Analyzing I/o characteristics and Sizing Storage Systems for sql server Database Applications

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SQL Server Technical Article

Writers: Emily Wilson, Mike Ruthruff, Thomas Kejser

Contributor: Juergen Thomas

Technical Reviewers: Sanjay Mishra, Prem Mehra, Lindsey Allen, Kevin Farlee, Ewan Fairweather, Ryan Stonecipher, Alexei Khalyako, Mike Weiner, Michael Thomassy, Wanda He, Kun Cheng, Jimmy May

Published: April 2010

Applies to: SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server, 2005



Introduction 3

Characterizing Your Application I/O 3

Common Types of Applications and Their General I/O Patterns 3


Data Warehouse 4

Log Workload 4

tempdb Workloads 4

Important Data Workload Metrics 4

Reads and Writes 5

I/O Size 5

Collecting Data for Your Application 5

Data to Collect 6

Items to Note 8

Setting Up a Test System at a Smaller Scale 8

Examining the Data 8

Reading the Performance Log Data 8

Checkpoints 9

Latencies 10

Sizing Considerations for the Physical Storage Components 10

Typical Sizing of Physical Disks 10

Impact of RAID on Physical I/O 11

What About the Cache? 11

Read Cache 11

Write Cache 12

The Nondisk Components: Connectivity, Array Service Processors, and Internal Array Bandwidth 14

Connectivity 15

Array Service Processors 16

Internal Array Bandwidth 16

Examples of I/O Characteristics for Common Workloads 17

Point-of-Sale System 17

Decision Support System Query Workload 18

Example: Translating the Data to Estimated System Requirements 19

Summary 21

Appendix A: An In-Depth Example of Calculating Physical I/O 23

Appendix B: Other Sizing Considerations 26

Thin Provisioning 26

Snapshots and Clones 26

Storage-Based Replication 27

References 28

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