Systems Engineering and RDBMS

Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Some more acronyms for you

Posted by decipherinfosys on June 21, 2008

Ahhh… Acronyms – what will the IT world be without these wonderful acronyms. Yesterday, a good friend mentioned that he is working on a LAMP project. So, do you know what it stands for?

LAMP stands for:

L –> Linux

A –> Apache

M –> MySQL

P –> PHP

That’s the complete open source platform that he was using. Likewise, if you are using only a Windows based implementation, another acronym to be familiar with is WISA:

WISA stands for:

W –> Windows

I –> IIS

S –> SQL Server

A –> ASP.Net

Then, there are different permutations of these like: WISP or WASP or WIMP or WIMA (the alphabets stand for the same technologies as stated above).

Posted in Open Source, SQL Server, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Windows 2003 Standard Edition (32-bit) and the 3GB Switch

Posted by decipherinfosys on June 4, 2008

We have covered the difference between 32 bit vs 64-bit Windows/SQL install before and how the 3GB switch can be used to make 3GB memory (virtual) available to the user mode processes and you can even have a finer grained control over it by using the /userva parameter in the boot.ini file. You can read more on it here and here. 32-bit operating systems can address 4 GB of memory and the OS divides the address space evenly between user mode and kernel mode memory. Each user mode process can be allocated 2GB of private address space. If we use the /3GB switch in the boot.ini file, then the kernel memory space is reduced to 1GB of Virtual Address Space and the user mode processes that are Large Address Aware can use 3GB. By making use of the /userva option, we can reserve more space for the kernel. Applications like Exchange and SQL Server can take advantage of this increased memory

Of course, using PAE and AWE (on Enterprise and Data Center Editions 32-bit systems), one can make a large amount of virtual memory available but that is a discussion for another post.

In this post, we wanted to mention one thing in relation to the 32-bit Windows 2003 Standard Edition. If you are using Windows 2003 Standard Edition, then be careful with the usage of the 3GB parameter. In 32-bit Windows 2003 Standard Edition, even if you use the 3GB switch, we have found that the user mode applications can avail up-to only 2GB. If the flag is used in the boot.ini file, then the kernel is restricted to 1GB of addressable memory without the increase in the memory that can be used by the user mode applications which essentially means that you will lose the 1GB address space.

Here is an excellent whitepaper from IBM on tuning Windows Server 2003 and it covers the 3GB switch as well as the PAE (and PAE and 3GB combination changes):

Posted in Oracle, SQL Server, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Windows 7 and Multi-Touch

Posted by decipherinfosys on May 28, 2008

By now, you must have heard about Microsoft Surface – we had also covered it before in one of our posts. If you haven’t looked at it, here is the link. Some of those multi-touch innovations are making it’s way to the next version of Windows – Windows 7. All things digital had posted an interview of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer and it has a video that demonstrates the multi-touch capabilities of Windows 7.  It’s a very interesting demo and a very good chat with Mr. Gates and Mr. Ballmer.  Interesting times are ahead…

Posted in Technology, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Different Flavors of LINQ

Posted by decipherinfosys on May 12, 2008

LINQ stands for Language Integrated Query and it is a set of .Net framework extensions that allow us to query various data sources using a .Net language. There are a couple of different flavors of LINQ:

a) LINQ to SQL: This is for applications that use objects mapped to the database objects.

b) LINQ to Entities: This is for applications that need more flexibility in mapping objects to a RDBMS supported by the ADO.Net data providers.

c) LINQ to XML: This provides an in memory XML API.

d) LINQ to object: This allows us to do queries against the in memory objects.

e) LINQ to Sharepoint: This allows us to query MS Sharepoint lists.

f) LINQ to DataSet: This allows us to query DataSets.

You can get more information on LINQ using these resources:

MSDN Site, LINQ – Basic Introduction, HookedOnLINQ, LINQ to MS Sharepoint, LINQ Books – Pro LINQ, LINQ in Action.

Posted in .Net Development, SQL Server, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Managing disk partitions in Windows with command line utilities

Posted by decipherinfosys on May 8, 2008

There are many utilities that are available to help manage disk partitions:

FSUTIL.exe: This is a command line utility that shows the information about the file system and can be used to perform disk related functions.

DFRG.msc and DEFRAG.exe: This is used for defragmentation of the disk drives though personally, I would recommend using Diskkeeper for this task.  DFRG.msc is the GUI utility and DEFRAG.exe is a command line utility.

DISKPART.exe: This is a command line utility that can be used to perform disk related functions.

CHKDSK.exe: This utility verifies and repairs FAT or NTFS formatted volumes.

CLEANMGR.exe: This utility is a GUI utility and is used for deleting un-used files.

