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  • Windows Azure Storage (WAS) Internals - Achieving Consistency

    Windows Azure Storage has three primary components - a Queue, a Binary Large Object (BLOB) store (two types of these), and Table Storage. Storage of data on-premises is fairly well understood - but there components of it that you may not consider. When you move to a distributed architecture, certain factors should be taken into account, such as ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on December 13, 2011
  • How Microsoft helps you NOT break your Windows Azure Application: Storage Services Versioning

    One of the advantages of using Windows Azure to run your code is that you don’t have to constantly manage upgrades on your platform. While that’s a big advantage indeed, it immediately brings up the question - how do the upgrades happen? Microsoft upgrades the Azure platform in periodic increments, and the components that are affected are ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on December 6, 2011
  • Big Data and the Cloud - More Hype or a Real Workload?

    Last week Microsoft announced several new offerings for “Big Data” - and since I’m a stickler for definitions, I wanted to make sure I understood what that really means. What is “Big Data”? What size hard drive is that? After all, my laptop has 1TB of storage - is my laptop “Big Data”? There are actually a few definitions for this term, most ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on October 18, 2011
  • Creating a Distributed Computing System Using a Windows Azure Queue

    The Windows Azure Queue component, like all Windows Azure components (Roles, Storage, App Fabric, SQL Azure) can be used by itself or with other Windows Azure components. That’s why I refer to Windows Azure as “Distributed Computing” rather than “cloud”. Having a distributed off premise queue has a lot of use-cases. An interesting use-case is ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on October 11, 2011
  • 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
  • Windows Azure Storage - Creating a Hierarchy View

    When you declare and use storage in Windows Azure - specifically in a BLOB object - it’s just a grouping of storage. There are two types of BLOBs - Page and Block. To use storage, you need a storage account, which hold Containers, and then you put a BLOB object in the Container. You address that using the API, which in turn uses a REST call ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on July 19, 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
  • There are no sequential or random disk I/Os

    Okay, it’s a bit of a hyperbole. But let me elaborate. I regularly bump into SQL Server discussions, online or elsewhere, in which I hear people speaking with confidence that an operation is so and so because it is doing sequential disk I/Os or because it is doing random disk I/Os. That always makes me wonder how they know and how they can be so ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on April 1, 2011
  • Windows Azure Learning Plan - Storage

    This is one in a series of posts on a Windows Azure Learning Plan. You can find the main post here. This one deals with Storage for  Windows Azure.   Overview Overview and general  information about Windows Azure Storage - what it is, how it works, and where you can learn more. General Overview Whitepaper ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on November 23, 2010
  • Solid-State Storage

    After years of anticipation and false starts, the SSD is finally ready to take a feature role in database server storage. There were false starts because NAND flash is very different from hard disks and cannot be simply dropped into a storage device and infrastructure built around hard disk characteristics. Too many simple(ton) people became ...
    Posted to Joe Chang (Weblog) by jchang on October 25, 2010
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