Archive for September, 2009

What’s Up?

Posted: September 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

I noticed today that I have not posted all the things that are moving forward this fall. I figured it was time we made a mention of it.

It appears that I may start doing a weekly guest editorial for SSWUG. I am really excited about this because of the size of the SSWUG community and the sharp people that are there. I have noticed time and time again when a question is sent to the group that they respond with a wide variety of answers. If you are not a member of SSWUG or do not get the daily newsletter now that is put out by Stephen Wynkoop you can sign up for that here.

Stephen Wynkoop and I just finished up DBA School. DBA School started as a 3 day class that covered 6 main topic area’s after running long a couple of nights and seeing that we could have had more discussions we have made an adjustment to the schedule. Now rather than 3 days it will extend to 5 days. We have removed the auditing session and are replacing it with a best practices session. The next DBA School will be in November as soon as we have a link for the signup we will be sending it out.

I have been working with the SSWUG community and with Paul Nielson to bring the SSWUG Community the Smart Database Design class that Paul authored. I have worked with Paul for a number of years and I know that this class is going to be something that you are not going to want to miss. You can find more information on that class here.

Over the course of the summer the SSWUG staff has been working hard to put together a Fall Conference that we will never forget. Names like Donald Farmer, Buck Woody and Kevin Kline will be presenting some great new sessions. There is also going to be a live room each and every day of the conference, so attendees can log on and during conference hours ask questions to speaker live on camera. If you have never been to a virtual conference this is a great way to keep up on the knowledge that you need without flying and paying for a hotel.

To top all that off I am working on two new presentations myself. The first one is for the business community to help them navigate the technology world and the second is a workshop on Data Clone’s. I could not think of a better name so if you have one I am open to it. The subject matter is all the different ways to move your data around from replication and transaction log shipping to data mirroring. This workshop should be on the web in the next week or so. Speaking of workshops there is one coming up on Oct 15th that will cover all you need to know about Backing up and Restoring your database. This workshop is about 4 hours long and has a lot of great information including a whole hour on how to restore data without restoring the database.

I am sure that I am missing a bunch of stuff, I will post it as I remember.




A Few Hours in Research

Posted: September 24, 2009 in Uncategorized


This week I am looking at compiling some information on database outages. I have been a firsthand witness to more than one outage some of those were to databases that I managed and some were to databases that belong to clients who requested my help in restoring data. All of the outages that come to mind where permanent data loss was involved could have been avoided. Last year I was working with a new client that needed some help with installing a service pack. When I checked his backups I found that he had one full that was run about 4 years prior and t-logs from that day. When I did the math a system restore would have taken over 1300 files. I am glad we caught that before it became a restore.

As I am looking at this data with some help from a developer at SSWUG, I found a number of statistics that that really perked my interest. By the way most of the information I am finding is from a survey done in 2001 called the “Cost of Downtime”. I think that I am going to see what I can do to get a more directed and recent survey done on SSWUG.

  • 60% of companies that lose their data close down within 6 months of the disaster
  • 40% of Small and Medium Sized Businesses don’t back up their data at all
  • 72% of businesses that suffer major data loss disappear within 24 months
  • 60% of all data is held on PC Desktops and laptops
  • One-third of all computers sold are notebooks

Those are some heart stopping numbers is you really start to think about them. Just the first point on the list where 60% of companies that lose their data close doors within 6 months. I am not sure what the difference is between the first and third point and what is considered a major loss and what is not. I hope to find out. I know that a number of reports can mean different things based on the questions. But these figures should really get you thinking. I know it did me.

You are not alone

Posted: September 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

Last week we wrapped up the first ever DBA School. From this point I have to say that this went much better then what we anticipated. Not that we would go after something that we believed would not work or not be a benefit to all involved, but it was the first one. Just like version 1 of anything you never know what issues are going to come up and you don’t know what people will or will not like. One thing that it appeared that everyone liked was the ability that the DBA School attendees had to talk with other people in the industry.

  • Many DBA’s are the only one in their shop. This can present a number of issues. Questions like:
  • Is this the right design?
  • Is this the right way to look at this?
  • Are there other solutions?
  • Am I the only one who has this issue?

Remember if you are a DBA that feels isolated, there are a number of things that you can do to really make sure that you are getting the help you need or the sounding board that could help you keep your sanity. There are a number of options that you have here is conferences, user groups the forums on SSWUG.

Even thought I was there as an instructor I had a chance to learn a number of items. It was even nice to see that I am not the only one that runs into empire building. There were attendees that had noticed this before as well. So as I head back home and we are getting ready to land at the airport I have to say I am excited about DBA School Version 2.

Learn SQL Server

Posted: September 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on the DBA School class that Stephen Wynkoop and I are going to be teaching next week. We have talked a number of times over the last couple weeks on exactly how we want to present the information so that not only are the facts covered but the class is relevant to each person who attends. Stephen had a great idea on the way we can accomplish this exact thing. I anticipate that this is going to help get many if not all the attendees involved in the class on a whole new level.

As I work on the class I have been thinking about how I learned different aspects to SQL Server. The one thought that keeps coming to mind is that each time I would learn something new I would consistently learn the same thing time and time again.

No matter how much I learn there is so much more there that I want to learn.

As I think about this, I can’t help but to think about how much the SQL Server product has expanded over the last 10 years. What started as a database engine has now morphed into so much more with the releases of SSIS, SSRS, and SSAS just to touch base on a few. I was thinking about replication in 6.5 when it was a complex process just to complete the Wizard. I believe the first time I set up replication it took me 3 days to complete the task.

With the release of new features of SQL Server, it requires DBA’s to look at where we want to focus our attention and our time. This may not always be a concise decision as much as it is a business need. I think today I am just thinking about all the new things there are to learn and where the product is going to go from here.