Microsoft SQL Server DBAs…Do You Have Flash?

By Dennis Clark Jr., Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager at NetApp


Hey Mister SQL Server administrator: do you have flash in your environment? If you don’t, why not?


There is no doubt that flash – specifically the NetApp EF540 – will make your SQL Server environment run better. The questions you’re probably asking yourself and that are holding you back are:

  1. Do I need to convert my existing environment (Because there is no way I’m doing that!)
  2. How much additional work do I have to do (I’m too busy right now, I’ll look into this in a few months)
  3. How much faster (If we do this I need to prove the business value to management)?



Let’s say you’re running on a NetApp FAS system today – doesn’t have to be, but we’ll go with that for this blog. Let’s say things are going “OK” but you’re looking to get a performance jump. You’re monitoring the systems and the load is starting to impact the business. The AlwaysOn Availability Groups verify that the two different arrays are bonded together. This design guarantees 100% data synchronization between all the servers in the Availability Groups. The other thing this does is keep all the data on the spinning disks you’ve already invested in. All this with no changes to your existing environment.


How much additional work involved? Well let’s be honest, if you don’t happen to have AlwaysOn AG’s in production there will be some effort, but that will not impact the current production environment. Remember, we’re not suggesting you convert the existing setup, just add the NetApp EF540 to get better performance. The solution is simple and uses standard AG synchronization that can be managed easily by most DBAs.



And finally, how much faster? When talking about performance, it’s important to address both speed and latency. This solution is designed to help customers looking for extreme application performance with low latency. You also need to consider data protection – at speed – and in this solution, the NetApp FAS3240 storage array lets customers define service layers in the context of data protection through Snapshot, SnapMirror, and SnapVault technologies while getting the performance requirements met by the NetApp EF540.


In the image below we show the NetApp EF540 as a standalone system and in combination with the NetApp FAS3240. Note that both latency and speed are similar for each configuration! The bottom line is customers are demanding better performance. In a couple of years every environment will need flash just to keep customers coming back. Be the admin that’s leading the charge.



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