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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 2013

One for My SQL Sisters

Women, for the entire male half of the population, I apologize.

Those who know me well recognize, pretty easily, that I am hardly “politically correct.” My mode of address can be blunt and even rude. But… I think it’s also recognized that I’m very even-handed with my blunt statements. Female… Read more

10 comments, 1,760 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 August 2013

Windows Azure SQL Database and Throttling

When I present on Windows Azure SQL Database, one of the biggest concerns comes up around throttling. Just the concept that your queries might be shut down because they use too many resources tends to freak people out. I’m not sure why. I think we ought to have the same… Read more

0 comments, 1,501 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 August 2013

Learn Query Tuning in Dallas

I am excited to be able to tell you about an all day seminar that I’ll be putting on prior to the Dallas SQL Saturday #255. The seminar will be on November 1, 2013. It’s called Query Performance Tuning in SQL Server. We’re going to cover the topic… Read more

0 comments, 628 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 August 2013

Check Your Azure Account Usage

It is absolutely not cool or fun to pay money to learn new technology. One of the main complaints people had for learning Azure (and AWS for that matter) is that they had to register with a credit card and actually put their own money on the line to try… Read more

1 comments, 765 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 August 2013

Make the PASS Summit Work For Your Employer

It was pointed out to me that since PASS is such a huge networking event, any employer would be crazy to send a good employee to the event. They’ll just come back and hand in their two weeks notice. You know, that’s entirely possible. But, let’s not confuse networking with… Read more

2 comments, 1,937 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 August 2013

SQL CAT is on the Move

Not a big deal really, but they’re consolidating from the SQLCAT.COM to put everything on MSDN.

Read all about it here.

I love the SQL Customer Advisory Team. They tackle some of the hardest problems out there and then tell us about how they did it. That’s a resource you… Read more

0 comments, 706 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 August 2013

Get Started with Windows Azure SQL Database

Learning new things can be daunting. First, you have to come up with the spare time. Then you have track down resources. For computers, computing and programming, this is both extremely easy and extremely difficult. That difficulty is especially true when it comes to gathering resources for learning things that,… Read more

2 comments, 2,397 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 August 2013

Speaking this Fall

I’ve been at home through the whole month of August, restingworking hard, but it’s time to get on the road again.

First up, it’s off to San Diego for two events. On Friday, September 20th, Red Gate (my Lord and Master) is hosting a free afternoon session of training.… Read more

0 comments, 852 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 August 2013

Azure Changes, While I’m Working

My laptop is out for repair. I’m working currently on a Surface Pro instead. It’s spurred me to do something I’ve been meaning to do anyway. I’ve started setting up a full demo & testing VM on Azure. I already had the VM up and running (it takes 5 minutes… Read more

0 comments, 789 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 August 2013

Azure and Your MSDN Account

I’ve heard over and over again that the reason people don’t want to learn Azure, to explore it, to understand where it’s applicable to them and their business (and where it’s not, because, it does have well-defined limitations) is because they don’t want to pay for it.



Do… Read more

3 comments, 732 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 August 2013

You should NOT attend the PASS Summit

If you asked me, prior to today, if I would type or say those words, I would have laughed right at you.

But then, I saw this question on Ask SQL Server Central. It’s from a college student, not yet twenty-one, who was considering paying his (assuming it’s a… Read more

10 comments, 735 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 August 2013

Be Cautious When Critizing About Guidance

I recently posted some comments about some guidance offered by Microsoft when talking about the CXPACKET wait type. Nothing I said was wrong, no. But, evidently there are a few whip smart and agile people who work for Microsoft. Specifically, Rick Byham, who works for the team tasked… Read more

7 comments, 667 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 August 2013

24 Hours of PASS Streaming Available

If you missed the 24 Hours of PASS Summit 2013 Preview, you missed some excellent sessions. I watched a few, but not all. But now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can go back and catch the ones I missed. You can too.

I’d like to call… Read more

0 comments, 1,227 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 August 2013

Be Cautious Offering Guidance

Guidance is hard.

Seriously, you’d think it would be easy. You’d think you say things like, don’t shrink your database, most tables should have a clustered index, never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line, don’t mix sharks and tornados, and that would be it. You’d be… Read more

10 comments, 2,310 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 August 2013

Speaker of the Month, August 2013

I’m trying out a new blog post series, mostly for myself as an exercise. I’m going to pick one speaker each month that I’ve seen present recently and tell you what I thought of them. Now, don’t panic. If you stunk up the place, I won’t abuse you… by name.… Read more

6 comments, 617 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 August 2013