Introducing the SQL Server Database Experimentation Assistant

INTRODUCING THE SQL SERVER DATABASE EXPERIMENTATION ASSISTANT There's a very handy new tool from Microsoft called the Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA). The DEA makes it very easy to conduct A/B testing for SQL Server upgrades, providing quantitative insight into the performance differences across two versions of a database workload on SQL Server. Learn more! READ MORE... Posted February 08, 2017 … [Read more...]

Stronger Security Via Always Encrypted in SQL Server 2016

STRONGER SECURITY VIA ALWAYS ENCRYPTED IN SQL SERVER 2016 Prior to SQL Server 2016, currently in CTP, your main method for encrypting a SQL Server application was to use a feature called Transparent Data Encryption. TDE provides strong encryption, but with some shortcomings. First, you have to encrypt an entire database. No granularity is offered at a lower level, such as encrypting specific tables or certain data within a table. Second, TDE encrypts only data at rest, in files. Data in memory or in-flight between the application and server are unencrypted. Enter Always Encrypted. READ … [Read more...]

Major Feature Reconfiguration For SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1

MAJOR FEATURE RECONFIGURATION FOR SQL SERVER 2016 SERVICE PACK 1 One of the long-standing differentiators between SQL Server's Enterprise Edition (EE) and Standard Edition (SE), besides price, were the large number of features available only in EE. This is also true for other lower editions of SQL Server such as Web Edition and Express Edition. But there's big news in the air! READ MORE... Original Posted January 03, 2017 … [Read more...]

Don’t Miss the Biggest Annual SQL Server Conference, PASS Summit

I'm thrilled to be presenting once again at this year's PASS Summit, coming up in October in Seattle. I've got two regular sessions, one technical and one profession, as well as two community sessions. I hope you can join me. In case you don't know, the PASS Summit connects you with industry experts and THOUSANDS of global data professionals in a unique learning environment that empowers you with the practical knowledge you need to excel in your career. If you've never been before I strongly encourage you to consider attending. It can be a career-altering (and improving) experience! In … [Read more...]

New Releases for the Microsoft Data Platform

NEW RELEASES FOR THE MICROSOFT DATA PLATFORM The Microsoft data platform team is on fire! It is delivering more updates and features faster and more thoroughly than ever before. If you're a data professional and you're using the Microsoft stack, this is a really exciting time to be involved. Here's a look at the top new capabilities in SQL Server 2016 Public Preview, SSIS Feature Packs For Azure, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. READ MORE... Originally Posted July 08, 2015 … [Read more...]

How Can the SQL Server Resource Governor Help You?

MANAGING ‘NOISY NEIGHBORS’ IN SQL SERVER If you've been managing databases for any length of time, you've probably had to contend with the "noisy neighbors" scenario. In this scenario, you have several applications, each with their own database residing on a single instance of SQL Server, which don't share the resources of the server nicely. To deal with this issue, you might want to investigate Resource Governor as an alternative. READ MORE... Originally Posted in DBTA Magazine in June 09, 2015 … [Read more...]

My Best Blog Posts from 2015

ALWAYS LEARNING About mid-way into August of 2015, I learned some important new factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that caused me to make some big changes to the way in which I blogged. Namely - simply reposting a slight variant of a given blog post could hurt your overall SEO rankings for any of the given posts. Now you might be saying to me "Kevin, those aren't new factors. They've been around for a long time, you idgit". And I would say in response "Ok then. But I had other things on my mind". (Of course, if you have other recommendations for improving one's blog performance, … [Read more...]

DBTA – StretchDB, a Cool New Feature in vNext SQL Server

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. When it comes to cloud-based database management, there are really only two players: Amazon, the value leader, and Microsoft, the innovation leader. Amazon has carved out a niche as the value leader in cloud-based database management, supporting not only its own implementations of various database platforms such as MySQL and Hadoop, but also supporting premier commercial DBMSs such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. Meanwhile, Microsoft has, in my mind, carved out a very strong niche as the innovation … [Read more...]

DBTA – IT Employers Must Adapt to the Looming DBA Shortage

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. In the first of this three-part series, I described some of the findings contained in an intriguing new survey published by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc. In that article, I covered the macroeconomic and general trends that pointed to a looming shortage of DBA talent. In part 2 of the series, I described some of the issues and opportunities these trends offer to current and up-and-coming DBAs. Today, let’s talk about what this trend means from perspective of IT … [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...]