Chapter 4

Storage Systems

WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?

  • Storage and RAID technology
  • Choosing the right storage network
  • The SQL I/O system
  • Windows I/O system
  • Configuration best practices
  • Storage performance
  • Storage validation and testing

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INTRODUCTION

Storage systems have been confounding database administrators and designers since Microsoft first released SQL Server. Today DBAs are not only required to design and maintain SQL Server, but are also often pressed into service as storage administrators. For DBAs working in the enterprise, communication with the server, networking, and especially storage teams are always a challenge.

This chapter will equip you, the humble database professional, with the knowledge needed to define proper storage performance. More important, you will gain insight and a common language that enables you to communicate with storage networking teams. We will follow SQL server reads and writes as they traverse the Windows and storage stacks.

By examining various storage hardware components, you will learn how best to protect your data with RAID technology. You will also see how storage area networks assist in data protection. Finally, you will learn how to validate your functional configuration and performance.

SQL SERVER I/O

Let’s begin by investigating how SQL Server generates I/O. We are concerned with reading existing data and writing new data. At its most basic SQL Server ...

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