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Tag Archives: DBA

Scaling and Modernizing .NET and Java: SQLFire Performance Test Blows Away Traditional RDBMS

We all know the devil is in the details when it comes to technology.

Yet, our recent vFabric SQLFire performance test (a benchmark from vFabric SQLFire Best Practices Guide) is certainly worth review if you need to scale a Java app, .NET app, or other legacy data source.

If you don’t know what vFabric SQLFire is, it is basically what happens when Apache Derby gets married to vFabric GemFire:

  • Apache Derby is used for its RDBMS components, JDBC driver, query engine, and network server.
  • The partitioning technology of GemFire is used to implement horizontal partitioning features of vFabric SQLFire.
  • vFabric SQLFire specifically enhances the Apache Derby components, such as the query engine, the SQL interface, data persistence, and data eviction, as well as adding additional components like SQL commands, stored procedures, system tables, functions, persistence disk stores, listeners, and locators, to operate a highly distributed and fault tolerant data management cluster.

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3 Signs Your Relational Database Must Go

Application and operations teams sometimes reach a point where they must upgrade the database. Whether it’s due to data growth, lack of throughput, too much downtime, the need to share data globally, adding ETLs, or otherwise, it’s never a small project. Since these projects are expensive, any recommendation requires a solid justification.  This article a) characterizes 3 signs where traditional databases hit a wall, b) explains how vFabric SQLFire provides an advantage over traditional databases in each case, and c) should help you make a case for moving towards an in-memory, distributed data grid based on SQL.

For those of us tasked with upgrading (or architecting) the data layer, we all go through similar steps. We build a project plan, make projections and sizing estimates, perform architecture and code reviews, create configuration checklists, provide hardware budgets and plans, talk to vendors about options, and more.  Then, we work to plan the deployment with the least downtime, procure hardware and software, test different data load times, evaluate project risks, develop back-up plans, prepare communications to users about downtime, etc. You know the drill. These projects can take months and consume a fair amount of internal resources or consulting dollars. If you are starting or working on one of these types of projects with a traditional database architecture in mind, are you considering these 3 signs as you consider your options? Continue reading

vFabric Data Director supports Oracle, SQL Server, Hadoop, Postgres – Accelerates database virtualization and Big Data adoption

Virtualization continues to be one of the top priorities for CIOs. As the share of virtualized workloads approaches 60%, the enterprise is looking at database and big data workloads as the next target. Their goal is to realize the virtualization benefits with the plethora of relational database sprawling in their data centers. With the increasing popularity of analytic workloads on Hadoop, virtualization presents a fast and efficient way to get started with existing infrastructure, and scale the data dynamically as needed.

VMware’s vFabric Data Director 2.5 now extends the benefits of virtualization to both traditional relational databases like Oracle, SQL Server and Postgres as well as Big Data, multi-node data solutions like Hadoop. SQL Server and Oracle represent the majority of databases in enterprises, and, Hadoop is the one of the fastest growing data technologies in the enterprise.

vFabric Data Director enables the most common databases found in the enterprise to be delivered as a service with the agility of public cloud and enterprise-grade security and control.

The key new features in vFabric Data Director 2.5 are:

  • Support for SQL Server – Currently supported versions of SQL Server are 2008 R2 and 2012.
  • Support for Apache Hadoop 1.0-based distributions: Apache Hadoop 1.0, Cloudera CDH3, Greenplum HD 1.1, 1.2 and Hortonworks HDP-1. Data Director leverages VMware’s open source Project Serengeti to deliver this capability.
  • Streamlined Data Director Setup – Complete setup in in less than an hour
  • One-click template creation for Oracle and SQL Server through ISO based database and OS installation
  • Oracle database ingestion enhancements – Now includes Point In Time Refresh (PITR)

Data Director’s self-provisioning enables a whole new level of operational efficiencies that greatly accelerates application development. With this new release, Data Director now delivers these efficiencies in a heterogeneous database environment.

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Could You Consolidate Databases 13 to 1?

Over the last 18 months I have had the good fortune to talk to a lot of Virtualization Infrastructure Administrators on the subject of VMware and databases.  One of the things I hear the most is:

“We are 50% virtualized and our goal is to get to 75% this year.  To do that, we have to get a handle on our databases.”

While I appreciate the goal, this is easier said than done.  You see, I used to be part of the problem.

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Why DBaaS? 5 Trends Pushing Database as a Service

What if you could provision a highly available, compliant database in one click? For many, this sounds impossible…particularly behind the firewall. Yet, it is possible today because database management has changed.

The change has been driven by years, perhaps decades, of unmet needs. For example, we’ve all heard these types of comments made inside our respective companies:

  1. “Could we have a temporary copy of the database to use for a few days?”
  2. “We can finish faster doing it ourselves with a PC under someone’s desk.”
  3. “Didn’t we just buy a bunch of new database licenses?”
  4. “I have to test this with production data.”
  5. “It would be crazy to put two databases on the same server.

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2 Ways Fast/Big Data Impacts the IT Org Structure

Though my background includes time as both a developer, architect, and CTO, much of my time today is spent discussing applications with senior IT executives. I manage an application development division of a national VAR and focus on the vFabric stack from top to bottom. One of the challenges I face is trying Screen shot 2012-08-08 at 10.48.39 AM
to provide application-centric consulting services to operations/infrastructure teams who (a) don’t really own the decision of app software infrastructure and/or (b) don’t understand it and, (c) worse in some cases, don’t care. Recently, I’ve come to love my job for two primary reasons:

1. “Cloud” technologies are forcing the Operations teams and the Application teams to “share” responsibility for overall IT efficiency. The cloud concept of an on-demand, elastic infrastructure is knocking down political walls and silos that have evolved over the past decades in IT. This is no more evident than at VMWare, where vFabric and vSphere product lines are starting to blur (e.g. vCenter –> vCloud Director –> Application Director). Finally, I have something to talk to the Infrastructure folks that gets them excited! Perhaps it is the needed automation of infrastructure that brings Ops to the Aps side. Or, perhaps it an elastic architecture that brings Aps over to the Ops side. In any event, the two teams are brought together and work together more in cloud solutions.

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Virtualization for Oracle DBs – Some cut TCO by 50%

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Register for the Webcast "Virtualize and Manage Oracle Databases with VMware vFabric Data Director"

Date: Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 9:00 AM PDT

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One of the biggest IT megatrends of the new millennium has been virtualization.  As of 2011:

While that sounds (and is) impressive, it will draw little more than a yawn from most of many of my DBA and ETL friends.  “Virtualization is great and all”, they say, “but we do real work.  You know, we work with Oracle and with data.” 

And, therein lies the rub.  

Database Virtualization Needs

If there is any part of enterprise that needs to increase flexibility and reduce cost, it is on the data side of IT.  For example, database operations suffer from: 

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