SQL Server Data Warehouse Fast Track for Tegile

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1 SQL Server Data Warehouse Fast Track for Tegile 20 TB Certified Data Warehouse Reference Architecture Installation and Configuration Guide 5U Design: Featuring Tegile Zebi HA2400 Storage Array November 2013 Document: FS-DW-1 Edit version: 1.0

2 Table of Contents Fast Track Conceptual Overview... 4 Simplified Approach to Data Warehouse Management... 4 Changing the Data Management Paradigm... 6 Real Time Updates... 7 Tegile HA 2400 Performance Overview... 8 Hardware Overview... 9 Summary Installation and Configuration instructions Installing HBA cards and Memory Modules Connecting Compute Node to Storage Array Operating System Installation Pre Operating System Installation Tasks Operating System Installation Service Packs and Special Instructions Post Operating System Installation Configuration Storage Array Installation HBA Drivers Configuring MPIO Storage Array Configuration SQL Server Installation Pre SQL Server Installation Tasks Installing SQL Server Post SQL Server Installation Configuration Checklists Operating System Storage SQL Server High Availability Scenario Local HA Remote HA Bill of Materials

3 Introduction Target audience: The target audience for this document consists of Business Intelligence Architects, Big Data Analysts, DBAs, Service Providers, and business intelligence (BI) users with an interest in options for their Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Applications. About this White Paper: The document is separated into 2 parts, the first part explains how Tegile addresses the price/performance vs. capacity tradeoffs most businesses have to make. The second part contains step-by-step installation and configuration instructions on how to build this high performance certified system. This is a real system which can be created and configured in about a day, and be ready to load data into an SQL Server. Introduction to Fast Track Data Warehouse The Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse (Fast Track) is a combination of Microsoft SQL Server software running on predetermined hardware configuration(s) which have been specifically tested and certified for data warehouse workloads by Microsoft. Each configuration is tested to meet a specific level of sustained throughput and data warehouse size. Fast Track is intended to provide an out-of the-box experience that optimizes the utilization of hardware implemented in a data warehouse solution. The goal is to provide predictable hardware performance and to remove the guess work when choosing a hardware solution for a data warehouse implementation. Each configuration has been thoroughly tested and rated for performance using both throughput-certified and capacity-certified ratings. Data Warehouse Fast Track eliminates hundreds of hours of research and post-implementation tuning when it comes to building and administering Business Intelligence solutions. Microsoft Fast Track Data Warehouse for Tegile Zebi Hybrid Storage Arrays is a robust solution which eliminates and simplifies many administrative tasks normally associated with DW solutions. Zebi storage arrays deliver cutting edge technologies to maximize usable performance while delivering very large capacities at low costs not feasible from All-Flash arrays. Mid-market companies are constantly searching to optimize their time and capital investment while delivering value. Zebi storage arrays help to strike that balance. Zebi storage arrays create very capable solutions while seamlessly integrating with Microsoft infrastructure such as Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) and Volume Shadow copy Services (VSS). Zebi storage arrays combine DRAM, Flash and Spinning Media into a seamless system which automatically locates data in the appropriate tier seamlessly and in real time. As a result administrators and DBAs can avoid chasing periodic or systemic system degradation issues and for example investing those hours into new solutions or better BI analysis. Tegile has invested a significant amount of energy and knowhow into building these sophisticated highly available arrays. Zebi storage arrays are simple to setup, configure and manage. 3

