Accelerating Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Workloads with Flash

Part 1: Introducing OCZ’s ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 in Support of SQL Server 2014 Storage Capabilities

Allon Cohen, PhD
Oded Ilan
Scott Harlin

Published May 2014

Introduction

SQL Server is Microsoft’s enterprise database management system (DBMS) and a market leader in worldwide deployments as of this publishing. The latest release, SQL Server 2014, builds on the key capabilities delivered in previous SQL Server versions (2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2) and improves database availability, simplifies the moving of databases between instances, employs more productive management and development tools, and provides significant enhancements in performance, programmability and security.

Recognizing the importance of flash for database performance acceleration, Microsoft added flash-based Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) services to SQL Server 2014 so that a SQL Server instance can extend its memory buffer to SSD flash. SQL Server 2014 uses the flash to store clean buffer pages that it has no room for in memory so that ‘hot data’ can be fetched faster by loading it directly from the BPE rather than from database files.

Part 1 of this white paper introduces ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 – a complete hardware and software flash acceleration solution optimized for SQL Server 2014. Building on the advanced capabilities of ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.0, the new ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 release features tight integration with SQL Server management and support of SQL Server 2014 with capabilities that complement and extend Microsoft’s flash-based BPE service. The white paper also addresses the key elements required to efficiently accelerate SQL Server 2014 applications (flash volumes, flash caching, cache policy optimization and cache pre-warming) and how these elements are seamlessly designed into the ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 architecture.

Part 2 of this white paper presents application load testing results in OnLine Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments showcasing accelerated performance in query processing that dramatically reduce processing and access times while unleashing the full power of SQL Server 2014.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Using Flash to Accelerate SQL Server
  3. ZD-XL SQL Accelerator Overview
  4. ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 – SQL Server 2014 Support
  5. Virtualizing Big Data with OCZ VXL Software
  6. Innovative ZD-XL SQL Accelerator Flash Caching
  7. Beyond SQL Server 2014 Buffer Pool Extensions
  8. Summary