Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Good Week

Posted: July 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

I always forget when the user group meeting is sneaking up on me, and then at the last minute something reminds me, sometimes it really is the last minute (OK they had to call me once from the meeting). Over the past month we have had MVP’s Ben Holting, Glenn Berry, Kalen Delany and even I spoke that the local group. Just this year alone we have had over 25% of the year as MVP Speakers. Well this month is just as big. We welcome Kevin Cox from the SQL Cat team. If you don’t know who he is I recommend you come, have you ever wondered how the big SQL Server shops do it? How does Microsoft recommend the way they do it? This has got to be the session for you. There is more information on the User Group page, the event starts just before 6 to network, I hope to see you there.

 

Start Date:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 

End Date:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recurring Event:

One time event

Description:

What are the largest projects on SQL Server? How do they scale? How do they accomplish HA/DR? Kevin will talk about these topics at the next SQL Server Users Group meeting.

 
 

Presenter(s): Kevin Cox, Microsoft / SQL Customer Advisory Team (SQL CAT)

Kevin Cox has worked in the database field for over 30 years as DBA, author, lecturer, consultant and now Principal Program Manager on the SQL Server Customer Advisory Team. He has been fortunate to work on some of the largest database projects in the world and has become an expert in both scale up and scale out databases. He has authored a book on SQL Server and many articles for SQL Server, DBMS magazines and even the old HP3000 magazine. He has a strong application development and architecture background and was previously certified to teach Powerbuilder and Visual Basic. Kevin spent several years as a Data Center Manager during the days of large mainframes honing his mission critical skills. Kevin has an MBA degree from the University of Denver and a BS Degree from Arizona State University.  Kevin can be reached at kevincox@microsoft.com

   

Location:

Ruth Holley Library

 

Well it has been a few years from the last time I spoke at PASS. But this year I submitted a few abstracts and was excited to learn last week that I will be presenting there in Seattle this year in November. PASS is an exciting event with a lot of get together’ s that surround it. I can’t wait to get back in the saddle and see old friends and make new ones. I have talked to a couple of other people and it sounds like it will be another good year.

I have also started working on an article series for SSWUG that will look at a number of common mistakes; we will define why they are mistakes and what the options are. I believe this is going to be a series of nine articles. The first two that I am working on is avoiding over simplified permissions by adding everyone to DBO and why people should use stored procedures.

On the SQL Perspectives blog we will be jumping into Section 3 Database Administration of the SQL Server Deep Dives book. The first chapter in this section is all about what it means to be a DBA by Brad McGehee.

 

In a discussion last week I had the chance to learn something new. I was moving some SQL Server accounts from one server to another. During this process I was going the long roundabout way to do this. Cynthia from the User group shared with me the sp_help_revlogin stored procedure. After doing some looking around I have found that there looks to be a couple different version of this so that it will work correctly with the system tables and or views.

The way these procedures work is to copy accounts and the passwords in an encrypted state from Point a to Point b, To include the default database. The KB articles these links point to will also give you added information about moving the logins.

If you use SQL Server 2005 as a source the procedure can be found here.

If you use SQL server 7.0 or 2000 the source procedure can be found here.

After you create the stored procedure in the master database, execute the proc and a create script will be created that you can copy from one location to another.

In My Tools Database

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have mentioned time and time again to people… when you want to learn more about SQL Server it’s time to create your own database, and now use that database to track all sort of things, like the history of your database growth, or what about the history of your jobs long term? Even the number of times your procs have been executed can be tracked in your database world, this database will help you be a better DBA. What a better way to learn then using your databases that you understand. If you don’t understand them, you will when you’re done.

With the DMV’s containing all the information about your server that most of us ask for this experience will not only provide you with awesome information but creating this on your own will help you develop your skills. So where do you start? First keep your info in there and by reading all the DMV’s that you can and use them to fill the tables. When your done it is time to add the tools that can help in you so many more places, this is where Denis Gobo chapter comes helpful in the SQL Server Deep Dives Book. Use the code, use the hints that he gives you.

The two different types of data can exist in different databases, but the thought is the same.

Thanks for the chapter Denis.

This Week’s Update

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Sometimes you sit in a session and there is just so little information you will get out of the session, does that mean the session is bad? Not at all, it means that it just was not right for you. Well this week I had the opportunity to host Kalen Delaney (sponsored by Dell), in Denver for a session on SQL Server Plan Caching and Recompilation, and I can tell you that this is one of the most useful session I have had the opportunity to see in years. The information that she passed along was amazing and if it did not directly impact you are the systems you are working on it will for sure help you get an additional grasp on so many topics. For example we talked about the DMV’s to a point and how to free your proc cache. Kalen mentioned that she has a more in depth session on the same topic coming on SSWUG as a workshop. I don’t think I will miss that one. As soon as I hear the date, I will be sure to post it for ya.

