About me: My name is Maria Zakourdaev. I have more than 10 years experience with SQL Server (starting from SQL Server 6.5). The last five years have been spent mostly on benchmarking different SQL Server features and flows, like data import, indexes impact on DML flows, star transformations in RDBMS, Hierarchic queries and custom OLAP-like aggregations. I was a speaker in the Microsoft Teched (Israel) on the SQL Server track. I am also an active member of the Israel SQL Server Group.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Easy load testing using Management Studio

There is an easy way to open several connections to your SQL Server in order to perform load testing. You can use Management studio "Multiple Server Query Execution" feature. This feature is usually used to run the same query against multiple servers but we also can use it for a load or stress testing.
In the registered servers tab create a group with the same name as your server that you are planning to use for the load testing. Inside the group create 10 or more connections to the same server, just making sure that in the server alias field you add number to your server name otherwise Management Studio will not allow to create two server connections with the same alias. Easy way to add multiple connections is by editing Management Studio connections xml file that you can find in "C:\Users\<> \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Shell\RegSrvr.xml", you can simply copy the connection multiple times, still changing alias name for each new connection.

After all connections have been created, right click on Group name and choose the "New query" option. Management studio will open a one window but everything that you will be executing through this window, will be executed in 10 different connections simultaneously against your server.

As you see in the status bar, at looks like you are connected to the 10 different servers which are, in fact, one.

In the results of any executed query, Management Studio by default will append another column with the server name alias, as you defined in the connection settings. Below you can see how many connections with the different SPIDs you are holding.

You can change this behavior by going to Tools -> Options and select to stop adding server name to the results of each query.

In case you need more than 10 connections you can define more connections under the server group or open several Management Studio query windows.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

PASS 2011 summit excitement

The PASS summit is an amazing event, it is fantastic to see more than 4000 SQL Server DBAs and BI developers from all over the world at the one place. Everyone here is talking SQL, joking SQL and breezing SQL. The most terrific thing about an SQL Server DBAs is that crazy and passionate light in their eyes when they talk about their job and an SQL Server in general.

I'm very new to the twitter world but here everything that happens on summit is always commented on twitter ( note the big screen on the photo - it's all twitting) , all the tricky questions and the funny remarks during the sessions, mentors criticizing notes and, of course, "thank you very much for a great session" comments as well as all activities like #sqlrun in the morning, #sqlawards , #sqlquiz and #sqlclinic during the day and #sqlkaraoke in the evening. Second day of the PASS was #sqlkilt day, many #sqlpeople were going around in kilts.

It's quite difficult to choose which lecture to attend because there are 15 at each timeslot and always at least 3 that looks like "the must". I have attended many, some of them were breathtaking, some were more interesting, some less, some were just to meet the mentors who actually write those books that we read, those sqlblogs and articles that we discuss. Towards the end of the day there are more and more people with melted brain were seen around. The absolute top winners of all sessions were:

  1. Pre-conf "All about execution plans" by Gail Shaw and Grant Fritchey
  2. Pre-conf "An enlightened approach to performan tuning" by Adam Machanic
  3. "Inside Tempdb" by Bob Ward
  4. "Important trace flags that every DBA should know" by Victor Isakov
  5. "More DBA mythbusters" by Paul Randal
  6. "Zen and Art of workspace memory" by Adam Machanic

The time flew so fast, summit is over and I’m back home, need somehow to stop Twitter addiction, cannot make myself stop following #sqlpass twits because this way I feel I’m still back there among this incredible #sqlfamily.

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