Archive for August, 2010

SQL Server Cost in cloud with simple calculation ( Internal SQL Server Vs Cloud based SQL Server)

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Internal SQL Server Cost Vs SQL Server Cloud (SQL Azure Cost

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation using a 2-cpu server with 8gb ram, SATA drives, Windows 2008 and 2 CPUs of SQL Server Standard at list price puts me around $15,000.  (Yes, enterprises get dramatically discounted stuff, but enterprises don’t need SQL Azure at rack price either.)

Let’s say I use this server for five years – that’s $416 per month.  That does not include:

  • Power
  • Connectivity costs (but neither does the Azure $9-$99 price, either.  Remember that bandwidth costs extra for Azure.)
  • Management (but neither does Azure, since you still have to roll some of your own utilities.  Remember that Azure doesn’t support things like Profiler.)
  • Backups (but neither does Azure, and no, Microsoft telling me “it’s backed up” doesn’t count.)
  • Clustering or geographic high availability.  I probably wouldn’t achieve three nines of uptime with this configuration, but if I wanted to go for that, I’d add a second server in another location with SQL Server’s database mirroring.

The tough part of all this is the future:

  • Will SQL Azure’s costs go down? Hardware prices always go down, so it’s interesting to try to compare long-term pricing between the two.
  • Will SQL Azure add more features? I can back up a locally hosted database easily, but backing up Azure is going to be a little tricky for now.  If I want to add filestream data or TDE, that’s a piece of cake with local databases, but not with Azure.
  • Will SQL Azure stick? If I had a dollar for every piece of technology built then Microsoft abandoned, I’d be Steve Jobs.  The nice thing about developing for SQL Azure is that it’s a subset of SQL Server anyway.  Worst case scenario, Microsoft abandons SQL Azure – you just light up your own SQL Server and deploy your app there anyway.
Categories: Business Related, Future

What is the future of DBAs and Sysadmins In Cloud Computing Era

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I have been reading and following about the future of DBA and Sysadmins jobs role in an enterprise where cloud computing is used.

So when an enterprise start using cloud does that mean that company does not require any more DBAs to look after Disaster Recovery and Performance issues. In the same way do they also Sysadmins to manage Operating systems and other issues with the server.

In my opinion DBAs and Sysadmins still required in an Enterprise

Lets assume this way there are 2 big players providing Data Services in cloud. 1) Microsoft 2) Amazon

but those Cloud Service providers provide only infrastructure to run computing cycles.
they will not provide any service towards tuning your database or reducing CPU cycles on those queries in fact the worst code and worst queried will bring money for them because customers pay for their usage on CPU cycles and Data storage etc.

I feel DBA job will continue to be there but DBAs will have to manage the cost cutting on bills which corporate gets on monthly basis for the database server.In simple words we buy electricity from utility company we pay monthly based on usage at the same time some one at home will take lead to save the energy at home or office to cut the cost to make sure they get less bill from utility company. The same way if there is no DBA a corporate will spend more money on CPU cycles and Datastorage. This process will create value for DBAs as the cost cutters who will looks after each query which was getting executed in the cloud to minimize the monthly bill from service provider.

I strongly agree with the article written by Brent Ozar   Long Live DBA

Jason Massie (aka wrote a blog post this week called The Death of the DBA.  He talks about why the coming cloud computing craze creates career chaos.

I have the exact opposite opinion: I can’t wait for databases to move toward the cloud because it makes database administrators even more vital.

Reason #1: Cloud computing costs real money, and DBAs can help cut costs.

When you move your database into the cloud, your cloud vendor starts billing you on a per-month basis for CPU time, memory, and storage space.  Normally, when DBAs say they cut costs for a company, they’re talking about funny money: if we optimize indexes and cut storage space by 10%, we don’t suddenly get cash back.  When software is a service, though, we will see real savings, a real reduction in our next monthly cloud bill.

Cloud vendors won’t get involved in tuning indexes, cutting storage space, optimizing memory and cleaning up CPU cycles because they make money off bad application design and bad production decisions.  Want to make a bunch of duplicate indexes on your Amazon EC2-hosted MySQL server?  Knock yourself out – Amazon’s happy to let you do it, and they make more money off every bad decision.  Go long enough without a DBA, and the applications will start racking up big monthly bills.

Reason #2: Disaster recovery becomes even more important.

How many of us have been shafted when some kind of third party provider suddenly closed up shop in the middle of the night and disappeared?  Think back to the online storage craze in the initial dot-com boom: everybody and their brother was offering online storage space for free or for cheap.  Some of the providers are still around, but most of them folded up and died, taking user data along with them.

Disaster recovery no longer just means preparing for your own business failures: with cloud computing, it means preparing for the failures of your cloud vendor too.  No cloud vendor is too big to experience problems: check out the Amazon S3 outage in July 2008 and the Amazon S3 outage in February 2008.

Reason #3: Web hosting hasn’t killed the need for sysadmins.

Web sites have been hosted at third party hosting providers for more than a decade, but try calling your hosting company and getting good help with a problem.

I just recently chatted with a sysadmin who sat through a grueling contract renegotiation with their hosting provider.  They’re spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on hosting, and the hosting provider touted all kinds of advantages like redundant internet connections across multiple datacenters.  Come to find out – they only had a single datacenter, and were thinking about growing to another one.  The hosting provider also mentioned that they had the right to move machines between datacenters at any time without warning as part of planned maintenance windows.

