Microsoft SQL Server and Applications Infrastructure Redefined

To redefine means you have to deliver increased IT agility.  By implementing EMC technologies, customers just like you have redefined their IT environments - experiencing 5X faster deployments and 4X less staff time and driving the overall cost 3X lower.  What’s more – with EMC Converged solutions, the process is repeatable and heavily automated; the Microsoft application availability increased 83X.  EMC solutions include VCE, VBLOCK and VSPEX to deliver tried and tested solutions for Microsoft environments.


EMC’s infrastructure products, services, and integration points provide improved productivity, eliminate risk, transform IT and maximizes the customer IT investment for Microsoft applications and SQL Server environments. Businesses are facing new, tougher IT challenges, as their customers and end-users become more demanding.  Business customers running Microsoft applications now require greater access to data on more platforms for more hours of the day. Many businesses struggle to provide the solutions their customers want.  Not to worry…. EMC enables you to satisfy your Microsoft SQL Server requirements through innovative products, services, and support options that work together to create end-to-end solutions.


Check back often to learn how you can leverage the latest SQL Server functionality with robust EMC Infrastructure solutions Microsoft SQL Server and Applications Infrastructure Redefined.




EMC's SQL Server 2014 Story

The rapid evolution of the SQL Server platform means that customers will be looking to EMC to provide advice on the infrastructure to support SQL Server and the applications that run on top of it.  Here is what’s most likely to impact our conversations around SQL Server:




Self Service SQL Protection for DBAs

EMC's AppSync makes it easy for DBAs to manage protection of SQL Server databases, independent of the storage system. Learn more about how to provide SLA-driven, self service capabilities for maximizing and simplifying data protection and reliability.




Why EMC for SQL Server 2012 Video

With explosive data growth for both structured and unstructured data types, customers need real time decision making and business intelligence with high performance and availability protection.  Watch this short video to learn how EMC provides comprehensive solutions to gain the maximum benefits of Microsoft SQL Server 2012.




EMC Solutions for SQL Server 2012


sqlsolutions.pngLearn how EMC technologies can assist a Microsoft SQL Server and infrastructure administrator through simple and easy to use management and protection of data. EMC tools such as Unisphere and EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) are demonstrated to highlight how easy it is to manage an EMC array in a Microsoft environment. EMC's AlwaysOn Availability Groups are highlighted to help ensure failover of SQL databases between SQL nodes. Finally, performance improvements can be realized through the use of EMC's FAST Cache including performance metrics highlighting the advantages of using EMC FAST Cache with a Microsoft SQL Server workload.






ESG.pngThis Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) Whitepaper discusses the new features found in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and key EMC technologies that assist SQL and infrastructure administrators for improved performance, scalability, data protection and services. Technologies discussed includes EMC VNX and VMAXe; Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) including EMC FAST VP, FAST Cache and VFCache; Backup and Deduplication; AlwaysOn High Availability; and EMC Consulting Services for Business Intelligence (BI) and Microsoft SQL Server







SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups provide the flexibility to protect specific databases, individually or collectively, in either synchronous or asynchronous availability modes. These configurations allow SQL Server 2012 the ability to replicate data to a secondary replica over distance.


This solution clearly shows the ability of EMC FAST Cache to significantly boost performance of the VNX Series storage array. Testing shows how enabling FAST Cache on a heavily utilized storage pool not only alleviated pressure, but allowed the same storage pool to service over four times the I/O (from 11,500 IOPS to 50,000 IOPS), while returning incredibly low SQL Server datafile average latencies times of 3 ms and less for reads and writes. The ability of FAST Cache to automatically react to the changes in OLTP workload I/O patterns is an invaluable tool for administrators.










SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability


SQL Server 2012 introduces two high availability configurations as part of SQL Server AlwaysOn, which provides availability at either the application database or instance level:

  • AlwaysOn Failover Clustering
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups


Visit this overview page to learn more about Microsoft's new high availability configurations and EMC's support and integration for Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn!










EMC FAST Cache with SQL Server 2012


The testing of this solution validated the ability of the VNX5700 storage array to support SQL Server 2012 in instances running OLTP-like workloads that generated over 50,000 IOPS.