4 Fast Track Conceptual Overview The goal of the Fast Track Data Warehouse certification is to achieve the required performance level while retaining balance between Compute Layer capability and Storage speed. Right-sizing seeks to balance the number of CPU/cores with an equally capable storage system to achieve performance goals. Fast Track is a set of hardware configurations, known as a Reference Architecture that have been tested and approved by Microsoft to deliver consistent and predictable performance. This allows customers to take the guesswork out of determining hardware needs as the approved hardware configurations have already been rated for certain sized data warehouses. Customers can then focus on other aspects such as price and data management features to make their decisions. While the focus of the Fast Track system is on the report delivery side, the reference architecture also addresses the staging and loading procedures to ensure predictable results. Reference Architecture intends to avoid the common pitfalls of improperly designed and configured systems, and to bring predictability into your data warehouse performance. This is accomplished through using specific and defined OS, SQL Server settings, loading procedures and storage configurations which will be outlined later in this paper. Zebi storage arrays are built with emlc Flash and sophisticated software to make any piece of data equally accessible at any time. Random I/O performance is very strong on Tegile arrays. Data is only saved to spinning hard disk drives after it is organized and coalesced, allowing the DBA to load data into the system using multiple threads and multiple cores. This is in contrast with traditional DW loading methods, and can save a significant amount of time and money for software licenses for tools which are intended to make data sequential for legacy disk arrays. This makes the time-consuming load tasks mostly irrelevant as the array delivers almost the same performance for both sequential and random I/O requests. The goal is no longer to produce physically sequential data on spinning media, regardless of how long that takes. The goal, now, is to import as quickly and simply as possible. Legacy arrays are also more difficult to maintain over time, because moving the data, or rearranging large sections of data, causes time-consuming tasks or downtime for the system. For example, making only a few changes in some columns could trigger a reload or re-index of the data. A common Data Warehouse application will have several users accessing the last day, week or quarter of data concurrently, causing one set of spindles (LUN) to degrade in performance. Tegile s unique hybrid arrays eliminate the hotspots created by concurrent access and offer all-flash performance at spinning media prices and therefore, make this technology accessible to mid-market companies or departmental solutions. This is the first Data Warehouse Reference Architecture with next generation flash-hybrid storage. The whole solution is a 5U design delivering the performance normally measured in racks. Each solution can easily be extended with additional shelves connected over SAS, adding dozens of terabytes of balanced capacity to ever growing systems. This guide focuses on the 20TB certified configuration. Tegile also has larger and smaller configurations. Each one of them can be further extended to increase the maximum user data capacity without changing the solution Certified Capacity. Simplified Approach to Data Warehouse Management The original Fast Track Reference Architecture is well-established guidance on how to configure and work with legacy disk arrays to extract the maximum performance and maintain the DW systems. 4

5 Unfortunately, the architecture was limited by legacy spinning media technology at the time of creation. It has done a great job working around the problems normally encountered by the administrators and DBAs. Understandably, some of those steps were time-consuming, mostly focused on sequentially loading data into a data warehouse in order to achieve true physically sequential layouts of data. These steps included single-threaded loading steps, ordering data between steps, and utilizing multiple staging tables. It traded overall loading-speed for a physically sequential data layout to minimize fragmentation and allow for physically sequential reads to occur and as a result, tailor to limitations of legacy spinning media. This was created to satisfy the requirement for predictable throughput during range scans (sequential reads) which is the typical workload of a data warehouse system. The intent was to try to minimize movement of the read/write heads on the disks. This is optimal when designing for spinning media. Zebi storage arrays remove this requirement and allow the administrators to take the quickest path with parallel loads and reloading data at will. Another issue occurs when many users need access to the same data at the same time, or usage drifts from the previously defined requirements. Best practices for spinning media provide the best likelihood for success, but do not guarantee it, especially over the multi-year life span of a data warehousing system. Zebi storage arrays blend of DRAM, Flash and disk deliver both the quickest and easiest load times and sustained bandwidth, regardless of the number of users, queries or data sources in use. With Zebi storage arrays, sequential loading of data is not necessary. The array can handle random and sequential patterns equally well because the DRAM and Flash compensate for the lack of IOPS on the disk side. There is no need to minimize movement of read/write heads as such algorithms and coalescing are already integrated into the storage software. In this architecture, all LUNs are spread evenly over all internal storage components providing maximum speed at all times. The result is that the system delivers the same high level of performance for both sequential and random I/O reads and writes regardless of the usage pattern. Zebi storage arrays have several critical features which deliver unique value to SQL Server deployments inside organizations. High IOPS: Zebi storage arrays are able to achieve very high IOPS by writing each I/O block into DRAM and Flash on the array. They are preserved there until they are no longer needed or frequently used. Zebi storage arrays can come equipped with several terabytes of emlc FLASH. The actual usable space is further multiplied by inline compression and deduplication, both also eliminating duplicate IOs. Compression: Zebi storage arrays use inline compression which can remove multiple write operations and simplify read operations in real time. Compression also delivers space savings and eliminates multiple IOs, effectively increasing the throughput of the system. Snapshots (application-consistent): Zebi storage arrays can be used to present multiple copies of the same data from a single source. When copies are updated, only deltas will be saved. Using this feature can result in significant savings when dealing with 5

