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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.

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, 314 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, 1,284 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As soon as he showed me the report I knew he had an outdated script.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, 2,261 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, 1,591 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?"
http://www.starshipearththebigpicture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/red-alert-picard-300x228.jpg
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, 2,373 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, 748 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, 911 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, 2,496 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":

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

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0 comments, 344 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, 436 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, 314 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:

"BECAUSE IT'S SUPPOSED TO!"

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, 5,062 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.
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Date 12/01/2015…

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2 comments, 4,961 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, 1,569 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, 2,439 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 8 December 2015

What Do You Mean There is No Current Database Backup?!?

Yet another late night/early morning tale...

The LOG backups for multiple databases on a server failed overnight (not all databases, but many of them), and looking in the output file from the LiteSpeed Maintenance plan (the client's tool of choice) I found entries like this:

Database Database01: Transaction Log Backup...

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0 comments, 473 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 3 December 2015

We Are All Responsible


Today we all received an email from PASS's president Tom LaRock (blog/@SQLRockstar):


PASS Anti-Harassment Policy Reminder
It is unfortunate that I have to write this letter, but it has become necessary.
An Anti-Harassment Policy (AHP) was implemented in 2012 to help provide a harassment-free conference experience.…

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0 comments, 337 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 24 November 2015

CHECKDB - The database could not be exclusively locked to perform the operation

…so the job failed….again…you know the one – that darn Integrity Check job: 
Executing query "DECLARE @Guid UNIQUEIDENTIFIER EXECUTE msdb..sp_ma...".: 100% complete  End Progress  Error: 2015-11-15 03:27:52.43     Code: 0xC002F210     Source: User Databases Integrity Check Execute SQL Task     Description: Executing the query "DBCC CHECKDB(N'master')  WITH NO_INFOMSGS  " failed with the…

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3 comments, 3,195 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 16 November 2015

SQL Server Training

Brent Ozar’s group (http://www.brentozar.com/) just announced a pretty crazy set of “Black Friday” deals:


Insane sales if you can be one of the first few at midnight, but discounts all day on various training.

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The other top training in the field (to me) is from Kimberly…

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2 comments, 399 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 12 November 2015

T-SQL Tuesday #72 - Implicit Conversion Problems


This month T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Mickey Steuwe (blog/@SQLMickey) and her topic of choice is “Data Modeling Gone Wrong.”

(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…

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2 comments, 1,568 reads

Posted in Nebraska SQL from @DBA_ANDY on 10 November 2015

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