Data Realized

Case Study: Microsoft Technology Center

One of our clients engaged us to significantly scale their database offering. After the time had been taken to ensure that the code base was ready for significant performance testing, we contact Microsoft to see if they would be interested in hosting us for a proof of concept at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in San Jose, CA.

They accepted the challenge. It was a full two weeks of testing this clients database offering (SQL Server 2008) against the newest in hardware.

As part of the engagement, we were able to lean on the experience and expertise of Phil Hummel. Phil was an ideal candidate for this exercise having been the data platform architect at Microsoft for the prior eight (8) years.

The engagement resulted in some lessons learned but more importantly, the changes introduced yielded better than hoped for results. We were able to load over 1 TB / day on a single, normalized, OLTP database instance, housed on a single server, simulating real traffic.

Does SQL Server really scale? I get asked this question all the time. My answer is always the same - yes, if you know the platform well enough. I just got finished working on a project with Jeremy Lowell and this guy knows the platform. By that I mean not just the SQL Server syntax to make things happen. I mean the ability to look at everything from system resources, through the code, down to the data model and the value distributions with the insight needed to get the best performance possible. If you need to get SQL Server to scale higher, call Jeremy.
- Phil Hummel, Director of Business Intelligence Practice at WinWire Technologies, Inc.