The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

In this issue:

Vendors/3rd Party Products

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : Security

Microsoft News : General Interest

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Big Data

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Database Design, Theory and Development

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Blogs : FILESTREAM Data

Blogs : Hardware

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : NOSQL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Professional Development

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Blogs : T-SQL

Blogs : Virtualization

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 2014-04-14

DBA Team 5 Worst Days in a DBA’s Life – Part 2
The DBA Team return in The Girl with the Backup Tattoo. When a crazy DBA tampers with his own backups, even the DBA Team need to call on some extra help to fix the damage. Will they succeed? Read the new article now.
SQL Compare Compare and Sync database schemas
Whether creating new databases or updating older ones, SQL Compare means no object gets left behind. It’s the gold standard, and you can try it free.
SQL Data Generator Generate realistic test data, fast
“In less than the time it took me to get my coffee, I had a database with 2 million rows of data for each of 10 tables.” Stephanie Beach, QA Manager. Try SQL Data Generator now.
Editorial - Call Me, Maybe

After many years in IT, like most people I'm resigned to the endless stream of unknown and unsolicited calls that dog my working days. On the rare occasion I answer, I am greeted with a long pause of disbelief that I actually took the call followed quickly by the inevitable sales pitch, with which I deal in the standard, passive-aggressive style.

Last Saturday morning, however, I was awoken at 8:00 AM to a call on my personal phone, from "California". I ignored it and tried to go back to sleep but the state was dogged and called back two more times within 10 minutes. It was rare and strange for a sales call to invade my weekend and, in a moment of weakness, I picked up. California was apparently a young woman and, yes, she was eager to speak with me about a piece of software or other technical service. I was even more eager not to listen, and may have been a tad more aggressive than passive in letting her know that. Being the nice guy I am, I later felt a twinge of regret. After all, California was a person. She was just doing her job, working overtime on Saturday. In a fit of penance, I resolved that for the next week I would answer every single unsolicited call, happily! I might even respond to a few solicitation emails. My wife on hearing my plan treated me to her best "he's finally lost it completely" look, but I was not to be dissuaded, and in fact wagered her $10 that at least one of the week's "unknown" calls, if fielded politely, would actually prove to be useful.

The first call came in at 11:27 AM, Monday morning. "IT, this is Rodney." I don't know why I answer my personal number this way. I just expect the call to be IT related, even if it's from a family member. The Unknown caller was "Bethany" who wanted to sell me season passes to my hometown team's basketball games. I recognized the voice; she had been calling for over 6 months after I went to one basketball game last year. Kudos to her for persistence. We had a pleasant conversation although I tried to make it clearer than I managed the last time we spoke that if I ever needed a season pass I would seek it out on my own.

At 1:57 PM, "California" called again. I had a meeting starting in 3 minutes, but here was my chance to make amends with the young woman from Saturday. It was jarring, therefore, to hear a gruff, masculine voice asking if I was Rodney. Once I affirmed, a long, scripted, one-way dialogue began about a technical whitepaper that could aid me in my current role as CIO. I did not correct MrCalifornia about my title but when 2:00 PM rolled around I tried to break in, courteously, to advise him that I had a meeting starting. This did not dissuade him. "Hey, that all sounds interesting, but I really have to go". He kept talking, bless his heart. "OK, sorry but I have to drop. Thanks…thank you." And I hung up. I hate hanging up on people because it is rude, but surely people know not to cold call a few minutes before the hour or half hour? It is all about timing!

By Wednesday, having fielded stoically many similar calls, I was worn down. For light relief, I turned my attention to the solicitation emails. This was even worse. For a start, there were just too many, 47 in total, none of which looked even vaguely promising, plus countless others from people who were sure I needed sex and Viagra.

On Thursday I received a call coming from an internal extension. "I am IT…go ahead" I greeted my unknown co-worker, who in fact turned out not to be a co-worker at all, but a salesman who had called a co-worker and got him to forward the call to me. I let him know that as much as I admired his clever ruse, now was not a good time. In fact, this entire week was turning out to be a NOT good time. I went to lunch, exasperated.

Late Friday afternoon, I fielded a call from a man who wanted me to listen to his colleague present a half hour demo on their SQL product. He informed me, suavely, that he had taken the liberty of setting up a calendar invite for me for the following week, and that I should also have received an email notification that he was going to call. I opened my calendar and sure enough there was the half-hour meeting, right at lunch time. Shaking my head in disbelief, I deleted the email, deleted the invite, and told him I was not interested, which only encouraged him to increase the intensity and aggression of his verbal barrage. I reiterated my lack of interest, with as much patience as I could muster, at which point he hung up on me!

