Jacob Sebastian is a SQL Server MVP, Author, Speaker and Trainer. Jacob is one of the top rated expert community. Jacob wrote the book The Art of XSD – SQL Server XML Schema Collections and wrote the XML Chapter in SQL Server 2008 Bible. See his Blog | Profile. He is currently researching on the subject of Filestream and have submitted this interesting article on the very subject.
What is FILESTREAM?
FILESTREAM is a new feature introduced in SQL Server 2008 which provides an efficient storage and management option for BLOB data.
Many applications that deal with BLOB data today stores them in the file system and stores the path to the file in the relational tables. Storing BLOB data in the file system is more efficient that storing them in the database. However, this brings up a few disadvantages as well. When the BLOB data is stored in the file system, it is hard to ensure transactional consistency between the file system data and relational data.
Some applications store the BLOB data within the database to overcome the limitations mentioned earlier. This approach ensures transactional consistency between the relational data and BLOB data, but is very bad in terms of performance.
FILESTREAM combines the benefits of both approaches mentioned above without the disadvantages we examined. FILESTREAM stores the BLOB data in the file system (thus takes advantage of the IO Streaming capabilities of NTFS) and ensures transactional consistency between the BLOB data in the file system and the relational data in the database.
For more information on the FILESTREAM feature, visit: http://beyondrelational.com/filestream/default.aspx
FILESTREAM Wait Types
Since this series is on the different SQL Server wait types, let us take a look at the various wait types that are related to the FILESTREAM feature.
This wait type is generated by FILESTREAM Garbage Collector. This occurs when Garbage collection is disabled prior to a backup/restore operation or when a garbage collection cycle is being executed.
This wait type occurs when during the cleanup process of a garbage collection cycle. It indicates that that garbage collector is waiting for the cleanup tasks to be completed.
This wait type indicates that the process is waiting for obtaining access to the FILESTREAM header file for read or write operation. The FILESTREAM header is a disk file located in the FILESTREAM data container and is named “filestream.hdr”.
This wait type indicates that the process is trying to perform a FILESTREAM log truncation related operation. It can be either a log truncate operation or to disable log truncation prior to a backup or restore operation.
This wait type occurs when a FILESTREAM file I/O operation needs to bind to the associated transaction, but the transaction is currently owned by another session.
This wait type occurs when a FILESTREAM file I/O operation is waiting for a FILESTREAM agent resource that is being used by another file I/O operation.
This wait type occurs when there is a wait for another FILESTREAM feature reconfiguration to be completed.
This wait type occurs when there is a wait to serialize access to the FILESTREAM configuration parameters.
Waits and Performance
System waits has got a direct relationship with the overall performance. In most cases, when waits increase the performance degrades. SQL Server documentation does not say much about how we can reduce these waits. However, following the FILESTREAM best practices will help you to improve the overall performance and reduce the wait types to a good extend.
Read all the post in the Wait Types and Queue series.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)