The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

In this issue:

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : Security

Microsoft News : Development

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft News : Security

Hardware News

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Data Mining

Blogs : Events

Blogs : Excel

Blogs : High Availability/Disaster Recovery

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Software Development

Blogs : SQL CLR

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

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 2013-08-12

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Editorial - Guidance

How do you manage SQL Server? Do you have a list of rules that tell you when x happens, you do y. Or if y doesn't solve the problem, you do z? Some of you have guidelines like that, though it's likely that the way you solve problems is somewhat internalized and you adjust your "rules" or "steps" based on the situation. Do you reduce or increase parallelism when you have high CPU? Either change might be the solution, depending on the causes of an issue.

SQL Server is complex. We can't easily reduce the solutions to problems to a set of rigid protocols that ensure optimal performance. If we could, there truly wouldn't be as much of a need for DBAs as there is. Consultants and experts are well paid, and often very busy precisely because SQL Server is not so easy to tune and optimize in many organizations.

That's a bit of the point I saw in Grant Fritchey's "Be Cautious Offering Guidance" piece this week. When trying to help someone improve performance, or reduce issues, or anything else, you can't often give someone a rule of thumb that just works. You can't give them a one sentence solution. Most things in life aren't that simple, and neither is working on SQL Server.

The environment in which your application runs is complex and there are lots of variables that can affect the advice or guidance that an expert might recommend. It's the reason we see DBAs often saying "it depends."

Because it does.

» 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.

Tech News : General Interest

Oracle's 'reshape' deal with Microsoft just a certification deal - Oracle Database, WebLogic Server, and Java now certified for Windows Azure and Hyper-V...(more)

The IT jobs with the highest and lowest salaries - C-level titles top the list of highest paid IT jobs, and technical support positions dominate the low end of the pay scale, according to new salary data from technology staffing firm Mondo. ...(more)

Tech News : Security

Our Personal Data: Who Has Control? - Do you know where your personal data is? The short answer: Everywhere. The plight of Edward Snowden, the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor accused of espionage, who is hopping from country to country to evade extradition to the USA, has turned the sanctity of our personal data into a national hot button....(more)

Microsoft News : Development

Microsoft delivers new Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1 previews - The Windows 8.1 preview bits are not the only new downloadable test builds Microsoft is releasing on Day 1 of its Build 2013 conference. New 'Blue' dev tool previews are available, too. ...(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft Offering ISO For Windows 8.1 Preview Too - There may be an USO for dual-boot Preview testing. ...(more)

Microsoft starts rolling out 'Blue' previews of Windows Server, SQL Server - Microsoft has begun the roll-out of the preview versions of the coming 'Blue' versions of its core Windows and tools just ahead of its Build conference kick-off. ...(more)

Microsoft News : Security

Why Microsoft Is Willing To Pay Bug Bounties - In a game changing move, Microsoft has reversed its longstanding ban on paying hackers for information about freshly discovered security holes âEU" and instead is now offering rich bounties for notice of new Windows bugs. Microsoft has long benefited from the bug bounty programs of other vendors, especially Google and Mozilla. ...(more)

Hardware News

End of Life for 25nm-based Intel SSDs Nears - Intel is reportedly taking final orders for SSDs based on 25nm NAND flash by mid-October....(more)

Blogs : Administration

The First Things I Look At On A SQL Server – Part 1 - I’m often called upon to investigate problems with an unfamiliar SQL Server database. So I need to gather information about the server and its databases quickly. With this in mind, I have a set of scripts that I typically run, and I’ll share these with you here....(more)

SP_PROCOPTION – AutoNotification to App Owners – When SQL Instance Restarts - We had a situation where Application owners automatically notified whenever server restarts. The SP_PROCOPTION do have a facility to perform this activity. The SP_PROCOPTION built-in stored procedure being used to invoke the user defined stored proc automatically....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Flattening A Parent/Child Relationship In Data Explorer - I was teaching my SSAS cube design and performance tuning course this week (which I’ll be teaching in Sydney and Melbourne next month, along with some MDX – places still available!) and demonstrating BIDS Helper’s excellent functionality for flattening parent/child relationships, and it got me thinking – can I do the same thing in Data Explorer? Not that I need to do this in Data Explorer, you know, but it’s the kind of challenge I like to set myself. Of course you can do it, and quite elegantly, and since I learned yet more interesting stuff about Data Explorer and M while I was cracking this problem I thought I’d blog about it....(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Develop and Test New SQL Server Apps, Scale Existing Apps and Unlock Hybrid Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services - Today Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, which includes Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks to keep your Windows Azure connected to your on-premises infrastructure...(more)

