In This Issue:
Although the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s TPC-C specification is the known standard for measuring database performance, the benchmark systems are rarely comparable to actual database environments. The council’s new specification, TPC-E, strives for a more real-world simulation.

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October 19, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • TPC’s New Benchmark Strives for Realism

2. SQL Server Watch

  • Top 10 at TechX World
  • Product Watch: Addison-Wesley Professional and Minq Software

3. Hot Articles

  • Q&A: Transferring SQL Server Registration Information Between Machines
  • Editorial: BI Drives SQL Server Growth
  • Puzzled by T-SQL: Catch That Bug! Random Row Per Group
  • In a Nutshell: RAID Illustrated
  • Hot Threads: SQL Server 2005 Performance and SQL Server 2000 Administration

4. Events and Resources

  • SQL Server Magazine Connections Conference
  • Streamline and Automate Upgrades to SQL Server 2005
  • 2006 PASS Community Summit November 14-17
  • Justify Your Investments in DR Planning
  • SQL Server and Oracle Interoperability

5. Featured White Paper

  • Prevent Installation and Execution of Unauthorized Software

6. Announcements

  • SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, and Forums
  • Monthly Online Pass—Only $5.95 Per Month!

7. Web Community


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1. Perspectives

TPC’s New Benchmark Strives for Realism
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

The fall dinner-party circuit is almost upon us and as I’m sure you know, the hot topic of conversation among the socialite jet-set crowd this season is expected to be database benchmarks. Who know that such a seemingly mundane, esoteric topic could be so interesting?

OK, so I’m exaggerating a bit. Database benchmarking might not make Oprah’s book-of-the-month club. But still, you’ll want too keep up with the latest developments on the pending TPC-E spec to impress all your database geek friends, right?

It’s been a few years since I’ve written much about Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) tests. I used to write about the TPC all the time back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when database vendors made a big show of leapfrogging each other’s TPC-C scores every other week and when Microsoft was demonstrating that it could play with the big boys when it came to scalability. But I’ve never thought that TPC numbers had much relevance for practical, apples-to-apples comparisons of database servers or hardware platforms. Most vendors go to great extremes to avoid posting numbers that make them look bad, so you’ll rarely find TPC comparisons of truly similar systems.

The TPC-C has been the standard test for measuring the performance of “typical” OLTP systems. However, few database environments are “typical,” so many people consider the TPC-C to be a bit too simplistic for measuring or simulating realistic OLTP workloads. This summer, the TPC published a draft specification for TPC-E. Here’s what TPC says about the new specification:

“TPC Benchmark E (TPC-E) is a new On-Line Transaction Processing (OLTP) workload being developed by the TPC. The TPC-E benchmark simulates the OLTP workload of a brokerage firm. The focus of the benchmark is the central database that executes transactions related to the firm’s customer accounts. Although the underlying business model of TPC-E is a brokerage firm, the database schema, data population, transactions, and implementation rules have been designed to be broadly representative of modern OLTP systems.”

You can read the full specification, as well as some supporting documentation and reference material, at http://www.tpc.org/tpce/tpc-e.asp. The full spec weighs in at 271 pages, so I wouldn’t exactly call it light reading. But the site does let you download Egen, a tool designed to facilitate the implementation of TPC-E.

So what does all of this really mean to the average database professional? Not much, in the short term. However, it will be interesting to see whether vendors adopt the new benchmark and publish useful numbers based on TPC-E results. I’d also love to see the TPC invest resources in making Egen a practical tool for regular database shops to do better and more efficient benchmark tests against regular database servers.


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2. SQL Server Watch

Top 10 at TechX World
What will you get at TechX World? In just one day, you’ll learn to:

  1. Run Windows commands at the same time as UNIX commands. With SUA, applications can actually mix calling Windows APIs directly and calling into the UNIX APIs.
  2. Get a single view of users across your various enterprise repositories.
  3. Configure networked Linux systems to accept logins in a secured manner using Windows AD accounts.
  4. Improve how you manage access across Windows Terminal Services, UNIX and Linux X Windows, legacy telnet, and even SSH.
  5. Address problems with distributed identity management and enhance the security of the network by preventing unauthorized access.
  6. Query an LDAP server from AD and manage AD with LDAP. Ensure a tighter, more secured interoperability.
  7. Set up transactional replication between SQL Server 2005 and Oracle.
  8. Create reports that draw data from multiple heterogeneous data sources such as SQL Server and Oracle.
  9. Use SSIS to extract and cleanse data from an Oracle database and then load that data to a SQL Server database.
  10. Put virtualization tips & tricks to work immediately for security, availability, backup/recovery, and server utilization.

To find out how to get signed up for TechX World, visit: http://www.techxworld.com/?code=1019sql.

