ICYMI – Recommended Intel Processors For SQL ’14, Should Indexes Be In The Key Or Included, Comparing Windows Azure VM Performance

A digest of great articles originally appearing at SQLPerformance.com. Grouped Concatenation in SQL Server and Grouped Concatenation: Ordering and Removing Duplicates In these two related blog posts, Aaron Bertrand ( b | t ) of SQL Sentry takes on the safest and most efficient ways to perform grouped concatenation in SQL Server. Then he follows up with a closer look at some additional requirements for typical grouped concatenation queries in SQL Server.Recommended Intel Processors for SQL Server 2014 Workloads Glenn Berry ( b | t ) of SQLskills continues his series on hardware … [Read more...]

Professional Development – Set the Bar High

Originally appearing at ForITPros.com. Henry Ford is reported to have once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t - you’re right.” That’s great insight. Too often people place self-imposed and artificial limitations on themselves. They tell themselves that they cannot accomplish something because they aren’t smart enough or don’t have enough creativity. They close their minds to the idea they can, in fact, succeed. Success, after all, is scary to many people. As a leader, one of your jobs is to inspire your team. Help them to recognize and realize their potential. Don’t … [Read more...]

DBTA – Does the Looming Shortage in DBAs Spell Opportunity?

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. In my last column, available HERE, I described some of the findings contained in an intriguing new survey sponsored by Ntirety, a remote database administration service provider, and published by Unisphere Research. You can read the full survey with analysis at HERE. One of the most startling and significant responses in the survey showed that 41% of data professionals intend to leave the field within the next 10 years. In that article, I also covered some of the broader industry growth and hiring … [Read more...]

ICYMI – Adding Filtered Indexes, Wait Statistics, Comparing Windows Azure Performance

A digest of great articles originally appearing at SQLPerformance.com. Dirty Secrets of the CASE Expression Aaron Bertrand ( b | t ) of SQL Sentry takes a look at some unexpected behavior with the CASE expression and some of its derivatives. Did you know that Aaron is both an uber-genius and a curling fanatic? Improbable, I know. An Unexpected Side-Effect of Adding a Filtered Index Paul White’s ( b | t ) deep dive post explains some of the limitations in the special use and usefully special kind of index, the filtered index. When applied in the appropriate scenarios, filtered indexes … [Read more...]

Professional Development – Interviews are a Two-way Street

(Originally appearing at ForITPros.com). I was recently chatting with a friend who was seeking advice about difficulties in their job. This was a job which, a year ago, she described as her dream job. It quickly became evident to her that it was actually a nightmare job. The company, her coworkers, and her boss were all dysfunctional in one or more ways and it was making her life miserable. One of her big questions was “What sort of questions could I have asked during the interview that would’ve helped me foresee what it’d actually be like to work there?” It’s Not Only About Pleasing the … [Read more...]

DBTA – Delayed Durability—The SQL Server 2014 Transaction Log Hack!

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. Delayed durability was announced late in the SQL Server 2014 development cycle, but offers something that many SQL Server professionals have wanted for years—the ability to disable transaction logging. Why turn off the transaction log? It is the main guarantor of transactional consistency in SQL Server and is critical for highly recoverable applications, after all. That answer, in itself, tells you about situations where you might like to turn off the transaction log. That is, you can accelerate … [Read more...]

ICYMI – Read Committed Snapshot Isolation, How Automatic Updates to Statistics Can Affect Query Performance, #temp table

A digest of great articles originally appearing at SQLPerformance.com. Read Committed Snapshot Isolation Paul White ( b | t ) has been doing a phenomenal series on SQL Server behavior under each of the major isolation levels. This particular post details the inner workings of READ COMMITTED SNAPSHOT, but there are more articles on this specific isolation level as well. I recommend Paul’s content generally, but this is an especially good series of articles, if you’re not up to speed on isolation levels and how they can alter SQL Server’s default performance. How Automatic Updates to … [Read more...]

Professional Developement – Digging for Gold

Originally appearing at ForITPros.com. Andrew Carnegie, once the wealthiest man on earth, came from humble beginnings. As a young boy, he worked a number of odd jobs. His hard work, industrious nature, and persistence eventually led him to become the largest steel manufacturer in the United States. Once, during an interview, Carnegie was asked how he had hired 43 millionaires. At that time, being a millionaire was very uncommon. It would be similar to a person having $25 to $30 million in today's dollars. Carnegie was quick to correct the reporter. He had hired 43 people who had become … [Read more...]

DBTA – For #SQLFamily, a Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. It’s the holiday season, a time for cheer and goodwill towards men. That got me thinking about the whole “most wonderful time of the year” tune playing in the background and how that has some special implications for the SQL Server world. Here’s a bit of context: I'm writing this article for you in the midst of the biggest gathering of SQL Server professions in any given year, the PASS Summit. One of the most visible activities when attendees get together for the very first time at the registration … [Read more...]

ICYMI – Avoiding Performance Tuning, Wait Statistics, Incremental Statistics

A digest of great articles originally appearing at SQLPerformance.com. Avoiding Knee-Jerk Performance Tuning Paul Randal of SQLskills.com starts a new series on knee-jerk troubleshooting, discussing many areas where SQL Server folks jump to conclusions when trying to fix a performance issue. Knee-Jerk Wait Statistics: SOS_SCHEDULER_YIELD Paul Randal continues his series on knee-jerk performance troubleshooting. In this post, he talks about SOS_SCHEDULER_YIELD, and how to determine whether it is a wait to worry about in your scenario. SQL Server 2014 Incremental Statistics Benjamin … [Read more...]