How fast can my database read from disk?

The SAN world is one measured in IOPs.  That is not a database friendly measurement.   Even using local or direct attached storage it is difficult to determine maximum throughput.  Activity Monitor allows you to see activity in MB/sec.    So how fast can you read from your database? 

One way is to do a database backup to a null device.  Take a large database and back it up to ‘NUL’

BACKUP DATABASE [DBName] TO DISK = ‘NUL’ WITH STATS=10

 

If you are using SQL 2008 you can try with compression.

 

BACKUP DATABASE [ReportServer] TO DISK = ‘NUL’ WITH COMPRESSION WITH STATS=10

 

The results return a MB/sec rate and you can watch the backup in Activity Monitor. 

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