Third Party Applications and Other Acts of Violence Against Your SQL Server

I just got finished reading a great blog post from my buddy, Thomas LaRock (t | b), in which he describes a useful personal policy he used to track changes made to his SQL Servers when installing third-party products. Note that I'm talking about line-of-business applications here - your inventory management systems and help desk ticketing apps. I'm not talking about monitoring and tuning applications since they, by their very nature, need a different sort of access to your back-end server resources. (Full disclosure: both Tom and I currently work for different tools vendors. But we're both … [Read more...]

Top 10 DBA Mistakes on SQL Server

  Hear one of my most popular session via streaming media at SQLSentry.TV! Microsoft SQL Server is easier to administrate than any other relational database on the market.  But “easier than everyone else” doesn’t mean it’s easy.  And it doesn’t mean that database administration on SQL Server is problem free.  And since SQL Server is constantly growing from small, home-grown applications, many IT professionals end up encountering issues that others had tackled and solved years ago.  Why not learn from those who first blazed the trails of database administration, so that we don’t make … [Read more...]

Amazingly Useful SQL Server Articles on SQLPerformance.com

Me and Aaron Bertrand, SQL Sentry flagbearers. One of the things we've been working on at SQL Sentry is building up institutional knowledge for the SQL Server community. There are three main ways that we're doing that on-line: Hard-core tech articles on SQLPerformance.com, edited by long-time SQL Server MVP Aaron Bertrand ( b | t ). Helping tune tough SQL Server transactions on Answers.SQLPerformance.com for free. Streaming videos at SQLSentry.TV. In addition, our monthly eNews newsletter keeps you up to date on all the latest happenings on all of these websites. Please subscribe! … [Read more...]

One Piece of Advice for the Aspiring Junior DBA

This post is part of the SQL Community Project #DBAJumpStart by John Sansom (Twitter | Blog). "If you could give a DBA just one piece of advice, what would it be?" John asked 20 successful and experienced SQL Server professionals this exact question. I share my own thoughts with you below and you can find all our answers together inside DBA JumpStart, a unique collection of inspiring content just for SQL Server DBAs. Be sure to get your free copy of DBA JumpStart. =-=-=-= John Sansom recently asked me and 19 other bloggers “What’s the one bit of advice you’d give a junior database … [Read more...]

New Windows and SQL Azure Resources for the IT Pro

Thanks to Microsoft DPE for the Central Region, Keith Mayer (blog | twitter), for these great tips! Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits available on MSDN and TechNet subscription sites. This is the version I'm waiting for since it fully preserves the Start menu. Note that updates are expected between RTM, now, and GA, October 18th.  Be sure to check Windows Updates 2-to-3 times weekly if installing these bits.  I'm not saying they're unstable. But they are definitely changed frequently as the dev team makes final tuning and tweaking changes. New Virtual Labs on … [Read more...]

Now Playing on SSWUG TV!

Hi friends, I know a lot of you regularly read my blog either on my home page at KevinEKline.com, on SQLBlog.com, or one of the locations where it's syndicated. And you may also regularly take in my content on SQLSentry.TV or my monthly column on Database Trends & Applications magazine.   Click the image to see my new weekly video series on SSWUG.org! Now I'm adding a new video format to the mix, in partnership with my friend Steven Wynkoop and SSWUG.org.  I've been a frequent speaker in the SSWUG virtual conferences over the past several years and, we thought, why not … [Read more...]

New on DBTA.com: Database Benchmarking Tools, the final article in the database benchmarking series

In the last several articles on Database Trends & Applications, I've been describing the benefits of reading and analyzing the benchmarking case studies released by the Transaction Processing Council. I've given you from a broad overview of the TPC benchmarks and shown ways that the vendor-published TPC benchmarks can help you save money and how the vendor-published TPC benchmarks must explain in disclaimers how they tweak their workloads. I have described how to run your own benchmarks and explained how to properly prepare your environment for a benchmark test. Pictured (L-R): Scott … [Read more...]

Cheaters Never Win, Even in TPC Benchmarks

In this column, I want to tell you about one of my favorite aspects of the TPC benchmarks – CHEATING. Keep in mind that I use the term “cheating” in a joking manner with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.  But I’m also half-serious.  One of the of the things that is great about the TPC benchmarks is that each of the vendors are required to fully describe all of the shortcuts, tweaks, and special operating configurations they use in order to achieve their spectacular performance numbers.  In a sense, the Transaction Processing Counsel requires that all benchmarked platforms declare all of … [Read more...]

Use TPC Database Benchmarks to Save Money

Last month, I began a series of articles describing database application benchmarking. In the first article, I told you about different ways that you can construct your own database application benchmark. However, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The Transaction Processing Council (www.tpc.org) has already created a large number of database benchmarks that are extremely useful and informative. I also described last month how the TPC provides several different types of benchmark tests. For example the TPC-C and TPC-E benchmarks are extremely useful for measuring transaction throughput. … [Read more...]

Read the New TPC Database Benchmarking Series

Introduction to TPC Database Benchmarks Let's talk about database application benchmarking. This is a skill set which, in my opinion, is one of the major differentiators between a journeyman-level DBA and a true master of the trade. In this article published in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine, I'll give you a brief introduction to TPC benchmarks and, in future articles, I'll be telling you how to extract specific pieces of valuable information from the published benchmark results. But let's get started with an overview … read … [Read more...]