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Database Cattle


Database Cattle

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Database Cattle

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chrisn-585491
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Convince my CEO and CFO that we should spend the money on the hardware and licenses to treat servers like cattle... Whistling
dduensing
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I have a new analogy. Computers as living spaces. A tent vs a condo vs. a house vs. a private island. You will never invest as much in your tent as you would in your permanent residence or your private island! tents are purpose built, easily replicated, and are marginally easy to replace. I wouldn't store my personal valuables in a tent, nor try to take my home camping. (just another comment from one of the trees!)



Steven.Grzybowski
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One of the ways that I think this can be achieved most easily is through the use of VMs & keeping not just snapshots, but full images of VMs, as well as creating base images with the Sql serverset up, but no data. That way, not only do you have the ability to quickly spin up a VM to test backup restores, you also have a standard template for setting up a new database server. I think that virtualizing everything is the best path to not only make sure you have redundancies baked into your system from the start, but also enables a more effective devops pipeline.

For example, a developer can spin up a VM on their local machine or ona development environment to build a new server, design a database / application, (in addition, having an under-powered test environment will make performance issues that could come with scale a bit more obvoius from the outset) , and when they are ready to put something into testing or production move it to a new environment.

Through virtualization, not only can you set up any one of the numerous HA technologies available to keep a VM up and running, but it makes it easy to clone existing environments for testing, reporting/auditing, etc. To me, a server is just where a VM happens to reside. I try to avoid doing anything on bare metal.
rmueller 80450
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As an admin who grew up near livestock i disagree the Cattle analogy. You want a parallel to farming I'd like at modern hog industry. The hog is the data and not the building they are housed in.
Hardware Is a tangible asset, as are the farrowing, growing and finishing buildings for the hog farmer. As we struggle with our DR planning is very much like a farmer who would be concerned about a tornado wiping our a building in which the hogs are contained. But the parallel about ends there. a farmer can if assets and cash flow allows to set up multiple sites for his operation too but it comes at an economic cost. Infrastructure additional labor etc. it doesn't eliminate loss in the event of a catastrophe, it only can minimize the loss a bit.
In a DR condition, the farmer not only losses the building he also losses the livestock . A farmer cant avoid loss of stock in disaster, we can avoid loss of data. Our costs are infrastructure and labor.
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That's all well and good, but you best remember to treat your database administrators like pampered pets rather than commodity cattle, or else we'll wander off and get our fur stroked somewhere else.
Satisfied


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Steve Jones
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chrisn-585491 - Thursday, March 9, 2017 9:34 AM
Convince my CEO and CFO that we should spend the money on the hardware and licenses to treat servers like cattle... Whistling

Well, when you have an issue, or need to rebuild one because of hardware failures, he/she should hope these are cattle. Things easily recreated, not crafted because of a particular person's skill.


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Steve Jones
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Steven.Grzybowski - Thursday, March 9, 2017 11:45 AM
One of the ways that I think this can be achieved most easily is through the use of VMs & keeping not just snapshots, but full images of VMs, as well as creating base images with the Sql serverset up, but no data. That way, not only do you have the ability to quickly spin up a VM to test backup restores, you also have a standard template for setting up a new database server. I think that virtualizing everything is the best path to not only make sure you have redundancies baked into your system from the start, but also enables a more effective devops pipeline.

For example, a developer can spin up a VM on their local machine or ona development environment to build a new server, design a database / application, (in addition, having an under-powered test environment will make performance issues that could come with scale a bit more obvoius from the outset) , and when they are ready to put something into testing or production move it to a new environment.

Through virtualization, not only can you set up any one of the numerous HA technologies available to keep a VM up and running, but it makes it easy to clone existing environments for testing, reporting/auditing, etc. To me, a server is just where a VM happens to reside. I try to avoid doing anything on bare metal.

True, though what I find is that people always manage to forget to update some VM baseline that is needed. You still need configuration and settings data kept separately, whether you use a physical or virtual system. The data is what matters, including metadata.


Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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rmueller 80450 - Thursday, March 9, 2017 11:55 AM
As an admin who grew up near livestock i disagree the Cattle analogy. You want a parallel to farming I'd like at modern hog industry. The hog is the data and not the building they are housed in. Hardware Is a tangible asset, as are the farrowing, growing and finishing buildings for the hog farmer. As we struggle with our DR planning is very much like a farmer who would be concerned about a tornado wiping our a building in which the hogs are contained. But the parallel about ends there. a farmer can if assets and cash flow allows to set up multiple sites for his operation too but it comes at an economic cost. Infrastructure additional labor etc. it doesn't eliminate loss in the event of a catastrophe, it only can minimize the loss a bit. In a DR condition, the farmer not only losses the building he also losses the livestock . A farmer cant avoid loss of stock in disaster, we can avoid loss of data. Our costs are infrastructure and labor.

I think you're missing the analogy. Cattle meaning every one is replaceable. This has nothing to do with the other infrastructure. The cattle are the servers, and recreating one is a matter of having the data. Whether in that structure or another.

If I lose a building, I should always be able to hit Amazon, Microsoft, Google, or someone else with my config, and rebuild my servers (cattle) immediately. I shouldn't have to treat them special and have a particular person ready to recreate one, which is a one of a kind (a pet).


Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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Steven.Grzybowski
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Thursday, March 9, 2017 12:24 PM
Steven.Grzybowski - Thursday, March 9, 2017 11:45 AM
One of the ways that I think this can be achieved most easily is through the use of VMs & keeping not just snapshots, but full images of VMs, as well as creating base images with the Sql serverset up, but no data. That way, not only do you have the ability to quickly spin up a VM to test backup restores, you also have a standard template for setting up a new database server. I think that virtualizing everything is the best path to not only make sure you have redundancies baked into your system from the start, but also enables a more effective devops pipeline.

For example, a developer can spin up a VM on their local machine or ona development environment to build a new server, design a database / application, (in addition, having an under-powered test environment will make performance issues that could come with scale a bit more obvoius from the outset) , and when they are ready to put something into testing or production move it to a new environment.

Through virtualization, not only can you set up any one of the numerous HA technologies available to keep a VM up and running, but it makes it easy to clone existing environments for testing, reporting/auditing, etc. To me, a server is just where a VM happens to reside. I try to avoid doing anything on bare metal.

True, though what I find is that people always manage to forget to update some VM baseline that is needed. You still need configuration and settings data kept separately, whether you use a physical or virtual system. The data is what matters, including metadata.


I think as far as keeping a base image up to date, either monthly or quarterly reviews of a base image could be done to ensure that updates are applied. This would include ensuring that no new software had to be added to the baseline image, as well as updating the software & configurations for it. Perhaps keep a running copy of the baseline image that is only used for keeping up with updates, whether to windows, SQL server or other software used in the baseline image.
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