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Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY

I’m a forty-something Microsoft SQL Server DBA of 15+ years, a devoted husband, and a father of three young boys. I have been a DBA at a public university, at a major bank, at a healthcare system, and I now work as a remote DBA with customers across the United States. I write and speak primarily about the tips and tricks that I discover along my SQL Server journey.

Toolbox - How Long Has My Server Been Up?

No..not that Up (although it is awesome!)


As a remote service provider a common request is to follow up after a server restart (or investigate a possible server restart).  A question that inevitably comes up is "When did the server restart?"

If all you need to know is…

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0 comments, 95 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 24 May 2018

When Good Query Plans Go Bad

Today's story starts again with a page escalation:

We are seeing very high CPU usage on DistServer01.  Could you please take a look and do a health check on this server?  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

I connnected to DistServer01…

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0 comments, 1,803 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 18 May 2018

Why Don't I have a Preferred Replica?

The client reported that the log file on their main database was growing unusually large, and when they checked the backup target the database didn't have any LOG backups!

Oh, and the database was part of an Availability Group.


After some investigation we found that while the Availability…

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0 comments, 1,232 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 18 April 2018

Toolbox - Do You Have Current Backups?

On our managed servers we run a job each day to check that either a FULL or DIFF has run in the last 24 hours, but all-too-frequently I find myself on a server that we don't manage, trying to determine the current situation (aka the "health check").

An important thing…

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0 comments, 240 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 4 April 2018

Toolbox - Just the Basics

There are many query sets out there to collect varying groups of configuration data - the ones I most frequently use come from Glenn Berry of SQLskills (blog/@GlennAlanBerry) but I have found that there is more data than his basic set that I like to pull,…

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0 comments, 413 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 29 March 2018

Which Blogs Do I Recommend?

One of the most important parts of continuing learning as a DBA (or probably an IT Professional) is reading blogs.  The world used to run on professional magazines and journals (and there are a few good ones still out there) but the current equivalent of a weekly or quarterly periodical…

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0 comments, 232 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 7 March 2018

Error 33206 - SQL Server Audit Failed to Create the Audit File

One of the joys of working with SQL Server is the descriptive and meaningful error messages, right?


Exhibit A - the 33206:
Error: 33206, Severity: 17, State: 1.
SQL Server Audit failed to create the audit file 'T:\MSSQL\Audit Files\PLAND_Objects_DML_Audit_Events_A2B00B57-4B43-4570-93C8-B30EE77CC8C9_0_131645629182310000.sqlaudit'. Make sure that the disk is not full and that…

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0 comments, 1,524 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 5 March 2018

Toolbox - Which Clerk Is Busy?

A few years ago I wrote what would turn out to be my most-hit blog post (so far) titled "Error 701 - Insufficient System Memory - Now what?"

In that post I talk about a troubleshooting scenario that finally led to using DBCC MEMORYSTATUS to find one of…

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0 comments, 187 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 7 February 2018

Toolbox - Why is My Database So Big????

I have written previously (here) about how to tell which database files have free space in them when your drive starts to fill.

What if all of your database files are full and you are still running out of space?

F DB03

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0 comments, 295 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 19 January 2018

T-SQL Tuesday #98 – Take Small Bites!

It's T-SQL Tuesday time again - the monthly blog party was started by Adam Machanic (blog/@AdamMachanic) and each month someone different selects a new topic.  This month's cycle is hosted by Arun Sirpal (blog/@blobeater1) and his chosen topic is "Your…

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1 comments, 291 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 9 January 2018

Come to SQL Saturday Providence!

Tomorrow 12/09/2017 is SQL Saturday #694 in Providence, RI.

I will be presenting by SQL Server Health Check session first thing in the morning:


Does it Hurt When I Do This? Performing a SQL Server Health Check

Speaker: Andy Galbraith
Duration: 60 minutes
Track: Enterprise Database Administration…

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0 comments, 249 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 8 December 2017

PASS Summit 2017 - Live and in Living Color!

UPDATE - the feed and schedule are live at http://www.pass.org/summit/2017/PASStv.aspx

Not in Seattle for some reason this week?  Like maybe you stayed home because it was Halloween week, or you don't have the funds, or you are preparing for the zombie apocalypse?


PASS is ready to help you…

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0 comments, 211 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 1 November 2017

But I Don't *Want* To "Restore from a backup of the database or repair the database!"

Do you like Log Shipping?

Before my time at Ntirety I had done quite a bit of work with failover clustering and mirroring (trending into some Availability Groups) but I had never really done that much replication or log shipping.  Even at my previous managed services remote DBA job I…

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0 comments, 2,208 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 23 October 2017

And YOU Get a Deadlock and YOU Get a Deadlock and EVERYBODY GETS A DEADLOCK!

We all get them at one point or another - deadlocks.

I have Object 1 and need Object 2, you have Object 2 and need Object 1:

This isn't the same as simple blocking, where I have Object 1 and you want it (but you can't have it…

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1 comments, 2,385 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 18 October 2017

Toolbox - Fix Your FILEGROWTH

One of the items we usually flag in reports is FILEGROWTH by percentage.  It doesn't help that for most versions of SQL Server the default FILEGROWTH increment for one or both files (DATA and LOG) is 10%.


As you probably already know, the key flaw to percentage-based FILEGROWTH is…

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1 comments, 1,607 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 5 October 2017

Come See Me in Minnesota in October!

The schedule for SQL Saturday #682 Minnesota 2017 is out, and I will be giving my talk on Extended Events:

Getting Started with Extended Events
Speaker: Andy Galbraith
Duration: 60 minutes
Track: Administration
Few subjects in Microsoft SQL Server inspire the same amount of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)…

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0 comments, 357 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 14 September 2017

Toolbox - IO, IO, Why are You So Slow?

This is the next in a series of blogs I am going to create talking about useful tools (mostly scripts) that I use frequently in my day-to-day life as a production DBA.  I work as a Work-From-Home DBA for a Remote DBA company, but 90+% of my job functions are…

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2 comments, 2,433 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 6 September 2017

The Transient Database Snapshot Has Been Marked Suspect

Yet another tale from the ticket queue...

The DBCC CheckDB was failing on INSTANCE99 and after some investigation it looked like a space issue, not an actual corruption issue.


The Job Failure error text was this:


Executed as user: DOMAIN\svc_acct. Microsoft (R) SQL Server Execute Package Utility …

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0 comments, 1,299 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 24 August 2017

Sudden Differential Backup Failures after an Availability Group Failover

As so many stories do, this story starts with a failover - in this case an Availability Group (AG) failover.


There were several different backup and status check jobs failing on NODE01 and NODE02 because the AG01 availability group was now primary on NODE02 instead of NODE01 after a…

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0 comments, 553 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 24 July 2017

Toolbox - Which Tables are Using All of My Space?

This is the next in a new series of blogs I am going to create talking about useful tools (mostly scripts) that I use frequently in my day-to-day life as a production DBA.  I work as a Work-From-Home DBA for a Remote DBA company, but 90+% of my job functions…

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0 comments, 319 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 21 July 2017

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