Analyzing Storage Performance by Robert Smith on the Counter-of-the-Week (COTW) Blog

In my role with MS IT's Assessment, Consulting, & Engineering (A.C.E.) team, I work with some of the best application perf engineers in the world.  However, A.C.E. doesn't have a monopoly on talent; there are some great engineers throughout Microsoft.

One such geek is Robert Smith who has just published a great new post on Clint Huffman's Counter of the Week (COTW) blog:

Analyzing Storage Performance

Here's the broad outline:

  • Introduction
  • Symptoms: Long disk response times and High I/O
  • Symptoms: General poor response from storage subsystem
  • More Information
  • References

Robert is responsible for the first formal documentation I know for disk partition alignment for Windows:

Disk performance may be slower than expected when you use multiple disks in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, and in Windows 2000

Regular readers will recognize disk partition alignment as "the best kept secret in SQL Server I/O performance".

I am an evangelist for the First Church of Disk Latency.  Robert's COTW post echoes the importance of using disk latency in analyzing disk performance problems.  But he doesn't stop there!  He provides an excellent introction for the n00b & a good overview for the expert.  There's great information here on analyzing, correlating, & interpreting Windows performance information.

I had the opportunity to contribute to this article with Microsoft performance engineers Clint Huffman and Ken Brumfield.  Folks, I suggest you not merely read Robert's article, but also subscribe to Clint's & Ken's blog.  While you're at it, subscribe to the COTW blog.  Clint has threatened to publish more frequently—& we're going to see to it that he does.  Subscribing to these blogs will expose you to best practices, tips-&-tricks, & cutting edge performance information.


Jimmy May , MCDBA, MCSE, MCITP: DBA + DB Dev
Senior Performance Consultant: SQL Server
A.C.E.: Assessment, Consulting, & Engineering Services
Performance is paramount: Asking users to wait is like asking them to leave.

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