Dealing With Noisy Neighbors

Kevin Kline explains what Resource Governor does:

There are lots of ways to manage noisy neighbors. For example, you could spin up additional instances of SQL Server on a single physical or virtual machine (VM), and then segregate the applications to a distinct instance. You could also follow the old adage of “one application, one SQL Server” by putting the SQL Server onto its own machine, either physical or virtual. But that can get very expensive very quickly, depending on your licensing methodology.

If you’re running SQL Server 2008 or later, you might want to investigate Resource Governor as an alternative. Resource Governor lets you create limits on the amount of system resources a database and application can consume. On versions 2008 to 2012, Resource Governor can explicitly limit CPU and memory and, starting with version 2014, limit I/O consumption as well. This is powerful medicine for multi-tenant instances with noisy neighbors!

My response to noisy neighbors is to turn my music up really loud as a passive-aggressive response.  Oh, wait, wrong kind of noisy neighbor…  H/T SentryOne

CAP_CPU_PERCENT

Robert Davis looks at the CAP_CPU_PERCENT option in Resource Governor:

The need for this setting came about because MAX_CPU_PERCENT is not applied unless the server is busy. This could lead to a situation where queries in a low priority resource pool starts running while the server is idle and are allowed to consume all the CPU they can. Then high priority queries spin up, and they can’t immediately get the CPU they need due to the low priority queries not being capped. CAP_CPU_PERCENT came along and was designed to set a hard limit that the queries in a pool could not go over even if the server is idle. For example, if you cap the CPU at 25%, the queries in the pool will not exceed 25% no matter how idle the server is.

Problem solved, right?

When the end of a section is a yes/no question, the answer is usually “no.”  Read on before this burns you.

Resource Governor

Mark Wilkinson walks through Resource Governor:

Now that we know which statistics we can gather, we need to actually start gathering them. While the DMVs for Resource Governor are great, they will only give you an aggregate of the usage information since the last time the statistics were reset, or the last time services were restarted.

In most cases it makes sense to store your data in a separate table so you can calculate differentials between two time periods. For our example we are only going to be interested in request counts and CPU usage. For this, we will create the following table

Read the whole thing.

Resource Governor For R

Tomaz Kastrun describes using Resource Governor with Microsoft R Services:

Setting external resource pool for execution of R commands using sp_execute_external_script has proven extremely useful, especially in cases where you have other workers present, when you don’t want to overdo on data analysis and get to much resources from others (especially when running data analysis in production environment) or when you know that your data analysis will require maximum CPU and memory for a specific period. In such cases using and definingexternal resource pool is not only useful but highly recommended.

Resource governor is a feature that enables you to manage SQL Server workload and system resource consumption their limits. Limits can be configures for any workload in terms of CPU, Memory and I/O consumption. Where you have many different workloads on the same SQL Server, resource Governor helps allocate requested resources.

If you’re concerned about R soaking up all of your server’s memory, Resource Governor is a great way of limiting that risk.

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September 2017
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