Product Watch
by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

Get Up to Speed With New SQL Server Resources
Addison-Wesley Professional released three new SQL Server-related books. "Practical Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2005" offers insight into BI systems design and step-by-step best practices for implementation, deployment, and management and is priced at $49.99. "Introduction to SQL: Mastering the Relational Database Language, Fourth Edition" illustrates each aspect of the SQL language with practical examples and exercises in each chapter to make sure you grasp all the concepts. The book is priced at $49.99. "Inside SQL Server 2005 Tools" covers several components such as Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services Integration Services, and Notification Services. This book is priced at $59.99.

Cross-Platform Database Tool Provides Robust Features
Minq Software announced DbVisualizer 5.1, a cross-platform database tool that boosts your productivity by providing a single solution for development, testing, and administrating relational databases. DbVisualizer offers features to assist developers or DBAs with object browsing, creating database objects, running SQL statements and SQL scripts, viewing and editing data, and editing and compiling procedures and functions. DbVisualizer's new graphical query builder simplifies SQL query design. You just point, click, and drag to design queries. The new permission verifier controls which database operations are allowed, denied, or need confirmation before being executed. DbVisualizer is available in two editions, DbVisualizer Free and DbVisualizer Personal edition, which starts at $129 per user.


Sponsor: PolyServe
Special Report: Perspectives on SQL Server Sprawl

How many SQL Servers are you managing? Is your database inventory out of control? Are costs difficult to manage? You’re not alone. Download this special report today to find out how SQL Server sprawl affects your organization, and learn best practices for preventing it.


3. Hot Articles

Q&A: Transferring SQL Server Registration Information Between Machines
by Microsoft’s SQL Server Development Team, questions@sqlmag.com

 

Q: When you use SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Manager to create server groups and register servers, where is the information stored—in the registry or a configuration file? For example, suppose I’ve created 100 server groups, and a total of 1000 servers. Assuming I’ve used Windows authentication for registering all the servers, can I copy the information from one client machine to another so that I don’t have to re-create the grouping and registration?


A: Read the answer to this question today at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/53968/53968.html.

 

Editorial: BI Drives SQL Server Growth
In his October Editorial, “BI Drives SQL Server Growth,” Michael Otey discusses howw the release of SQL Server 2005, with its advanced BI functionality, increased SQL Server's market share compared to top competitors, ensuring future support of the product. Read this article today and post your comments at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/93317/93317.html.

Puzzled by T-SQL: Catch That Bug! Random Row Per Group
In this week’s blog, Itzik provides a Catch That Bug puzzle. Ready for the challenge?

In a Nutshell: RAID Illustrated
In this week’s blog, Kevin Kline provides a link that shows, at last, what RAID really means.

Hot Threads:


4. Events and Resources

SQL Server Magazine Connections Conference
Come learn about SQL Server 2005, WinFX, Visual Studio 2005, ASP.NET 2.0 and Atlas, and more November 6–9, 2006, at SQL Server Magazine Connections in Las Vegas. There will be exciting announcements from Microsoft that no one should miss! There's no better conference value in the USA this fall.

Streamline and automate upgrades to SQL Server 2005 and manage multiple databases in less time. Leverage the data management, business intelligence, and performance improvements that you receive with an upgrade to SQL Server 2005, and unlock the full potential of your servers. Live Event: Thursday, November 2.

2006 PASS Community Summit November 14–17
Join the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) as it hosts the premier event of 2006 dedicated exclusively to Microsoft SQL Server education and networking! Come experience first-hand more than 100 technical sessions presented by more than 80 user-experts, MVPs, and members of the Microsoft development team.

Can disaster recovery planning create real value for your business beyond mere survival? Justify your investments in DR planning, and get real answers to your questions about how DR planning and implementation affect the financial performance of your organization. Make cost-effective decisions to positively impact your bottom line! Live Event: Tuesday, November 14.

Join experts Douglas McDowell from Solid Quality Learning and Andrew Sisson from Scalability Experts, as well as Intel insiders and other database professionals, to learn the latest about SQL Server and Oracle database mirroring, BI, 64-bit database computing, and high-availability. Coming to cities across the US in this fall. Visit http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqloracle/?code=1018emailannc

See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events.


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Hot Spot: Polyserve
Special Report: Perspectives on SQL Server Sprawl

How many SQL Servers are you managing? Is your database inventory out of control? Are costs difficult to manage? You’re not alone. Download this special report today to find out how SQL Server sprawl affects your organization, and learn best practices for preventing it.


6. Announcements

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SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, and Forums
Get hundreds of free tips and articles on SQL Server performance tuning and clustering. And get quick and accurate answers to your performance- and cluster-related questions in our forum. All from the SQL Server performance and clustering authority: SQL-Server-Performance.com.


 

7. Web Community

 


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