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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

SQL Cruise as a Speaker and Sponsor

SQL Cruise offers a number of unique opportunities for everyone involved, including speakers and sponsors. I’ve written before, several times, about the benefits of SQL Cruise. As an attendee of the cruise, you will get to sit in classes by amazing people (and me) talking about all aspects… Read more

0 comments, 115 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 October 2016

SELECT * Does Not Hurt Performance

I read all the time how SELECT * hurts performance. I even see where people have said that you just have to supply a column list instead of SELECT * to get a performance improvement. Let’s test it, because I think this is bunkum.

The Test

I have here two… Read more

21 comments, 480 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 October 2016

Pre-Summit PASS Board Update

Busy, busy, busy.

A lot of the work around PASS currently is getting ready for Summit. I’m prepping my part in the keynotes. I’m involved in lots of community discussions including SQLSaturday, Chapters and Regional Mentors. We’re setting up the Community Zone for all sorts of activities throughout the week.… Read more

0 comments, 76 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 October 2016

Statistics Are Vital For Query Performance

This is post #10 supporting  Tim Ford’s (b|t) initiative on #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel. Read about it here.

When you send a query to your SQL Server database (and this applies to Azure SQL Database, APS, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse), that query is going to go through… Read more

0 comments, 1,379 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 October 2016

Where Do We Go To Share?

No one reads blogs any more.

Twitter is dying.

Facebook is broken.

LinkedIn? Please.

G+. Is that even on any more?

Where do we go to share?

I’m seeing it here on this blog. Traffic is down. Not just day-to-day traffic, but the search hits. That could just be that… Read more

20 comments, 157 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 October 2016

Correlated Datetime Columns

SQL Server is a deep and complex product. There’s always more to learn. For example, I had never heard of Correlated Datetime Columns. They were evidently introduced as a database option in SQL Server 2005 to help support data warehousing style queries (frequently using dates and times as join criteria… Read more

1 comments, 1,099 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 October 2016

Azure Data Platform Resources

A few months ago I created a GitHub repository for the purpose of building and maintaining a list of resources for Azure Data Platform training. You can see it here. My goal in putting this into GitHub instead of just running it on my blog is to make it… Read more

2 comments, 218 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 September 2016

Volunteering With PASS

I was just asked how many times I’ve been to the PASS Summit. This year will be my 12th consecutive one. That made me start thinking. At my very first Summit, I met a couple of volunteers for PASS (Allen Kinsel was one of them, I’ll blame him… Read more

0 comments, 117 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 September 2016

Networking and the PASS Summit

PASS Summit 2016 is fast approaching. If you’re going, time to start making plans. If you’re not going, sell your boss on the idea and get registered. It’s only the largest Microsoft Data Platform event on the planet. There are over 200 sessions given by some of the most knowledgeable… Read more

1 comments, 100 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 September 2016

Query Store and What Happened Earlier On Your Server

Here’s a great question I received: We had a problem at 9:02 AM this morning, but we’re not sure what happened. Can Query Store tell us?

My first blush response is, no. Not really. Query Store keeps aggregate performance metrics about the queries on the database where Query Store is… Read more

1 comments, 1,363 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 September 2016

Query Store and Plan Forcing: What Do You Use It For

If you’re working with Azure SQL Database or you’ve moved into SQL Server 2016, one of the biggest new tools is the Query Store. It provides a mechanism of capturing query performance over time and persisting it with the database. You also get the execution plans for those queries. Finally,… Read more

2 comments, 793 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 September 2016

The Clustered Index Is Vital To Your Database Design

This is post #9 supporting  Tim Ford’s (b|t) initiative on #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel. Read about it here.

You get one clustered index per table.

That bears repeating, you get one clustered index per table.

Choosing a clustered index is an extremely important and fundamental aspect of all… Read more

5 comments, 2,004 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 September 2016

Kilt Day! PASS Summit 2016, Thursday

Thursday at the PASS Summit is Kilt Day.

This means you should wear a kilt. Whether you do it in support of Women in Technology, or you just like to swan about in a kilt, this is the day to sport your kilt. Whether you have a fully traditional tartan Read more

2 comments, 128 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 September 2016

Query Store, Force Plan and “Better” Plans

I am endlessly fascinated by how the Query Store works. I love teaching it at every opportunity too. Plus, almost every time I teach it, I get a new question about the behavior that makes me delve into the Query Store just a little bit more, enabling me to better… Read more

1 comments, 938 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 September 2016

Azure SQL Data Warehouse Execution Plans

Azure SQL Data Warehouse can sometimes feel like it’s completely different from SQL Server, but under the covers, it is still (mostly) SQL Server and it does have execution plans. Let’s take a look at one.

I’ve created a new SQL Data Warehouse using the sample database available on the… Read more

4 comments, 194 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 August 2016

PASS Board Update

Time for another update.

The minutes for the June in-person meeting have been approved and are now ready for your information. We accomplished a lot in the two days and you can read what we did there. I’m pleased about two things. First, while it took until the July meeting… Read more

4 comments, 751 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 August 2016

Run For the PASS Board

When the word comes around for elections to the PASS Board, are you one of those people who, even in passing, considers running? If you are, my advice is to well, do it.

By the way, here’s that word.

In order to make this a stronger, even more vibrant… Read more

0 comments, 168 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 August 2016

Updates to Azure Data Platform Learning Resources

I’m acting as the curator to a list of Azure Data Platform Learning Resources. It’s speakers and teachers, blogs, articles and more, all focused around the Azure Data Platform. I have it hosted on GitHub so that anyone can contribute. There have been several updates recently that you may… Read more

1 comments, 267 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 August 2016

Query Store, Force Plan and Dropped Objects

I love the Query Store. Seriously. It’s a huge leap forward in the capabilities of Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in support of performance monitoring and query optimization. One of my favorite aspects of the Query Store is the ability to force plans. Frankly though, it’s also the scariest… Read more

5 comments, 1,245 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 August 2016

Azure SQL Database For Your First Database

This is post 8 supporting  Tim Ford’s (b|t) initiative on #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel. Read about it here.

In post #6, I talked about Azure SQL Database as one of the choices you have when you’re picking the type of SQL Server instance you want to run.… Read more

4 comments, 1,115 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 August 2016

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