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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Recorded Webcast Available: Extend SCOM to Optimize SQL Server Performance Management

Join me and Eric Brown, Quest Software senior product manager for SQL Server monitoring tools, as we discuss the server health-check capabilities of Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) in this previously recorded webcast. We delve into techniques to maximize your SCOM investment as well as ways to complement it with deeper monitoring and diagnostics. You’ll walk away from this educational session with the skills to: Take full advantage of SCOM’s value for day-to-day SQL Server monitoring Extend the capabilities of SCOM to proactively manage SQL Server performance Troubleshoot … [Read more...]

Build Your Own Microsoft Operations Manager Pack

Operations Manager Management Pack Development Kit I just recently told you about some cool new things happening with System Center - before I stumbled across this tidbit.  Hey, if I could, I'd go back in time and add this entry to the previous one --- yeah, and totally NOT play the stock market to make a fortune through time travel.  But I digress... So the Operations Management Management Pack Development Kit applies to Microsoft Operations Manager 2012 and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007.  It provide the you with all of the info need to design and build a management pack … [Read more...]

Give A Round of Applause for Microsoft System Center!

I hope you've taken a few minutes to peek in on the nice refresh that's happened on a bunch of the System Center engineering blogs.  Good things are afoot there.  And if you haven't checked in, avail yourself of these great resources: System Center: Service Manager System Center: Operations Manager System Center: Virtual Machine Manager System Center: Orchestrator System Center: Data Protection Manager And, as always, I'm interested in your feedback. Tell me what you think! Enjoy, -Kevin Follow me on Twitter! … [Read more...]

New White Paper: SQL Server Extended Events and Notifications

Download the new white paper: How to Use SQL Server’s Extended Events and Notifications to Proactively Resolve Performance Issues SQL Server comes with a wide array of tools for monitoring your environment. There are logs and traces that provide information when errors occur, but these are often used passively to react to events that have already occurred.  There's PerfMon, and Profiler, and loads of Dynamic Management Views to check.  But where to look? As database administrators (DBA), we need to monitor our environments proactively and create solutions as issues arise. In this white … [Read more...]

Microsoft SQL Server Internals & Architecture Matter!

EPIC FAIL!  This was supposed to go out last week.  But I didn't schedule it properly, so I'd just like to point out that there are lots of other great webcasts to watch at the Pragmatic Works webcast URL below.  Plus, my session will be available via streaming by the end of the week.  And thanks the the 1600 folks who registered!   -=-=-=-   Come join me on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT for a free webcast covering the internals and architecture of Microsoft SQL Server.  It's not everyday that a dry topic like this is presented in a fun and easy to … [Read more...]