6 Development, Test, Production and DW and BI environments all using the same copy of the data. Note: While many other vendors have Snapshots, they all face two core problems: (a) they are unable to deliver the required IOPS to serve all of the copies or (b) the snapshots themselves are not application-consistent. The vendor is missing the VSS driver. Both of these problems render the feature effectively useless. In both cases, the solution such a vendor will recommend is to copy the data someplace else causing very poor utilization of expensive storage resources. Inline Deduplication: Zebi storage arrays come with low overhead in-line deduplication. For most SQL Server workloads this feature is only effective if the data is highly repetitive. Note: This feature was disabled for DW FT Testing as the test data can be highly repetitive and therefore would result in unrealistically high storage savings. Replication: Zebi storage arrays can do asynchronous out-of-region replication or low delay asynchronous in-datacenter replication. Replication can be used either alone or in concert with SQL Server AlwaysOn to provide fast in-datacenter and out-of-region replication and high availability when business continuity is critical. Changing the Data Management Paradigm In legacy Data Warehouse solutions, the optimal performance on spinning media is achieved when data (a) is loaded into a primary staging table with all server cores (to fully utilize the cores and LUNs), (b) then ordered, (c) then loaded again to another staging table with just one core (to achieve true 6

7 sequential writes), (d) then partition switched into the final table which is a metadata operation. All data were written twice through a single core to ensure sequential data on the disk. This means that no matter how large the SQL Server is, it will be throttled to the speed of a single core, which can be as little as 1/12 th of a single CPU. Many DW administrators will understand this can take hours or days, in some cases filling their weekend with work. Tegile s technology and arrays eliminate the ordering and single-core load steps. This can result in significant time and infrastructure savings. Zebi storage arrays will accept parallel inserts concurrently. Indexes are simply created on top of that data. The technology on the back-end ensures the data is accessible throughout the storage pools and compressed, coalesced and written to the disk when needed. Getting data into Zebi storage arrays is simple, fast and the last step that needs to be taken. Of course, in some instances, the need to order or organize the data can overwrite this guidance, but most implementations should realize the potential of these features. As a result you may realize a dramatic reduction in the complexity of your ETL processes while increasing the speed of loading data. Fragmentation is less of a concern with Zebi hybrid storage arrays and Zebi all-flash arrays as they are tuned for the random I/O pattern. Zebi storage arrays can also easily be extended by adding up to 4 expansion shelves which contain disk and Flash to extend the total available storage without compromising the existing data. Expansion shelves with over 100TB of aggregate space (before deduplication and compression) can be connected to a single array. With Zebi storage arrays, there are no tiering tools to configure and constantly check, there are no hot spots to eliminate, and no costly software has to be purchased. Real Time Updates SQL Server allows for real time Data Warehouse updates while the DW is in full use. But, this typically is not done because this will cause significant performance degradation due to logical fragmentation. With a Zebi storage array the logical fragmentation level is less of a concern and the administrator is free to utilize the SQL server more aggressively during business hours. Zebi uses its DRAM and Flash to give true simultaneous random I/O access to terabytes of usable data. 7

