Go Daddy Insiders

I don’t hide the fact that I work at Go Daddy. All discussions of advertising methods aside, it’s a great company to work for. Not only am I treated well as an employee, I also get to work in a world-class technical environment. However, the marketing campaigns tend to steal the spotlight. As a result, few people are aware of technology that it takes to be the #1 hosting provider in the world. Some examples of little-known facts about Go Daddy:

  • 10 billion DNS queries answered daily
  • Over 35,000 servers & 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art global data centers
  • 25 petabytes — yes, petabytes! — of networked data storage

Pretty cool, huh? Go Daddy has launched a new blog called Inside Go Daddy as a way to share all the nitty gritty details of what it takes to support this kind of environment. Here’s a blurb from the site:

This is your inside source for what’s going on with Go Daddy’s tech experts. You’ll get insight and opinions from Go Daddy’s tech leaders on industry topics, company projects & open source initiatives … the leading edge, unconventional, “behind-the-scenes” information you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not PR, it’s not executive talk, it’s the story straight from Go Daddy’s developers, engineers & IT personnel.

Shockingly, I’ve signed up to blog about database scalability. 😉 I’ve just started a new series that explores the tuning and design changes required to support 27k transactions per second during the airing of Go Daddy’s Super Bowl commercials. Those who attended my Summit 2009 session might recognize some of the high-level content, but this series will explore the topics in depth and with never-before-revealed detail. My first article, Scaling the Database: Data Types, is now live.

If you find the content helpful or interesting, please share the article or leave a comment. My employer monitors blog traffic, and we have a bit of a contest going on to see what topics get the most hits. Quite frankly, it’d be cool if the SQL Server topics outperformed the NoSQL topics. 😉

Also, I’ll entertain topic requests, so if there’s something you’re just dying to know about what we do or how we do it, let me know. 🙂


Allen Kinsel on Twitter (@sqlinsaneo) recently started a new Twitter tag, #PASSAwesomeness, about all of the cool things about PASS Summit. I really like the tag, so I’m going to blatantly steal borrow it for this post. 🙂

First, and long overdue, I want to give a brief recap of the East Iowa SQL Saturday. On October 17th, our local PASS chapter, 380PASS, sponsored our first ever SQL Saturday at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. By all accounts, the event was a great success! We had 90 attendees, 11 speakers, and 21 sessions. We received numerous compliments on the quality of the speakers, the niceness of the facilities, and the abundance of food. Not too shabby for our first time hosting the event, if I do say so myself. 🙂

I’d like to thank all of our wonderful speakers, especially those who traveled from out of town and out of state, for making this event such a success. I’d also like to thank our amazing volunteers for helping put this all together. Lastly, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank our generous sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible. Because this event went so smoothly and was so well received in the community, we’ve already started planning our next big SQL event! In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our monthly 380PASS meetings to tide you over.

I’d also like to take a moment to discuss the PASS Summit. Unless you’re a DBA who’s been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the PASS Summit. If you *have* been living under a rock — and hey, I’m not poking fun, I used to live under a rock, too! — then what you need to know is that the Summit is the largest SQL Server conference in the world. It’s a gathering of Microsoft developers and SQL Server gurus; the rest of us show up to try to absorb as much from them as possible. Since I’ve recently moved to the Business Intelligence team, I’m extremely excited to delve into the amazing amount of BI content offered.

I’m also deeply honored to be presenting at the Summit this year on some of the performance tuning techniques I’ve used with great success in my production environments. The session is titled, Super Bowl, Super Load – A Look At Performance Tuning for VLDB’s. If you’re interested in performance tuning or VLDB (very large database) topics, consider stopping by to catch my session. From what I can tell, I’ll be presenting on Tuesday from 10:15am – 11:30am in room(s?) 602-604.

If you read my blog, or if we’ve ever interacted in any way on the internet — Twitter, LinkedIn, e-mails, blog comments, etc. — please stop by and say “hi”! Aside from all of the awesome SQL Server content, I’m really looking forward to meeting as many new folks as possible.

And on that note…

Getting to meet all of the amazing SQL Server professionals out there who have inspired and encouraged me in so many ways #PASSAwesomeness

Ramblings on Super Bowl and PASS

Super Bowl 2009

As many of you know, I’m a DBA at GoDaddy.com, which had 2 commercials in this year’s Super Bowl. If you saw the commercials during the game or went to our website for the “internet only” versions, let me know; I have no control over the content of the ads, but I’m still interested in your opinions. But comments on ad content aside, the commercials continue to prove very effective for driving traffic to our website and, in turn, generating income. (Don’t believe me? Read this and this article on finance.yahoo.com).

We typically get some pretty large spikes the minutes immediately following a commercial airing, and this year was no exception! We spent quite a bit of time throughout the year tuning our systems to support Super Bowl traffic, especially in the few weeks preceding the big game. By all accounts, this year’s efforts have paid off; our database servers exceeded expectations. I don’t think I’m allowed to go into specifics, but I can mention some server stats. During the spikes, my primary server reached 27k transactions per second, no timeouts, and very good response times. In fact, I estimate we decreased our recovery time by around 80% compared to last year.

Why do I mention all of this? Well, there’s the bragging aspect, of course 🙂 . But more importantly, I bring it up to give credence to some of the performance tuning articles I’ve written in the past, like:

Keep in mind, there’s rarely a “magic bullet” for performance tuning, and what worked for me may not work for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an e-mail, and I’ll do my best to respond.

If you’re interested in more information on effective performance tuning, make sure to check out the Performance Tuning Section on SQLServerPedia.com.


I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the number of inquiries I’ve received regarding the I380 PASS Chapter (serving the East Iowa area of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City), so I’ll continue to post updates to my blog.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re now officially a PASS Chapter, and we’re currently in the planning stages of our first meeting. We have one confirmed key sponsor, Quest Software (woot!), and we’re speaking with a couple of other possible sponsors. Side note: if you’re interested in sponsoring our group, I’d love to hear from you! E-mail me at michelle @ sqlfool dot com.

We’re currently planning to have meetings on the second Tuesday of every month, with our first meeting on Tuesday, March 10th 2009. We have a confirmed speaker but not a confirmed topic, and we’re actively working on a meeting location. Please keep in mind that all of these details are subject to change. 😉

If you’re in the area and would like to attend, or know someone who should attend, please drop me a line!