Figuring out possible causes for performance issues is one of the core skills for any DBA. There’s a whole bunch of tools for it, but this time I’ll be writing about one of my favorites. The Performance Monitor (PerfMon), which is included in every version and edition of Windows Servers and workstations. PerfMon and I go back a long way and we have had a most satisfying relationship so far. Naturally there have been some rocky spots over the years, but we have never drifted apart.
At the final part of my three-part series on how to set up your own test environment into Azure, we’re joining our SQL Server into Active Directory and downloading a database to use for testing.
In previous post, Part 1: Creating Azure Network and Storage, we set up your Azure account ready for two virtual machines that’ll be the backbone of your own testing environment. One of these servers will run the Active Directory and the other one will host your SQL Server 2012 instance. The Active Directory server is really optional, you can do a test environment without it but I prefer test environments that mimic the production.
Now that you’ve setup your Azure account we can get started on building the test environment. First thing you should do is to create a Virtual Azure Network, this will be used for connectivity between your servers. Creating a Network is quite straightforward business. Choose Networks and then Create A Virtual Network.
Going back a few years (and then some), creating your own test environments used to be difficult requiring both time and hardware resources. Then came the different virtualization solutions, which made it bit more easier but still requiring decent amount of hardware resources and a little bit of time. With the arrival of Azure and other cloud-based solutions, things finally got considerably easier. Now we finally had the ability to set up a test environments quickly and easily.
I ran into and old issue recently I hadn’t seen in a while. A database server was experiencing some intermittent performance issues that didn’t make much sense. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on though, after firing up the Resource Monitor.
In my previous post we took a quick look into one of the SQL Server features that I personally consider to be a great boon to any DBA, the Dynamic Management Views and Functions. Im going to show you through some basic examples on how you can use these views to get meaningful information out of your SQL Server instances.