8 Tegile Zebi HA 2400 Performance Overview The testing and certification process was completed by running a benchmarking system that includes a full set of tests that simulate real world test queries and metrics based on terabytes of TPCH-like data. The testing itself comprises 8 tests for non-csi and 8 tests for a CSI-enabled SQL database. CSI stands for Column Store Index (explained below). Each batch of test simulates 5, 10, 20 or 40 analysts running queries on the DW concurrently. The throughput is measured for the 5, 10, 20, and 40 sessions, for CPU intensive tasks and for the Storage I/O intensive tasks. The averages for the 20 session runs is the result which is used to certify the system to a certain performance level. The rating is split into two levels, (a) Rated Database Capacity TB and (b) Maximum User Database Capacity. For example: Customer has sales data which adds up to 20TB (including ongoing growths), they need to use and analyze all of this data on a daily basis. The recommendation would be to use a system which is Certified Fast Track Data Warehouse for 20TB. Now imagine that the same company also has (up to) 20 TB of old sales data which they do not access frequently because it represents prior years. So the system they choose should also have Maximum User Database Capacity Rating of 40TB. Metric Rating Comment Rated Database Capacity TB 20 TB Using SQL Compression Maximum User Database 40 TB Using SQL Compression Total RAW space 29 TB Array Raw space without formatting Total User Usable Space 13 TB After formatting, active spares, full HA Fast Track Average I/O CSI Maximum I/O CSI Peak Physical I/O 4.6 GB/s 8.7 GB/s 4.5 GB/s Average throughput with SQL 2012 Column Store Index Enabled Maximum I/O throughput observed with Column Store Indexes enabled Maximum physical I/O achieved without the use of CSI As a point of comparison, the certification process looks at the maximum consumption rate (MCR) of all the cores in the SQL Server. That is, in theory, the absolute maximum throughput achievable on the system if all data was always in DRAM and never had to be loaded from the storage array. MCR = 325 MB/Sec X 16 cores = 5,200 MB/Sec. In summary the 5.2GB/s is the absolute maximum the system could do. How close a system can get to the maximum throughput, while running a real world load is a true statement behind the quality of the configuration. In our testing we achieved 87% of the theoretical maximum. In comparison, many legacy systems can only reach 40% of their respective theoretical maximums. This means an SQL Server license is much more effectively utilized when paired with Tegile Zebi storage as opposed to legacy spinning media. In general, the more concurrent queries and users placed on a commodity spinning disk, the lower the performance is. With Zebi storage arrays, the performance should be very stable. As another indication of the hardware effectiveness, the Zebi HA2400 array was equipped with four 8Gb/s ports. This means that each port can effectively utilize about 750 MB/s after accounting for FC 8

9 overhead. The total system bandwidth for this Zebi HA2400 was 3.0GB/s. During the certification process the system achieved sustained throughput of 2.91 GB/s which is 97.2% of the theoretical maximum. Again, such a high utilization in a real world test is a testament to the system's stability and quality. The Zebi HA2400 can also be equipped with additional FC adapters (HBA) on each controller to boost the maximum throughput to a theoretical 6.0GB/s. The table shows a certified rated capacity of 20 TBs. However the certified average throughput was 3,201 MB/s which is only 99 MB/s shy of a 25TB certification. Customers and administrators can rest assured that they have the best 20TB system available. Tegile s design allows administrators to skip several steps in the ETL process. Throughout testing, a throughput well over 2.5GB/s was routinely observed when the storage was pushed by the servers. While the actual DW test was running, this hardware solution was able to sustain throughput of 2.91 GB/s under heavy load directly against the array, with no data written to or read from the SQL Server DRAM. The Column Store Index is a new feature introduced with SQL Server 2012 that provides significant performance gains as tested on the Tegile Zebi storage arrays. The maximum sustained I/O with CSI enabled was 8701 MB/s (8.7GB/s). This was achieved with a 4 hour 40 session test. Averaging the 20 session CSI test, with column store indexes present, the array s average tested throughput was 4554 MB/s (4.5GB/s). For comparison, that is only 20% off from highly-engineered all-flash arrays which are triple the price. Not a bad tradeoff. Commodity spinning disks will not benefit from this feature as dramatically. Furthermore, once CSI is applied, the underlying tables become read-only until the index is dropped. Zebi s performance ensures that the index can be dropped and rebuilt rapidly when compared to legacy disk-based solutions. The Tegile Zebi software is the single point where administrators and DBAs easily manage LUNs, shares, and pools and can view a variety of detailed performance data. Hardware Overview The hardware chosen for this FT RA solution is highlighted below with more detailed information in the Bill of Materials section. The goal of this section is to provide a high level layout of the hardware environment. Component Details Server Tegile SM- SM X9DRW-7/iTPF CPU Intel Xeon E5-2670, 2.8GHz with Hyper-Threading Total Sockets 2 Cores Per Socket 8 Total Physical Cores 16 Total Logical Cores 32 Memory 128 GB DDR3 (8 X 16GB DIMM's) Internal Storage 2x Intel 520 Series SSD (200GB configured in RAID 1) HBA 2x QLogic QLE2562 (dual port) (8Gbps) 9

