PASS Business Analytics Conference (BAC) Recap

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The PASS Business Analytics Conference (PASS BAC) is PASS' first foray into an event that is dedicated to business intelligence, big data, data visualization, and business analytics.  And it totally makes sense for PASS to move in this direction, over and above the flagship community work centered on database management and application development.  Why?  Because business analytics is all about how to apply the data being collected and managed by all of those developers and DBAs.  And, at the end of the day, how we use and apply our data is really the nexus of its value.  That's what matters … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Squishy Limits in SQL Server Express Edition

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It's an old story you've probably heard before.  Provide a free version of your software product with strict limitations on performance or other specific capabilities so that folks can give it a try without risk, while you minimize the chance of cannibalizing sales of your commercial products.  Microsoft has take this strategy with SQL Server Express Edition, not only to increase adoption in the student market but also to counter the threat of open-source (i.e. free) relational databases like MySQL for entry-level applications. One such limitation of SQL Server Express Edition is that it … [Read more...]

SQL Intersection!

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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...]

What’s It Like on a SQLCruise?

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I always seem to get a question or two along the lines of "What's it like on a SQLCruise?" as I present at various conferences, SQL Saturdays, and user group meetings.  Since we just finished up the 2013 Miami SQLCruise, I thought it'd be a good time to recap so that you can judge for yourself if you'd ever want to do it yourself.  Personally, I think that Tim Ford (Twitter | Blog), together with his wife Amy, are doing better than ever in making the cruise both a top-quality learning experience and fantastic social experience.  I've heard from many attendees that they learned enough in the … [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...]

Quick Tip – Speed a Slow Restore from the Transaction Log

Here's a quick tip for you: During some restore operations on Microsoft SQL Server, the transaction log redo step might be taking an unusually long time.  Depending somewhat on the version and edition of SQL Server you've installed, you may be able to increase performance by tinkering with the readahead performance for the redo operations.  To do this, you should use the MAXTRANSFERSIZE parameter of the RESTORE statement.  For example, if you set MAXTRANSFERSIZE=1048576, it'll use 1MB buffers. If you change the MAXTRANSFERSIZE, keep an eye on the PerfMon objects for Buffer Manager and … [Read more...]

PASS Summit 2012, Slide Decks

Ok, I have to admit the painful truth. I'm reliably slow to the finish line. This year, I got my slides into PASS HQ by the skin of my teeth, the weekend before the event was to begin.  Although I could say with a straight face "I uploaded my slides!".  I have to be honest that I wasn't surprised when many of my attendees said that they weren't available for download by the time my session started.  OTOH, I also have to say that I really do prefer for attendees to focus on the presentation while it's being presented and that they should grab the slides afterwards.  But that's just my personal … [Read more...]