My Best Blog Posts from 2015

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ALWAYS LEARNING About mid-way into August of 2015, I learned some important new factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that caused me to make some big changes to the way in which I blogged. Namely - simply reposting a slight variant of a given blog post could hurt your overall SEO rankings for any of the given posts. Now you might be saying to me "Kevin, those aren't new factors. They've been around for a long time, you idgit". And I would say in response "Ok then. But I had other things on my mind". (Of course, if you have other recommendations for improving one's blog performance, … [Read more...]

ICYMI: Query Optimization Phases, Observer Overhead, and Secrets of SP_Updatestats – SQL Server Performance

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Do you do a bit of query tuning? Then check out this treasure trove of performance tuning advice! Optimization Phases and Missed Opportunities and Working Around Missed Optimizations Paul White (b | t) writes two fascinating blog posts that go hand-in-hand concerning query optimization.  He goes into some deep details about how the query optimizer works, comparing various versions of SQL Server, and shows you several useful ways to assess query performance. Plus, there’s one handy trace flag too! Observer Overhead and Wait Type Symptoms Joe Sack (b | t) does a deep dive on … [Read more...]

ICYMI: Troubleshooting CPU, Logging Myths, Missing Indexes, and Query Tuning Examples

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Great Articles at SQLPerformance.com There are so many good articles from SQLPerformance.com this ICYMI article that it’s hard to know which are best to highlight in the limited space. So, I’ll be arbitrary and simply choose a few of my favorite entries as well look back: Troubleshooting SQL Server CPU Performance Issues This outstanding article from Joe Sack (b | t) of SQLSkills steps you through a methodical and insightful series of DMVs and queries that can pinpoint CPU issues on your SQL Server instances. Don’t just blindly create those “missing” indexes! Aaron Bertrand (b | … [Read more...]

Join Me on March 14 in Silicon Valley for a Full-Day of SQL Server Configuration Tuning Lessons

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  Join me for a day of Real World Database Configuration and Tuning for Microsoft SQL Server SQL Saturday Silicon Valley 2014 Friday, March 14, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (PDT) Mountain View, CA Click HERE to register Now! Seating is very limited!   This full-day training event combines a thorough overview of fundamental architectural concepts of the SQL Server relational engine followed by hands-on demos to reinforce each conceptual lesson. Since most technologists learn by doing, this training is designed to maximize the time attendees spend working with SQL Server. … [Read more...]

The Zombie PerfMon Counter That Never Dies! Quick Tip

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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...]

Two New Slide Decks. Plus, the Week in Colorado.

I had the honor of traveling the great state of Colorado last week, speaking at the PASS chapters in Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver.  At all three events, we had a stellar attendance and, at least in Denver, broke all the records in recent memory both in terms of overall attendance and in first-timers.  Denver, in fact, was standing room only and had nearly 30 first time attendees.  Great news!  I also want to give a special shout-out of thanks and appreciation to Chris Shaw (Twitter | Blog) whose hard work and tenacity ensured that all of Colorado got to see me speak. From left to … [Read more...]

High-Availability White Papers and Resources for SQL Server

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...]

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...]

Everybody Needs a Test Harness

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

 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...]