3 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2014 8:55 AM by jeff.stewart

    NTA 4.0 Flow Storage Database migration from SQL Server

    dba-one

      Greetings,

       

      I have some questions about this upgrade/migration that I can't seem to find via a web search. The area that causes us the most questions is the new database platform. My questions are:

       

      It appears we have the option to not migrate to the new database platform. Does this mean that historical data doesn't have to be migrated, but in order to use 4.0 we must utilize the new platform no matter what? Basically, if we want this new product we have to use the new database?

       

      If we can stay with SQL Server only, what are the consequences?

       

      When historical data is migrated from SQL Server to the new database, does all of the existing data get ported or just some? I'm not clear if choosing to convert means that all data will now be stored on the new platform and after a successful port the SQL Server database is no longer used, or does NTA now use both the SQL Server AND the new platform as part of the upgrade?

       

      Who will support a FastBit installation(s) at our Site? With SQL Server, it is clear what our responsibilities are with regards to backups, installation, maintenance and patches, etc. Does SolarWinds support this in the event of a problem as part of a standard maintenance agreement, does support for this require an additional agreement and cost? Is support even available via SolarWinds and we would possibly have to learn the hard way or engage a consultant? I need to know about how to backup, restore, tuning, etc.

       

      Are there maintenance tools for this new database as they exist now for SQL Server? There are processes that reorganize indexes, etc. in the current product. While I don't really rely on them I wonder if there are similar processes in place for the new database? If not, is there a guide to this? Also, I see in the FAQ there is an item about what to do if the database runs out of space. The response was to lower the retention policy. Our retention policy is set per client and lowering this could very well violate the SLA. If the database needs more space (assuming the lack of space isn't disk related) can it be expanded on the fly? Is there any kind of documentation someone can point me to that covers the care and feeding of this new platform?

       

      In the FAQ there are some tips about sizing the new database. I understand that these are suggestions, but I'm not clear on what, if anything, I need to plan for as far as growth. Suggestions?

       

      In the SQL Server world we have standard practices regarding what type of files go on what type of RAID array. Is there any guidance for this new database?

       

      Basically this new database has us concerned and for good reason. We know little about it and introducing it in a production environment has us nervous.

        • Re: NTA 4.0 Flow Storage Database migration from SQL Server
          jeff.stewart

          "It appears we have the option to not migrate to the new database platform. Does this mean that historical data doesn't have to be migrated, but in order to use 4.0 we must utilize the new platform no matter what? Basically, if we want this new product we have to use the new database?"  Yes, you have the option to either migrate historical data or drop it and move forward with no historical data.  NTA 4.0 does leverage a new flow storage DB for storing netflow data, if you move forward with the upgrade on a 64bit OS you will be forced to leverage the new database.

           

          "If we can stay with SQL Server only, what are the consequences?"  Technically you could, if you were running NTA on a 32bit OS, eventually this will likely not be the case.  There are huge performance gains using the new FSDB, SQL will not take advantage of these gains.

           

          "When historical data is migrated from SQL Server to the new database, does all of the existing data get ported or just some? I'm not clear if choosing to convert means that all data will now be stored on the new platform and after a successful port the SQL Server database is no longer used, or does NTA now use both the SQL Server AND the new platform as part of the upgrade?"    During migration all of the netflow data will be migrated if you choose.  NTA does still leverage some areas of SQL, CBQoS for examples is still stored in the FSDB.  NTA requires both the SQL server and the FSDB server, as NTA requires NPM.


          "Are there maintenance tools for this new database as they exist now for SQL Server?"  Yes, there are maintenance tools located on the FSDB server in the start menu.

           

          "There are processes that reorganize indexes, etc. in the current product. While I don't really rely on them I wonder if there are similar processes in place for the new database? If not, is there a guide to this?" The netflow maintenance tool included should take care of all of this for you.

           

          "Also, I see in the FAQ there is an item about what to do if the database runs out of space. The response was to lower the retention policy. Our retention policy is set per client and lowering this could very well violate the SLA. If the database needs more space (assuming the lack of space isn't disk related) can it be expanded on the fly? Is there any kind of documentation someone can point me to that covers the care and feeding of this new platform?"  If you increase the amount of disk storage the FSDB will automatically take advantage of it.  I'd recommend the Admin Guide.


          In the FAQ there are some tips about sizing the new database. I understand that these are suggestions, but I'm not clear on what, if anything, I need to plan for as far as growth. Suggestions?"  There are two options for identifying sizing of the DB in the FAQ which should help.  Outside of that I'd recommend running the product for a few days with your load to gage DB growth.


          In the SQL Server world we have standard practices regarding what type of files go on what type of RAID array. Is there any guidance for this new database?" As with anything, the faster the disks and RAID array the better things perform.  Any idea on how many sustained FPS you expect to receive?

           

          Hope this helps.

           

          Jeff

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