Dev Advice: Make a Tiny Dev Database Act Like a HUGE Prod Database

Here's an evergreen question.  It's a question that never completely goes away.  But lately, I've been getting it a few times per week.  So I thought it's time to readdress the question, which usually takes some form of the following: I can't really do effective development on my little dev laptop because our production SQL Server database is 15 gazillionbytes, way too big for my workstation.  What's a uber-nerd to do?  Well, maybe they didn't use the word "uber-nerd".  But you get my drift, right?  The production database is really, really big - unmanageably big for keeping a local copy.  … [Read more...]

Why Do IT Pros Make Awful Managers?

I'm being a little bit incendiary with that title.  Many IT pros grow into very good managers.  But it almost never comes naturally. It takes hard work and many hard won lessons before most of us ever achieve a degree of skill and comfort with managing other people.  Thinking about moving into management?  Help is here! I've been spending the past several years turning the lessons I've learned as a manager into a set of courses for IT professionals who want to make the leap in to management.  I'll be presenting some of these lessons as full-day seminars.  I hope you can join me!  Details … [Read more...]

Accelerate OLTP with HP and Microsoft’s New High Performance Reference Architecture

If you haven't started to read Shashank Pawar (blog), you're missing out.  Shashank is part of Microsoft Australia and has been writing some very good content lately.  Here's an example from the Reference Architecture for High Performance SQL Server: HP and Microsoft engineering teams have worked together to create a reference architecture to Accelerate Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) database workloads with a fully-flash based HP/Microsoft architecture and achieve significant performance increases, simplified database manageability, and industry leading TCO. The details come in a … [Read more...]

Must-Have Resources – SQL Server Backup & Recovery

One of the things that drives me crazy as I'm getting older is that my brain is losing the capacity to differentiate version numbers.  As I speak travel around speaking with customers and at conferences, I find my self saying things like "I can't recall if this problem was fixed in SQL Server 2000 or 2005. But you don't have to worry about that any more."  Or things like "That feature was added in SQL Server 2008 R2, eh, or was that version 6.5.  DOH!" followed by a loud slapping sound as I whap my palm into my forehead. The Internet doesn't forget either.  Recommendations that were once … [Read more...]

Information Hoarder No More!

I hate to admit it, but I'm a hoarder.  Yes, like those insane people on the A&E TV show.  Only my hoarding is all virtual.  For example, take the image above.  That's just a tiny part of my Google Reader home page.  That's a tiny part of my Google Reader home page AFTER reading most of the day on a recent Sunday. I still had thousands of entries to go after hours of reading.  On top of that, I subscribe to some technical e-newsletters.  I'm a member of quite a few LinkedIn discussion groups, each of which produce daily and weekly newsletters. (I only subscribe to the weekly versions).  … [Read more...]

Troubleshooting Repeated Login Failures on SQL Server

 I’d recently experienced a situation where I was getting repeated login failures to a SQL Server where I knew that I had the correct user name and password.  Each time, I’d get error 18456 in response. "Login failed for user '<user_name>'. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 18456)". The challenge when troubleshooting this error message is that you may have a problem with SQL Server or you may have a problem with Active Directory or Kerberos, if you’re using one of those authentication technologies. A False Trail When times are good, and you’re able to make a connection, you … [Read more...]

Women in Technology: A Quick Observation and a Quick Straw Poll

A bit of background:  Those aren't grand daughters of the Clampetts in the picture at right.  Those are my three daughters and three stepdaughters, all of whom I want to inherit the world - as little or as much as they want to take hold of.  (I already talked a bit about this in a post on my personal, family blog.  Be warned, it's all boring family photos and such).  Enabling them to have all of the choices and opportunities that are open to my son is a big motivating factor in my life.  So many years ago, when several PASS volunteers wanted to start doing more to build a community of support … [Read more...]

New on “Database Trends & Applications”

In last month's column, "2012 Might Really Be the End of the World as We Know It," I described a number of major developments in the IT industry that are likely to disrupt the life of database professionals everywhere.  I categorize those four disruptors - virtualization, cloud computing, solid state drives (SSD), and advanced multi-core CPUs - into two broad groups.  I'm going to continue an analysis of these disruptive technologies in inverse order.  Today, let's discuss SSDs. [READ MORE ON DATABASE TRENDS & APPLICATIONS ] … [Read more...]

Managing Complex DB Environments

Check out the new white paper “Key Methods for Managing Complex DB Environments” at Quest.com. Heterogeneous database management hassles used to be much less common than today. When I first started at Quest nearly ten years ago, I'd put forward that on 15-20% of my big customers regularly managed more than one major database platform. (That doesn't mean they didn't have more than one, rather secondary platforms were either unmanaged or considered entirely unimportant). Today, I'd put forward that 70-80% of my big customers support at least two major database platforms. Often, they support … [Read more...]

What I’m Reading, July 22 2011

I read too much, and that, my friends, is an entirely separate topic for a blog post. But I thought I'd share with you a little more about what I'm reading because sometimes, if I'm lucky, it might be something you'd enjoy too. So I'm going to start sharing what I'm reading at least once per week, partly so that I don't firehose too many reading links directly into your brain (where I to do it say once per month) and partly to solidify in my own mind the information that I'm reviewing. So here are a few good links for the seven days leading up to July 22, 2001: Microsoft and Whitehouse … [Read more...]