SQL Server in the Real World

I have been a faithful subscriber to Mark Rittman’s Oracle Weblog for a long time, because he tells the war stories about what it’s like doing large scale implementations of Oracle in the real world. The kind of real-world experience he communicates is worth far more than any marketing fluff or sanitized documentation from Oracle’s UE team, and reminds me of the sort of learnings that Microsoft’s strategic customer engagements yield.

So I am pleased to discover that the SQL Customer Team has started a blog. If you work with large SQL Server Deployments, this is music to your ears; “We have implemented several systems 10TB+ in size, high volume banking systems as well as trading systems. Many of the deployments we’ve worked on were on hardware with 32-64 processors, large amounts of memory and on the most sophisticated SAN solutions. When SQL Server or any database management system is stressed at these levels you learn a lot about the internals of the product and what it can and can not do.”

Kevin Cox kicks it off with a post about application patterns that cause poor performance. Having spent a great deal of time working on scalability issues at customer sites (most of which mapped directly to the state management/database layer), I can say that Kevin is right on the money. Mark Rittman sets a really high bar for real-world database blogging, but this is a promising start.

Now, I should point out that my old comrade Michael Rys was one of the first bloggers on the SQL engine team, and SQL now has a ton of bloggers, with teams like SSIS leading the way for product-specific blogging. But the perspective from people who are doing these strategic deployments every day is something that’s been missing until now.

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