Are you planning to consolidate or migrate your MS SQL Servers? The consolidation of your SQL Servers is a good practice to carry out, especially for large-scale Microsoft SQL Server platforms that tend to grow inefficient over time. The SQL Server consolidation will ultimately bring massive benefits in terms of money and efficiency. When the consolidation is planned with the SQL Governor software, you can raise the cost savings benefits into a whole new level, in addition to saving remarkably in the time and efforts you need to invest into the capacity planning.
The SQL Governor software has unique capacity optimization ability that is based on international patent pending machine learning methodology. It analyses the workload data of the SQL Server instances, and based on this data automatically calculates the optimal consolidated configuration for the new platform. The consolidation can be done either on server or instance level. The optimization aims to generate considerable cost savings of even up to 50 % by minimizing the required server resources over the entire life cycle of the system.
In order to achieve the cost savings – and other – benefits SQL Governor can offer, it does require the re-arrangement of the servers. Thus, it is good to use SQL Governor capacity optimization solution in the consolidation planning of the platform renewal projects that would be implemented in any case. You can do these as bigger, one-time projects, or take parts of the platform (e.g. some problematic servers) first and then gradually continue to other servers.
There is no other solution that can provide this kind of cost savings benefits. As the SQL Governor is a new solution among the more traditional SQL tools in the market, there might be things you are wondering about. Here are some of the most common questions or concerns we have heard regarding it.
Isn’t there a lot of work with re-arranging all the applications related to the SQL Server platform, and the migration work might be expensive?
So far, our customers have not gained any significant additional costs from the migration work. On the contrary, they have still gained remarkable cost savings in SQL Server licensing and other MS SQL Server related costs. We have also received very positive feedback on how getting the target platform architecture plan as an automated process with SQL Governor has made their consolidation work easier and faster. They have also been able to reduce the time required for the planning work from months to days, compared to manual work. And the plan is done using fact-based data, not guess-work.
What if the new platform doesn’t work then as well as the current one does?
When there are no big problems with the current platform, and the IT infrastructure team has already some other priorities to tackle, it is natural to question the re-arranging needs of the current platform. But the benefits that an organization can achieve are very significant. The cost savings produced with the SQL Governor capacity optimization can be then invested into more productive projects, such as developing IoT or digitalization
With SQL Governor, the project is based on facts and proactive planning. It makes the change controlled and there is a very minimal risk for any surprises. The change operations made are not too complex – such as re-mapping the addresses between applications and SQL Servers. In the customer projects we have done so far, there have not been issues with these changes made – on the contrary, with many customers the situation has even improved.
Especially in situations when renewals are inevitable, consolidation is highly recommended to be done in the process.
How does the SQL Governor affect the SQL Server performance?
It is natural to ask, does the performance suffer, when the servers or instances are going to be packed tighter than they were before, so to say.
Utilizing the SQL Governor solution in your capacity planning will not have any negative effect on the performance or availability of your target system. Sometimes they are even improved. The solution will harmonize the overall workload on the platform and eliminates the problem of over-usage of the server resources. This way it will ensure more even performance and availability levels for the whole SQL Server database platform.
Shouldn’t the instances always have their own virtual machines, to be safe?
There are some disciplines who recommend that each SQL Server instance would be placed into its own virtual machine, to make the management easier.
It is completely safe to put different database instances together into one server, when their behavior is known. When the planning of the target platform is done with SQL Governor, it is based on the workload analysis of the instances in the source server platform. The behavioral data of the instances is collected typically for three months – the longer, the better, especially if there are seasonal changes in the system. After the data collection period, the data is trend-extrapolated and benchmark-extrapolated, and you can set a desired safety buffer as well. When the target SQL Server database platform is designed this way, the probability for any problematic peaks is extremely low.
Our R&D will also be developing integration API’s for the existing, most common SQL Server monitoring tools in the market, to enable using the data you already have of your platform when using one of these tools. Stay tuned!
How does SQL Governor take the data platform’s storage requirements into consideration?
The capacity optimization done with SQL Governor is based on the source platform’s performance counter data, such as CPU and RAM usage.
In addition to the CPU and RAM usage, the storage related input/output operations data (IOPS) is a critical performance metric of a database platform.
When the consolidation plan is produced with SQL Governor, it will give the storage requirements as a side result. The plan will include information on how much you need storage capacity, space for databases, and how many IOPS are needed for the databases.
What about the security of the solution in multitenant data centers?
Especially in larger companies or enterprises the information security requirements are high. Regarding the database servers, the main things are to avoid information disclosure, hacking, and other improper access or usage of the system.
The data that SQL Governor is transferring from the source servers, and analyzing, is purely performance data. SQL Governor will only have access to the PerfMon and DMV API’s. Any data that is stored in the servers’ databases will not be read or utilized. Any separate agent will not be installed to the source servers. SQL Governor utilizes domain specific proxy service that only reads the above mentioned API's of the source servers. In addition to these, SQL Governor supports SSL secured data transfer.
Experience from the SQL Governor customer projects
The SQL Governor solution can be utilized in any industry, as long as the organization has a number of Microsoft SQL Servers in use. The solution has already been successfully applied in several sectors, for example financing, insurance, industrial, software and media, with on average 44% cost savings produced so far.
The feedback from our customer has been highly positive. For example, a large media company conducted the SQL Governor capacity planning and has had the new system in production for two years now. Their CIO has been very satisfied with the service levels of the consolidated platform.
Another customer, an independent software company, wanted to ensure they have enough capacity in their new SQL Server platform.
“SQL Governor is a rather unique software. I’m not aware of anything comparable. In addition to capacity planning, SQL Governor can effectively monitor platform performance and identify bottlenecks. I’d recommend SQL Governor to anyone who has a challenging database environment, whether in terms of size or performance,” says the Software Architect of the company.
Learn more about the case here.
Jani K. Savolainen
Founder & CTO
P.S. Check out also my previous blog articles on how choosing the right capacity planning methods for SQL Server data platform renewal brings significant savings, and the 4 common misbeliefs in SQL Server consolidation.
P.P.S. Want to discuss on how much savings could be achieved by consolidating your data platform? Don’t hesitate to contact me!