High-Availability White Papers and Resources for SQL Server

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I was just telling the good people of Charlotte about how they (and how YOU) need to read all things by Paul Randal (blog | twitter), except for all of his cheesy romance novels like Caress and Conquer written under the nom de plum of Connie Mason. There's lots more good stuff from Paul, just not romantic. This is a 'so-last-version' whitepaper describing  five common high-availability and disaster-recovery architectures deployed by customers, along with a case study of each. Although the white paper is specific to SQL Server 2008 R2 and isn't updated for AlwaysOn features, it's still … [Read more...]

New White Paper: SQL Server Extended Events and Notifications

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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...]

Must-Have Resources – SQL Server Backup & Recovery

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One of the things that drives me crazy as I'm getting older is that my brain is losing the capacity to differentiate version numbers.  As I speak travel around speaking with customers and at conferences, I find my self saying things like "I can't recall if this problem was fixed in SQL Server 2000 or 2005. But you don't have to worry about that any more."  Or things like "That feature was added in SQL Server 2008 R2, eh, or was that version 6.5.  DOH!" followed by a loud slapping sound as I whap my palm into my forehead. The Internet doesn't forget either.  Recommendations that were once … [Read more...]

Everybody Needs a Test Harness

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When you're developing new Transact-SQL code or modifying some existing code, do you just launch directly into programming? I know that I did just that, for years.  It wasn't until I was trying to performance tune some existing code that I realized I hadn't actually taken caching of data and execution plans into account.  So all those modified stored procedures that I was so proud of might not actually be faster than the first generation of procedures because I hadn't checked to ensure that I was testing cached programs against uncached programs (and, by extension, the data used by those … [Read more...]

Troubleshooting Repeated Login Failures on SQL Server

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 I’d recently experienced a situation where I was getting repeated login failures to a SQL Server where I knew that I had the correct user name and password.  Each time, I’d get error 18456 in response. "Login failed for user '<user_name>'. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 18456)". The challenge when troubleshooting this error message is that you may have a problem with SQL Server or you may have a problem with Active Directory or Kerberos, if you’re using one of those authentication technologies. A False Trail When times are good, and you’re able to make a connection, you … [Read more...]

Microsoft Document Watch for Operational Excellence

Back when my day-to-day duties included database administration work and enterprise architecture, I became rather obsessed with the idea of operational excellence.  I read everything I could on the topic.  I made a list of favorites, which became somewhat shabby over time, as I dog-eared important pages and scribbled notes in the margins.  (Perhaps that list of favorites might, in and of itself, make a good blog post).  Fast-forward a decade and I'm still mightily interested in operational excellence for IT organizations.  It's just that so much good material is available for free on the … [Read more...]

ETL Demo with Data From Data.Gov

A little over a month ago, I wrote an article (Is There Such a Thing as Easy ETL) about expressor software and their desktop ETL application, expressor Studio.  I wrote about how it seemed much easier than the native ETL tools in SQL Server when I was reading up on the tool, but that the "proof would be in the pudding" so to speak when I actually tried it out loading some free (and incredibly useful) data from the US federal data clearinghouse, Data.Gov. If you'd rather not read my entire previous article - quick recap, expressor Studio uses “semantic types” to manage and abstract mappings … [Read more...]

Managing Complex DB Environments

Check out the new white paper “Key Methods for Managing Complex DB Environments” at Quest.com. Heterogeneous database management hassles used to be much less common than today. When I first started at Quest nearly ten years ago, I'd put forward that on 15-20% of my big customers regularly managed more than one major database platform. (That doesn't mean they didn't have more than one, rather secondary platforms were either unmanaged or considered entirely unimportant). Today, I'd put forward that 70-80% of my big customers support at least two major database platforms. Often, they support … [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...]

Microsoft Windows Platforms Blog Watch

Remote Desktop Services Component Architecture Poster Grab your own poster! A visual guide to key Remote Desktop Services technologies in Windows Server 2008R2   Virtually Free Get the latest update rollup package for the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 R2 and be sure to bookmark the Windows Virtualization Team Blog.  Be sure to check out blog World Simplified is a Virtual World. And doncha evah neglect application virtualization, such as the goodness at the App-V Product Team Blog.   Let's Optimize Some Desktops (Assuming You Have Gone Full Cloud … [Read more...]