Customer Success Stories



brainshark.pngLearn how EMC helps meet the performance needs for Brainshark’s cloud offering based on Microsoft SQL Server.
ha.pngThe world's largest collectibles auctioneer, Heritage Auctions uses EMC to enable dramatic gains in performance and scalability for Big Data using Microsoft SQL Server.
loomis.pngInternational cash handling leader Loomis uses EMC to help manage their rapid growth of mission-critical applications such as Microsoft SQL Server for data mining and Business Intelligence including significantly reducing backup windows.
ht.pngHawaii's leading communications provider brought in EMC Consulting to use Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SIIS) to stream performance data to a SQL Server Analysis Services cube and present the data in a dashboard using Microsoft SharePoint Portal.
crutch.pngEMC helps electronics retailer Crutchfield deploy key Microsoft applications such as Microsoft SQL Server in a Hyper-V based Private Cloud.
      edgenetlogo_footer.pngSoftware provider trust its Big Data business to EMC and Microsoft and manages terabytes of virtualized SQL Server databases.




Overcoming the Barriers to Business Intelligence Success

ESG Research: EMC Consulting Big Data Advisory Service

Consulting Services for Microsoft SQL Server

Full list of Enterprise Information Management Consulting Offerings



More Information

Follow the Everything Microsoft at EMC Community for up to date discussions, documents and other information!



Windows Server 2012R2 Update

What, R2update ? Youre kidding ?

Yes, Windows Update for Server 2012R2, 8.1 and 8.1 RT will be General Available by April 8th.

Subscribes can already download the Updates // New Install Images from Microsoft.


What´s in it ?


Very Simple, a set of KB´s, the largest 700Megs in Size:

Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update April, 2014


Important All future security and nonsecurity updates for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 require this update to be installed. We recommend that you install this update on your Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, or Windows Server 2012 R2-based computer in order to receive continued future updates.


A servicing stack update is available for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2: March 2014


Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update April, 2014


This update includes the following new features and improvements:

  • Enables a more familiar mouse and keyboard functionality for modern apps and controls.
  • Improves the web application compatibility of the Internet Explorer 8 emulation mode in Internet Explorer 11 F12 Developer Tools.
  • Increases performance and reliability when you use multi-display configurations for portrait-first device experiences.



OK, keep calm and Get your HoHoHo ........

Providers, ready To Patch your Installed Base ?


There is not even a Installer for All Packages, it comes with a Simple Readme:




The Update comes with a new Image Version:



After Applying, my Image Master went from 9GB to 16GB .....

Also cleaning up with dism and Trimming does not seem to shrink the master ....


Master before Update:


Master after Update


It took MS three releases of Modern UI to bring Power and Search to the Startmenu for Amins not used to work wit Modern UI :-)

Have fun Patching :-)

Exchange 2013 Mailbox Databases with ESI PowerShell Toolkit

This document describe step by step "How to create Exchange mailbox databases using ESI PowerShell Toolkit".


Open a desktop connection to the Exchange server. Launch an administrative PowerShell console session by right clicking the PS icon in the task bar and selecting “Run as Administrator”.



An Administrative PowerShell command interface will launch. In order to utilize the ESI PowerShell cmdlets, we need to load the ESIPSToolKit module. You could enter this into a PS profile so that it loads during boot.

We can see the list of PowerShell commands available in this module. We can see we have the modules for Exchange, here we have some of the mailbox commands.



We can see the list of PowerShell commands available in this module. We can see we have the modules for Exchange, here we have some of the mailbox commands.

Get-Command -Module ESIPSToolKit|Format-Wide



Since ESI has already been made aware of the VNX, we can simply query it in PS to see its properties. If you were not already connected, you could enter Get-EmcStorageSystemCredential | Connect-EmcSystem and you would be prompted to enter array information to add the VNX to ESI.






Now get back to the PowerShell console on ESI.vlab.local. The host EXCHDAG01.vlab.local is already present in ESI as a host so we don’t need to add it to the system. If we wanted to add it via PowerShell we would do the following:

Get-EmcHostSystemCredential | Connect-EmcSystem


An interactive window will pop up and you could enter your credentials there as seen below. If you entered the commands above, you would get an error message saying the host was already connected.


Now we can prepare to build the luns for the Exchange Dabatase and Log. First set the host we are going to use, then select the StoragePool on the VNX. We will go with Pool 00 here. Note the wildcards “*” surrounding the string “00” in the pool command. This is just to make locating the relevant pool easier.

In the following steps, we are going to use variable assignments in PowerShell to define values to certain things we will use in subsequent commands. For example, in the two commands below we are assigning ‘h’ the value of the Exchange host (EXCHDAG01.vlab.local) and we are assigning ‘p’ to the storage pool object that matches the wildcarded string *00*, respectively.

$h = Get-EmcHostSystem EXCHDAG01

$p = Get-EmcStoragePool *00*


Now we have to create the LUNs

$DB = New-EmcLun -Pool $p -name DB_LUN -Capacity 2048mb

$LOG = New-EmcLun -Pool $p -name LOG_LUN -Capacity 1024mb


Now we have to unmask the two Luns to the Host

Set-EmcLunAccess -Lun $DB -HostSystem $h -Available

Set-EmcLunAccess -Lun $LOG -HostSystem $h -Available


We need to to make them usable on the host. We will identify the Disks on the host.

