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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: January 2012

Tech on Tap v1.1 Wrap-up

The first ever Tech on Tap event was held on Saturday, January 27th, 2012 at the Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton, WI. If you weren’t there, well, you missed it. Notice that keyword in that earlier sentence, Brewpub. Yes, the Tech on Tap events (and there will be more) are… Read more

0 comments, 2,046 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 31 January 2012

Execution Plans, What Do I Look At?

The question came up, what are the top 3-5 things that you look at in a query. I realized then that I hadn’t really written them down. There are some areas that let me know pretty much immediately where problems lie within a plan. You don’t necessarily know the answer… Read more

10 comments, 1,811 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 January 2012

Deadlock Monitoring

There are four different ways you can get information about deadlocks in your system. These are:

  • traceflag 1204
  • traceflag 1222
  • trace events
  • extended events

For years I’ve been pushing traceflag 1222 as the best of the lot. Well, that’s over. I’ve been learning more and more about extended events and… Read more

6 comments, 3,066 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 January 2012


I’m not going to black out my blog, because, let’s face it, who’s going to notice? But for all six of you who read this (and, of course, you Mom), I do want to point out that these are horrific bad bills. They are sponsored by Democrats and Republicans, so… Read more

7 comments, 1,895 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 January 2012

Friday SQL Nugget #1

Gee thanks Jes (blog|twitter). Just what I wanted, a little extra work on a Friday afternoon. I used to like you.

We have a tagging theme started by Ted Krueger (blog|twitter) who I also used to like.

The theme is: Deciding that… Read more

2 comments, 1,427 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 January 2012

Database Backups: Things You Need To Do Now

I want to say a few things about database backups that you need to know.

Wait a minute, haven’t you written about backups before?

Why, yes. Yes I have.

Aaand… you’re doing it again because?

Have you noticed the shocking number of questions that come up on SQL Server Central… Read more

10 comments, 5,055 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 January 2012