In this issue:

Vendors/3rd Party Products

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : Security

Microsoft News : Events

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft News : Security

Hardware News

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Big Data

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Hardware

Blogs : High Availability/Disaster Recovery

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Professional Development

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : SQL Server 2008 R2

Blogs : SQL Server 2012

Blogs : T-SQL

Database Weekly - www.databaseweekly.com

The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

Hand-picked content to sharpen your professional edge

SQL Server News for 2013-06-24

SQL Monitor Custom metrics from SQL Server MVPs
SQL Monitor is the only tool with a free library of custom metrics from SQL Server MVPs. Find new metrics for your servers.
SQL Prompt Make working with SQL a breeze
SQL Prompt 5 is the effortless way to write, edit, and explore SQL. It's packed with features such as code completion, script summaries, and SQL reformatting, that make working with SQL a breeze. Try it now.
SQL DBA Bundle ‘Disturbing Development’
Grant Fritchey & the DBA Team present the latest installment of the Top 5 hard-earned lessons of a DBA – read it now.
Editorial - Great DBAs do <blank>

Over on the "developer side" of the Internet, I regularly encounter articles of the type "Great Programmers <do blank>", where the blanks range from "use source control", to "write reusable/debuggable/self-documenting code", to "work on open source projects in their spare time".

There are several potential problems with such articles. At their worst, they appear arrogant, a self-proclamation of greatness on behalf of the writer ("I am great, and I do this…"). Occasionally, they read like a strange form of blackmail ("If you don't learn this you are a bad programmer"). Perhaps most problematically, such statements are usually an over-simplification. Not all great programmers try to write reusable code. Not all great programmers always use source control (Linus Torvalds wrote Linux without source control, apparently, though maybe he's an exceptional case). In general, these blogs do little to clarify what skills and training are essential to make a good developer.

By contrast, "Great DBAs <do blank>" articles are largely absent. Why is this? Perhaps it is, at least in part, because Brad McGehee cleared the air with his book How to be an Exceptional DBA. In it, he spells out the skills and qualities that make a good DBA and it is difficult to argue with his detailed prescription. What I like about the book is that it gives a clear message that anyone can become a good DBA, armed with a good ability to absorb knowledge, sound judgment, tact, and the ability to assess critically a given situation and make sensible decisions on how to act. Of course, some of these skills come only with experience, but they do not require a special talent, or an extra lobe to the brain, just application.

Brad, of course, is a classic Production DBA rather than a database developer or BI Specialist. He spoke for the traditional DBA role. By contrast, we're still straining to find the consensus understanding of what makes a good data scientist. Shouldn't DBAs, as a profession, take an active role in defining the optimum skills and habits of these emerging specialties before the HR people, journalists and recruiters do it for them? Maybe it will just mean we're afflicted with endless "Great BI specialists | database developers | data scientists <do blank>" blogs!

Cheers,

Tony.

» Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums


The Weekly News

All the headlines and interesting SQL Server information that we've collected over the past week, and sometimes even a few repeats if we think they fit. These headlines are gathered throughout the week and are posted in real time at the website. Check there for information throughout the week or enjoy this weekly summary of the SQL Server world.


Vendors/3rd Party Products

New SQL Monitor Metric: Database Autogrowth - This SQL Monitor metric measures the number of database autogrowth events (data file or log file) in the last hour. Too many autogrowth events causes disk fragmentation which requires a change in the autogrowth settings of a database....(more)

Tech News : General Interest

Feedly starts moving users to homespun RSS service as Google Reader death looms - Millions of Google refugees have moved to the San Francisco-based Feedly after the search giant announced in March it would kill the Google Reader online application and the syndication service that powers it....(more)

Tech News : Security

Microsoft, Facebook Tell of Thousands of Security Requests - There roughly 6,500 data requests sent to Microsoft for criminal or national-security reasons over the second half of 2012, while Facebook received roughly 9,500. Both companies said, however, that the requests amounted to a tiny fraction of their user bases. Debate is raging over Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act demands for Verizon's customer data....(more)

Open Data Going Global - Opening government data to make it accessible and useful while continuing to protect sensitive and private data is a growing movement—but is still in its early stages, especially globally. That’s why this week’s G8 commitment to open data is a big deal....(more)

How to hide your data from Internet snoops - "Encryption works...Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on. Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it."...(more)

Dynamic security misconfiguration scanning with OnCheckin and ASafaWeb - Troy Hunt offers continuous deployment for ASP.NET websites as a cloud-based service....(more)

Microsoft News : Events

The build up to Microsoft's Build 2013 - Microsoft officials aren't saying much right now about Build 2013 next week, but Mary-Jo Foley passes on a few hints and tips on what might be announced....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Oracle, Microsoft to announce new partnership Monday - Microsoft and Oracle are set to reveal details of a new partnership on Monday, one of a "startling series" of announcements Oracle CEO Larry Ellison promised next week around the Oracle Database 12c....(more)

