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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).

Why You Should Change the Cost Threshold for Parallelism

I’ve written several times about the Cost Threshold for Parallelism and it’s relationship to your execution plans, how to determine your execution plan cost, and even how to decide what value to set your Cost Threshold to. What I haven’t explicitly addressed in extremely clear terms is why you… Read more

2 comments, 1,529 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 March 2017

Help Me, Help You, Deliver DevOps

I believe in DevOps.

Actually, that’s a pretty horrible way to put it. It’s not about belief, like keeping Tinkerbell alive.

I have successfully worked within an environment that implemented a DevOps approach to development, deployment and maintenance. I also provide classes and consulting on how to approach DevOps from… Read more

2 comments, 929 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 March 2017

SQL Clone and a Little Competition

Redgate has released a new product, SQL Clone. I’ve already talked about how excited I am about it. Now, it’s your turn to get excited.

Our developers evidently had too much time on their hands after building SQL Clone. They created a skill in Alexa that lets you clone… Read more

10 comments, 1,132 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 March 2017

Random Blog Post Challenge

OK, for no particular reason at all or maybe because I had too much food at lunch or just because Jason Hall gave me the idea, here’s a blog post challenge for anyone who wants to take it up. Write a technical blog post that incorporates this image:

Link… Read more

13 comments, 150 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 March 2017

Determining the Cost Threshold for Parallelism

In the previous post, I showed how you can get full listings of your execution plan costs. Knowing what the values you’re dealing with for the estimated costs on your execution plans can help you determine what the Cost Threshold on your system should be. However, we don’t want… Read more

15 comments, 955 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 February 2017

SQL Clone

Today is the launch of SQL Clone, a great new tool that helps you quickly and easily provision SQL Server databases for development and testing.

Oh god, that sounds like marketing speak. To heck with that. Let me tell you why I’m so excited about SQL Clone and why… Read more

4 comments, 886 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 February 2017

I Don’t Understand

I suspect this may make a few people angry, but I felt the need to share.

I was recently asked to go through my contacts and put together calls with some technologists for a series of discussions. OK. I thought about what we’d need, compared it to a mental list… Read more

10 comments, 2,220 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 February 2017

Confusion of An Old Technologist

As someone who still actively pursues a career in technology, I’m a little on the older side. I got started in tech when a lot of the people I know were still in elementary school. So please understand that when I write the rest of this little… rant.

I read… Read more

16 comments, 169 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 February 2017

Estimated Costs of All Queries

One question constantly comes up; What should the Cost Threshold for Parallelism be? The default value of 5 is pretty universally denigrated (well, not by Microsoft, but by most everyone else). However, what value should you set yours to?

What Do Your Plans Cost?

I have a question right back… Read more

10 comments, 1,851 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 February 2017

Export All Plans From Cache to a .SQLPLAN File

I was asked if there was an easy way to export all the plans from cache to a .SQLPLAN file. My immediate answer was, “I’m sure there’s a PowerShell script out there somewhere.” However, rather than do a Gingle search, I figured I’d quickly knock up an example.

The Script

Read more

2 comments, 399 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 February 2017

Does Query Store Pre-Allocate Space

I love the questions I get while I’m presenting because they force me to think and learn. The question in the title is one I received recently. The answer, now that I’m not standing in front of people, is easy. Of course the space is not pre-allocated. Query Store tables… Read more

2 comments, 933 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 February 2017

Still Grateful to Rodney Landrum

So, my blog got hacked. They edited the page where I thanked Rodney for all that he did. I had to remove that post as a part of the cleanup (still ongoing). However, I couldn’t let that stand. I’ve used caching on the internet to track down the original post… Read more

0 comments, 146 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 February 2017

I have been hacked

I’m working on securing the blog. Please stand by. Apologies for any inconvenience or confusion.

The post I have been hacked appeared first on Grant Fritchey.

Read more

3 comments, 342 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 February 2017

Data About Execution Plans

If you look at the Properties for the first operator of a graphical execution plan, you get all sorts of great information. I’ve talked about the data available there and how important it is in this older post. Checking out the properties of a plan you’re working on is… Read more

3 comments, 256 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 January 2017

Scheduling Statistics Maintenance in Azure SQL Data Warehouse

The power and capabilities of Azure SQL Data Warehouse are pretty amazing. However, it’s still basically SQL Server under the covers. SQL Server still needs maintenance and one type of maintenance is keeping statistics up to date. Statistics maintenance is doubly important within Azure SQL Data Warehouse because statistics are… Read more

4 comments, 757 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 January 2017

Query Optimizer and Data Definition Language Queries

Data Definition Language queries don’t go through the optimizer, right? While normally, my short answer to this question in the past would have been, yes. However, with testing comes knowledge and I want to be sure about the statement.

I’m working with a team of people to completely rewrite the… Read more

3 comments, 219 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 January 2017

Database Configuration

It’s amazing just how much the landscape changed with the release of SQL Server 2016 SP1. For example, I just found out that you can disable parameter sniffing at the database level using the database configuration. Not only does this work for SQL Server 2016 SP1, but it’s enabled for… Read more

1 comments, 219 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 December 2016

PASS Board: Year-End Wrap-Up

This month concludes my second full year on the PASS Board of Directors and my first full year on the Executive Committee. This year has been exciting, challenging, educational, and, I truly believe, useful to the organization. We’ve accomplished a lot. We will do more.

Year In Review

I have… Read more

0 comments, 168 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 December 2016

OPTIMIZE FOR Hints When Parameter Sniffing is Turned Off

While presenting recently and talking about dealing with bad Parameter Sniffing, I got the question; what happens to OPTIMIZE FOR hints when parameter sniffing is disabled?

This is my favorite kind of question because the answer is simple: I don’t know.

Parameter Sniffing

For those who don’t know, parameter sniffing… Read more

7 comments, 202 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 December 2016

Presentations for SQL Server Beginners

Tired from all those blog posts

For my final blog post in the #gettingstarted, #iwanttohelp series, I decided to curate a set of presentations from the PASS Virtual Chapters. This content is available online. It’s free. Most importantly for the person just getting started as a SQL Server data pro,… Read more

3 comments, 2,570 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 December 2016

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