Optimize SQL Server 2005/8 in Large RAM Systems with AWE

Microsoft SQL Server is a data-intensive and disk I/O (read and write) intensive database management system. SQL Server running on systems with a large amount of physical RAM memory (8 GB or more) can be configured to use the Address Windowing Extensions (AWE) API to provide access to physical memory in excess of the limits set on configured virtual memory, and force all paging to take place in memory for faster data and thread access.

With the Address Windowing Extensions (AWE) API, Microsoft SQL Server can support and access very large amounts of physical memory, upwards of 64 gigabytes or more on Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 (R2). The specific amount of memory SQL Server can use depends on hardware configuration and operating system support.

Before enabling AWE, Lock Pages in Memory permission must be granted to the user account that runs SQL Server as AWE memory cannot be swapped out to the page file. Note that AWE is not required for 64-bit systems, but the Lock Pages in Memory privilege is recommended for 64-bit systems.

Step 1: Enable PAE support on Windows Server to allow large segment of physical memory to be used. Continue reading “Optimize SQL Server 2005/8 in Large RAM Systems with AWE”

Layer Four Traceroute (LFT) and WhoB

LFT, short for Layer Four Traceroute, is a ‘traceroute’ application that works much faster than traditional Linux (traceroute) and Windows (tracert) options and can bypass restrictive packet-filters (firewalls). More importantly, LFT implements numerous other features including AS number lookups, loose source routing and netblock name lookups.

What makes LFT unique? LFT is the all-in-one traceroute tool because it can launch a variety of different probes using ICMP, UDP, and TCP protocols, or the RFC1393 trace method. For example, rather than only launching UDP probes in an attempt to elicit ICMP “TTL exceeded” from hosts in the path, LFT can send TCP SYN or FIN probes to target arbitrary services. Then, LFT listens for “TTL exceeded” messages, TCP RST (reset), and various other interesting heuristics from firewalls or other gateways in the path. LFT also distinguishes between TCP-based protocols (source and destination), which make its statistics slightly more realistic, and gives a savvy user the ability to trace protocol routes, not just layer-3 (IP) hops. With LFT’s verbose output, much can be discovered about a target network.

Here’s example output from LFT:

[[email protected] src]# lft -e -A -N -s 2222 -d 80 -m 2 -M 2 -a 5 -c 20 -t 800 -H 30 www.google.com
Tracing ............*****.........................T
TTL LFT trace to hkg01s01-in-f103.1e100.net (
1 [2XXX] [MY-AS] core-rtr1.myserver.net ( 0.7/0.8ms
2 [4750] [csloxinfo-th] wan-mywan.net ( 13.0/13.1ms
3 [4750] [csloxinfo-th] ge-1-1-CT45.csloxinfo.net ( 13.4/13.4ms Continue reading "Layer Four Traceroute (LFT) and WhoB"

Microsoft SQL Database Consistency Checks

If you are backing up a Microsoft SQL server, it’s advisable to perform a consistency check, post backup. If the consistency check fails you will need to runa manual check in order to identify and resolve any issues. These instructions are for SQL Server 2005.

1. Open SQL Management Studio and connect to the SQL server.
2. Browse to the database which is reporting consistency check errors
3. Ensure the database is highlighted in the Object Explorer pane.
4. Click the New Query button.
5. In the pane which opens, enter DBCC CHECKDB
6. Click Execute (or press F5)
7. The check may take a little while to run. The results are displayed in the Messages window.
8. If the check completed successfully, the messages should end with CHECKDB found 0 allocation errors and 0 consistency errors in database ‘your-database’.

This process was derived from the Microsoft Technet article here, which also details the test carried out.

SharePoint SUSHI

SharePoint SUSHI is a powerful, user-friendly utility designed to simplify common Microsoft SharePoint management tasks.  SUSHI simplifies backups, list migrations, security reporting and data import/export. Think of SUSHI as the “swiss army knife” for SharePoint

SUSHI = SharePoint Utility with a Smart, Helpful Interface




APC PowerChute Agents on CentOS

This is a quick how to on installing APC PowerChute monitoring agents on CentOS. This has been tested on CentOS 5.x versions and will likely work on RedHat Enterprise as well.

APC provides a free “5 node” version of the PowerChute Business Edition Basic which includes the PowerChute server (used for real time monitoring), PowerChute Console (used for monitoring and managing agents/clients) and the PowerChute Agent (available for Windows, Linux etc. and used to monitor a specific machine). Whilst this version is limited to managing a maximum of 5 server agents at a time, for a small office or branch data centers, its more than adequate. The PowerChute console allows for monitoring and management of UPS units connected to production Windows and Linux servers via serial (RS-232). Status information including battery health, UPS and battery age, total run time available, city power conditions and remote shutdown are all available within the console.

The CentOS agents may be installed and configured as follows:

1. Install the PowerChute Server and Console on an existing Windows machine. Continue reading “APC PowerChute Agents on CentOS”