Getting Ahead of the Curve – Big Data

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I have to confess that I'm incredibly excited about BigData.  I haven't been this excited about new innovations in IT since relational databases first appeared on the scene early in my career.  But what is BigData? Back in those days, I can still feel the echos of adrenaline when I was hired to work on a NASA project that would involve over 100Mb of data.  ONE HUNDRED MEGABYTES! Good grief, that was fantastically huge to us on the team.  (That database was over 130Mb when I finally moved on to another project).  And remember - PC software was installed using 640Kb floppy disks at the time.  … [Read more...]

Is There Such a Thing as Easy ETL?

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E.T.L. That's Extract - Transform - Load.  That doesn't sound like a lot of work when all you need to get loaded is a simple Access database or an Excel spreadsheet.  In a situation like that, the process is so simple, all you really need to focus on is the L in ETL.  There's not a whole lot of E.T. to process, despite how wonderful that movie is. [pun intended]  But as soon as your data loading process involves some difficult or sophisticated cleansing or transformations, it gets really, really hard. The other cross-thread that had really caught my interest lately is the USA federal … [Read more...]

Wednesday Quest: Plenty O’Betas and Product Releases

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Spotlight on SQL Server That's right! An all new version 8.0 of Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise is now GA and updated trials are live on the website. Some cool stuff therein: • Support for SQL Server 2011 (Denali) - Spotlight can now be used to monitor SQL Server 2011 databases (Denali CTP1 and CTP2 releases). • Project Lucy integration - Use Project Lucy to analyze the performance of your database and compare your experience with everyone else who uses the service. • VMware memory diagnostics - Analyze virtual memory using charts similar to that used to analyze virtual CPU. We also … [Read more...]

Available Online – SQL Server Training Videos

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Interested in my various performance tuning and troubleshooting videos about SQL Server?  These videos feature my good buddies (and uber-SQL Server experts) Brent Ozar (blog | twitter) and Buck Woody (blog | twitter).  View these insight-packed training videos from our SQL Server training events originally presented on March 3 and July 21 of 2010:HERE. You can watch the videos now at the URL above or order a DVD, shipped free of charge in the USA and Canada, HERE. Enjoy! -Kev ~~~ Twitter at kekline More content on my Blog … [Read more...]

From SQLMag Tool Time Column: SSMS Plug-in News

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I first wrote about Mladen Prajdic's excellent tool in my Tool Time column at SQL Server Magazine HERE.    The tool is a nice plug-in to SSMS and definitely worth having.  If you’ve never installed it or have only installed an older version, but sure to pick up the newest release.  Here’s Mladen’s press release complete with hyperlink for the tool: SSMS Tools Pack 1.9.4 is out! Now with SQL Server 2011 (Denali) CTP1 support. As Mladen says: ...this release adds support for SQL Server 2011 (Denali) CTP1 and fixes a few bugs. Because of the new SSMS shell in SQL 2011 CTP1 the SSMS Tools … [Read more...]

SQL Server Migration Roll-Up

There are so many great tools out there for data professionals using Microsoft SQL Server.  I really like to see all of these great tools made free to the public.  On the other hand, I'm bummed that the tools are cast about in a very decentralized fashion. If you haven't done migrations before, you might want to start with these good white papers first. Here are a hand full of cool migration tools worth mentioning: Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for MySQL: Migrate from MySQL to SQL Azure or SQL Server with ease.  Plus, here are a few related Knowledge Base (KB) … [Read more...]

Business Intelligence Careers SearchSQLServer.com Interview

I had a very interesting conversation recently with a good friend of mine.  She's at the top of her game as a first class enterprise DBA in a major medical institution.  She was interested in my career advice because she'd recently received an unsolicited invitation for a higher paying job in the business intelligence (BI) field.  While I won't talk much more about the specifics of that conversation, it's not a unique conversation.  In fact, I gave an interview to SearchSQLServer.com a while back about how DBA career paths are more and more leading into an even better paying career in business … [Read more...]

Free Webcast Series: Patterns and Practices in Database Administration

SSWUG.ORG’s virtual webcasts will prepare the “Accidental DBA” for patterns and practices they will experience in their role as a database administrator. I will provide easy-to-understand insights and realistic examples for professionals who have not had any formal DBA training. By the end of our four-part series, you should have the information needed to get up to speed on database planning, administration and performance tuning basics. Session Descriptions In the first session, you will see what is needed to fulfill the role of a (Database Administrator) DBA by learning more about what … [Read more...]

New on SQLMag.Com: Update to SP_WHOISACTIVE

I profiled Adam Machanic's (blog | twitter) excellent stored procedure, SP_WHOISACTIVE, back in August of 2010 in my monthly SQLMag column, Tool Time.  Adam has been diligent about maintaining the tool and adding new features. Read the details on my SQLMag Tool Time column. Enjoy! -Kev Twitter at kekline … [Read more...]

And the winner of the SQLBits8 Pub Quiz is… [drumroll please]

Wow - what a great trip through Europe!  SQLBits8 was in beautiful and sunny Brighton, which everyone local to the area assures me that it's not usually either.  The crowd was large and enthusiastic. We did two rollickin' fun lunch time vendor sessions, one being the SQL Pub Quiz.  (I'll tell you about the other one tomorrow in a separate blog post).  We used a bingo pub quiz approach and, I have to say, a form of bingo I'd never before seen in my life.  We managed to extract quite a bit of fun out of it any way, presentation hiccups and all. Our giveaway winners were Mark Dodd (at top) … [Read more...]