Microsoft News : Security

Microsoft Study Finds Gap in SMB Cloud Perception, Reality - For 60 percent of small- and mid-size business respondents in the Microsoft study, a key concern has been data security, and 45 percent were concerned that they could lose control of their data. Forty-two percent doubted the cloud's reliability. But, for SMBs that are actually using cloud services, the study found a different picture....(more)

Hardware News

AMD announces its first 64-bit, 8- and 16-core, ARM-based server SoCs - New SoCs are Cortex-A57-based and are "expected to run at or greater than 2GHz."...(more)

AMD Evolving Fast to Survive in the Server Market Jungle - The combined AMD, ARM and Seamicro technology inside AMD’s new Seattle CPU look extremely promising: these are probably the best specs of a micro server CPU we have seen so far....(more)

10 features Microsoft needs to put in the next Surface Pro - With new Surfaces on the way (possibly as soon as next week's Build conference), one has to wonder what goodies Microsoft can stuff into the tablet format and still keep the price competitive....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Matching related and duplicate Customer Records using SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS) - Welly Lee shows how to create a simple matching rules and use them to match duplicate and related records....(more)

Using VPN Connection and RUNAS to Connect to Remote SQL Server - This is for all those contractors and third-party solution technical support folks out there. Database Administrators really don’t want to install SQL Server Management Studio on a workstation for you to “remote-into” in order to connect to SQL for support reasons. ...(more)

Scaling the Database: Why You Shouldn’t Cluster on GUIDs - It was February of 2006. A small group of developers had less than a week to put together an application to track page views on the company’s website. The data would help report website activity following the company’s Super Bowl commercial. Logging the data wasn’t a problem; the challenge was making the data meaningful. Namely, how could they tell that two page views were performed by the same visitor without a way of identifying the visitor? The answer was globally unique identifiers....(more)

Attention users running SQL Server 2008 & 2008 R2! - In April and May, Microsoft released cumulative updates for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 that they subsequently pulled, llegedly due to an index corruption issue, and replaced with new versions. Please check @@VERSION. If it reports 10.00.5840, 10.50.2874 or 10.50.4279, please go re-download and re-apply the relevant cumulative update for your branch....(more)

DBCC CHECKDB on VVLDB and latches (Or: My Pain is Your Gain) - Argenis Fernandez on what he learned from attempts to make CHECKDB run faster on a restored copy of a database, which happened to exceed 7TB in size....(more)

Files and filegroups survey results - Paul Randal sumarizes his findings from 17000 sets of data regarding the size, number of files, and number of filegroups in SQL Server databases. Regardles of size, single file plus single filegroup is the most common physical layout. ...(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Book review: SQL Server Transaction Log Management - For the beginning or occasional DBAs, as well as the more experienced DBAs who feel a need to deepen their understanding of the transaction log beyond the knowledge that “[it] needs to be backed up or it’ll eat up my entire drive, ‘coz those Redmond guys say so”, this is an excellent read....(more)

Blogs : Big Data

Why 'Datafication of the World' Has Me Worried - My knowledge and understanding of data fundamentals, scarce in business and the IT industry, informs me that "messy and fast moving data" pose some non-trivial challenges to meaningful and reliable analysis. Neither meaningful and reliable analysis, nor the interpretation of results, are a mere technological matter. ...(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

GE Launches Cloud Platform for the Industrial Internet - GE has launched a first of its kind industrial strength cloud platform for big data and analytics to connect machines and business operations....(more)

Which Microsoft apps are supported (and not) on Windows Azure? - Wondering which Microsoft apps and services are validated and supported on Windows Azure for running in virtual machine? Here's the list....(more)

Azure First - Grant Fritchey finds evidence of new features that may end up in your full blown SQL Server instance, but are currently only available in Windows Azure SQL Database....(more)

Performance Guidance for SQL Server in Windows Azure Virtual Machines - The SQL CAT team provides a technical article discussing the key factors to consider when evaluating performance and planning a migration to SQL Server in Windows Azure Virtual Machines. ...(more)

Blogs : Hardware

New AMD-based TPC-E Benchmark Result - HP recently submitted a TPC-E benchmark result for a two-socket HP ProLiant DL385p Gen 8 system that is using two 2.8GHz AMD Opteron 6386SE, 16-core processors. This system had a score of 1416.37 TpsE, which does not sound too bad until you compare it to a very similar two-socket HP ProLiant DL380p Gen 8 system that is using two 2.9GHz Intel Xeon E5-2690, eight-core processors....(more)