Azure IaaS: My Benchmark of Azure Storage Speeds - If you connect a data disk to an Azure IaaS machine, how fast is the disk IO? I didn’t know either, so I attempted to get a ballpark figure that related to disk speeds I had a concrete feel for: my laptop with an SSD drive, and my on-prem ...(more)

Blogs : Data Mining

A Rickety Stairway to SQL Server Data Mining, Part 14.1: An Introduction to Plug-In Algorithms - In my last post in this amateur series of self-tutorials on SQL Server Data Mining (SSDM), I got into a lengthy discussion of how neglected but powerful SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) stored procedures are. This is part of a larger pattern of under-utilization of some of the database server software’s most potent features, including the development of CLR objects to significantly extend the functionality of SSAS and T-SQL, as well as Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) and SSDM itself. ...(more)

Blogs : Events

Announcing Our New SQL Server Video Training Classes - http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BrentOzar-SqlServerDba/~3/BNxQvtt2cvs/?utm_source=feedly...(more)

My Free Practical Performance Troubleshooting Webcast: 24 Hours of PASS - You’re a developer or DBA stuck with a database server that’s not going fast enough. You’ve got a hunch that the biggest bottleneck is inside the database server somewhere, but where? In my 24 Hours of PASS live webcast, you’ll learn how to use a powerful script to identify what your SQL Server is waiting on, and then you can focus on the queries (or settings) that are holding you back. ...(more)

My upcoming SQL Server Trainings - The 1st half of 2013 is almost over, so it’s time to announce my upcoming SQL Server trainings for the rest of 2013. Besides my traditional SQL Server Performance Tuning & Troubleshooting Workshop I have added 2 brand new workshops into the schedule: ...(more)

New IE1 class added in Chicago in November - Our last scheduled IE1 Immersion Event on Internals and Performance in Bellevue, WA in September has just sold out at 36 students, and there’s still huge demand for IE1 this year so we’ve added another one!...(more)

Blogs : Excel

Exploring Excel 2013 for BI Tip #9: Adding Calculated Members - As I mentioned in my original post, Exploring Excel 2013 as Microsoft’s BI Client, I will be posting tips regularly about using Excel 2013. Much of the content will be a result of my daily interactions with business users...(more)

Adding rich data labels to charts in Excel 2013 - Storytelling is a powerful communication tool, and data is essential for many decision-making tasks. Together, they can be data visualization at its best: the science and art of transforming your data so that the most important points shine through. Sometimes a basic chart will do the trick. But to make your visual message really pop, it's often handy to add data and text to your chart. The rich data label capabilities in Excel 2013 give you tools to create visuals that tell the story behind the data with maximum impact. ...(more)

Blogs : High Availability/Disaster Recovery

SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups setup scripts - Part 1 - Here are some scripts which can be used for setting up 2 nodes AlwaysOn Availability Groups, you can make your own automation script based on them.Environment : ...(more)

The Accidental DBA (Day 22 of 30): Determining a High-Availability Strategy - A lot of times when I talk to people about high availability for SQL Server the first thing that they think of is a failover cluster. While failover clustering is one of the high-availability features provided by SQL Server, it’s not the only option available. Selecting the correct high-availability strategy should be a part of the initial planning of a SQL Server installation, but commonly I find that high-availability considerations only become important after a problem has occurred that resulted in downtime for SQL Server. When high availability is considered as an after thought, the costs for implementing the chosen strategy may be higher than if it was implemented initially. In this post we’ll take a look at the necessary considerations for choosing a high-availability strategy...(more)

The Accidental DBA (Day 24 of 30): Virtualization High Availability - Virtualization has been popular for many years, and more and more businesses are moving low-latency line-of-business applications like SQL Server into virtual machines every day. One of the common reasons that I’ve heard over the years for moving SQL Server to a virtual machine is that high availability is built-in. Usually what this translates into is, “We don’t need to use SQL Server availability options because the VM already has HA.” This may be the case for some scenarios but as the saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In this post we’ll look at the high availability provided to virtual machines and the considerations that need to be taken into account when determining whether or not to implement SQL Server high availability while using virtual machines....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Terminate a SSIS package after specific time interval. - There are several ways you can execute scheduled SSIS package/job they are: A) SQL Server Agent Job. B) Windows Schedule Task. C) Third party program, like SQL Sentry...(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Maximizing SQL Server Throughput with RSS Tuning - Receive-Side Scaling (RSS) was introduced in Windows 2003 to improve Windows scalability to handle heavy network traffic, which is typically the case for SQL Server OLTP workload. For more details about RSS improvement on Windows 2008, please check out the whitepaper - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463253.aspx and the blog - http://sqlcat.com/sqlcat/b/msdnmirror/archive/2008/09/18/scaling-heavy-network-traffic-with-windows.aspx. ...(more)