I got into my car to head home for the weekend, relieved that the calls were over but still upset about the previous one. Half-way home the phone rang again, caller "unknown". I tensed in preparation for the final confrontation of a long week. "IT!" I barked into the phone. It was an automated call from my pharmacy letting me know my blood pressure medicine was ready for pick up. Perfect timing! Although, I wasn't sure if it meant I'd won my bet.

Cheers,

Rodney Landrum (Guest Editor).

» 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

SQL Monitor Custom Metric: Table size (MB) - This metric is useful if you want to know exactly how much physical space a particular table is taking up, including the size of its indexes. If a database is growing quickly within a short time and you suspect a certain table is responsible, you can monitor its actual size, or the rate at which it is increasing....(more)

Tech News : General Interest

'Drop Dropbox' protests flare as wiretap proponent Condoleezza Rice joins board - Privacy advocates decry the appointment of Rice, a pro-surveillance hawk, to the board of a company that stores user data....(more)

Latest Updates on the Flash Runtime - Chris Campbell and I’m the product manager and customer advocate for the Flash Runtime product team tries to deal with some awkward questions regarding Adobe’s position on the Flash Runtime....(more)

Tech News : Security

Stung by file-encrypting malware, researchers fight back - Jose Vildoza's 62-year-old father was using his old Windows computer when a warning in broken English flashed on the screen: your files have been encrypted. Vildoza's father, who speaks Spanish, didn't understand the warning, which demanded payment in order to decrypt the files. When Vildoza looked at it, he knew it was bad. And he became angry....(more)

Dear readers, please change your Ars account passwords ASAP - Recovery from the critical Heartbleed crypto bug enters the password reset phase....(more)

Heartbleed (xkcd comic strip) - xkcd's take on Heartbleed....(more)

Heartbleed - Basically, an attacker can grab 64K of memory from a server. The attack leaves no trace, and can be done multiple times to grab a different random 64K of memory. This means that anything in memory -- SSL private keys, user keys, anything -- is vulnerable. And you have to assume that it is all compromised. All of it....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP, Workarounds Abound - Now that Microsoft has bid farewell to its popular Windows XP operating system, third-party vendors are coming out of the Windows XP woodwork with workarounds to help businesses protect their networks in the event they are unable -- or unwilling -- to migrate to newer versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Worst Day as a DBA Story Finalists - Following on from the first article in the 5 Worst Days of a DBA article series, we asked DBAs to share their worst day as a DBA with us. The winner is announced!...(more)

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update - If you are or will be running SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014 in the near future, you really should be running Windows Server 2012 R2 as your operating system. If you are already running Windows Server 2012 R2, you should make plans to install this update as soon as possible, since it will be required in the near future....(more)

Decree: Set your partition offset and block size – make SQL Server faster - If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,024 times: your SQL data and log drives need a 1024 KB starting offset, and a 64 KB block size. Jen McCown reiterates....(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Master DB restore & Service Master key - If we don’t have a recent master backup and have to make use of the files from the DR server, then as long as our target instance matches the path and build requirements we can restore master and bring it up. If the build is different , we will get an error....(more)

Blogs : Big Data

The backlash against big data, continued - Yawn. Yet another article trashing “big data,” this time an op-ed in the Times. This one is better than most, and ends with the truism that data isn’t a silver bullet. It certainly isn’t....(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Configuring Microsoft Azure Online Backup - Kunal D Mehta walks through the 4-step configuration process....(more)

Blogs : Database Design, Theory and Development

Database Normalization Basics - The task of Database Normalization doesn't have to be painful, especially if you follow Old Mother Celko's Normalization Heuristics....(more)

GUID, fragmentation and performance: the eternal flame - GUIDs and their usage as Clustered Keys is a hot and fiercely debited topic. So is a non-sequential GUID such a bad thing? Davide Mauri runs a few tests to try to find the answer. ...(more)

Not unit testing your databases? You should be - Whatever your preference of tool, if you aren’t already unit testing your databases, you should consider it. The confidence that a good suite of unit tests gives you is really instrumental in giving you the assurance that your database will support the application by working as expected, and that it can be updated without the worry that existing functionality has been inadvertently broken....(more)

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

The Dark Power of Windows PowerShell - Windows PowerShell, the Microsoft scripting language, has made the headlines recently due to malware authors leveraging it for malicious purposes. Symantec has identified more PowerShell scripts being used for nefarious purposes in attacks....(more)

PowerShell One-Liners: Help, Syntax, Display and Files - PowerShell is designed to be used by busy IT professionals who want to get things done, and don't necessarily enjoy programming. PowerShell tackles this paradox by providing its own help and command-line intellisense. We aim to make it a bit easier still by providing a series of collections of general-purpose one-liners to cover most of what you'll need to get useful scripting done....(more)

What’s in a name? Using prefixes in PowerShell. - Use noun prefixes and avoid the “PS” prefix to deliver a great customer experience and minimize/avoid name collisions....(more)

