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  • SQL File Layout Viewer 1.2

    Just ahead of presenting it at SQL Saturday in my home town of Minneapolis / Saint Paul, I’m happy to release an updated version of the SQL Server File Layout Viewer. This is a utility I released back in March for inspecting the arrangement of data pages in SQL Server files. If you will be in Minneapolis this Saturday (space permitting), please ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on October 9, 2013
  • File Layout Viewer vs. Drop Clustered Index

    I had a very educational exchange the other day on Twitter (also known as “getting schooled”) by my SQL compatriots Argenis Fernandez (@DBArgenis) and Hugo Kornelis (@Hugo_Kornelis). A guy called Chris Switalski (@crswit) asked a really interesting question on #sqlhelp, which I proceeded to answer incorrectly, which led to a correction by my ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on June 3, 2013
  • Storage Performance

    Storage has changed dramatically over the last three years driven by SSD developments. Most of the key components necessary for a powerful storage system are available and the cost is highly favorable for direct placement of data files. Some additional infrastructure elements could greatly enhance the flexibility of storage systems with ...
    Posted to Joe Chang (Weblog) by jchang on March 24, 2013
  • T-SQL Tuesday #040: Files, Filegroups and Visualizing Interleaved Objects

    Early in my career as a DBA, I have to admit I didn’t quite “get” what all the fuss was about with the multiple file and multiple filegroup capability in SQL Server. Over the years, though, as I learned more about partitioning, backup strategies for large databases and, most importantly, storage internals I’ve started to catch on. For today’s ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on March 12, 2013
  • Public Release, SQL Server File Layout Viewer

    Version 1.0 is Now Available! Edit 9 October 2013: A new version is out! Please download 1.2 from here.  I’ve been working off and on, as my real job permits, on this visualization tool for SQL Server data files. This is an educational or exploratory tool where you can more readily see how the individual data pages in MDF/NDF files are ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on March 1, 2013
  • Visualizing Data File Layout III

    This is part three of a blog series illustrating a method to render the file structure of a SQL Server database into a graphic visualization. Previous Installments: Part 1 Part 2 Those that have been reading this series might be be thinking, “Is he going to go there?” Well, the answer is “Yes.” This is the GUID clustered index post that had to ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on January 29, 2013
  • Visualizing Data File Layout II

    Part 2 of a blog series visually demonstrating the layout of objects on data pages in SQL Server Part 1 In Part 1 of this series, I introduced a little demo app that renders the layout of pages in SQL Server files by object. Today I’ll put that app through its paces to show, in vivid color (well, teal, anyway) the destructive power of the famous ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on January 23, 2013
  • Visualizing Data File Layout I

    Part 1 of a blog series visually demonstrating the layout of objects on data pages in SQL Server Some years ago a gentleman called Danny Gould created a free tool called Internals Viewer for SQL Server. I’m a visual sort of guy, and I always thought it would be fun and educational to make a simple visualizer, like the one he created, in order to ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on January 22, 2013
  • Consumer SSDs with SQL Server

    Over the last two years, I have stood up several proof-of-concept (POC) database server systems with consumer grade SSD storage at cost $2-4K per TB. Of course production servers are on enterprise class SSD, Fusion-IO and others, typically $25K+ per TB. (There are some special situations where it is viable to deploy a pair ...
    Posted to Joe Chang (Weblog) by jchang on September 16, 2011
  • Geek City: Where are LOBs stored?

    When researching a question from one of the students in my class last week, I was reading the documentation for CREATE TABLE about storing LOB columns at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms174979.aspx. For this discussion LOB columns includes text, image, ntext, xml and the MAX columns when they are over 8000 bytes and stored outside the ...
    Posted to Kalen Delaney (Weblog) by Kalen Delaney on June 26, 2011
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