RAM Disk and SQL Server

I use Continuous integration as part of an Agile development cycle. I constantly struggle to make functional tests run fast enough. Ideally they are run after every build and at the very least they are run every night. I have quite a few functional tests, which are I/O bound, so I’m going to try and install SQL Server on a RAM Drive.

Step 1: Install Ram Disk Software

After a quick google Data Ram’s Ram Drive appears to be the best RAM Disk out there… or at least their website has the best SEO. They have a 4 GB free version so I figure I’ll give that a try.

Download and run the installer from here: http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk

The installer is straight forward. The configuration is easy too. Here are the configuration settings I entered. I created a 2 gig disk and saved it to C:\RAMDisk.img. Click [Start RAMDisk] to begin.

Step 2: Format the Drive

Now we have a 2 gigabyte un-formatted drive. The next step is to format it! Select Start Menu > Disk Management.

Click on the partition and then “New Simple Volume…”

Select NTFS and use all default settings. That’s all!

Step 3: Create SQL Instance

Run SQL Server Management Studio. Create a new database.

Specify the F:\ Ram Disk.

That’s it! Create tables and insert data freely. Remember to save the RAM Disk periodically from the DataRam Configuration Utility used above. Todo: Compare database dependent functional tests before and after the RAM Drive.

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