Mike Steineke

EAA AirVenture 2013


Travel Air - Air to Air


Volunteering at Oshkosh this year was a great time!  I was able to catch up with friends, shoot some beautiful Airplanes and captured some amazing images.  I hope to post a gallery by next week some time, after I can sit down and edit my files.  Here is a photo shot from a camera phone by Phil High, of one of my Air to Air missions.

UEFI & Secure Boot


As some of you know, I have had a ton of problems with Direct Access and my new fancy Lenovo Helix.  I decided that the best way to determine what driver or application that came pre-loaded was causing the problems, was to just start with a fresh base install of Windows 8 Enterprise, and add from there.  Simple, right, I've loaded or reloaded hundreds or possibly thousands of workstations - not so much... after a couple hours fooling around with the UEFI BIOS, searching and reading, and getting it almost to work...  I finally went to a backup plan, call someone who I know has reloaded a UEFI BIOS machine, and ask, "What's the trick?"  So I ping a friend of mine at Microsoft, Larry Clarkin @larryclarkin, after a few minutes he had solved my issue, and has written a blog post on it, http://eraserandcrowbar.com/2013/06/19/Windows8UEFISecureBootOnCleanInstall.aspx

Hopefully this will alleviate frustration from others who are having the same problem!

Mellanox, Quanta, Microsoft and Cluster in a Box


I had the pleasure of speaking today at an event called Storage Solutions for the Private Cloud, in Mountain View, CA.  The event was held at the Computer History Museum

Cray 1

 I got to see a lot of computer history, from the Eniac, and Univac to the Cray1 & 2.  Gaming systems, PDAs, you name it, it is probably there. 

The event was a great time, and the Museum was also really cool. 

Infiniband, Windows 2012 Hyper-V and Live Migration - initial tests


I have been working with Infiniband cards in a few different Hyper-V clusters.  I did some work with Hyper-V over SMB on Windows 2012 Beta, and it was very impressive.  While waiting for my production IB switches, I have been testing Live Migration on a Cluster-in-a-Box with 2 IB cards with basically a crossover cable between them.  The migration performance is ridiculously fast.  I have 50 1GB vm's, and I can migrate them from node to node in under 20 seconds.  The IB network interface hits about 30 Mb/sec.

I am going to test with different numbers and sizes of VM's and I will share the results!  I think the results  are going to be very interesting.

Windows RT on Surface


So I received my Microsoft Surface today via FedEx...  The device is pretty nice, although I already have something that I think would have made the product much better.  One of the most useful things I think you can do with a portable easy to use device like this tablet is email.  Phones and slates all have mail clients that are good for reading mail, and occasionally sending one.  Delete also a really helpful feature.  When I bought my iPad (yes I own one) I thought, great, I can crank through a bunch of email while on planes, etc...  Not really the case with how Apple implemented Exchange activesync.  I thought Surface, with Windows RT - perfect I will have Outlook, not the case I should have read the specs closer...   Only the Metro Mail App, it works, but it is nothing like using Outlook, looks like I am now waiting for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, so I can have my slate, and my Outlook too.

That Conference


I'm busy finishing my presentation for That Conference next week, on Building a Private Cloud with Windows 2012 Hyper-V. 

Hope to see you there!  August 13th -15th


Clustered DTC and Multiple SQL Instances


There are a few ways you can configure MSDTC when you need to use it on a SQL Fail over Cluster Instance.   We have applications that need to commit transactions across multiple SQL FCIs so a Clustered DTC is necessary.  If you only have 1 active SQL node, it is pretty easy, you create a clustered DTC, which lives as its own clustered Application. 


As you can see MSDTC has an IP resource, a name resource and a Disk resource in the cluster, and the disk resource is mounted as a drive letter.

Although there are a few ways that are supposed to work to create multiple MS DTC instances in a cluster, there is only one that I have found to work reliably.  That way is to create an MSDTC service inside each SQL application.


 As you can see above there are all the same resources that are in a single clustered MSDTC, with a few modifications. I have shared the Drive Volume F with the SQL System databases, to not waste another drive letter, since SQL needs to use one anyway. You need to make sure that you have enough space to hold the databases and DTC.  In our configurations we also move TempDB to another LUN, by default it would be in this location and it would be easy to run out of disk.  I have also added a dependency for the SQL Service on the MSDTC Service to ensure that the MSDTC instance is running before SQL starts.  SQL will then always pick the MSDTC that is running in the same cluster application.  I have found to make this work, you must have a unique name and IP for each MSDTC contrary to documentation that says you can share a name and IP.



TechEd Europe 2012


Talked to a lot of people at TechEd NA about SQL Server 2012, and AlwaysOn.  Quite a few in the Intel booth with my demo on an NEC 1080aGX, and in the SQL Server High Availbility TLC Area.  I hope the attendees at TechEd Europe next week like the video in the Intel booth, since I won't be able to be there myself.

TechEd NA 2012 - Session


10:15 Eastern - DBI315 - SQLCAT: HA/DR Customer Panel - Microsoft SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Deployment Considerations

Come check out all of the implementation details from customers on SQL 2012 AlwaysOn!


New Blog Site!


So those who know me, know I am not really a blogger... I have however decided to give it a shot!  Hopefully this new fancy app will make it easy for me to post my ramblings.