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Heard on .NET Rocks!: Kimberly Tripp on SQL Server : Page 2

Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell interview Kimberly Tripp to discuss SQL Server 2005 SP1 and more.


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.NET Rocks! (continued)
Richard Campbell: It's funny how Service Packs have evolved. I mean, it used to be that they really were just patches, just fixing little problems, but it's almost like we come to expect something big and new in every Service Pack. Kimberly Tripp: Yeah, I have to admit that's true, and I am not actually very fond of that. To be honest, I wish this were SQL 2005 A, you know what I mean? I kind of wish that they were naming these things a little differently and that a Service Pack really was just bug fixes—but that's just kind of me. But you are right, we have kind of almost come to expect it now and they are still delivering on that. So, I guess that's good, but I kind of do wish there were a separation there…

Carl Franklin: Hey Kim, what's the largest, biggest, most honking application of SQL Server you have ever seen? Kimberly Tripp: There is kind of a difference between [what] I have ever seen in production and [what] I have ever seen in design and test. Some of the design and test systems I have seen are bigger than some of the production systems that I have seen, but an interesting kind of banking-based application that I had some insight into was 20 TB in size with a 100 GB of growth a month, and it was a large partitioned scenario that was, oh! God, 9 million users, and I forget how many transactions a day. And it was an interesting kind of dilemma and problem that they were running into. I needed to be highly available. So, that was kind of an interesting architecture.

Carl Franklin: What kind of hardware was that? Kimberly Tripp: It was—Oh, God! See, the problem with that one is, this is now about two years old and they changed the hardware like five times, and, I don't even remember at the time what it was—I mean, it was all fan based.



Carl Franklin: Pretty serious to say the least. Kimberly Tripp: It was pretty serious—and the funniest part about it is, every time I talk to them about various hardware features that they could leverage, like something that I think is really cool, it's called Snapshot Split Mirror Backup, which is a way to take a SAN implementation and ..

Carl Franklin: Can you define SAN? Kimberly Tripp: Oh! Storage Area Network; so, basically just this big honking heater, but…

Richard Campbell: SAN is what you use when you don't care how much you spend on storage, which has got to be incredibly reliable and enormous. Carl Franklin: Okay.

Kimberly Tripp: Yeah, they are basically rack-mounted, just disk. Carl Franklin: Like back playing connected disk?

Kimberly Tripp: Yeah, they are usually fiber, fiber-connected and multi-path I/O as well. So, you have multiple ways of connecting to these huge, rack-mounted Storage Area Networks. So and it's just massive amounts of disks. Paul Flesner gave a discussion to our group last week, our "skeptics," and he was talking about data explosion and how, when he was working about 15 years ago, 10-15 years ago at Baxter, a terabyte of data was measurable in square meters, you know what I mean, like it would take just a massive, massive room. Carl Franklin: I know why that is. I know why it's blown up so much. [It's] because [of] everybody storing their porn in there.

Kimberly Tripp: No, no, no this is—now come on, don't get me in trouble putting Paul Flesner's name with porn, okay? Carl Franklin: I didn't. You did.

Richard Campbell: Here we go. Kimberly Tripp: No, no, no it was just a massive amount of storage to have a terabyte; and now, I mean, under Richard's desk, I am aware of this, he has multiple terabytes of storage that are measured in just a couple of square feet and it's just—it's amazing to me. Paul also mentioned, soon we are going to have the personal petabyte where you let …

Carl Franklin: That sounds dirty. Kimberly Tripp: Isn't that cool?

Carl Franklin: What the hell is a petabyte? Kimberly Tripp: A petabyte is 1000 TB.

Carl Franklin: Good Lord. Kimberly Tripp: I mean a massive amount.

Richard Campbell: The personal petabyte. Kimberly Tripp: Yeah. Hey, you guys stay clean now. This is a family show.

Carl Franklin: Yeah we are just saying, if anyone [like that] had moved into my neighborhood I would probably move away. (Laughing) Here we [have] a personal petabyte and … Kimberly Tripp: If they have their own personal petabyte?

Carl Franklin: In Waterford, Connecticut? Yes. Kimberly Tripp: No, but it is amazing how much data has changed over the years and how much you can fit on even a USB key. So, it's just amazing.

Carl Franklin: Have you seen these little Hitachi hard drives that are 4GBs that supposedly PDA sized? Kimberly Tripp: Oh yeah. Those are very cool.

Carl Franklin: Are they out? Do we have those now? Last I knew they were... Richard Campbell: Nan drives.

Carl Franklin: Huh...? Richard Campbell: You are talking about the Nan drives that are all solid state?

Carl Franklin: Yeah. No, these aren't solid state, they actually look—they are little platters and little heads and everything; they are about the size of a pair of dice. Four GBs. Kimberly Tripp: Oh, size of dice.

Carl Franklin: Yeah, they are very small. Richard Campbell: There have been the Compaq Flash ones for a while, and they're like the size of a book of matches.

Carl Franklin: Right, yeah, this is actually a magnetic drive. Kimberly Tripp: Well, now interestingly, I just searched and I found Arc disk, 4GB hard drive as a USB key but this is the one that I was thinking [of], and this one looks like it's about 2 by 2 as in inches.

Carl Franklin: Yeah. Kimberly Tripp: About two inches by two inches; that's the one I know of, but you say there is like a thumb drive-sized one?

Carl Franklin: Yeah, it looks just like you took a big 5¼ hard drive and shrunk it to the size of a pair of dice. Kimberly Tripp: Wow!

Carl Franklin: And I read about this in Popular Science of all places, and it was a Hitachi thing, they were coming out with them. I will find it. I will find it and put a link to it. But supposedly, the idea was that these are going to go in PDAs because they have the speed of a magnetic drive but they were small enough to fit in a PDA. Richard Campbell: Here is an article from a year ago, talking about a 1-inch 4GB drive and designed to go into cell phones.

Carl Franklin: Yeah that must be it. Richard Campbell: Priced at like 65 bucks; so not only minuscule, but cheap.

Carl Franklin: Right. Kimberly Tripp: Yeah, I am looking online too, and I am finding a few that are 4GB drives with batteries and so forth, and they are very small. They are a little bit more expensive than that. These are in the $200 to $300 range, but it is amazing.

Carl Franklin: Pretty cool. Kimberly Tripp: It is totally amazing when I think about. When I had a dual 5¼ floppy, running Word off of [it]—or yeah, actually at the time it was WordPerfect. Swapping floppies. It just cracks me up.

Carl Franklin: Yeah. Kimberly Tripp: And I have only been in the industry so long and it just still seems like it's amazing.

Carl Franklin: I heard about a SQL 2000 installation that would—and it might have been a demo at a TechEd or something, I don't know where it was, I'm trying to remember, not successfully—but it was basically a voting system where they simulated the load of a national voting day. Voting is a particularly horrible thing because everybody wants the bandwidth at the same exact time and whereas most of the time it's dormant but for that surge of those 4- to 6-hour intervals or whatever, it absolutely has to perform. And there were just boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes. Kimberly Tripp: And the data can be a lot, you know what I mean?

Carl Franklin: Right.



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