Without a skilled sysadmin, these unfortunate problems wouldn’t have come to light, and the poor client would have only found out when their machines went down and came back up with new IP addresses.  This is a huge security risk for the client, who has to pay external security auditing firms to verify that their private data is in good hands.  They would have to redo their security audits and fork out big bucks.

Does third party hosting solve solutions and offer value?  Absolutely.  But does it eliminate the need for administration, security auditing, day to day maintenance, planning, and app design?  No way.

Reason #4: The economy of scale means it can be cheaper to manage your own servers.

Say three companies came out right now offering SQL Server hosting services:

  • Company A offers no-frills hosting for $X per month
  • Company B offers hosting with backups & restores for $X * 1.5 per month
  • Company C offers managed hosting with backups, restores and performance tuning for $X * 3 per month

Your company has to evaluate each hosting option, and the larger you get, the more sense Company A makes.  At a certain number of databases, you’ll save money by doing the management yourself.

Company C can’t offer management features without paying for DBAs.  The DBAs have to work somewhere, and you can bet that Company C will heavily mark up their DBA costs because everybody has to make money somehow.

Reason #5: Security & SOX compliance.

I did a short stint at a major financial firm who wouldn’t even allow their employees to get their email over the web.  Imagine putting their financial data on databases in “the cloud” – no way.  Private companies might be able to get away with it, but after a couple of security scares (think lost tape backups) the paranoia will set in.

I can already visualize the ads for consulting companies.  “Think your data is safe in the cloud?  How do you know Mr. Hacker Guy isn’t connecting a USB drive to your server right now?  Pay us and we’ll find out.”

Reason #6: Do you stand next to your servers now?

The good DBAs I know don’t work in the datacenter (except when it’s time for OS reinstalls, and these days a lot of that is handled with imaging and deployment tools).  They work from a cubicle, office, or coffeeshop miles away from their servers.  We don’t have to put our hands on the servers, and they could be anywhere.  I’d love for my databases to move to the cloud, because it makes it easier to justify telecommuting.  Preferably from a beach.  With margaritas.  (Might be able to expense those during meetings, too.)

Bottom Line: The cloud is coming, but it’s not going to rain on the DBA party.

Now is a great time to be a DBA, and while I think there are disruptive computing forces on the horizon, I don’t think the cloud is going to put an end to the DBA career.

So what about the future is going to change the DBA career in say, five or ten years?  Well, as RAM and solid state disks get cheaper, I can foresee the day where databases run entirely in memory and just back up to disk.  Performance tuning becomes less of an issue, and we get to focus on functionality instead of the number of bytes an index will take.

Think back ten years ago in general computing & programming: people were still writing programs in assembly because they needed the speed.  Now, raw speed of an app isn’t as much of an issue for general programmers and they get to focus on which cool new language will make the programming faster, not the code execution.

To me, that’s really cool and exciting.  It means in a few years, we might be able to do more data mining and predictive analysis with even the most basic, everyday databases.  I might be able to say, “Man, remember when we had to worry about the number of indexes on a table?  Wow.  Yesterday sucked.”  That’s awesome!

Ways to use Database services in Cloud Computing

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Is it realistic using Cloud for Database Services. Which means can we create applications with out having database server inside an enterprise. If all this can be done . What about security and privacy data.

After started thinking about using Cloud computing for database services I keep getting so many questions in my self.

If this is some thing related to web services i think an enterprise would take a step further and giving a shot because there is not much privacy data stored in Webservices . Because web services will fetch data from database when ever needed.

After thinking about how Cloud Computing can fit with in Database area. I came to conclusion by creating Hybrid Cloud Computing which In fact I was thinking to use some thing like this. Since I have worked in E Commerce Architecture for a long time. I always go back and think in E commerce database as an example when ever i was thinking of a database . Any how lets say we have E commerce Database in SQL Server 2005 how can we send this database to cloud  With out compromising any security or privacy related matters.

First of all why should E Commerce platform choose to go for cloud computing .

1) E commerce website traffic pattern and Users on the website changes drastically based on gifting or purchasing sensitive time.

During this time E commerce site may need extra hardware resources which the company should invest upfront for the use of those resources for couple of weeks in an year. So I feel it is good solution to start with cloud since cloud can work as elastic manner it can expand hardware resources on the spot when ever needed. Company is not required to invest on hardware does not incur upfront cost. Rather it will pay for extra usage when ever used in cloud.

based on all these points I strongly feel an E Commerce website can choose to go into cloud.

But now I have another question if we keep the data in the cloud . Do the company have control on its data security and can we guarantee privacy of User data.

May be we can guarantee user data privacy and security as long as the data is in our hands how can we guarantee when the data is sitting in cloud where the owners of the company nor any one knows who has access to it who does not have access to it. I am 100% sure cloud service company IT staff can have access to this data any time they need.

keeping in mind how can we use cloud for Database services with out compromising user privacy and data security. After thinking couple of minutes I feel that we can do this .

In any database there are types of Data 1) Secure and Privacy data 2) Non Secure and Non privacy data what i mean to say Privacy data means it will have customer personal information and other credit card information where as Non privacy data is Company owned data such as Product information ,pricing and availability of products.

any e commerce site if there are 100 users visited the site to buy some thing there only 30 to 40 people end buying maximum.
so 100 times products are queried and showed in the website . This means Non privacy data is queried more and also more hardware required to process the non privacy information .if Non privacy data is kept in cloud and Privacy data kept in company’s control . Cloud computing can be achieved it will cut no of resources required to use will reduce so intern ROI on cloud computer will be achieved in short term.

Categories: Business Related