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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).

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, 4,323 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, 190 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, 267 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, 5,688 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, 145 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, 170 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, 6,135 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, 167 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, 6,314 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, 198 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 March 2015

Speaker of the Month: February & March 2015

It’s not a question of scheduling. I just haven’t been to lots of community events in the last several months so that I can see community speakers and find one to give an award to. I’ve been trying. So, we’re giving out two awards this month (my blog, my award,… Read more

0 comments, 206 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 March 2015

Monitoring for Timeouts

The question came up at SQL Rally, “Can you use Extended Events to monitor for query timeouts?”

My immediate response was yes… and then I stood there trying to think of exactly how I’d do it. Nothing came quickly to mind. So, I promised to track down the answer… Read more

4 comments, 6,316 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 March 2015

Upcoming Events Where We Can Chat

I get around quite a bit.

Next week I’ll be visiting three cities in Germany talking to user groups in Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of March, respectively. Here’s the one link I can find for information. EDIT: Here’s Cologne and here’s Munich.

Next,… Read more

0 comments, 179 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 March 2015

No Such Thing as a DevOps DBA

Sjor Takes (b|t) has just barely started blogging, but he’s got a great post about a discussion he had with a colleague. It’s worth a read. When you get done, I’ll provide my answer to the question posed at the start and conclusion of his post.

I had… Read more

7 comments, 217 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 March 2015

How to do DevOps as a SQL Server DBA

You recognize that you need to provide a pipeline for database deployments, that you need to automate as much support for your development teams as you possibly can, that you have to have testing in place to ensure protection of the production environment, that you need to speed your processes.… Read more

2 comments, 283 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 February 2015

DevOps, the DBA, and the word “No”

Check out this DevOps Reactions animated GIF and caption.

It’s funny on multiple levels, but it also makes me both mad and disappointed.

I get mad because it’s 2015. Surely by now most of us, especially those who have worked in the enterprise with development teams, know that the old… Read more

10 comments, 5,663 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 February 2015

Oh Look, A Horseless Carriage

Never forget, we’re making buggy whips. And everybody we know drives little buggies and they need our buggy whips. We’ve got a special talent, a unique knowledge set, and it’s fulfilling a defined need. So we’re all set, right?

Well, other than that Stanley Steamer over there. And maybe that… Read more

8 comments, 211 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 January 2015

My First Board Meeting

Parents, you know that feeling you get after you’ve brought home that brand new baby (or in my case, babies) where you suddenly say to yourself, “Oh damn. What have I done?” Yeah, that’s my feeling after my first board meeting. But let me give you a run-through of how… Read more

9 comments, 5,849 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 January 2015

Understand the True Source of Problems

There’s an old joke that goes, “Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this.” While the person in question swings their arm over their head. The doctor’s response is, “Don’t do that.” Problem solved, right? Well, maybe not. Let’s take a quick example from life. I do crossfit (yeah, I’m… Read more

10 comments, 222 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 January 2015

Two Weeks on the PASS Board

The one absolute promise I made about serving on the PASS Board is that I would let you know what I was doing there. Well, we’re two weeks in and I figured now was a good time for a report.

Next week is my first board meeting (and I will… Read more

10 comments, 185 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 January 2015

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