UPDATE  The workshop for Kalen’s event can be found here.  http://www.vconferenceonline.com/shows/workshops/plancaching.asp

So with that event over I have to look at the horizon. SQL Saturday is coming to Denver in September. I am really looking forward to that event, I am looking for speakers now, if you want to submit a session, that can be done here: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/52/callforspeakers.aspx

The Philadelphia SQL Server User Group, is also hosting a free on-line workshop on June 14th, along with a SQL Saturday on March 13th. The online event looks like it has some great information with the topic “Talk with SQL Server functions”

Expected Errors

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

As a consultant many times as I look at different logs, history of jobs, result sets and I am see errors. When I start to dive into the errors I come across discussions that end up with, “Yeah we know it is there like that, it’s what we expect”. I am not talking about warnings; I am talking about full blown errors. I have even seen jobs that exist on a production server that fails; there are even jobs that have been designed to fail. This brings up the question in my mind of why? It is easy for me to sit back in my chair, kick my feet up and let them know this is really not the best way to do things. But as I dig deeper I have to ask what are some of the reasons for people have done that. The one reason that I have heard that I like is to validate the error alert system. This is when someone designs a fail point into their system. Many admin’s rely on notification paths that our outside of their control. Since that is the case they want to validate that the notification path is continuing to work. For example, a company may use pagers or email notifications to alert them to something being amiss with their database. They want to validate that the complete notification path is working as they expect it to, so they create a job or a process that they know will fail just to send an alert to the device.

When people use this method is it really considered a failure? If a process is designed to throw an error message and it does raise that message then wouldn’t that be considered a success? In place of the failure could they not test the same path by having it alert on success as much as failure? With that being said I am not a fan of process that send messages on success on a regular basis, I thing that the completed successfully and failed messages can start to look the same on a small device such as a phone or a pager. If someone expects a page on fail or success then either way they will get that message and may not pay as close attention to it as they should. In my experience, a page, or message to a cell phone should only be done with something is not right. I could be convinced that A page a week or even once a day to validate the system is working as expected is a good thing, as long as not getting the page raises an alert with the person carrying the device.

There is a chance that I am looking at this from the wrong angle. I believe processes should be designed to succeed not fail.

Don’t Forget…  This is the week that Kalen Delaney will be in town.  This is going to be a great week.  The Kalen Event is Free, all you need to do is sign up here.

What’s in your Tool Box?

Posted: May 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

There have been a number of posts and a number of questions about what different DBA’s keep in their tool belt’s. If you are not familiar with the term it refers to what items do you keep handy with you if you need to step up and start working on a SQL Server that you have never been on before. There is so much information that you may need to gather to help you make a good determination on causes of issues, or even where you should focus your work to make the greatest positive impact on the database. I myself have posted a couple entries on what I keep in my tool box and even looking at backup compression tools as well.

In the first post that I did I mentioned that chances are you have a number of scripts that you use. These are scripts that may lead you to short cuts or just have syntax handy so you don’t have to run over to BOL each time you need it. One set of scripts that I am finding myself using more and more every day are the DMV’s. There is so much information in here that you really can get most of the information that you need from looking at a DMV. There are a number of really good DBA’s around the country that have been generating the DMV’s to put the information in a much easier to read format. They have written queries to show you everything from indexing issues to backup issues. If you don’t have a list of these then I must tell you that I think you have to start collecting them. In the future, I plan to start posting some of these.

I will only post a DMV where I have asked the author if it is OK for me to re-post and I will give you a link to where I have found it.

My goals here are simple.

  1. A collection of DMV’s that I use may help someone else, if they do great.
  2. A collection of DMV’s in a central location help me when I am looking for one and I need it soon.
    1. I will be tagging these for ease of finding.

Let me know what you think. I may write some of these, but I know that most of these will be from other people. I may have adjusted them but I will always do it with permissions and with credit to the person that wrote the DMV.

 

Huge Event in Colorado

Posted: May 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

If you are looking for free SQL Server training taught by a top notch professional, you cannot miss this.

I am so sorry for not posting a blog over the last week or so. I have been running into a few production issues and I really need to make sure that all my focus is on correcting any of those issues. With that said I believe we may be completed with that other than the post mortem. I think we can alter our checklists to make sure we don’t run into these issues again.

