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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 2011

SQL Server XQuery Against Execution Plans

One of the greatest things about all the DMOs is how you can combine the information they present to you with execution plans. It allows you to see what a query is doing, even as it’s executing, because the plan is created first. I couldn’t possibly emphasize enough how important… Read more

2 comments, 2,027 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 October 2011

I Can’t Go To Space

If I could win the DBA In Space contest, I’d be all over it like white on rice. But I can’t win (and yes, that grinding sound you hear is my teeth, not tectonic plates). But, one of my friends might. I already know several of them that have entered. Read more

0 comments, 1,442 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 October 2011

PASS Summit 2011: Wrap-Up

Another Summit done gone by and I’m exhausted. You know you did the Summit correctly if you’re crawling onto the plane to leave because you can no longer stand. That’s where I was on Saturday.

I’m going to go ahead and write down a few thoughts about the Summit, but… Read more

0 comments, 1,423 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 October 2011

Extended Events Data

I’ve been working quite a bit over the last week or so with extended events in Denali. The sheer magnitude of what you can do with extended events is just becoming clear to me. The interesting thing though is how much the basics are similar to trace. Similar mind you,… Read more

2 comments, 1,836 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 October 2011

PASS Keynote Day #3: Dr. Dewitt

And we’re off. We opened with a video of people saying “Connect, Share, Learn” and “This, is Community”

Rob Farley & Buck Woody came out with a song about long running queries.

[8:20]Wayne Snyder has been working with the PASS organization since 1999. He spoke at the first PASS Summit… Read more

0 comments, 1,318 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 October 2011

PASS Summit Day 2–Key Notes

Bill Graziano has come out on stage, looking marvelous, in a traditional kilt and stockings. Thanks Bill.

For those who don’t know, Day 2 at the Summit every year is Kilt Day.

[8:19]Outstanding volunteers being recognized are Tim Radney and Jack Corbett. These are some outstanding people who work their… Read more

0 comments, 1,083 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 October 2011

PASS Summit So Far

This is Day 2 of the Summit proper. But for me, this is the fifth day of the Summit and my sixth in Seattle. Sunday was the opening of registration and it was like a high school reunion with people that you really love. Registration itself only takes about three… Read more

0 comments, 1,007 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 October 2011

PASS Summit 2011 Day #1 Post #1

Hello again. The PASS Organization has once more allowed me to sit at the bloggers table for the key note. I’ll be posting updates as the information unfolds.

[8:06] The crowd is filling in. this looks like one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen at the summit. The organizers… Read more

0 comments, 982 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 October 2011

Extended Events and Performance Tuning Knowledge

I’m working on updating my book, Query Performance Tuning Distilled, so that it reflects the new things available in SQL Server vNext:Denali. I’m going through the first chapters that are all about gathering information about your systems. Performance tuning is all about building up knowledge of how the system is… Read more

0 comments, 1,806 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 October 2011


No, I’m not talking about hubs and switches. I’m talking about people. Networking is a major component of an event like the PASS Summit. Whether you’re networking with individuals or with organizations, this is an opportunity to build direct, personal connections with people that can, and will, help you… Read more

1 comments, 1,136 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 October 2011