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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.

Embrace The Missing Index DMVs - But Proceed with Caution!

One of the performance tools I use all of the time is the set of Missing Index DMVs: 
·         sys.dm_db_missing_index_details– Detailed specifics on the missing indexes, including column lists 
·         sys.dm_db_missing_index_groups– relates individual missing indexes to index groups
·         sys.dm_db_missing_index_group_stats– information on potential…

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1 comments, 2,456 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 9 March 2017

How many Backups is Too Many?

Does this title seem strange?  Of course we know this is the true answer:


But here is a story of a client that may have too many backups after all.


Our monitoring system found that the backups on a client server had suddenly started running very long.  When…

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4 comments, 2,286 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 24 February 2017

YouTubing Down the SQL Server River

I recently stumbled on a YouTube channel from one of my favorite SQLPeople - she is sharp (and an MCM) and one of the nicest people out there - Kendra Little (blog/@Kendra_Little).  Since divesting herself from Brent Ozar Unlimited over a year ago Kendra has been…

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0 comments, 479 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 10 February 2017

#SQLSpeaking this Fall!

I have some great speaking dates coming up this Fall - here is the list:


First - the big one.  I am honored to be chosen for the first time to speak at the PASS Summit in Seattle.  The only negative is that I am not on until Friday…

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0 comments, 303 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 15 September 2016

Thank You SQL Saturday Sioux Falls!

I just finished giving my SQL Saturday presentation on "Getting Started with Extended Events" at SQLSaturday Sioux Falls.  The audience was great with some multiple questions and follow-ups, so it was awesome!

The sessions have been informative and the event team has done a wonderful job with all of…

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0 comments, 341 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 23 July 2016

Finding File Growths with Extended Events

I give a SQLSaturday session called "Introduction to Extended Events" and at a recent presentation I had a pair of attendees ask me afterwards for a more "real world" example.  I had a basic demo in my session showing setting up a session with a predicate filter to pull particular…

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2 comments, 2,906 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 13 June 2016

How Do I Change My Domain Password on Windows Server 2012?

As a DBA I spend a lot of time in RDP sessions, both to SQL Servers and to "jump"/pass-through servers on client domains.  Most clients (unfortunately not all of them - security is important, people!) have some variant of password expiration in their domains requiring regular password changes every 30/90/180…

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2 comments, 526 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 23 May 2016

Catching Up on The #SQLPASS Virtual Chapters

(Didn't realize until I was posting that this was my 100th post...whew!)


A few months ago we purchased a new "smart" Blu-Ray player and one of its intriguing features was its built-in WiFi with pre-installed Internet apps like Amazon Video, YouTube, Vudu, etc. (Previously we had a 6-year-old "dumb"…

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0 comments, 658 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 17 May 2016

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, 517 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, 651 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, 2,343 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, 2,781 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, 1,522 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, 371 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, 1,335 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, 2,341 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, 1,662 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, 2,787 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, 910 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, 1,320 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 10 February 2016

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