Posted in Windows | 1 Comment »

SQL Server 2008 Deployment Guides from Dell

Posted by decipherinfosys on April 28, 2008

I was having a discussion with one of our client’s IT directors and he pointed out some deployment guides from Dell for SQL Server 2008 deployments. This client is one of the early adopters of SQL Server 2008 and is evaluating going live on it by the end of the year. These guides have a wealth of information in them and I would encourage everyone to read through them:

SQL Server 2008 CTP5, SQL Server 2008 on Windows 2003 and SQL Server 2008 on Windows 2008.

Posted in SQL Server, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Labs

Posted by decipherinfosys on March 6, 2008

MSFT virtual labs is a good way to try out new technology through a guided hands on labs in their virtual online environment. They have virtual labs available for Business Intelligence, SQL Server (including SQL Server 2008), Windows (including the latest 2008 OS),Exchange and many others. This is a very good way to get your hands dirty and gain some knowledge without investing into the software, hardware or training. Check out this link on TechNet for the virtual labs:

Also, here is the link for Windows Server 2008 virtual labs:

Posted in Technology, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Windows 2008 RTM

Posted by decipherinfosys on February 18, 2008

Windows 2008 has been released to manufacturing and the company is all geared up for it’s Feb. 27th launch of Windows 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008. Keep in mind that the launch of SQL Server 2008 does not mean that SQL Server 2008 is being released to manufacturing yet. Read our previous post here on the latest on the timeline for SQL Server 2008.

We have Windows 2008 installed and are performing tests as we speak. We have been impressed with the initial runs – the speed, the UI changes, the features and will be posting more on it in the days to come. You can also read more on Windows 2008 in the Windows 2008 Reviewers Guide at Microsoft Tech Center.

Posted in Windows | 1 Comment »

Windows Log Management and Troubleshooting Tools

Posted by decipherinfosys on February 16, 2008

In some of our previous blogs, we have talked about performance monitor (and tracking it within SQL Server) as well as the ability to co-relate the perfmon data with the SQL Server Profiler data in SQL Server 2005. In this post, we want to mention some additional built in tools in Windows that can be used to automate log data collection and interpretation of that data.

Logman : This tool can be used to schedule the start and stop of the logging process. That can be done using the performance monitor as well as even using the AT scheduler in windows however, one advantag of doing this using Logman is that it enables one to configure data collection and copying that data to different machines from a single location. The link of the utility above points to the technet post that explains the different options available with this tool.

Relog: Relog allows us to re-sample from a performance log and extracting the data out into different formats like txt, csv, SQL (database insert) for better reporting. For loading into the SQL database, all it needs is an ODBC DSN name.

LogParser: This utility is used for analysis of the IIS logfiles. It allows the end users to query the log files. It is also available as part of the Windows Resource Kit or you can download it from the link given above.

PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs): This is a very good tool for interpreting the performance logs and is available on MSFT PSS team has provided a lot of XML templates with recommended threshold values which you can change as per your needs. PAL uses LogParser which has been mentioned above in this post.  We would highly recommended downloading this tool and playing with it to see how it can help you in your sysadmin tasks.

TypePerf: Typeperf can be used to write up the performance data to the command window or to a log file.

We have used a variation of these tools with our own scripting scripts for some of our projects at client sites and would highly recommend them.  These can be used in troubleshooting issues as well as helping prepare a baseline performance metrics of your environment.

Posted in Windows | 2 Comments »

Sharing drives and clipboard with Remote Desktop in Windows

Posted by decipherinfosys on February 6, 2008

In your day to day work, you would be using remote desktop quite often to terminal serve into other servers in order to do your work.  Besides invoking it from the GUI (Start/All Programs/Accessories/Remote Desktop Connection ==> in Windows 2003 OS), you can also invoke it from: Start/Run, type mstsc and press enter.  It will bring up the remote desktop connection box like the one shown below:


In order to allow sharing of the local drives and clipboard, you can then click on options, then the Local Resource tab and then under Local devices and resources pane (as shown in the image below):


select Printers, Clipboard if they are not already selected and then click on More… and you will get the image that is shown below.


Check the Drives check box and click Ok all the way through. Please note that I am using Windows 2003 Server as my OS.  If you are using Windows XP, the images shown above will be a bit different and under Local Resources itself, you will be able to see the Disk Drives check box.  If for some reason, the clipboard cut and paste is not working for you, then on the remote server that you have terminal serve’d into, look for rdpclip.exe in task manager (under the processes tab) and you will need to end that process.

You can also chose to save your connection options and then save this information.  In Windows 2003, Start/All Programs/Administrative Tools/Remote Desktops will get you the console that you see in the image below.  You can then configure your connections over there and just click on those in order to be logged into the remote machines.


Posted in Windows | Leave a Comment »