A Computed Column Defined with a User-Defined Function Might Impact Query Performance - A computed column is computed from an expression that can use other columns in the same table. The expression can be a noncomputed column name, constant, function, and any combination of these connected by one or more operators, but the expression cannot be a subquery. A simple example of a computed column is: ...(more)

The Elephant and the Mouse, or, Parameter Sniffing in SQL Server - Imagine you work for a zoo, and you need to ship an animal to another zoo. If you are told one will be a mouse and one will be an elephant, you will need to handle them differently....(more)

Natural Born Killers (The series) – Day 6 Sargability - To those that don’t know me “Natural Born Killers (The Series)” sounds like a very strange choice for a SQL Server blog title and to be fair it is. Those who do know me, will know that I have been presenting a session this year titled “Natural Born Killers, performance issues to avoid” around the UK. The “Series” element of the title is there because I have decided to serialise the session for the benefit of those who have been unable to see it thus far....(more)

Blogs : Software Development

Continuous Integration for SQL Server Part II – Integration Testing - My previous post, on setting up Continuous Integration for SQL Server databases using GitHub, Bamboo and Red Gate’s tools, covered the first two parts of a simple Database Continuous Delivery process: ...(more)

Blogs : SQL CLR

Writing New Hash Functions for SQL Server - In this blog, I will explore ideas for extending SQL Server with new, fast hash functions. As will be shown, the high speed, built in functions CHECKSUM and BINARY_CHECKSUM are not always optimal hash functions, when you require the function to spread data evenly over an integer space. I will show that it can be useful to extend SQL Server with a new CLR User Defined Function (UDF). ...(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Getting Started with SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP - SQL Server 2014 introduces memory-optimized database technology for optimizing the performance of OLTP workloads. In particular, it introduces memory-optimized tables for efficient, contention-free data access,...(more)

First steps with Extreme Transaction Processing – Hekaton - A few hours ago Microsoft released the first public CTP of SQL Server 2014. The download and the installation went very smooth, the only new restriction is that you are not allowed to install the CTP 1 version in parallel with any other SQL Server version. Aaron Bertrand has blogged about that new behavior. ...(more)

New DMVs in SQL Server 2014 CTP1 - http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BrentOzar-SqlServerDba/~3/aGrwMsnkDEQ/?utm_source=feedly...(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Natural Born Killers (The series) – Day 7 Table Variables vs Temp Tables - Today’s topic comes up on forums on almost a daily basis, so I thought it would make a great subject. The obvious answer to which you should use will always be “it depends”. What I want to do is to show you why it depends so you will have the information that you need in order to make the best decision. With that in mind we’ll start with the major consideration points for using Table Variables. ...(more)

Using OUTPUT to back up a change - How will you back out if your change doesn’t work?! Always take a backup! There should always be a back out script to go with any change script! These are things that have been drilled into me time and time again....(more)

Unintended Consequences of Scalar-Valued User Defined Functions - During a customer engagement, we noticed a query that was taking a long time to execute. We saw that the query had a scalar-valued User Defined Function (UDF) encapsulating functionality in the SELECT clause. To understand why this could be a problem, you need to understand how SQL Server deals with functions in the SELECT clause. Let’s take a quick dive into how this works in SQL Server. ...(more)

Successfully execute an INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE against a Database Snapshot - Not too long ago an ISV that developed solutions using SQL Server as the RDBMS, asked me how they could query a database as at a point in time. This was a relatively easy answer, thanks to the Database Snapshot feature. I was however surprised at the next question “Can we update the database snapshot?” ...(more)

Thinking about Hekaton? Then think about collations. - Among the new features in SQL Server 2014, the most compelling, at least from my point of view, is the in-memory tables and procedures known as project Hekaton. Because the tables are organized completely differently than traditional SQL Server tables there are, naturally, some limitations around Hekaton tables and procedures....(more)

T-SQL Guru - Dynamic Pivot on Multiple Columns - The problem of transposing rows into columns is one of the most common problems discussed in Transact-SQL forum. Many times the problem of creating a dynamic pivot comes into the light. One thing that many people who ask this question forget is that such transposing is much easier to perform on the client side than on the server where we need to resort to dynamic query. ...(more)


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