Archive for May, 2010

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.




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 >






Hosted by:


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

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

I caught a cold or something last Tuesday that hit me harder than anything else I have had in years. Just as the cold was getting started I have a migration that I had to complete. This migration had been planned for about 3 months with the last 4 weeks just getting all the users that were going to be impacted ready. As I started to get ready for the migration I had realized the importance of checklists. First off we were taking a stand alone Windows 2003 SQL Server 2005 to a Clustered Windows R2, SQL Server 2008. This alone is a violation of one of the core rules that I like to live by.

Change only one thing at a time. – The more you change at one point in time the more possibilities that something will go wrong, and if they do go wrong then the complexity of fixing these just increases…

Well to address the rule first. A number of years ago I would have been very aggressive about this rule, and many of the rules that I think are best practice for a database servers. But the reality is really harsh here. If I would have stuck to this rule I would have impacted the clients not once, but three times. Once for the hardware upgrade, once for the OS upgrade and once for the SQL Server upgrade. So it may be best practice, but it would also be a major impact to customers.

So in a shop where you are supporting a customer that is paying for your service and that service is to provide a database that is to be online with little interruption is it really considered best practice to take the server down time and time again to upgrade it? I think it could be argued that the business needs to have a big say in how this systems is upgraded. So when the requirements are that the database is not to go offline for an extended period of time a new set of challenges arise. This is where the checklist is priceless.

The Migration started on Wed. afternoon last week and we did have a bit of a late start, but the impact to the customer was as advertised. We had some issues that impacted the users down the road and if it were not for the great sys admins we would still be working on those.

This fall I hope to present a session on how I managed to move over 300 Gigs of data, across 2 servers with an upgrade of an OS, hardware and SQL Server with the database only being down for 14 minutes. (Ok 14 min and 12 seconds). It’s not as hard as you think it is, but it does require a special attention to detail.