SQL Server 2008 R2 – Master Data Services

When building a Data Warehouse, we have to go through a “Data Discovery” phase where the requirements of the Business Intelligence solution are mapped to the actual operational systems so that we can extract transform and load (ETL)...

01/15/2011

Top Ten Scrooge List for SQL Server – “Polar Express” version

Last year, I listed my first annual "Top Ten Scrooge list for SQL Server". In the spirit of the season, I started thinking about those features that Microsoft charges top-dollar for with SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition that really...

12/20/2010

Tricky SQL Server install on 64-bit machines – Use Switchback!

Most of my test servers are still 32-bit machines. It’s not until recently that I have started to use 64-bit machines for testing. The big reason for the 64-bit platform is better performance for large databases given that you can...

12/15/2010

Instant File Initialization (IFI) for faster database creation

I have been testing out some interesting items that were mentioned in sessions at the PASS Summit in Seattle last month. One of these was the concept of Instant File Initialization (IFI) for large database files. Even though this...

12/06/2010

Understand DMVs…or should we say DMOs?

My favorite technical session at the PASS Summit conference last month was provided by Grant Fritchey, the “Scary DBA”. The subject was Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) and how to use them for troubleshooting under the title “SQL...

12/04/2010

Early Christmas Present – Data Collector Reports!

The Data Collector was introduced in SQL Server 2008 and provides some great functionality “out of the box”, with some cool interactive reports based on performance metrics. I spent much of the PASS Summit conference last month...

12/02/2010

Day 2 at PASS Summit 2010 – Denali announced and available…

Yes, this really is the biggest PASS Summit ever. You can tell by the line of folks trying to get on the escalator to get downstairs after the keynote speech. We’ve been talking about locking and blocking all week regarding our...

11/11/2010

Day 1 at PASS Summit 2010 – SQL Server “Denali” in CTP

Almost 4000 people from 48 different countries congregated in Seattle to mark the beginning of the most attended PASS Summit ever. Thousands more attended via the first ever live-streaming of the keynote speech. The UK PASS Chapter...

11/10/2010

Today at PASS Summit 2010…spoilt for choice…but no frills

With over 160 technical sessions available at the PASS Summit conference, a techie like me is like a kid in a candy store. I have already outlined the catchy names that have gained my attention in a previous blog entry. Now I am...

11/09/2010

Catchy names get the attention at PASS Summit 2010!

At the PASS Summit 2010 in Seattle, there are over 160 technical sessions available. Luckily, you can purchase a set of DVDs that have all the presentations for future reference. Even so, choosing the actual sessions to attend in...

11/08/2010

It’s that time of year again…PASS Summit 2010

November is my favorite time of year. Thanksgiving is coming later in the month, which leads to the start of the Christmas season and then New Year’s. But before all that, comes my favorite conference - The PASS Summit. This year it...

11/07/2010

Having problems with Log Truncation?

Generally, if your database transaction log is growing out of proportion then you will need to back it up more regularly. This assumes you are using the Full Recovery model and you back up the log in the first place. However, even if...

11/04/2010

Paint the town red with non-clustered indexes

I remember from my Sybase days that SQL Server tables could support up to 255 indexes. One clustered index and 254 non-clustered indexes. In Microsoft SQL Server that changed to just 249 non-clustered indexes. Where did those extra 5...

11/03/2010

Is SQLCLR Trustworthy?

When the support for .Net code arrived in SQL Server 2005 SQLCLR there were many experienced DBA’s expressing the thought “Not on my watch!”. Microsoft listened and disabled the option by default when released in November 2005....

11/02/2010

SQL Server 2008 SP2 just in time!

Well, they made it. Microsoft promised SQL Server 2008 SP2 in Q3 2010 and it was released on the 29th September 2010. Nothing like a deadline to light a fire under someone. Especially if bonuses are tied to the deadline. Actually,...

10/13/2010

Utilize SQL Server down to the core…

I have mentioned this before, but licensing questions don’t excite me because they get you into legal verbiage that may change at the drop of a hat. When a loophole appears, you can be sure the vendor’s lawyers will be quick to close...

10/07/2010

Cool for Cats…SQLCAT.com…

When I teach a class, many times students ask me for my favorite SQL web site. My answer is always the same, SQLCAT.com. If you want a web site chock-a-block full of real customer experiences through whitepapers, tech notes and top...

09/16/2010

Oops! Need an Undo in SQL Server? Try using a Snapshot…

A great feature in SQL Server 2005 and above is the Snapshot database. It appears to be a complete read-only copy of a database. All data tables, views, stored procedures, users, permissions etc. It’s just read-only. But under the...

09/09/2010

Preventing Bad Behavior with Policy Based Management

SQL Server 2008 supports Policy Based Management. When it was first announced it was called the Declarative Management Framework but PBM has stuck. It’s SQL Server’s version of Group Policy but luckily Active Directory is not...

09/07/2010

Three Cheers for the Rolling Upgrade in 2008…

SQL Server 2008 Clustering is better than ever thanks to the new installation process that supports the “rolling upgrade”. When this was announced at the PASS conference, I remember there was a huge cheer, so obviously the feature is...

09/05/2010

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