10 Component Details Storage Array Tegile Zebi HA2400 Tegile Zebi ES2400 (expansion shelf) Operating System Windows Server 2012 R2 Enterprise SQL Server SQL Server 2012 Enterprise CU7 (Build ) Summary The Tegile Data Warehouse Fast Track Reference Architecture delivers price performance balanced architecture and ease of manageability for demanding Data Warehousing and BI scenarios. It provides many of the benefits of 100% Flash solutions at a fraction of the cost. The configuration is easy to expand in size while preserving the core IOPS. It is easy and simple to utilize for single solution or multitenant databases and as a service scenario with complex billing. The system represents exceptionally reliable and predictable infrastructure. With a total required space of 5Us, the system saves space and power as compared to many other solutions with the same performance parameters. The evolution of enterprise storage has placed flash memory in a strategic position to provide the most usable storage compared to dollars spent over spinning disks. Tegile is pushing the envelope even further by ensuring the best utilization of Flash across the entire storage subsystem. Tegile offers a wide array of Hybrid and All-Flash solutions which meet demanding performance requirements without breaking the budgets. For more information visit To find out how to buy the solution or get a POC, contact sales at and mention SQL Data Warehouse Fast Track solution. 10

11 Installation and Configuration Instructions The server is a 1U configuration and the storage array is a 2U configuration with a 2U expansion shelf so minimizing total rack space was considered when architecting this hardware solution. With only 5U needed to house this hardware, finding room in a data center should be an easy task. The storage array and server are connected by 4 OM3 fiber channel cables, and with this solution, there is no need for a fiber switch. Direct connect was the method chosen for connecting the storage array to the server although nothing prevents using a fiber switch between the server and the storage array if preferred. You can use the switch for additional Compute nodes, possibly intended for failover or to introduce another application or DW to the same storage array. Storage failover is already accounted for inside the 2U array and expansion. Tegile Zebi HA2400 storage arrays come with two dual 8 Gbit/s FC cards and two dual 10GbE adapters. There are additional PCI slots for expanded connectivity. The Zebi storage array is a true mixed mode multi-protocol storage system. This means the array can do both 10GbE and FC at the same time. The array also supports LUNs (block) storage and NAS (NFS/CIFS) shares concurrently over the adapters. One of the major benefits of Tegile Zebi storage arrays is the ease-of-use and simplicity of administration provided. The array is simple to administer after about an hour or two of training. A lot of the Fast Track reference guide focuses on how to lay out your storage and specify RAID levels for different LUN s. With Zebi storage arrays it only takes a few minutes. A customer looking to purchase storage should take into account (a) price/usable GB (b) the performance (IOPS) of the usable GB and (c) data management features. Tegile delivers very desirable result for both metrics and can achieve the highest IOPS for the lowest price/usable GB. The introduction of Hybrid arrays is starting to change the way people look at storage and think about the performance of their solutions. Installing HBA cards and Memory Modules If the system does not come preconfigured, validate that Memory Modules and HBA cards are installed in the following manner. This configuration will deliver the highest possible throughput while eliminating I/O contention on the motherboard. 11

12 Connecting Computer Node to Storage Array Below is a schematic of the Computer Node and Storage Array clearly showing direct fiber connections. The server should have both HBA cards installed per the previous diagram; the storage array comes with 2 HBA cards installed out of the box. 12

13 Operating System Installation This section discusses the installation of the operating system. There are some prerequisite tasks as well as some post installation configuration tasks that need to take place to configure the server for optimal performance in accordance to Fast Track guidelines. Pre Operating System Installation Tasks Prior to starting the OS install, download the latest drivers from the Super Micro s web site as you will need these during the OS install when choosing onto what disk to install the OS. The server built for this benchmark testing used a straight forward drive configuration without any RAID controller. To alter the internal storage configuration in the bios, start when prompted during boot up by pressing the DELETE key. Below is a screenshot of the BIOS configuration utility where set up for the internal storage is accessible. When the <<<Press DELETE to start APTIO Setup Utility>>> prompt displays, press the delete key. 1. Choose the Advanced tab 2. Select SATA Configuration and hit ENTER 3. Select SATA Mode and hit ENTER 4. Choose AHCI Mode 5. Choose Save changes then exit this menu Operating System Installation Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard is the installed operating system. Follow normal installation steps for installing the operating system and apply all current patches via Windows Update. When prompted, indicate that you want to install the operating system onto the C:\ drive created in the previous step. Service Packs and Special Instructions As of this writing there are no service packs available yet for Windows Server 2012 R2. Below is a screen shot to demonstrate the configuration used, this is obtained by looking at Properties of This PC 13