$hdb = Find-EmcHostDisk -HostSystem $h -Lun $DB

$hdl = Find-EmcHostDisk -HostSystem $h -Lun $LOG


Initialize the disks

Initialize-EmcHostDisk -HostDisk $hdb -HostSystem $h

Initialize-EmcHostDisk -HostDisk $hdl -HostSystem $h


Create a volume on the Disks and assign a drive letter for both volumes.

$v1 = New-EmcVolume -HostSystem $h -HostDisk $hdb -Label Exchange_DB

Set-EmcVolumeMountPoint -HostSystem $h -Volume $v1 -DriveLetter K

$v2 = New-EmcVolume -HostSystem $h -HostDisk $hdl -Label Exchange_LOG

Set-EmcVolumeMountPoint -HostSystem $h -Volume $v2 -DriveLetter L


Now we have the two volumes ready to work with them. We can check on the EXCHDAG01 server that the volumes are created. I have used mRemote to connect to EXCHDAG01 server.

Click on Server Manager and Disk Management to see the new volumes.


Now we will create a Exchange Database and Log on the Volumes we have created in the previous step using PowerShell.

We will continue working from EXCHDAG01 server PowerShell session.

Connect to Exchange Server

$ms = Get-EmcMailboxServer EXCHDAG01


We can create the new Database "Database_PS" on EXCHDAG01 server. Also specifies where to create the .edb datadase file and log files.

New-EmcMailboxDatabase -Name Database_PS -MailboxServer $ms -EdbFilePath "K:\DatabaseFiles\Database_PS.edb" -LogFolderPath "L:\LogFiles"


At the end of the screen we can see the details of the new Database


In the next step we have to mount the database. The database is ready to use in Exchange Server

$mailboxdatabase = Get-EmcMailboxdatabase Database_PS

Mount-EmcMailboxDatabase -MailboxDatabase $mailboxdatabase

Type "Y" to mount the database

Click exit to close this PowerShell session


NOw we can connect to Exchange Admin Server to see we have a new Database created.

Click on databases and database availability groups to discover the Databases on server EXCHDAG01. We can see the information of the Database we created in Lab1 and the new Database created with PowerShell Database_PS


Managing Fibre Channel in VMM with SMI-S or How I Got in the Zone

Greetings from the Microsoft Technology Center in Silicon Valley (MTCSV) in Mountain View, CA.  I have been putting in a lot of time lately on the new System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager infrastructure that is hosting all the operational compute and storage for the MTC.   There are numerous blade chassis and rack mount servers from various vendors as well as multiple storage devices including 2 EMC VMAX arrays and a new 2nd generation VNX 5400.  We have been using the SMI-S provider from EMC to provision storage to Windows hosts for a while now.  There is a lot of material available on the EMC SMI-S provider and VMM so I am not going to write about that today.  I want to focus on something new in the 2012 R2 release of VMM – integration with SMI-S for fibre channel fabrics.


There are many advantages to provisioning storage to Windows host and virtual machines over fibre channel networks or fabrics.  Most enterprise customers have expressed interest in continuing to utilize their existing investments in fibre channel and would like to see better tools and integration for management.  Microsoft has been supporting integration with many types of hardware devices through VMM and other System Center tools to enable centralized data center management.  The Storage Management Initiative Standard (SMI-S) has been a tremendously useful architecture for bringing together devices from different vendors into a unified management framework.  This article is focused on SMI-S providers for fibre channel fabrics.


If you right click on the Fibre Channel Fabrics item under Storage in Fabric view and select the Add Storage devices option you will bring up a wizard.

FC Fabric menu.PNG.png

The first screen of the wizard shows the new option for 2012 R2 highlighted below.


We are using the Brocade SMI-S provider for Fibre Channel fabrics.  The provider is shipped with the Brocade Network Advisor fabric management tools.  We are using BNA version 12.0.3 in the MTCSV environment.  The wizard will ask you for the FQDN or IP of the SMI-S provider that you wish to connect too.  It will also ask for credentials.  We are doing a non-SSL implementation and we left the provider listen on the default port of 5988.  That is all there is to the discovery wizard.  The VMM server will bring back the current configuration data from the fibre channel fabric(s) that the SMI-S provider knows about.  In our case we have fully redundant A/B networks with 4 switches per fabric.  Here is what the VMM UI shows after discovery is complete.

