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When Can You Be Considered As A Senior DBA


As a DBA, when can you consider yourself as a senior DBA?

If you read online posts, you will find most of the time, a senior DBA is judged by “Do you know this and do you know that?” approach, which to me is subjective and may cause more…

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0 comments, 1,907 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 27 August 2012

Improve DBA Operation Productivity – Part Two

As a DBA, we have to take various actions based on huge amount of information received. In one perspective, our productivity is limited by our capability bandwidth to process the information received. However, if this information is frequently “polluted or even poisoned”, our productivity is surely compromised.

I define “polluted… Read more

0 comments, 928 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 31 July 2012

Improve DBA Operation Productivity – Part One


I define DBA operation productivity as the total positive values brought to the work environment by a DBA in a unit of time.

How to improve productivity is really a big topic, but every big task can /should start from the small things. So here I’d like to discuss… Read more

0 comments, 662 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 24 July 2012

Inspirational Database Administration Requirements


Just as a society’s civilization is mostly nurtured by its culture, I believe that DBA work quality is mostly determined by the requirements from management. I had been fortunate to work with a few excellent managers in the past and benefited a lot from their requirements. I’ll share some… Read more

1 comments, 584 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 23 June 2012

“Green” Database Administration

For the past few years, I have seen tens of sql server boxes added in my work environment every year, meaning more complexity and overhead cost in database administration, I gradually come to a “green” design principle with two points.

1. designing administration framework with a “footprint” as small as… Read more

3 comments, 3,734 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 4 June 2012

Investment for DBA Career

As IT professionals, we all will consider and take actions, at some point of time, to “invest” in our careers. So after I read the following interesting article a while ago, “8 Ideal Jobs for M.B.A Grads”, I think it is a good topic for a blog.

In the… Read more

0 comments, 690 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 2 June 2012

DBA Team Structure – Thoughts From Real Life

I once talked about the DBA team building about 3 years ago, now when I look back, I still believe my original idea is a good start, however, I feel it is not enough, so I’d like to explore some other areas for DBA team building, that is how to… Read more

0 comments, 1,348 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 20 November 2011

Find the largest tables in a database (II)

I once wrote a post to find the largest tables in a database, and now after studying PowerShell, I feel it can be written in a more concise and efficient way.

The following script is to find the largest 3 tables in row count in AdventureWorks

$srv = Get-SQLServer –sqlserver… Read more

0 comments, 1,033 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 18 September 2011

Job Exit Planning Strategy

I feel somehow sad today (Aug 31, 2011) to see one of my colleagues “laid-off”. I put quotation mark around “laid-off” because he is a contractor (same as myself), so it is not, strictly speaking, the real laid-off, however, this “laid-off” was a bit unexpected as the project we are… Read more

5 comments, 1,161 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 1 September 2011

Thoughts on DBA Professional Development

As a DBA, we have a lot to work on and also we have a lot to learn about. The asset that makes us as a DBA is our professional knowledge and skills, and as such, from time to time, we need to review our knowledge/skill portfolio and how we… Read more

4 comments, 930 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 20 August 2011

Counting code lines in SPs with Powershell

One of interesting tasks I once had is to check the # of code lines for all user stored procedures (SPs) in a user database.

I once developed a pure yet lengthy t-sql solution by counting the new line ASCII code (i.e. char(0×13) + char(0×10) ).

However, with PowerShell and… Read more

0 comments, 854 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 14 August 2011

Database Administration Operation Road Map

In my company, every two years, we have a tradition to collectively ponder at the technology road map for the next two years, this may include what OS / server products / development tools / management tools / hardware architecture we will adopt, and this road map may also include… Read more

0 comments, 892 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 13 August 2011

Delete backup files older than days

For almost all sql backup jobs, we want to have a step to delete old backup files older than a specified time.

Usually there are two ways, one is to use Maintenance Plan or we create our own “cleaning” step using various ways. I am not a big fan of… Read more

1 comments, 2,194 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 6 August 2011

Find the largest tables in a database

From time to time, I need to find the largest tables in terms of rows / used space / total space etc. I originally used sp_spaceused, a temp table and a cursor (or sp_MSForEachTable) and put them into a stored procedure to get the information I need.

But now as… Read more

8 comments, 19,386 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 28 September 2010

Restart SQL Server Default Trace

One of my test servers, due to the unexpected growth of a user db, the local drive is used up, and because the original default trace was on the same local drive,  the default trace stopped. After cleanup the local drive to have sufficient free space, I want to… Read more

7 comments, 3,915 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 13 August 2010

Proposals to win a MSDN Subscription

 Recently quite a few MVPs (here, here and here ) are handling out MSDN Ultimate subscriptions in the community. What interests me most is that most of them require the receivers will make a good use of the subscription, esp by contributing to the IT community. I… Read more

2 comments, 725 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 8 July 2010

When did SQL Server start and how long is the downtime window?


This is an old topic, and there have been quite a few blogs (and following comments) that illustrate how to quickly find the information, mainly by checking tempdb creation time ( and check session_id=1 information ( However, as a DBA, one of the common post-event reports I have to… Read more

1 comments, 1,396 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 27 May 2010

Issue with SQL Server 2K5 SP3 CU5

In case you are considering to apply SQL Server SP3 CU5 ( to your system, I'd like to point out one issue / bug we found with CU5.

Finding: SQL Server 2K5 SP3 CU5 will damage your replication if the following two conditions are met in the replication framework

1.… Read more

4 comments, 881 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 12 September 2009

Journey to trouble-shoot Error 5042 (cannot remove a file xxx because it is not empty)

I was working on a table partition management task yesterday. The table is partitioned on a datetime column, and each partition has one and only one dedicated filegroup, and each filegroup is dedicated to one and only one partition and contains only one file in the filegroup.

After I cleaned… Read more

3 comments, 1,547 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 10 August 2009

Thoughts on SSC Blog Site Improvement

I have been reading blogs from various sources, such as blogs on SSC, and on etc. However on all these blog sites, I find that there is no collective efforts (from the blog hosting site) to promote a common brand for the site, instead, individual blogger only plays his/her… Read more

4 comments, 349 reads

Posted in DBA Philosophy on 22 April 2009

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