MySQL, NoSQL, and NuoDB

I've been keen on MySQL ever since I first started using it heavily more than a decade ago.  In fact, I liked it well enough to include it as one of the four main database platforms, over and above the ANSI-ISO SQL standard, in my popular book SQL in a Nutshell. However, with the advent of NoSQL data platforms in the last few years, the waters have been muddied.  It's no longer a quick easy decision as to which database platform you should use, both because there are many new platforms to choose from and because the old, easy choices aren't as cut and dried as they used to be.  MySQL, for … [Read more...]

Cheaters Never Win, Even in TPC Benchmarks

In this column, I want to tell you about one of my favorite aspects of the TPC benchmarks – CHEATING. Keep in mind that I use the term “cheating” in a joking manner with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.  But I’m also half-serious.  One of the of the things that is great about the TPC benchmarks is that each of the vendors are required to fully describe all of the shortcuts, tweaks, and special operating configurations they use in order to achieve their spectacular performance numbers.  In a sense, the Transaction Processing Counsel requires that all benchmarked platforms declare all of … [Read more...]

Use TPC Database Benchmarks to Save Money

Last month, I began a series of articles describing database application benchmarking. In the first article, I told you about different ways that you can construct your own database application benchmark. However, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The Transaction Processing Council ( has already created a large number of database benchmarks that are extremely useful and informative. I also described last month how the TPC provides several different types of benchmark tests. For example the TPC-C and TPC-E benchmarks are extremely useful for measuring transaction throughput. … [Read more...]

Read the New TPC Database Benchmarking Series

Introduction to TPC Database Benchmarks Let's talk about database application benchmarking. This is a skill set which, in my opinion, is one of the major differentiators between a journeyman-level DBA and a true master of the trade. In this article published in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine, I'll give you a brief introduction to TPC benchmarks and, in future articles, I'll be telling you how to extract specific pieces of valuable information from the published benchmark results. But let's get started with an overview … read … [Read more...]

Timewarp: What Is a Relational Database?

Relational?!? Move On, Geezer! Maybe you're thinking that relational databases management systems (RDBMSs), like Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, are going the way of punched cards and rotary phones.  After all, there's been a lot of hype these days in the IT media about the rise of so-called NoSQL (Not Only SQL) databases.  Many new and upcoming CS and MIS graduates who like working with data might think that relational databases are, at best, soon-to-be legacy systems and, at worst, are a career dead-end. Wrong!!! It's true that all the cool-cat computing services (Amazon, Facebook, … [Read more...]

Accelerate OLTP with HP and Microsoft’s New High Performance Reference Architecture

If you haven't started to read Shashank Pawar (blog), you're missing out.  Shashank is part of Microsoft Australia and has been writing some very good content lately.  Here's an example from the Reference Architecture for High Performance SQL Server: HP and Microsoft engineering teams have worked together to create a reference architecture to Accelerate Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) database workloads with a fully-flash based HP/Microsoft architecture and achieve significant performance increases, simplified database manageability, and industry leading TCO. The details come in a … [Read more...]

Managing Complex DB Environments

Check out the new white paper “Key Methods for Managing Complex DB Environments” at Heterogeneous database management hassles used to be much less common than today. When I first started at Quest nearly ten years ago, I'd put forward that on 15-20% of my big customers regularly managed more than one major database platform. (That doesn't mean they didn't have more than one, rather secondary platforms were either unmanaged or considered entirely unimportant). Today, I'd put forward that 70-80% of my big customers support at least two major database platforms. Often, they support … [Read more...]

SQL Server Migration Roll-Up

There are so many great tools out there for data professionals using Microsoft SQL Server.  I really like to see all of these great tools made free to the public.  On the other hand, I'm bummed that the tools are cast about in a very decentralized fashion. If you haven't done migrations before, you might want to start with these good white papers first. Here are a hand full of cool migration tools worth mentioning: Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for MySQL: Migrate from MySQL to SQL Azure or SQL Server with ease.  Plus, here are a few related Knowledge Base (KB) … [Read more...]

SQLServerPedia Has a New Editor-in-Chief. Oh no, it’s Me!

Attrition has taken its toll once again as a few good friends  move from being colleagues to being former colleagues. As a result of the folks moving on to bigger and better things, I'm now stepping up in to the roll of editor-in-chief of SQLServerPedia.  This roll is mostly about checking on the quality of content produced by our syndicating bloggers to make sure that they're not trying to sell products or services and that their posts are of high quality.  That's about where the official duties end, save for things like acting as a judge in big SSP contests. One new aspect that I want … [Read more...]

Adventures in the Land of CloudDB/NoSQL/NoAcid

Last year, some of my friends from Quest Software attended Hadoop World in New York. In 2009, I never would've guessed that Quest would be there with products, community initiatives, as a major sponsor and with presenters? There were just under 1,000 attendees who weren’t the typical devheads and geekasaurs you'd normally see at very techie events like Code Camps, SQL Saturdays, Cloud Camps and or even other NoSQL events such as the Cassandra Summit. We're talkin' enterprise customers with active Hadoop projects underway. Some observations from the show that may be of interest to … [Read more...]