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...]

DBTA – 3 New Years Resolutions for the SQL Server Pro

New Year's Day is a holiday we mark both with a big party and with reflection and re-evaluation. New Year's resolutions are a time-honored tradition here in the U.S., with more than 40% of Americans making conscious decisions to do things differently. (Yes, there are people who actually keep track of these statistics.) Yet, despite all of the good intentions, less than 10% of people who make New Year's resolutions are able to keep them. In the spirit of new beginnings, here are a handful of promises for the SQL Server professional which adhere to the three cardinal rules of successful New … [Read more...]

How Can I Become a Microsoft MVP?

Many IT professionals haven't heard of the Microsoft MVP accolade, but those who have know that it carries a lot of prestige. I have been a Microsoft MVP since the 2003-2004 award year. Unfortunately, I never wrote down a detailed set of advice for perhaps my most frequently asked question ... how can I become a Microsoft MVP? To me, the Most Valuable Professional designation is a recognition of an independent individual's contribution to the wider community in support of a specific Microsoft technology. Note the emphasis on community, not technology. Tech is certainly a huge part of the … [Read more...]

Proof of Concepts: Making Hard Things Easy with Azure

PROOF OF CONCEPTS: MAKING HARD THINGS EASY WITH AZURE Back when I managed my employer's enterprise architecture, prior to the days of virtualization and cloud computing, one of my most difficult projects was to build out a sandbox environment for a major proof of concept (POC). Locally hosted servers and all of the required licenses were expensive and scarce. If you're still struggling with scarcity when conducting research and performing POCs, I've got to tell you you're doing it wrong. READ MORE... Posted November 02, 2016 … [Read more...]

DBTA – Highlights from the PASS Summit 2017

This year's PASS Summit packed more than 5,000 data professionals into the Washington State Convention Center for hardcore technical sessions covering all aspects of the Microsoft data platform. Here are some highlights. Click HERE to read more … [Read more...]

SQL Server Adds Even More New Features in Data Science

SQL SERVER ADDS EVEN MORE NEW FEATURES IN DATA SCIENCE One of the great promises of AI is contextual processing that come naturally to humans, such as understanding visual input and natural language. You can now get in on the new previews from Microsoft to accomplish these goals. Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of APIs that enable developers to tap into high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge, and search technologies—developed through decades of Microsoft research—to build intelligent apps. READ MORE... Originally Posted October 07, 2016 … [Read more...]

SQL Server 2016 – The Cool is in the Tool (SSMS That is)

SQL SERVER 2016 – THE COOL IS IN THE TOOL (SSMS THAT IS) As a heavy user of other RDBMS data platforms, I have long appreciated the extra effort that Microsoft put into their data management and administration tool, the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). While SSMS is an outstanding administration and T-SQL programming tool, it does have its minor qualms and quibbles. READ MORE... Originally Posted September 02, 2016 … [Read more...]

SQL Server 2016 is Simply Faster… A Lot Faster

SQL SERVER 2016 IS SIMPLY FASTER…A LOT FASTER I had the pleasure to spend some time with my old friend Mark Souza, a general manager in the Data Platform team at Microsoft, while speaking at the SQL Saturday event in Dublin, Ireland in the summer of 2016. Now keep in mind that Mark and I have known each other since the 1990s when SQL Server was just being ported to a brand new operating system called Windows NT. Mark and I were having a laugh and more than a twinge of nostalgia about how much SQL Server has improved over the decades and now sits atop the heap on most analysts' "best database" … [Read more...]

U-SQL and the Azure Data Lake

U-SQL AND THE AZURE DATA LAKE There's a new buzzword on the loose, the data lake. At first glance, a data lake could be easily mistaken for a data warehouse. The two big data concepts have a common focus on analytics and they may, in certain situations, produce roughly equivalent output. But that's about where their similarities end. READ MORE... Originally Posted July 12, 2016 … [Read more...]

Temporal Tables in SQL Server 2016

TEMPORAL TABLES IN SQL SERVER 2016 While temporal data support is something that has existed in the past within other database platforms, it is a newly available feature with the RTM version of SQL Server 2016. In case you haven't heard of temporal data values (or for some, "bitemporal"), here is a brief explanation. READ MORE... Originally Posted June 09, 2016 … [Read more...]