The announcement that I have for today is really exciting. Kalen Delaney is a SQL Server Professional that I have known for a number of years, I follow what she writes and where she speaks. Each time I have the opportunity to hear her talk about a topic I stand in line. Even if these are topics that I think I know about, Kalen is always there is a ton of new information. She works with a number of publications, and has a number of books under her belt. Well, Kalen is coming to Colorado. The 3 Colorado User groups have been working on this for a bit now. This event is free and only requires that you register. Well here is all the information.

   Dell Sponsored SQL User Group

  

  

 

   Register Today >

The three Colorado SQL Server® User Groups have joined together with Dell™ to present SQL Server® Author and speaker Kalen Delaney on Wednesday, June 9th, 5PM at the Marriott Denver Tech Center. Come and learn about SQL Server® Plan Caching and Recompilation from one of the best SQL Server® Authors.

SQL Server Plan Caching and Recompilation

 

The query optimizer is the most complex component of the SQL Server engine. Optimization and plan compilation can be an expensive process. Reusing a cached plan, rather than repeatedly recompiling it to create a new one, can give a performance benefit, but only when the cached plan is still appropriate. In this presentation, you’ll learn about the different ways that plans can be reused, as well as learning how to determine when reuse is a good thing, and when forcing recompilation is a better choice.

The event is free, but will require Registration. Refreshments will be served.

Agenda:

 

 

5:00 Registration and refreshments
 
6:00 Protecting SQL Data with Dell™ EqualLogic™ Storage
 
6:45 Featured Speaker, Kalen Delaney — SQL Server Plan Caching and Recompilation
 
For more information about Kalen Delaney check out the SQL Server Internals web site.

Registration is limited and by invite only. You need not be a member of SUG to attend.

Register Today >

 

  

 

 
Information
 

 

Hosted by:
Dell

When:


Wednesday, June 9, 2010
5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Where:
Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 South Syracuse Street
Denver, CO 80237

What did you do Today?

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

I hate those days where I have to get up at the crack of dawn, oh no… this was well before dawn. I was up at 3 this morning to go tag some ports. The funny thing is I really was a warm body at this point. I know nothing about port, or hubs, router even teenagers. We had to roll this change that took I swear maybe 3 min to make the change Problem was it did not work. So we applied the back out plan and watched as the network came on line.

Lesson Learned: It’s always nice to learn something new. The time was well worth it. And Back out plans are not something nice to have. It’s a plane that smart people have.

Then I had to go into work and migrate 300 Gigs of database in less than 15 min. Well we had some errors that I should know were there. But I had not taken the time to get rid of them last week when I had the time. End result was I was able to get the database completed. It was a migration from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 R2. Then we did SQL Server 2k5 to 2k8. To top that off we needed to do the SAN as well.

What does all that mean? Well there was some challenges that I had to overcome to make his work but we got it.

Lesson Learned: The greater the challenge the greater the feeling you get when you know “that just happened.”

So what is going On

Posted: April 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

I should say right off the bat…  If you are looking for Chris Shaw the guy that won millions of dollars in the power ball,  well that is not me. 

Well, here is the scoop. My brain is more or less has been depleted of any useful information. So I figured I would bring you up to date on what is coming up…

This week I finished the writing portion of the book that I am working on. We now enter the tech edit phase, if you have not heard about this before this is when they have someone check all the code you have placed in the book and validate all the facts that you are using. It was a nice thing to see that my editor has some insight to what is going to be going thought my mind. At first when I started the book he said once I was done or once I had turned in a chapter I would want to change things. Well that is so true, and on top of it I have already received great comments from one of the editors.

This week is also the time to get your sessions in if you wanted to speak at SQL Connections 2010. Take a look at the blog post on Paul Randall’s site. I have to admit that this is the best abstract submission site I have seen.

PASS is starting to take registrations for the Free 24 hours of PASS. This is a great event that is going to have a number of good speakers there.

There are a number of SQL Saturday events coming your way. If you are not near one contact a close user group and ask if there is a chance there to host one. There are a number of resources to help with these events. More information can be found on the main webpage located here. From what I see NYC, Atlanta and Huntington Beach are all having one tomorrow.

So to wrap everything up… This week we had Ben Hoelting in for the Colorado Springs SQL Server User Group. It was awesome to have him not only tell us about how LINQ helps in the development process but showed us. As a group of DBA’s we see things through the DBA’s colored glasses. This session helped me understand more of what the developers are seeing, and with that insight I can have better discussion with them on the best way to access the databases. Thanks Ben.

At the same meeting we announced that the Colorado SQL Server User Groups are coming together to host a couple of events over the summer and even longer term. If you are in Colorado keep an eye out for some really great events…