14 Post Operating System Installation Configuration After the OS has been installed, Enable the following roles in the Server Manager: 1. Multipath I/O 2..NET Framework 3.5 and 4.5 features Below is a screen shot of how your features section of Server Manager should appear. 14

15 3. Change the OS Power Options from Balanced to High Performance. 4. Use the Advanced system settings to achieve optimum performance from the OS. In addition to configuring normal settings for Background services, ensure the paging file will not be on the storage array, so as to not take away from the data warehouse s performance. 5. Ensure the intended data warehouse server has the proper BIOS settings in place. For the Supermicro server model X9DRW-iTPF (1 U, two Intel Xeon 8 core E processors, 128GB 15

16 RAM) most of the default BIOS settings are valid. The only ones that may need adjusting are Power Technology which should be set to Max Performance and the Energy/Performance Bias which should be set to Performance. 6. Disable all 3 Windows firewall s in the OS. This is not required but firewall rules would need to be set to allow SQL Server through the firewall. Refer to your company s firewall policy for more information. 16

17 Storage Array Installation HBA Drivers Prior to connecting the storage array, ensure that there are 2 HBA cards installed on both the server and the storage array. These will be dual port Qlogic QLE 2562 s for 4 total I/O paths. Make sure that they are present in the Storage Controllers section of Device Manager. The current driver as of the time of this writing is dated 9/27/2013. Please make sure your driver is at least this version for the HBA cards. 17

18 Configuring MPIO When configuring MPIO, 1. Select Discover Multi-Paths. 2. Select TEGILE ZEBI-FC. 3. Select ADD. 4. Reboot when prompted. 18

19 After rebooting, check your MPIO settings and you should see the storage array present. Storage Array Configuration Connect the storage array to the server using OM3 fiber channel cables. You will need 4 of them to connect all the ports on the server to the storage array to account for 2 dual port cards. 1. Connect serial port 2. Turn on 3. Configure networking Presenting LUN s from Storage Array You will need to create LUNs using the Zebi web interface for the HA2400 storage array. In our testing we created 7 LUNs with the following names and sizes. Note that unlike when using spinning disks, optimum performance is achieved with as little as 2 LUNs (one on each controller). Additional LUNs beyond 2 will not make a performance difference with Zebi arrays. We did use more than 2 LUNs, but that was to add some logical separation. These are the sizes we used, it may be different in your environment. 1. DB-LUN-1 2TB 2. DB-LUN-2 2TB 3. DB-LUN-3 2TB 4. DB-LUN-4 2TB 5. DB-LUN-5 2TB 6. DB-LUN-6 2TB 7. TLog 100GB 19

20 Create LUNs from the admin web interface. The process is comprised of the following steps: 1. Configure Zebi storage array for HA 2. Create a Pool 3. Create Target Groups (target and initiator groups can be made during Project creation or ahead of time) 4. Create Initiator Groups 5. Create Project 6. Create LUNs 7. Export LUNs (This step can be eliminated if the project has default mapping. This would autoincrement each LUN number created with default initiator-target mapping.) Note: the instructions in the following section are in the Zebi User Guide. However the included instructions are specifically for the DW Fast Track Reference Architecture. Configure HA for the Zebi Storage Array Before you can create any of the other elements leading up to the creation of LUNs, you must first enable the array s HA feature. Begin by selecting from the menu bar Settings and HA. Then click on Configure HA. Enter the other controller s name and related information and then click NEXT. This final screen requires nothing from you; it is already pre-populated with the necessary information, just click the FINISH button. This causes a reboot of both storage controllers to complete the HA configuration. 20

21 Creating Pools For creating LUNs, you first begin by selecting the general menu icon (indicated in the yellow oval), and then chose Data section of the admin interface. At this point you should see nothing allocated for the storage array. This process will take you through creating, exporting, and presenting 1 LUN and this same process can be followed for the number of LUNs you decide to present. As mentioned earlier, one of the major benefits of Tegile storage is that you should achieve predictable performance irrespective of the number of LUNs present. 21

22 You begin by creating a Pool. Click on the plus ( + ) symbol in the Pool display to begin creating a new pool. Provide a name and description as you please, and the select next. There is no need for filling in the default service IP or IP net mask. Select the number of disks you intend to use for data and then select next. Select the number of disks you intend to use for metadata and then select next. 22

