Wednesday Quest: Toad and Policy-Based Management

Did you know that Toad for SQL Server has some nice features for users of policy-based management (PBM)? Importing Policies For example, Toad can import policies into a PBM server, so that you don’t have to manually create them every time.  You can import policies that you have exported from other servers, and you can also import the Microsoft Best Practice Policies.  (Read about the concept HERE).  The Microsoft policies are a great place to start learning what you can do with PBM, by simply importing them and inspecting their various configurations.  They are installed by default and … [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...]

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...]

Wednesday Quest: Power GUI Integration

Two tools that I really like are PowerGUI, a tool to take all the hard work out of PowerShell scripting, available in both free and paid versions from Quest Software.  You can also get PowerGUI extensions for Visual Studio for free from CodePlex. Another tool I really like is PowerWF.  PowerWF is a really cool visual workflow builder that creates PowerShell scripts for you.  Turns out that it integrates with PowerGUI! This video shows 2 different ways that PowerWF Workflows can be run from within Quest Software's PowerGUI tool. Watch the Video - Download PowerWF Enjoy! -Kev … [Read more...]

Wednesday Quest: New Product Training and Documentation

Product documentation and product training are two areas where our customers consistently press us to improve...and one we take if very seriously. Bold Claims One of my favorite tools in the Quest Software toolbox for SQL Server (and Oracle) DBAs is called Foglight Performance Analysis, or more commonly, PA.  This product can do things that no other tool or amount of customized scripts can ever reproduce.  I am dead serious about this claim. To find out more, navigate to www.quest.com/foglight-performance-analysis-for-sql-server and click on "Key Product Documents".  You'll then be taken … [Read more...]

Integrating Workload Replays into Database Change Management

I would like to make you aware of a recently written paper by Bert Scalzo.  The paper focuses on how DBAs can rely on the Toad and Benchmark Factory to perform database workload replays, ensuring that changes to the databases do not degrade the user experience. White Paper: Integrating Workload Replays into Database Change Management I encourage you to read the paper and make workload replay a part of your database change management practices.  As I’ve been saying for years, if you don’t have quantitative evidence of what normal is for your database, how can you know what is … [Read more...]

Wednesday Quest: On-Line Demos for Toad Data Analyst and Benchmark Factory

If you've attended any of my public sessions about SQL Server technology, then you might remember that I extend a standing offer to provide a free, long-term license to any of several products from Quest Software, such as Toad for SQL Server (including the SQL Optimizer), Toad Data Analyst, Toad Data Modeler, and the awesome performance and scalability testing tool Benchmark Factory. If you've ever wondered about these tools and why I tout them, why don't you take a couple minutes to look at the on-line demos available at each of the preceding links?  If you like what you see, drop me a … [Read more...]

Have You Heard About Project Lucy?

Quest Software's latest community initiative, Windows Azure-based Project Lucy, has debuted! Project Lucy is part infrastructure analytics, part social media experiment, and part performance data warehouse. The best things about Project Lucy include: It’s Free - just like our SQLServerPedia website, Project Lucy is free to anyone who wants to upload a trace file It’s 1oo% web-based - you don’t have to download or maintain anything and updates roll out seamlessly, all the time It really helps - just generate a SQL Trace on a SQL Server 2000, 2005 or 2008 instance, upload it on … [Read more...]

What’s Up With Discovery Wizard for SQL Server?

First, the Good News I really like the free SQL Server utility from Quest Software, nicknamed "Disco", that enables you to discover and inventory all versions and editions of Microsoft SQL Server from the mid-1990's onward.  You can see what it does at http://questkb.com/category/sqlserver/discovery-wizard/. I've had a lot of customers who have faced the challenge of bringing an unwieldy and chaotically growing SQL Server infrastructure  to heel.  It can be really daunting in a big enterprise trying to find all of the SQL Servers tucked behind third-party applications, Microsoft … [Read more...]

Video: Where are good SQL Server resources?

Kevin discusses resources online that he uses and considers to be excellent destinations for SQL Server professionals. Kevin will discuss each site he uses in detail - check it out! Posted August 15, 2008. … [Read more...]