What Are the Most Common Failures in Windows, SharePoint and SQL Server Alerting Systems?

Since the introduction of IT alerting systems a couple decades ago, everyone followed a very simple template. You'd first define the metric or condition that the alerting system observes, followed by the response or action that the system should perform when the specified value of the metric is exceeded (sometimes called a threshold or trigger). When triggered, alert responses might include the execution of a program or the notification to a user via e-mail, Short Message Service (SMS), or some other method. The promise of alerting is that it makes it possible for people to keep up with the … [Read more...]

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...]

Wait Statistics in SQL Server

When it comes to troubleshooting in relational databases, there's no better place to start than wait statistics.  In a nutshell, a wait statistic is an internal counter that tells you how long the database spent waiting for a particular resource, activity, or process.  Since wait statistics are categorized by type, one look will quickly tell the variety of problem that needs your attention, assuming you know meaning for Microsoft's lingo for each wait type. (As an aside, wait stats were implemented in the earliest days of relational database computing because the early RDBMSes ran on … [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...]

Windows Azure and SQL Database News

This morning Microsoft released some great updates to Windows Azure.  These new capabilities include: SQL Server AlwaysOn Support: General Availability support with Windows Azure Virtual Machines for High Availability and Disaster Recovery Notification Hubs: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Notification Hubs (broadcast push notifications for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android) AutoScale: Schedule-based AutoScale rules and richer logging support Virtual Machines: Load Balancer Configuration and Management Management Services: New Portal Extension for Operation … [Read more...]

What’s the Data Modeling Standard for Business Intelligence Systems?

I had the good fortune to overhear some of my good friends and fellow MVPs discussing the process of data modeling for business intelligence systems.  So what are the industry standard approaches for modeling dimensional data modelling? The short answer is that Kimball's dimensional modeling is the most widely adopted standard for any sort of data warehouse. Inmon is also well respected. But the consensus is to stick with Kimball, especially if you're looking for something an enterprise standards team is going to recognize as "standard". The book on my shelf and which I most … [Read more...]

New On-Line Resources for Windows, Virtualization, and Cloud!

Ever since returning from the UK for the SQLBits conference, I've been snowed under a mountain of action items.  I've got such a backlog of things to get done, emails to answer, and family to not ignore that I'm starting to feel really guilty. So with that in mind, I wanted to whip out a quick blog post to let you know I'm still alive and thinking of y'all.  What could be quicker and easier than some cool new resources you might not have seen?  For your perusal: Whitepaper: Managing Windows 7 and Windows 8 … [Read more...]