23 Select the number of disks you intend to use for Read/Write cache and then select next. These steps you have performed to create a pool will now need to be repeated on the second controller, using a naming convention that would logically follow as SQL-Pool-2. 23

24 Creating Target Groups From the home screen of the admin interface, select the Services menu icon, then chose SAN, and then select the left hand section SAN Groups which has to do with target groups and initiator groups. At this point you should see nothing displayed. Now select the icon with the plus symbol. Next, provide a target group name. 24

25 Creating Initiator Groups While still in the SAN Services display, select the tab Initiator Groups. At this point you should see nothing displayed. Select the icon with the plus symbol to begin the creation of an initiator. Provide an appropriate name and select the desired initiators. The initiator and target group creation should capture appropriate HA best practices in which there is no single point of failure. 25

26 Here is what the screen looks like at the end of the initiator creation process. Next click on Target Groups tab and make sure each target is in a good state. At this point you have set up connectivity of the HBA s between the server and the storage array. In the next step we will enable the Zebi storage array s HA feature using the admin web tool. 26

27 Creating Projects Once your pool is created, you next move onto creating a Project. Click on the pool created earlier and immediately to the right will appear a Project display. Click on the plus ( + ) symbol in the Project display to begin creating a new project. Below are the settings used in this benchmarking effort. The specific settings used are shown below in the following dialog screens. You may notice there are not a lot of options and choices to make, and that is due to the earlier work of creating the target and initiator groups. Of course a user could use the Create target group option and add another if you prefer. 27

28 Depending on your backup requirements you may want to modify this snapshot policy. 28

29 Finally, you arrive at the summary display of the project we just created. This now becomes the template from which any LUNs later created from within this project will derive their fundamental settings. Bear in mind that within those LUNs, a user can override many of these settings for the sake of customization. Creating LUNs Now that your pool and project are created, you next move onto creating a LUN. Click on the project created earlier and immediately to the right will appear a Shares and LUNs display. Make sure you click on the LUN tab, (the first time you see this display it defaults to Shares ) and then click on the plus ( + ) symbol in the LUNs display to begin creating a new LUN. 29

30 Below are the specific settings used for the creation of a LUN. 30

31 Here is where things can diverge depending on if you chose to inherit the projects default mappings or not. If you opt to not inherit the mappings, then there will be two more dialogs presented to you. Select the Target Group and Initiator Group relevant to your environment. When you arrive at this dialog box, all you have left to do is select the snapshot schedule. 31

32 Below is what you are left with, a controller with a pool comprised of one project and one LUN. For this project you would repeat the LUN creation stage of the process two more times, for DB-LUN-2 (for the data warehouse) and DB-LUN-3 for the staging database. Then you would move over to the other controller and repeat all these processes again. Note this screen capture is of the HA2100, used here for illustrative purposes only. HA2400 free space would be 12+TB Exporting LUNs At this point you already have a LUN exported and presented to the SQL Server computer. Based on the project that we had set up with default mapping/exporting initiator-target info this section isn t necessary if you have followed the earlier steps. If the project was without any default mapping/exporting settings then this would be needed. So if you were to export a LUN now you would begin by editing the LUN s configuration by clicking on the indicated edit button. 32

33 Select the Mappings section of the display. Here is where you may change the target or initiator groups, and doing this allows you to export the LUN. You can also manually specify the LUN number by clicking the radio button option Choose. Adding Windows Volumes You have successfully created and presented the LUN to the data warehouse s OS. Now if you go back to your SQL Server and if you rescan disks on the server using Disk Management you will see the new LUN present. 33

34 Initializing the Disk Now that you have the newly presented disk available in Disk Management, the first step is to initialize the disk: 1. Right-clicking and selecting Initialize Disk 2. Choose MBR (Master Boot Record Partition Table) for the partition style. The choice of MBR over GPT (Guid Partition table) is your option to choose. That is unless the LUN and your intended volume are over 2TB, in which case you would then be required to use GPT. New Simple Volume At this point the new disk is now online, but unallocated. 34

