SQL SERVER – Iridium I/O – SQL Server Deduplication that Shrinks Databases and Improves Performance

Database performance is a common problem for SQL Server DBA’s.  It seems like we spend more time on performance than just about anything else.  In many cases, we use scripts or tools that point out performance bottlenecks but we don’t have any way to fix them.  For example, what do you do when you need to speed up a query that is already tuned as well as possible?  Or what do you do when you aren’t allowed to make changes for a database supporting a purchased application?

Iridium I/O for SQL Server was originally built at Confio software (makers of Ignite) because DBA’s kept asking for a way to actually fix performance instead of just pointing out performance problems. The technology is certified by Microsoft and was so promising that it was spun out into a separate company that is now run by the Confio Founder/CEO and technology management team.

Iridium uses deduplication technology to both shrink the databases as well as boost IO performance.  It is intriguing to see it work.  It will deduplicate a live database as it is running transactions.  You can watch the database get smaller while user queries are running.

Iridium is a simple tool to use. After installing the software, you click an “Analyze” button which will spend a minute or two on each database and estimate both your storage and performance savings.  Next, you click an “Activate” button to turn on Iridium I/O for your selected databases.  You don’t need to reboot the operating system or restart the database during any part of the process.

As part of my test, I also wanted to see if there would be an impact on my databases when Iridium was removed.  The ‘revert’ process (bringing the files back to their SQL Server native format) was executed by a simple click of a button, and completed while the databases were available for normal processing.

I was impressed and enjoyed playing with the software and encourage all of you to try it out.  Here is the link to the website to download Iridium for free. .

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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8 thoughts on “SQL SERVER – Iridium I/O – SQL Server Deduplication that Shrinks Databases and Improves Performance

  1. 1. Microsoft doesn’t recommend SQL Compression for OLTP systems. Iridium is for all systems.
    2. SQL Compression uses compression that causes a lot of overhead. Iridium uses deduplication which is far more efficient.
    3. SQL Compression is done on a object-by-object basis and careful analysis needs to be done on each object to avoid performance issues. Iridium is done for the entire database so it is much easier to implement.
    4. SQL Compression doesn’t like data change and can fragment data easily. Iridium is not hurt by data change.
    5. SQL Compression doesn’t actually release the disk space to the O/S without a lot of work. Iridium releases the space immediately.
    6. SQL Compression takes far longer to implement and many DBA teams don’t have the time to determine which objects in which databases would benefit.

  2. This is interesting and sounds like a product worth a look. Information seems a little sparse, though. Do you have a link describing in more detail how it works?. What exactly is it deduplicating? Seems most of what is on the site is sales material around how miraculously it reduces storage and increases performance, but not much meat on what is going on.

  3. Would love to get in depth details about Iridium I/O and also some use cases or reviews before self-testing the product. It is a very risky thing to install this without having any information about the product and it’s stability.

  4. When they provide some pricing information they will be worth a look. When companies hide pricing like this and want you to try a demo first, they’re getting ready to ask for your first-born and [word removed].

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