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...]

The All-New ‘Database Lifecycle Management” is available on MSDN

The initial release of Database Lifecycle Management is now available on MSDN. The site is something called "curated content". This means it's a single consolidated location to look up lots of disparate articles and content, all in one easy to search location. This “curated content view” contains the best content, video, and community-centric information from Microsoft, including topics like: SQL Server Data Tools · Get started with sample projects, code samples · Video demos by Gert Drapers (blog) · Script common data portability tasks using Sqlpackage.exe · Link to the SSDT … [Read more...]

SQL Intersection!

The best emotion to describe how I'm feeling is 'astounded'.  I'm astounded that I'm in such august company to be speaking the SQLIntersection (#iSQL) conference.  Read the blog post from my first SQL Server mentor, Kimberly Tripp, which tells you all about SQLintersection. Check out this list of speakers: Aaron Bertrand, Sr. Consultant, SQL Sentry, Inc. [blog | twitter] Andrew J. Kelly, Mentor, SolidQ [blog | twitter] Bob Ward, Principal Architect Escalation Engineer, Microsoft [blog | twitter] Brent Ozar, Brent Ozar Unlimited [blog | twitter] Conor Cunningham, Principal … [Read more...]

Is Microsoft SQL Server Supported By …?

One of the types of question you get after speaking at a conference about virtualization, like I did at the 2012 PASS Summit with my buddy David Klee (Twitter | Blog), might go down like this: "Is SQL Server version X supported on hypervisor platform Q?" or something even more specific like "Is SQL Server 2012 supported on VMWare vSphere ESX 4.1 Update 2? Or do I have to upgrade to ESX 5.0?". Now, when I'm asked a question like this, I usually drool and act like an ape, hoping the the questioner will flee in terror.  If they insist on hanging around to hear a real answer, I now refer them to … [Read more...]

Demo Mastery for the Technology Evangelist

In the same way that the finest presentations involve much more than the simple relaying of information, the finest software demos are much more than just presenting features. REMEMBER: The goal of a demo is to INSPIRE the audience to use the software/technology, not to teach them every nuance of software/technology. I've spent the last 10 years learning how to give good presentations and to give good software demonstrations. Here are several tips to take your software demonstration from informative to masterful: 1. Know your audience Whenever you start a demo, make sure you have a good … [Read more...]

The Year That Was – 2012

2012 was, simply stated, a year that kicked my butt.  When I wasn't struggling professionally, I was struggling personally.  Health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of Type II diabetes, and the passing of my father soon after Thanksgiving marked my biggest struggles.  I apologize to those of you who are normally on my Christmas card list for not sending any this year. The wind was not in my sails.  On the positive side of the ledger, I made a scary but exciting leap to SQL Sentry midyear. This was a huge shake-up after 10 years with my previous employer, but one which has been met with … [Read more...]

Learn More About SQL Server IO and Query Tuning in These Webcasts

I'm doing two new webcasts next week on Wednesday, December 19th, one in the morning and the other after lunch.   SSDs are a Game Changer for SQL Server Storage No, don't let the title mislead you.  This session is not exclusively about SSDs.  But this is my first session on IO and storage tuning that emphasizes SSDs over hard disks.  As Bob Dylan said "Times, they are a'changin'".  This session on Wednesday, December 19th at 11:30 AM EST, sponsored by Astute Networks, takes you through all of the basics of storage and IO tuning, regardless of the underlying storage technology.  I'll … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk Licensing and Virtualization for SQL Server

I have two new articles up on Database Trends & Applications magazine.  I'd love to get your thoughts and feedback! Welcome to the Weird, Wild World of SQL Server Licensing Not long in the past, SQL Server licensing was an easy and straightforward process. You used to take one of a few paths to get your SQL Server licenses. The first and easiest path was to buy your SQL Server license with your hardware. Want to buy a HP Proliant DL380 for a SQL Server application? Why not get your SQL Server Enterprise Edition license with it at the same time? Just pay the hardware vendor for the … [Read more...]

How To Download Free Sessions From PASS

For all members of the Professional Association for Server (PASS), are you downloading slides and videos from all sorts of great PASS events?  If not, what are you waiting for ... an invitation? Ok, here it is.  I invite you to download like a madman!  (How a madman downloads, an almost entirely virtual activity, is not the question here, ok?). For starters, there's the recent 24 Hours of PASS event.  I hope you were able to attend all of the sessions you wanted. But even if you didn't get to see any, you can see them now as long as you're a (free) member of PASS.  The session recordings … [Read more...]

The Zombie PerfMon Counter That Never Dies! Quick Tip

The PerfMon Counters That Just Won't Die One of the things that's simultaneously great and horrible about the Internet is that once something gets posted out in the ether, it basically never goes away.  (Some day, politicians will realize this.  We can easily fact check their consistency).  Because of longevity of content posted to the Internet, a lot of performance tuning topics become "zombies".  We shoot 'em in dead, but they keep coming back! In other words, those old recommendations were a suggested best practices for long ago, for a specific version of SQL Server, but are now … [Read more...]