35 1. Click the disk and select New Simple Volume. 2. This opens up a wizard to walk you through the process. Make sure to allocate the maximum possible size for the volume. In this example we are using mount points but you can use drive letters too. 3. Make sure to use the NTFS file system with an Allocation unit size of 64K. At this point the drive is online and available for use. Remember to follow these same steps if creating multiple LUN s. 35

36 1. Remove content indexing for these drives. Go to the properties for the drive mount point or drive letter and deselect the option Allow files on this drive to have content indexes in addition to file properties. 36

37 SQL Server Installation The SQL Server installation used is SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition and it is installed onto the C:\. The user databases, TempDB, and transaction logs are pointed to a mount point on the storage array. Pre SQL Server Installation Tasks Prior to installing SQL Server, create a domain Service Account to run the SQL Server Services, in particular the Database Engine and the SQL Server Agent. Once you create this service account, assign it to the following Local Security Policies in the User Rights Assignment section 1. Lock Pages In Memory 2. Perform Volume Maintenance Tasks Below is a screen shot of these settings. Note that you can also access the interface by calling gpedit.mcs. 1. Click Start Administrative Tools Local Security Policy 2. Select Local Policies User Rights Assignment 37

38 Installing SQL Server The version of SQL Server for this reference architecture is SQL Server 2012 Enterprise. Perform a normal install and choose to install all components except Reporting Services (SharePoint) components. You can choose all the defaults for now as we will change the data and TEMPDB locations after the installation process. We chose to use the SQL Server 2012 with its SP1 and associated Cumulative Update 7 (CU7) at the time of the writing of this paper. To speed the install process, use the Slipstream\Products Update technique. If you are not familiar with the process, here is some guidance. 1. Copy the install bits content to any drive. 2. Create a sister subdirectory to x64, Tools, redist, and others; calling it PCUSOURCE. 3. Download SQL Server 2012's SP1 (SQLServer2012SP1-KB x64-ENU.exe) into the PCUSOURCE directory. 4. Extract the files out and into the same directory. Most compression utilities provide right-click capability to extract the files. If your server lacks such a utility, then use the command prompt to do so as in the example below: C:\SourceMedia\PCUSOURCE\>SQLServer2012SP1-KB x64-ENU.exe /x:c:\sourcemedia\pcusource 5. Create another sister subdirectory to PCUSOURCE, this time calling it "SP1CU7", then copy SP1's CU7 file "SQLServer2012-KB x64.exe" into the directory (do NOT extract the files out, leave it as the compressed EXE you get from the download). 6. Edit the DEFAULTSETUP.INI file located C:\SourceMedia\x64\ like so: ; SQL Server 2012 Configuration File [OPTIONS] PCUSOURCE=".\PCUSOURCE" UPDATESOURCE=".\SP1CU7" PID="#####-#####-#####-#####-#####".. (add your key here) 7. Click setup.exe and you will end up with SP1 & its CU6, version build number The most up-to-date version of SQL Server 2012 as of this writing. Below is the discovery report of all the installed features in the current installation. Post SQL Server Installation Configuration There are a number of tasks to perform after the installation is complete to configure SQL Server. 38

39 1. Change the default database file locations to one of the mount points in the storage array. Ensure that the DW database you create has the same number of files on each LUN of the same size with auto-growth enabled. It is assumed your backups will be to an external file share using non Tier I storage. 2. Set the MIN/MAX Memory Settings for SQL Server Maximum memory should be no more than 92 percent of total server RAM. If additional applications are to share the server, the amount of maximum SQL Server memory should be further decreased accordingly. a. RAM installed is 128GB b. MIN = 103GB c. MAX = 118GB 39

40 3. Move TEMPDB data file to storage array data LUN Data1 and create additional data files up to the same number of data LUNs, evenly spread over Data1, 2, 3, and 4. Move the TEMPDB log file to LUN Data1. Size each data file to ~50GB. 4. Set these startup parameters for the SQL Server service using the SQL Server Configuration Manager: a. E b. T

41 5. Click Management and right-click Resource Governor. 6. Select Properties. 7. Set the Memory Grant % to 12% from the default of 25% 8. Note: This step is usually not necessary for smaller systems (less than 128GB RAM, or 4 CPU sockets). 9. Set Max Degrees of Parallelism to

42 10. Restart the SQL Server services. At this point SQL should be configured and ready for use. Please see below for checklists related to all settings and configurations. 42

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