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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: October 2009

More PASS Activities

As if I needed more.

I’ll be sitting at the blogger table and blogging live (as live as I get) during the keynotes. It should be fun. As I said on Twitter, this means I get to pick on the cool kids. Life is good.

Thursday I’ll be doing a…

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0 comments, 1,384 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 October 2009

I Started a Fight

I had no idea, but evidently I started a bit of a donny-brook. Cool!

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1 comments, 569 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 October 2009

Snags With Profiler GUI

Running the Profiler GUI against a production server is not something you should do. I’ve outlined my research into exactly why in the past. But I hit another little issue with the Profiler GUI as part of work I’m doing on a Microsoft PSS call (more on that in…

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0 comments, 865 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 October 2009

SQL Server Standard, Volume 6, Issue #1

It’s alive! It’s alive!

That’s enough from Colin Clive.

It’ll be out for the Summit. SQL Server Standard lives again! Although, not quite in the same shape as it used to be. But hey, stitching stuff together out of dead tissue is messy work.

I want to thank our…

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2 comments, 691 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 October 2009

PASS Summit One Week Away

It’s just a week and a couple of days before I’ll be hopping a plane for Seattle and the 2009 PASS Summit. I’m as excited about this one as I was my first summit, maybe more so. I’m going to get to see a bunch of friends that I only…

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1 comments, 578 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 October 2009


No, I’m not talking about a Dickens novel. I’m talking about the number of characters in a string. I had a painful time recently because of the word “characters.” 

If you take a look at the dynamic management view sys.dm_exec_sql_text you can get the queries that have been run on…

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6 comments, 1,628 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 October 2009

Free Training RIGHT NOW

Quest Connect 2009 is occurring even as I type this. Get on over there if you’re interested in some free training. I recorded a session on understanding execution plans. But even better, there are live sessions with some great people. Stop reading this, click the link, get yourself some free…

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0 comments, 496 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 October 2009

Birds Of a Feather Lunch

The PASS Summit agenda is shaping up and it’s already looking to be much busier than last year. The latest is the Birds of a Feather lunch. It’s lunch with an MVP. At least 50 different MVP’s will be hosting a table each. At each table a topic of discussion…

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0 comments, 548 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 October 2009

SNESSUG October Meeting

The Southern New England SQL Server Users Group’s October meeting was a bit sparsely attended with 7 attendees. The sponsor for the night was ApexSQL. The presenation was by AJ Dharmapuri who spoke on using DMV’s.

Barbara Sampson, SNESSUG Treasurer, did a demo of ApexSQL’s SQLEdit. It’s a pretty…

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0 comments, 700 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 October 2009

SQL Server Central Guest Editorial

My second guest editorial is up at SQL Server Central. These are fun to do (especially the video) even though they’re a shocking amount of work considering their size. My hat’s off to Steve for churning these out day after day. The man does earn his keep. Anyway, go…

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2 comments, 544 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 October 2009

Operations Manager Feedback

If you’re involved with maintaining Microsoft Operations Manager, you probably have a few things you’d like to tell the developers, such as, couldn’t you get some sort of override manager/explorer built into the system? Well, they’ve built a new feedback mechanism through the updated Connect interface. Get on over there…

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0 comments, 514 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 October 2009

Table Variables Are Only in Memory: Fact or Myth

I keep seeing these concepts that have long been disproven, posted again and again on newsgroups as if they were valid information. The latest? Table variables are better because they’re only in memory where as temporary tables write to the disk through tempdb. This one is abjectly wrong. I’m not…

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0 comments, 654 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 October 2009

Another Book

Well, part of one anyway. I wrote three chapters of Rob Walter’s new book, Beginning SQL Server 2008 Administration. I think I’ve mentioned it before. Well, my copies showed up in the mail. Nothing like holding that book in your hands as proof that you’ve done it. When…

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0 comments, 538 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 October 2009

3 Weeks to the PASS Summit

The PASS Summit is only three weeks away and I’m getting awfully excited. It’s not too late to register. Heck, you can register at the door, but you’ll pay full price. If you want to save a little, use this registration code, FRP3D, and tell them you know me.…

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0 comments, 620 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 October 2009

SNESSUG September Meeting

We had a good night with 13 people attending. I ran unopposed for president of SNESSUG for my second, and final, term. We were graced with the prescence of Jeff Moden, MVP and on of the top posters over at SQL Server Central. He was just visiting. He’s a…

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0 comments, 592 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 October 2009

PASS Log Reader Awards

Brent Ozar, Andy Warren and Jeremiah Peschka have put together a blogger award called the PASS Log Reader Award. I took a couple of posts that I did in the last year and entered. No, I’m not going to say which ones and I don’t expect to win because…

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0 comments, 718 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 October 2009

Hey, ho, where’d you go…


I’m presenting on Thursday to the Columbus SQL Server Users Group, home of the newly minted MVP, Jeremiah Peschka (congrats again). It’s to be a virtual presentation through live meeting. The topic is a Understanding Execution Plans. This time I hope that one of us remembers to hit…

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0 comments, 524 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 October 2009

Ad Hoc Queries Don’t Reuse Execution Plans: Myth or Fact

Another frequently heard story is that stored procedures get and reuse execution plans, but ad hoc queries do not. A lot of people believe this and say as much online and in the real world. Unlike my last myth, this time, I’m going to give you the DBA answer to…

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7 comments, 3,190 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 October 2009

Free Stuff and a SQL Server Standard Update

Great news. We’ve managed to get one article all the way through the process. We’ll have our first publication out within a couple of weeks. We might even get a second out at the PASS Summit. We’re working through the final details on contracts, author payments and the layout of…

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4 comments, 707 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 October 2009