Discovered Fabrics.PNG.png

Once we have discovered the fabrics we can go a the properties of a server that has FC adapters connected to one or more of our managed switches.  The first highlight below show that VMM now knows what fabric each adapter is connected.  This allows VMM to intelligently select what storage devices and ports can be accessed by this server adapter when creating new zones.  That’s right; with VMM 2012 R2 and the appropriate SMI-S providers for your storage and FC fabric you can do zoning right from within the VMM environment.  This is huge!

BL-460 properties.PNG.png

The second highlight above show the HyperV virtual SAN that we created in VMM for each of the adapters.  The virtual SAN feature set was released with Windows Server 2012 HyperV.  It is the technology that allows direct access to fibre channel LUNs from a virtual machine that can replace pass through disks in most cases.  That is also a really big topic so I’m going to write about that more in the context of VMM and fibre channel fabrics in a later article.  For today I want to focus on the use of VMM for provisioning fibre channel storage to HyperV parent clusters.  Now let’s take a look at the zoning operations in VMM.


The next figure show the Storage properties for a server that is part of a 5 node cluster.  The properties show what storage arrays are available through fibre channel zoning.  You can also see the zones (active and inactive) that map this server to storage arrays.

storage properties.PNG.png

Lastly, I want to show you how to zone this server to another storage array.  The place tostart is in the storage properties window shown above.  Click the Add | Add storage array icons to get to this screen.

create new zone.PNG.png

As you can see from the window title this is the correct place to create a new zone.  This is the same regardless of whether this is the first or third array (as in this case) you are zoning to the selected server.  I highlighted the Show aliases check box that I selected while making the above selections.  In order for the friendly name zoning aliases to be available they must be created in the BNA zoning UI after the server has been connected to one of the switches in this fabric.  You can also see the zone name that I entered that will be important when I move to the final steps to complete this example


Now that the zone has been created let’s take a look at the Fibre channel fabrics details.

FC Fabrics and Zones.png

I’ve highlighted the total zones defined in the Inactive and Active sets for the A fabric.  This shows that new zones have been created but have not yet been moved into the Active zone set.  If you open the properties of the Inactive zone set and sort the Zone Name column you can see the zone that we created 2 steps above.

FAB_A Properties.png

In order to activate this zone use the Activate Zoneset button on the ribbon.  One important detail is that you can only activate all the staged zones or none of them.  There are two zones that are in the Inactive zoneset that will be activated if you push the button.  Be sure to coordinate the staging and activation of zones in the event the tool is being shared with multiple teams or users.

Activate Zoneset.png

The world of private cloud management is changing rapidly.  VMM and the other System Center products have made huge advancements in the last two releases.  The investments that Microsoft and storage product vendors have been making in  SMI-S integration tools are starting to bring real value to private cloud management.  Take a look, I think you’ll be surprised.


Phil Hummel

Microsoft Summit 2013

I like this season of the year when we have our Microsoft Summit. This year has been hold at EMC facilities in Santa Clara. This is a great location in Silicon Valley between all the most important technologies companies.



It is time to meet with a lot of colleagues from different countries with the same interest and passion, learn about Microsoft and EMC Technologies.


This year we had around 85 people in the room from 19 countries and 22 states, some of them from presales, MSpecialist, engineering, marketing, etc. Additionally this year we count with the presence of some partners in the room and his feedback was very positive.


During the sessions we enjoyed seeing the latest EMC products, new EMC technologies features, Microsoft integration capabilities and more.

These are some of the topics we saw during the week.


  • MSpecialist program update\
  • ESI Update
  • Microsoft Cloud Solutions
  • Appsync
  • Microsoft applications with new VNX
  • Xtrem Flash
  • Windows Failover Cluster with VMware
  • Stretch Clustering with VPLEX and RecoverPoint
  • EMC Backup for Microsoft applications     
  • Kroll Ontrack
  • VSPEX sizing tools and scenarios
  • Exchange 2013, SOAP and ODX implications
  • Cisco & System Center integration


Also we had a Customer showcase “xtremSW with SQL 2008” by KM Gan. During the session KM Gan showed us the great work they did with xtremSW and SQL2008 during a POC in a customer.


Geek night driven by Karsten Bott our expert in Powershell. He demonstrated ESI Powershell functionalities to discover and manage EMC storage arrays. Additionally we spent some time with the new BRS2go lab, easy pack to install a lab in your
laptop with BRS products what you can use for training and customer demos… It is great!!!


As usual in this event in second day we enjoyed a Bowling activity during the night, we had good time with colleagues and friends.


Now it is time to go back home and start a new week with all the knowledge acquired during the event.


Thanks to the team to do possible this event every year and looking forward for the next one.