6 (an internal Microsoft conference) Indy Tech Fest ITT Commencement Last week was my first external international conference, the Professional Association for SQL Server 2008 Community Summit. This is my second summit & first speaking opportunity. The PASS summit is an incredible event. Plan…


Disk Partition Alignment (Sector Alignment) for SQL Server: Part 2: Adding HP EVA 8000 to Veritas Enterprise Administrator “Track Alignment Settings” Dialog

  Background In a previous post I documented the importance of disk partition alignment as a foundation for optimal disk I/O performance.  In the lab & in the field we’ve commonly found performance enhancements of 30% – 40% by a variety of metrics.    Though Windows Server 2008 provides for out-of-the-box alignment for new partitions,…