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SQL Server Tools - Recomendations On Stress Testing and I/O Testing On New SQL Server


SQL Server Tools - Recomendations On Stress Testing and I/O Testing On New SQL Server

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YSLGuru
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Need to test/stress a new SQL Server box to see what she can do. I went to get a copy of SQLIO which is referenced all over Microsofts own website but the actual download is no-where to be found nor can I find any comments or postiing about what happened to SQL IO.

1) What tool(s) would you recomend to test a new SQL Box to see what kind of perfromance once can expect with a heavy load running against it; something that can simulate several hundread users submitting a variety of querys?

2) ANyone know the storyt behind what happened to SQL IO?


Thanks

Kindest Regards,

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Grant Fritchey
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That's interesting. I didn't know SQLIO was gone. Hmmm... Maybe they just renamed it. It never should have been called SQLIO in the first place, just IO. It never tested databases or SQL Server, but primarily the disk sub-system. Measuring the machine is useful to validate what the vendor told you, but not really necessary for establishing a baseline or doing load testing.

As far as load testing, my latest & greatest favorite toy is the Distributed Replay tools in SQL Server 2012. They do a great job either taking an existing trace and replaying it or creating an artificial load and then smacking the server around with it. That's what I use to test things out today.

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YSLGuru
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Grant Fritchey (8/17/2012)
That's interesting. I didn't know SQLIO was gone. Hmmm... Maybe they just renamed it. It never should have been called SQLIO in the first place, just IO. It never tested databases or SQL Server, but primarily the disk sub-system. Measuring the machine is useful to validate what the vendor told you, but not really necessary for establishing a baseline or doing load testing.

As far as load testing, my latest & greatest favorite toy is the Distributed Replay tools in SQL Server 2012. They do a great job either taking an existing trace and replaying it or creating an artificial load and then smacking the server around with it. That's what I use to test things out today.


Thanks for replying Grant. I have to say that I'm shocked that no one else has replied. Considering the question I was certain a number of regulars would have posted a reply about SQLIO having disappeared from Microsofts web site if noting else. There are numeorus postings on the wbe and here at SSC that all reference SQL I/O so its usprising to see no one (other then you) is suprised by SQL I/O's disapearence.

Do you know if the tools in SQL 2012 you mention will work on a SQL Server 2005 instance?

BTW - We are using SQL 2005 because the vendor whose software we use does not yet support a higher version of SQL Server then 2005. They are moving to support of 2008R2 and we will be upgrading to that in a few months but till that happens we have to continue onwards using SQL 2005.

Thanks again for replying.

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Grant Fritchey
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Yes, you can point the distributed playback mechanism to 2005. It just needs a database to connect to. But, the install is 2012, so you have to have that first.

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Grant Fritchey (8/20/2012)
Yes, you can point the distributed playback mechanism to 2005. It just needs a database to connect to. But, the install is 2012, so you have to have that first.


We do have SQL Server 2012 I just dont have a Server setup to use it yet since none of our SQL Server DB's are for sofwtare that works with 2012 (yet). I found what I believe is the FAQ/REQS page on this tool at MSDN (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff878239.aspx ). It reads like as if its saying that you can use a SQL Server 2005 DB as your source (what you are tracing ) but that to play it back you have to be on 2008R2 or 2012, is that the way you read it?

Thanks

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Grant Fritchey
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Actually, yeah, looks like 2005 might be out. That stinks. Never noticed that before.

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Grant Fritchey (8/20/2012)
Actually, yeah, looks like 2005 might be out. That stinks. Never noticed that before.



Any suggestions on what to do? I need to do some comparison testing aginst the new server to see how it fares against the current DB server, to see if the same workload occurring now will run better on the new system. I was going to run a non-gui trace (server side trace) and then play it back on the new server but I'm thinking here has to be a better way to do this. I'd prefer not to pays lots of moeny to do this but if nothing else I woudl think one of the SQL sofwtare Toools vendors woudl have come up with something like this, that lets you see how the same workload on one server will do on another. Make sense?

BTW - I have and did run SQL Imulator but thats it so far.

Thanks

Kindest Regards,

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Scott D. Jacobson
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YSLGuru (8/20/2012)
Grant Fritchey (8/20/2012)
Actually, yeah, looks like 2005 might be out. That stinks. Never noticed that before.



Any suggestions on what to do? I need to do some comparison testing aginst the new server to see how it fares against the current DB server, to see if the same workload occurring now will run better on the new system. I was going to run a non-gui trace (server side trace) and then play it back on the new server but I'm thinking here has to be a better way to do this. I'd prefer not to pays lots of moeny to do this but if nothing else I woudl think one of the SQL sofwtare Toools vendors woudl have come up with something like this, that lets you see how the same workload on one server will do on another. Make sense?

BTW - I have and did run SQL Imulator but thats it so far.

Thanks


First, I think you server side trace ides is better because it's going to behave like the actual database engine.

That being said there are tools that will just thrash the disks if that's what you need. As Grant already mentioned, SQLIO basically did just that (a bunch of reads and writes with files of a size you specified).

Take a look at PassMark's BurnInTest suite. It has disk tests built in. The standard and pro editions are both pretty reasonably priced.
Grant Fritchey
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You can use the old Profiler to playback a trace. That will act as a measurable set of tests and will put some load on the system. You just can't scale that load up the way you can with Distributed Replay.

Loath though I may be to suggest other vendors, but Quest used to have a load testing software that I used to use to test out apps. I'm not sure they're still selling it or not. You could check there.

----------------------------------------------------
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
YSLGuru
YSLGuru
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Scott D. Jacobson (8/20/2012)
YSLGuru (8/20/2012)
Grant Fritchey (8/20/2012)
Actually, yeah, looks like 2005 might be out. That stinks. Never noticed that before.



Any suggestions on what to do? I need to do some comparison testing aginst the new server to see how it fares against the current DB server, to see if the same workload occurring now will run better on the new system. I was going to run a non-gui trace (server side trace) and then play it back on the new server but I'm thinking here has to be a better way to do this. I'd prefer not to pays lots of moeny to do this but if nothing else I woudl think one of the SQL sofwtare Toools vendors woudl have come up with something like this, that lets you see how the same workload on one server will do on another. Make sense?

BTW - I have and did run SQL Imulator but thats it so far.

Thanks


First, I think you server side trace ides is better because it's going to behave like the actual database engine.

That being said there are tools that will just thrash the disks if that's what you need. As Grant already mentioned, SQLIO basically did just that (a bunch of reads and writes with files of a size you specified).

Take a look at PassMark's BurnInTest suite. It has disk tests built in. The standard and pro editions are both pretty reasonably priced.



Maybe I assumed incorrectly that this area (comparison testing of one SQL Server vs another under the same workload) is not as traversed as I thought. I assumed this kind of comparison testing was routine but maybe not.

What my boss wants is to see in advance of our move how the new DB server will fare against the exitsing one under the same workload. This is so as to verify that our current hardware configuration is as it shoudl be. The problem with using profiler/traces is that I have to wait for a good day (when its realy busy) to do my recording (server side trace) and as fate woudl have it we are at the slow period in our month. It will be a week before things pick back up and I can get a trace of a few hours of activity that will properly represnet what its like at our peak use times.

Make sense?

Thanks scott.

Kindest Regards,

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