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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.

Upcoming SQL Saturdays - June 2016

I am speaking at two different SQL Saturdays in June!


First up on June 4th is SQL Saturday #517 Philadelphia (#SQLSAT517) - I am speaking at 2:45pm on "Getting Started with Extended Events."  This is quickly becoming my favorite of the talks that I give…

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0 comments, 466 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 12 May 2016

SQL 2016 - The Time Has Come!

Microsoft dropped it on us this morning:


I read the article and was pleasantly surprised, although after some consideration it was more like this:

If you haven't already started working with SQL Server 2016 this is definitely the time.  Here are…

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2 comments, 573 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 2 May 2016

Where Is My Primary Replica Again?

We have many clients with multi-node Availability Groups - that is, AGs with more than two replicas.  One of the problems I have always had with Availability Group management via the GUI (admit it, you use the GUI sometimes all you non-PowerShell geeks) is the fact that most of the…

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2 comments, 2,156 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 22 April 2016

How Long Did That Job Run?

When you use the msdb tables to try to gather information on your SQL Server Agent jobs, inevitably you will end up in a situation like this:
sj.name as JobName
,sjh.run_date as RunDate
,sjh.run_time as RunTime
,sjh.run_duration as Duration
from msdb.dbo.sysjobhistory sjh
join msdb.dbo.sysjobs sj
on sjh.job_id…

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2 comments, 2,601 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 14 April 2016

Don't Use Delimiters In Your Object Names!

It started with a failed backup status check:
Msg 50000, Level 16, State 1, Line 73
** Backups listed in this file are missing / out of date **
db                status   recovery model   last full backup   Full BU hours old
[FinanceDB]    …

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6 comments, 1,307 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 4 April 2016

Why I Love #SQLSaturday

PASS SQLSaturdays are free 1-day training events for SQL Server professionals that focus on local speakers, providing a variety of high-quality technical sessions, and making it all happen through the efforts of volunteers. Whether you're attending a SQLSaturday or thinking about hosting your own, we think you'll find it's a…

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0 comments, 326 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 28 March 2016

Pulling Security Info

A frequent request I receive is to pull a list of logins/users with certain accesses, role memberships, etc.

I had a query to use xp_logininfo to pull group membership chains - that is, DOMAIN\Andy has access, but not directly - DOMAIN\Andy has access because he is a member of DOMAIN\DBAGroup.…

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0 comments, 1,307 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 24 March 2016

Update Your Scripts!

I had an incident today where a colleague was running a Wait Stats Report and the output looked like this:

As soon as he showed me the report I knew he had an outdated script.

Each new version of SQL Server introduces new wait types, often (but not always) related…

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0 comments, 2,286 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 9 March 2016

Another Source of Knowledge

It started with a tweet from one the many members of the #sqlfamily who always has something meaningful to say, Jes Borland (blog/@grrl_geek):

The referenced link is http://www.ted.com/talks/celeste_headlee_10_ways_to_have_a_better_conversation.

I followed Jes's advice, paused the other items I was working on, and watched the talk.  It…

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0 comments, 1,616 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 1 March 2016

How is SQL Server using more than the Max Server Memory?

As usual, the pager went off...

"Server is near 100% memory utilization - what is running?"
I saw when I signed on that the Windows server was at 98% memory utilization (the sum of all processes in Windows, including but not limited to SQL Server) and that the sqlservr.exe…

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0 comments, 2,465 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 23 February 2016

Configuring a Perfmon Collector for SQL Server

Something I always stress to people when I write and present is the importance of tracking data *before* you need it.  Microsoft does a fair job collecting some data via DMVs, the default trace, and Extended Events, but the data is still very limited in many ways,…

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0 comments, 793 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 16 February 2016

How Bad Are Your Indexes?

In my last post "Copying SSIS packages With DTUTIL" I described a "gotcha" where the dynamic management views (DMVs) had different columns in SQL Server 2005 compared to 2008+, and I showed a version check I had built into the script to handle it.

It made me think…

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0 comments, 1,036 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 10 February 2016

Copying SSIS packages With DTUTIL

A frequent need when performing a server migration is to copy the SSIS packages from one server to a new server.  There are a couple of different ways to do this, including a wizard in SSMS. (See https://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2061/how-to-manage-ssis-packages-stored-in-multiple-sql-server-database-instances/).  The catch to this is that these are manual and they…

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0 comments, 2,639 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 5 February 2016

Speaking at SQL Saturday #500 in Boston!

I have been selected to speak at SQL Saturday #500 in Boston on March 19th - I will be speaking (at 9am in the morning!) on "Getting Started with Extended Events":

Few subjects in Microsoft SQL Server inspire the same amount of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)…

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0 comments, 362 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 25 January 2016

Counting Your VLFs, or, Temp Tables Inside IF...ELSE Blocks

There are many many blog posts out there about Virtual Log Files (VLFs) - one of the absolute best is "8 Steps to Better Transaction Log Throughput" from Kimberly Tripp (blog/@KimberlyLTripp) of SQLskills as well as the several other posts she links to from…

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0 comments, 471 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 21 January 2016

T-SQL Tuesday #74 - Who Grew The Database?

This month T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Robert Davis (blog/@SQLSoldier) and his topic of choice is “Be The Change

(If you don’t know about T-SQL Tuesday check out the information here – each month there is a new topic and it is a great…

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2 comments, 333 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 12 January 2016

Why is my SQL Server using all of the RAM on the server?

The TL;DR on this is simple:


A frequent complaint we receive comes from a client that has an in-house sysadmin monitoring tool like Microsoft SCOM/SCCM.  They turn the tool on and it starts red-alerting because the Windows server hosting SQL Server is at…

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0 comments, 5,203 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 8 January 2016

The transaction log for database 'ABC' is full due to 'ACTIVE_BACKUP_OR_RESTORE'

I have recently had a client with a problem each morning where they were having processes fail with this message in their SQL Server Error Log:
Date 12/01/2015 5:58:48 AM
Log SQL Server (Current - 12/01/2015 1:00:00 PM)
Source spid118
Message Error: 9002, Severity: 17, State: 3.
Date 12/01/2015…

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2 comments, 5,507 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 22 December 2015

What Permissions Does This Login Have?

I recently was tasked with this ticket:
Please add new login Domain\Bob to server MyServer.  Grant the login the same permissions as Domain\Mary.
On the face of it, this seems relatively straightforward, right?  It is the kind of request that we all get from time to time, whether as an…

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4 comments, 1,607 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 17 December 2015

T-SQL Tuesday #73 - Not Running CHECKDB is Naughty!

This month T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Bradley Balls (blog/@SQLBalls) and his topic of choice is “Naughty or Nice.”

(If you don’t know about T-SQL Tuesday check out the information here – each month there is a new topic and it is a great…

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0 comments, 2,471 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 8 December 2015

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