Blogs : High Availability/Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery’s big brother Operational Recovery - Disaster Recovery (DR) is recovering a database (or part of one) in the wake of a “disaster”. Operational Recovery (OR) is the recovery of a part of the database due to something that isn’t a disaster....(more)

An overview of High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions available for SQL Server - With the more recent releases of SQL 2012 and Windows 2012, we are seeing the landscape of available options for SQL HA/DR specific architectures is improving significantly. This blog offers a summary of the high availability and disaster recovery solutions available for a SQL environment....(more)

Avoid HA/DR Solution Self-Delusion - Planning and rolling out a high availability and disaster recovery plan that meets all service level agreements is a non-trivial undertaking and requires a very clear understanding of SQL Server’s native strengths and weaknesses....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Getting started with Biml - Business Intelligence Markup Language, is a DSL for creating BI artifacts. It's an interesting proposition: learn a third language to speak a second language more efficiently. Bill Fellows shows how to create some SSIS packages using Biml. ...(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Reading Traces - Capturing information is useless unless you know how to use it. Here’s what I use to get the most out of my basic trace of anything taking over so many seconds. This is also my template for more invasive traces, and it gets tweaked on a case-by-case basis....(more)

Recently Recompiled Resource Hogs - It’s not too uncommon for a query to get a new execution plan that performs a lot worse than it could, and sometimes it’s bad enough to drag the whole server down to a halt. Before you go all out and throw up an intrusive trace that can slow down your server capturing an unfiltered sample of RPC:Completed and SQL:BatchCompleted to run aggregates on, see what the DMVs can tell you. ...(more)

The Accidental DBA (Day 19 of 30): Tools for On-Going Monitoring - In addition to setting up baselines, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some of the free tools available to DBAs that help with continued monitoring of a SQL Server environment....(more)

Working With Extended Events - If using Extended Events (XE) and you still have some SQL Server instances that are 2008 or 2008 R2 there is no built-in way to view the Extended Event sessions in SSMS. I keep coming up against the same situations – Where are the xel log files? What events, actions or predicates are set for the events on the server? What sessions are there on the server already?...(more)

High CPU Troubleshooting with DMV Queries - A CSS SQL Server Engineer reports on diagnozing the cause of a perid of 100% CPU utilization, a critical performance issue, after the problem had "resolved itself"....(more)

Load Test Manifesto - Load testing used to be a standard part of the software development, but not anymore. Now people express a preference for assessing performance on the production system. There is a lack of confidence that a load test reflects what will actually happen in production....(more)

Improving Partitioned Table Join Performance - The query optimizer does not always choose an optimal strategy when joining partitioned tables. Paul White looks at an example, showing how a manual rewrite of the query can almost double performance, while reducing the memory grant to almost nothing....(more)

The Accidental DBA (Day 20 of 30): Are your indexing strategies working? (aka Indexing DMVs) - As an accidental DBA you are constantly wearing many hats. You’ve heard that indexes are critical for performance (and that’s absolutely true) but it’s not just any indexes – it’s the RIGHT indexes. ...(more)

Blogs : Professional Development

Sample SQL Server DBA Job Descriptions - Hiring a DBA? Need to get a job description for the human resources folks? Here’s how to get started....(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Dealing with Auditors: Password Settings - K. Brian Kelley on audit requests where the auditor wants the DBA to show what SQL Server's settings are Account Lockout settings, Password Expiration and Complexity settings....(more)

The Accidental DBA (Day 16 of 30): General Security - SQL Server offers multiple layers of security configuration that allow for a defense-in-depth approach to securing business critical data. A strong security implementation starts with the SQL Server installation and service account configuration, and continues into the surface area configuration for SQL Server by minimizing the options that are turned on that may increase the risk of threat from an attack to the instance, and finally securing individual logins and database level user permissions following the principal of least-privilege required to accomplish a task....(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2008 R2

June 2013 Cumulative Updates for SQL Server 2008 R2 - SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Cumulative Update # 13 and SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 Cumulative Update # 7....(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2012

SQL Server 2012 RTM Cumulative Update #8 is available! - Relevant for builds 11.0.2100 -> 11.0.2409. Do not attempt to install on SQL Server 2012 SP1 (any build >= 11.0.3000) or any previous version. ...(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Using Parameters for SQL Server Queries and Stored Procedures - One of the benefits of SQL is the ability to write a query and use parameters to dynamically act upon the resultset. Depending on the situation, there can be benefits to parameterizing queries, but it is not always clear when or how to do this. In this tip we look at different ways to pass in values as parameters to queries and the advantages and disadvantages....(more)

Criminals and Other Illegal Characters - Is there a char that is not allowed in SQL Server db names or can we just put anything between [ and ]?...(more)


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