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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).

Book Review: Connected

I heard about Connected from a show on NPR (Yes, I listen to NPR, why do people keep saying that?). It was right after another segment talking about how positivity affects your mood and your ability to think and act in a clear fashion. I’ve long been a believer in… Read more

1 comments, 102 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 May 2015

Come to Us or We’ll Come to You

No, that’s not a threat. It’s an offer to help out.

Redgate Software is very serious about the efforts we’re putting into creating the tools needed to support your Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) processes. DLM is a vital part of supporting both Agile development methods and moving towards an automated… Read more

0 comments, 100 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 May 2015

I Am Grateful For…

I’m almost done reading the book Connected (will be by the time this is published). It’s fascinating although, at least so far, little in the way of suggestions for how to take advantage of this information. That however doesn’t change my plans around working on positive thoughts and emotions as… Read more

3 comments, 133 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 May 2015

Is Performance Better With LEFT JOIN or RIGHT JOIN?

I tend to write my queries using LEFT JOIN. Why? Because logically I see it in my head like this:

Give me all the rows from this table and only those rows that match from the other table.

But, wouldn’t this logic work just as well:

Give me only the…

Read more

10 comments, 4,098 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 May 2015

Effects of Persisted Columns on Performance

I live for questions. And my favorite questions are the ones where I’m not completely sure of the answer. Those are the questions that make me stop presenting in order to take a note so I can try to answer the question later, usually in a blog post. Guess where… Read more

15 comments, 3,470 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 May 2015

Speaker of the Month: May 2015

I finally got out to some community events last month and got to see a bunch of great speakers. Not that you don’t see great speakers at paid events, you do. It’s just that they’re usually professional speakers and I want to encourage others when I can.

The Speaker of… Read more

6 comments, 130 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 May 2015

Benefits for Some, All or Only a Few

As a member of the PASS Board of Directors I attended the PASS Business Analytics Conference (BAC) recently. You can read more about it here and here (as well as here).

Let me start with an important note: I am voicing my opinion here as an individual, not an… Read more

20 comments, 101 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 April 2015

PASS Board Update: April 2015

It’s been a pretty interesting month on the board.

First, we did have a little problem. I’m sure one or two of you may have noticed that the SQL Saturday web site was down for a moment. Well, three days. Joking aside, this was a serious problem, but my… Read more

13 comments, 128 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 April 2015

Query Hash Formula Changes Between Versions

The question came up on SQL Server Central that someone wanted to track queries on their 2008R2 instance and on their 2014 instance in order to validate performance after an upgrade. The plan was to use query hash values. I was curious, so I set up a quick test. First,… Read more

3 comments, 130 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 April 2015

Azure SQL Database v12 and SQL Magazine

I spend many of my evenings researching and writing. Sometimes it’s writing new books. Sometimes it’s fixing and rewriting old books. Occasionally it’s a blog post like this one. Lately, it’s been a series of articles for SQL Magazine that are all about the new functionality available in Azure SQL… Read more

0 comments, 137 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 April 2015

Azure SQL Database Firewall Settings

The new portal for managing Azure is pretty. I’m not sure I’m in love with it, but it’s pretty.

However, one thing that I have to access regularly is the firewall settings for my Azure SQL Database. I do demos from all over the place. I never know what my… Read more

2 comments, 4,218 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 April 2015

I Am Grateful For

I decided in January that I would write regularly about people that I’m grateful for. Now it’s April. Oops.

The concepts are simple and science based. Positive emotions help your clarity of thought. Further, your moods and actions extend out through your network to the third layer. With that in… Read more

5 comments, 153 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 April 2015

Error: Unknown Property ismemoryoptimized

If you’re starting the process of moving your databases in Azure SQL Databast to v12, you need to do one thing. Make sure you have SQL Server 2014 CU5 or better installed on your machine with Management Studio (current list of updates). Otherwise, like me, you’ll be looking… Read more

0 comments, 141 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 April 2015

Constraints and SELECT Statements

I’ve posted previously about how a foreign key constraint can change how a SELECT query behaves. Logically that just makes sense. But other types of constraints don’t affect execution plans do they?

Yes.

Let’s take this constraint as an example:

ALTER TABLE Sales.SalesOrderDetail WITH CHECK 
ADD  CONSTRAINT CK_SalesOrderDetail_UnitPrice 
CHECK…

Read more

8 comments, 5,564 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 April 2015

Speaker of the Month: April 2015

One of my favorite events of the year is the SQL Saturday in Silicon Valley. They’ve had four of them and I’ve gone to three (had to miss last year, scheduling conflict). It’s a fantastic event and Mark Ginnebaugh (b|t) does a great job putting… Read more

0 comments, 114 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 April 2015

PASS Board Update: March 2015

Hello all,

It’s been a while since my last update. Sorry. I’ve just been traveling and presenting and working on books and this slipped through the cracks a bit. I’ll try to do better in the future.

Nothing major to report. As a board member I’ve been working primarily on… Read more

6 comments, 130 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 31 March 2015

Does the New Cardinality Estimator Reduce Bad Parameter Sniffing

No. Next question.

Although, that answer can be slightly, ever so slightly, nuanced…

Parameter sniffing is a good thing. But, like a good wine, parameter sniffing can go bad. It always comes down to your statistics. A very accurate set of statistics with very little data skew (some values that… Read more

0 comments, 6,004 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 March 2015

Toshiba Portege Z301-A Review

Last year I purchased a Lenovo W530. Nightmares then ensued. Nice laptop if you just want to use it as a laptop, and only a laptop. Horror show if you need to present from it. So, I replaced it with an HP… which also gave me some troubles (try presenting… Read more

1 comments, 145 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 March 2015

Simple Parameterization and Data Types

Simple paramaterization occurs when the optimizer determines that a query would benefit from a reusable plan, so it takes the hard coded values and converts them to a parameter. Great stuff. But…

Let’s take this example. Here’s a very simple query:

SELECT ct.*
FROM    Person.ContactType AS ct
WHERE   ct.ContactTypeID =…

Read more

1 comments, 6,161 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 March 2015

How To Speak At SQL Saturday Events

The PASS SQL Saturday events are meant to be a place to grow the pool of speakers, provide a mechanism for the speakers to learn, and fulfill the PASS goals of Connect, Share and Learn. So, you’ve decided you want to start speaking at a SQL Saturday event. Cool. You… Read more

8 comments, 164 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 March 2015

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