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...]

Writing and Delivering a Successful Full-Day Technology Seminar

I was recently chatting with the current President of PASS, Thomas LaRock (Twitter | Blog), and Pieter Vanhove (Twitter | Blog), a prominent SQL Server consultant and expert in Belgium, about how I go about building and presenting a full-day technical seminar. In the SQL Server world, we tend to call these "pre-cons", as in pre-conference seminar, because they're typically offered as paid add-ons occurring prior to a full technical conference. We call them that even when they come at the end of the conference and, heck, when there's no conference at all. Kevin and Kendal Van Dyke … [Read more...]

Join Me on March 14 in Silicon Valley for a Full-Day of SQL Server Configuration Tuning Lessons

  Join me for a day of Real World Database Configuration and Tuning for Microsoft SQL Server SQL Saturday Silicon Valley 2014 Friday, March 14, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (PDT) Mountain View, CA Click HERE to register Now! Seating is very limited!   This full-day training event combines a thorough overview of fundamental architectural concepts of the SQL Server relational engine followed by hands-on demos to reinforce each conceptual lesson. Since most technologists learn by doing, this training is designed to maximize the time attendees spend working with SQL Server. … [Read more...]

One Preparation that makes SSMS Crash Dumps Easy to Survive

  Uh oh! So you're plugging along in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) when it suddenly goes belly up. Now you're staring at various dialog boxes telling you that SSMS crashed. Usually the first dialog box you get will ask you if you'd like to close OR the program. If you choose to close the program, you'll be presented with the opportunity to recover your lost SQL scripts once you reopen SSMS, as shown above.  (Image above courtesy of Aalam Rangi). But let's say that closing the program represents a big issue for you due to lost time, productivity, etc. You want to go … [Read more...]

You’re Leading in More Ways Than You Realize

The following is an excerpt from Kevin and Joe Webb's (Blog | Twitter) monthly IT Pro eNewsletter.   You're Leading in More Ways Than You Realize It's that time of year again. The sights and sounds of modern-day gladiators clashing on the gridiron field. If you're a football fan, there is no better time of year. In football, the quarterback is the de facto leader of the offense of team. Late in the game it is to him that the team looks to snatch a last minute come-from-behind victory from certain defeat. That's a lot of weight to put on one man's shoulders. Yet the … [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...]

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...]

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...]