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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: December 2009

Practice Your Restores

Steven Jones posted an excellent editorial today all about how your backups are only good if you know that you can restore from them. He couldn’t be more correct. I posted the following thoughts in the comments, but I know not everyone reads the comments in articles & editorials. Although,…

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0 comments, 1,312 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 December 2009

The Other Server

I had a fun support call I need to share. A developer called up to tell me that a particular dev instance was offline. He informed me that the server SQL08\DEV01 (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) server was completely inaccessible. I knew that multiple development teams…

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0 comments, 1,295 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 December 2009

A Lack of Excitement

I usually use all the problems, crashes, and issues that I run into at work as grist for my mill, aka, material to blog about. But lately, we haven’t been crashing & burning much <knock wood, turn three times, throw salt over my left shoulder, spit>. But it was suggested…

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0 comments, 646 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 December 2009


I’ve been somewhat light in my blogging of late. Unfortunately, I just haven’t hit any interesting or difficult problems lately that were worth sharing. I’ll try to break one of our production systems in an interesting way very soon so that I’ve got something to write about, even if it’s…

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0 comments, 521 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 December 2009

What is Your Greatest Weakness

I was tagged earlier this week by Tim Ford to comment on my biggest weakness. I wish I could say that it’s the color yellow (stupidest weakness, ever), or kryptonite. I don’t have to wear ruby-quartz glasses everywhere (and good thing too). Certainly getting tied up by a man isn’t…

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2 comments, 778 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 December 2009

T-SQL Tuesday #1: Date/Time Tricks

I’m going to try out Adam Machanic’s idea for a blog party. The topic this month are Date/Time tricks.

Instead of supplying a trick for Date/Time, I’m going to caution you about the tricks that you use. Let’s take a simple issue. You want to pull back data from…

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0 comments, 651 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 December 2009

Dr. DeWitt’s Key Note at the PASS Summit

If you missed this, here’s your chance to make it up. If you were there, and like me, you need to rewatch it about six to eight times to try to understand everything that was presented, here’s your chance. Dr. DeWitt’s key note was probably the high point of…

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0 comments, 709 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 December 2009

SQL Standard Update

Andy Warren in the latest PASS Connector has posted an update on where we’re at with the SQL Server Standard. I’m so happy that Andy has been keeping this out in front of people. It provides some impetus to get the work done. Except for the authors thanks (and they’re…

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0 comments, 635 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 December 2009

How do -You- use SQL Server

I’ve been tagged by a misplaced yankee, uh, New Englander, whatever. The question is, how do I/we use SQL Server where I work. That’s a tough one. It would make a much shorter, and easier, blog post to describe the things we don’t use it for. However, keeping with…

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5 comments, 760 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 December 2009