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Born SQL with Randolph West

Randolph West solves technology problems with a focus on SQL Server and C#. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP who has worked with SQL Server since the late 1990s. When not consulting, he can be seen acting on the stage and screen or doing voices for independent video games.

Speaking at SQLSaturday 725 in Victoria

Victoria is on an island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The island is wisely called Vancouver Island. It is beautiful there, and I wouldn’t mind retiring there someday. Those of you who listen to my convoluted stories will recall that it was on Vancouver Island that I broke… Read more

0 comments, 308 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 31 January 2018

Speaking at SQLBits next month

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I will be presenting for the first time at SQLBits in London, on Saturday 24 February 2018. My session is called Back to the future with Temporal Tables. Here is the abstract: Back to the Future is the greatest time travel movie… Read more

0 comments, 238 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 24 January 2018

Secure or fast? Secure, obviously …

By now you have probably seen the news about a major flaw in the design of CPUs from all major vendors (Intel, AMD, and ARM) resulting in a series of vulnerabilities in operating systems and … web browsers? One of my favourite things to do is to make queries run… Read more

0 comments, 221 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 17 January 2018

The cloud is not just someone else’s computer

A year ago, I wrote in a post that cloud computing is just someone else’s data center. I was wrong. Whether we like it or not, the cloud is more than just a bunch of 1s and 0s hosted on someone’s hardware. The problem with my statement was the word… Read more

0 comments, 283 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 10 January 2018

Welcome to 2018

I have been working on a new information session, which I’m hoping to deliver this year. It’s about one of my favourite topics: dates and times. On that note, if you are reading this in Western Europe, or have plans to be in London in mid-February, I’d like to encourage… Read more

0 comments, 199 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 3 January 2018

No moving parts, the story of persistent memory

In November 2017, during the PASS Summit keynote, Microsoft’s Bob Ward (Principal Architect) demonstrated a “diskless database” running on Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) hardware. The storage layer is known as “persistent memory”. At the end of November, Bob and his colleague Jamie Reding (Senior Program Manager) wrote a blog post about… Read more

0 comments, 283 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 27 December 2017

Disable, don’t delete those indexes

A quick post this week, since it’s that time of the year when people do gift exchanges and put up colourful lights. Here goes: If we need to remove an unused index, we should disable it, not delete it. In SQL Server Management Studio, we can do this in the… Read more

2 comments, 310 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 20 December 2017

Take a walk

When I need to clear my head, I go for a walk. When I need to think about a problem, I go for a walk. When I need to plan a new talk, I go for a walk. My companion on my walks is Trixie, a purebred Chihuahua. Trixie is… Read more

0 comments, 250 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 13 December 2017

All Mac users should do this immediately

This post is a public service announcement for all users of macOS High Sierra (10.13). (Note: Apple has already released a fix, but if you do not have automatic updates enabled, this may still affect you.) If you didn’t hear about it already, a major security flaw was discovered last… Read more

0 comments, 433 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 6 December 2017

Introducing SQL Operations Studio

Note: This is content that I originally wrote for our upcoming book, SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out, that did not meet the publishing deadline. A new cross-platform tool for SQL Server and Azure SQL Database Microsoft has announced the preview of SQL Operations Studio, an exciting addition to the… Read more

0 comments, 476 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 29 November 2017

MySQL has this feature that SQL Server needs

In the grand scheme of things, MySQL and SQL Server operate in different realms. It’s difficult to compare them because MySQL is predominantly used for websites as part of the free LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP), while SQL Server’s range is much broader than that. There’s one neat… Read more

0 comments, 269 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 22 November 2017

SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out

For the last five months or so, I have been helping some really smart people put words on paper, both the physical and electronic kind, which is hopefully going to culminate in an actual technical book that I can point to and say “Yes, that’s the name I invented for… Read more

0 comments, 355 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 15 November 2017

T-SQL Tuesday: The Contributing Factor

Ewald Cress writes: Find a person or several people to pick on, and tell us a shareable story or two about how they have made a positive contribution in your life. I’ve known Ewald for 27 years, though we only met two years ago. It’s wonderful that he is hosting… Read more

0 comments, 245 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 14 November 2017

Is Transparent Data Encryption just security theatre?

I love theatre. In six months I am putting on two one-act plays for a local festival, because I don’t already have enough on my plate. Security theatre, on the other hand, I don’t like. It is security for the sake of appearances, that offers little to no solution to… Read more

3 comments, 253 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 8 November 2017

Gimmicks that work: XE Profiler in SQL Server Management Studio

I have a favourite new feature of SQL Server Management Studio 17.3 (SSMS), and that’s XE Profiler, which allows you to monitor your instance in real time using Extended Events from inside SSMS with just the click of a mouse. So is it Extended Events or Profiler? Let’s talk about… Read more

0 comments, 359 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 1 November 2017

Repair a Windows Server 2016 installation

This is more for my benefit in the future, but hopefully it can help someone else too. We recently had problems with a development server not installing Windows Updates. The fix was to repair the installation using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. All commands should be run… Read more

0 comments, 851 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 25 October 2017

The perils of RAID

Recently, I was asked to assist an organization with getting their data back for a SQL Server that had experienced physical hard drive failure. I asked a lot of questions about the configuration of the data layer, and it came to light that it was a fairly regular setup. SQL… Read more

0 comments, 546 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 18 October 2017

Why is a value in DATETIME2 8 bytes, but in BINARY it is 9 bytes?

In the #sqlhelp Slack channel on the SQL Server Community Slack workspace last month, Jemma Hooper asked: When trying to CAST or CONVERT a datetime2 value to binary(8), I’m getting a “binary or text data would be truncated” error. This seems really weird in context with the fact that SELECT… Read more

2 comments, 340 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 11 October 2017

Changes to Service Packs and Cumulative Updates for SQL Server 2017

For a few years now, Microsoft has augmented its irregular release of Service Packs with a more frequent Cumulative Update model, in order to get bug fixes and other improvements to customers faster. With SQL Server 2017, which runs on both Linux and Windows (as well as Docker containers for… Read more

0 comments, 343 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 4 October 2017

Compañero Conference and SQL Modernization Roadshow

October is a busy month for me. I am flying all over the US and Canada for speaking engagements to share some thoughts about migrating your SQL Server environment to the cloud (specifically Azure). Compañero Conference I will be presenting at the Compañero Conference, which takes place over two days,… Read more

0 comments, 285 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 27 September 2017

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