Blogs : FILESTREAM Data

How It Works: FileStream (RsFx) Garbage Collection–Part (2) - Understanding the transitions states, batch sizes and requirements for log backups and checkpoints should allow you to maintain your databases with file stream data better....(more)

Blogs : Hardware

Selecting a Processor for SQL Server 2014 – Part 2 - The big news since January is the release of the new 22nm Intel Xeon E7-4800 v2 Product Family (Ivy Bridge-EX) processors on February 16, 2014. Currently, there are eight different processors in this product family. If you think about how SQL Server 2014 core-based licensing works, and you want the best performance possible for the lowest license cost, you can pretty quickly narrow down that list to just three interesting processors for SQL Server. ...(more)

Recommended Intel Processors For SQL Server 2014 OLTP Workloads - Glenn Berry offers some advice, including the impact of the new SQL Server 2014 core-based licensing....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

SSIS Performance Testing - Koen Verbeeck shares a framework for SSIS performance testing....(more)

Blogs : NOSQL

No, Hadoop Isn’t Going To Replace Your Data Warehouse - According to Gartner’s latest surveys, the number of CIOs that think that Hadoop will replace their existing analytics infrastructure has plummeted over the last few years, and is now down to just 3%....(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Improving Query Performance by using correct Search Arguments - Klaus Aschenbrenner explains why it's very important that you don't call any function directly or indirectly on your indexed columns. It means SQL Server has to scan your index, instead of performing an efficient seek operation....(more)

Curation and Performance - Grant Fritchey reports back on his initial curations, on the topic of SQL Server Performance, for a new web site from Microsoft called Curah!...(more)

Collecting Detailed Performance Measurements with Extended Events - Analyzing a workload can be difficult. There are a number of tools on the market (both free and commercial). These tools universally reduce workload analysis to totals and averages – details and outliers are smeared together. I’m against using just averages to analyze workloads; averages and totals aren’t good enough, especially with the tools we have today....(more)

SQL Server Performance Tuning Using Wait Statistics: A Beginner’s Guide - An introduction into the world of performance tuning using wait statistics in SQL Server, explaining the common wait types and what they do and do not mean in the context of performance tuning and troubleshooting....(more)

Blogs : Professional Development

A Github repository listing free technical books - GitHub user Jake Worth spent a remarkable amount of time around the web trawling for free technical books, and compiled his findings into a master list....(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Everything you need to know about the Heartbleed SSL bug - Every now and then in the world of security, something rather serious and broad-reaching happens and we all run around like headless chicken wondering what on earth it means. Did the NSA finally “get us”? Is SSL dead? Is the sky falling? Well it’s bad, but not for everyone and quite possibly not as bad as many are saying it is. Troy Hunt reports....(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Locking in Microsoft SQL Server (Part 19) – Concurrency model in in-memory OLTP (Hekaton) - While implementation of SNAPSHOT isolation is more or less obvious, Dmitri Korotkevitch was intrigued to find out how higher isolation levels, such as REPEATABLE READ and SERIALIZABLE, would work in latch- and lock-free environment....(more)

SQL Server 2014: TEMPDB Hidden Performance Gem - A change for TEMPDB BULK OPERATIONS (Select into, table valued parameters (TVP), create index with SORT IN TEMPDB, …) that can improve the performance of tempdb operations dramatically....(more)

The SQL 2014 Cardinality Estimator Eats Bad TSQL for Breakfast - Kendra Little feeds a terrible query, designed to demonstrate a big memory grant against the AdventureWorks2012 database, into the new SQL 2014 cardinality estimator....(more)

Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014, by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner, explains the new in-memory technology to boost performance in online transactional processing (OLTP) and data-warehouse solutions, support for hybrid cloud environments, and more....(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

T-SQL Tuesday #53-Matt's Making Me Do This! - Rob Volk on a dastardly DDL Trigger to deal with pesky sa users....(more)

The Serializable Isolation Level - Much production T-SQL code is written with the implicit assumption that the underlying data will not change during execution. As we saw in the previous article in this series, this is an unsafe assumption because data and index entries can move around underneath us, even during the execution of a single statement....(more)

Rolling back transactions with cursors and local variables - Matt Bowler (Ctrl-Alt-Geek) while doing some work on a credit card payment system needed to answer a couple of questions that I had along the way. What happens to local variables when a transaction is rolled back? What happens to an open cursor when a transaction is rolled back?...(more)

Tricks in T-SQL and SSAS - As part of "Dirty Tricks" T-SQL Tuesday, Rob Farely shows how to configure "GO" to mean something different, and some fun that can be had with SSAS translations....(more)

Blogs : Virtualization

Smart Moves with SQL Server VMs – Data Movement - David Klee on how to move large quantities of data between VMs, quickly. ...(more)


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