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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).

Archives: August 2009

SQL Server Standard Update

We’ve received wonderful support from the community. Brad McGehee has a list with great people on it who have volunteered to be technical editors. A bunch of people have inquired about writing for the reincarnation of SQL Server Standard (SSS). I’ve accepted, to date, eight different abstracts. I’ve started learning…

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0 comments, 1,618 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 August 2009

#ActiveAugust Final Post

I haven’t done well with this. I missed a post. I missed a bunch of workouts. I put on weight. Basically #ActiveAugust for me was one giant bag of FAIL. Anyway, I finished up the week with a couple of days teaching karate. I did workouts before class, including a…

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0 comments, 1,297 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 August 2009

PASS Board Nominations

I think the Professional Association of SQL Server users (PASS) is an extremely important organization for SQL Server DBA’s. Even if you’re not a member, you’ve never attended the Summit, gone to a local chapter meeting, read the magazine (while it was in print), took part in…

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0 comments, 644 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 August 2009

New Book

Well, three chapters. The latest book I worked on is up at Apress. I only have three chapters in this one, backup, restore & performance monitoring & tuning. It’s written as an introductory book, targeted to help get people started as a DBA. I haven’t read the chapters from…

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0 comments, 553 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 August 2009

What happens when you use WITH RECOMPILE

I saw this question and my immediate thought was “Well, duh, the execution plan is recreated by a recompile.” But, someone a bit smarter than myself suggested that, in fact, no plan was stored in cache, forcing a new plan to be created each time the query was run.


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0 comments, 1,308 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 August 2009

Two Book Recommendations

I have two new books that I can heartily recommend. This isn’t a review of either book since I’ve only just started reading them. However, I’ve used each to solve a couple of small problems within a day of having them on the shelf. To me, that proves their worth.

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0 comments, 554 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 August 2009

SQL Server Standard Writing Guidelines

Well, actually, these are the guidelines for submitting anything to SQLPASS, but it includes the guidelines for SQL Server Standard. If you’re considering submitting an abstract (and please, don’t consider it, do it) read through there for the basic information.

I’ve accepted six different abstracts so far on a…

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3 comments, 1,147 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 August 2009

Excellent Blog List

For the one or two you that are not reading Buck Woody’s blog (and why aren’t you), you may not have seen that he’s posted a recommended reading list of the blogs that he reads on a regular basis. This list must be reviewed by you, now. Go on, I’ll…

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0 comments, 692 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 August 2009

SQL Quiz 5: SANs Mirroring

My turn to answer Chris Shaw’s questions “Do I feel I have a reliable SAN solution?” and “Describe Database Mirroring for the layman?” Thanks Tim. I’ve a feeling you’re going to be disappointed.

Hell, how should I know? Want to talk about a black box? Our SAN, as…

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0 comments, 606 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 August 2009

Some Statement Start Times!

I thought I had captured statement start times within the DMV sys.dm_exec_sessions. I was absolutely wrong. However, this has sparked a bit of discussion, as you can see in the link to my correction. John Vanda (I couldn’t find a blog by him, but I think this is his…

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2 comments, 897 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 August 2009

Microsoft Thrive

I was introduced to the Thrive program when my user group held a Thrive event back in March. Since then I’ve referenced some of their material several times. It’s a decent little program from Microsoft to try to help out IT pros in this tough economy.

Hopefully this won’t create…

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0 comments, 535 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 August 2009

Active August #2

Hrmmm… 198. Up four pounds. That just doesn’t seem possible. I did a tabata on Monday. I did have a light workout on Thursday, but I went walking several days this week and I haven’t been overeating (except last night at sushi…hmmmm sushi). It may just be last night &…

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0 comments, 524 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 August 2009

Presenting “Understanding Execution Plans”

The PASS Application Development SIG is hosting a web cast next week on Tuesday where I’ll be presenting Understanding Execution Plans. Please come by and ask questions. Preferably ones related to execution plans.

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3 comments, 811 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 August 2009

Pain of the Week Webcast

Thursday this week I get to hang out, virtually, with some of the heavy hitters of the industry, Brent Ozar, Ross Mistry and Kevin Kline. We’ll be talking about SQL Server books. Writing them, reading them, reviewing them, finding the right one at the store… It’ll be fun. All the…

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0 comments, 508 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 August 2009

SQL Server Standard

PASS is relaunching the SQL Server Standard with a wholly new approach and format. I’ll put more out about it as it becomes available. I just wanted to get the word out now, as far and as wide as I can. Basically submissions are open for articles. We’re only interested…

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0 comments, 696 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 August 2009

24 Hours of PASS

I’m fairly certain Jack Bauer isn’t involved with this new initiative from PASS. Just as I’m also certain I won’t be the only person to invoke 24 while referring to 24 Hours of PASS. But even without Jack Bauer, I’m on the edge of my seat. 24 different sessions…

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0 comments, 721 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 August 2009

Active August #1

I like to blog about technical topics and community, not personal stuff. However, this is a community post. A number of active SQL Server DBA’s & Developers on Twitter have decided to make August a self-help, support-group month for eating well and being active, Active August. I’m taking part. I’ll…

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0 comments, 605 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 August 2009