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The Voice of the DBA

Pride in Azure SQL Database

There's a series on Azure SQL Database from Jovan Popovic on the SQL Server Database Engine Blog. Jovan has written posts on why database management is easier, the scalability of the platform, and a great one that claims the database engine can't die. I don't know that I quite believe that, especially as the guarentee is 99.99% availability. I'd expect 100% if you really think the engine can't die on you. In any case, Jovan clearly has some pride in his work on Azure SQL Database.

What I think is interesting in the post on the ever living engine is this sentence: "Azure automatically handles patching, backups, replication, failure detection, underlying potential hardware, software or network failures, deploying bug fixes, failovers, database upgrades and other maintenance tasks." This notes that all of these operations are completed in less than 0.01% of the database life, hence the 99.99% guarentee. While that's not 0, it's close, and more importantly, this is something that to which DBAs ought to pay attention.

These are often the tasks that many organizations will hire someone to complete. These tasks are becoming less of a time sink as organizations move to infrastructure as code or cloud computing, though they don't disappear entirely. However, these tasks are mundane, tedious ones in many cases that should be solved once and then deployed easily to multiple instances.

Azure SQL Database and SQL Server share the same code base. Most features get built and tested in Azure and then will get merged into a release for a CU or new version of SQL Server.  This means that as Microsoft learns how to better build these features, they will migrate them to our boxed SQL Server versions. With success stories in Azure and strong marketing, I'd bet that more and more management will be questioning whether they need more people, or even any people to handle these tasks in the latest versions of SQL Server.

Don't panic if you're a DBA working on SQL Server 2008/RS, 2012, 2014 or other older versions. Those editions still require your time and things will change slowly for plenty of companies. They won't want to upgrade too many instances at once, especially when there are potential vendor costs as well. You will have a job for some time, and I don't think that lots of those older instances are disappearing anytime soon.

That also shouldn't mean that you rest on your existing skills and don't learn anything new. You ought to be sure you are beginning to learn more about PowerShell, Azure, automatic indexing, and more. Improve your skills and potentially give you more career options. Even if you don't change jobs, you'll enjoy the learning.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 4.2MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and Libsyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.

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Database migrations inside Visual Studio

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Friday the 13th

Jan Van der Eecken from SQLServerCentral.com

Looking forward to the next few ones of these scary days? More »


So what is data mapping and why is it the key to GDPR compliance?

The GDPR brings new responsibilities for organizations which need to store and process personal data. Plan for it in the right way, however, and the journey to compliance will be a lot easier. More »


Parking Garages And Predicates

Additional Articles from Brent Ozar Unlimited Blog

You lost your car in a big parking lot. Erik Darling explains how this is just like an index scan. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Is It Possible To Conditionally Index JSON Data?

Bert Wagner from SQLServerCentral Blogs

Check out this week’s episode on YouTube. Recently I received a great question from an attendee to one of my sessions... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Automating Automatic Indexing in Azure SQL Database

Grant Fritchey from SQLServerCentral Blogs

I’ve been in love with the concept of a database as a service ever since I first laid eyes on... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I have built an event session in Extended Events (XE) called MyEventSession. I set this to startup when the SQL Server instance starts. It's currently running with both a file and ring buffer targets. I decide to drop this session, buit don't want to lose data from the file target. What do I need to do?

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Expert T-SQL Window Functions in SQL Server

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

I have this code:

DECLARE @s VARCHAR(100) = 'the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog' ,
        @start INT = 5 ,
        @len INT = 3;

SELECT STUFF(@s, @start, @len, 'xx')


Answer: the xxck brown fox jumped over the lazy dog


The STUFF command will look for a part of a string. You can specify the starting location and then the length that is deleted. Optionally, the last (4th) parameter is used to insert data. In this case, we start at position 5. This is the "q". We remove 3 characters (qui) and then insert the "xx".

Ref: STUFF - click here

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

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