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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).

Statistics and Natively Compiled Procedures

Statistics are one of the single most important driving factors for the behavior of the query optimizer. The cardinality estimates stored within the statistics drive costing and costing drives the decision making of the optimizer. So, how does this work with the new SQL Server 2014 natively compiled procedures? Differently. Read more

2 comments, 1,499 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 July 2014

The Curse of Working With A DBA

I no more than finished my rant from last week than I started thinking about all the reasons why a healthy chunk of the reasons that developers want to bypass relational database is not the horror of the relational database itself, although, that’s there. No, a very large reason why… Read more

10 comments, 293 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 June 2014

Passion

I know I tend to be overly passionate. It’s something that has gotten me into trouble in the past. It’s also probably a huge factor in the things I’ve been able to accomplish in life. I’m bringing it up at this time because I think passion is causing some conflict… Read more

10 comments, 172 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 June 2014

The Utility of Execution Plans in Natively Compiled Procedures

I’m actually having problems identifying the utility of execution plans when working with natively compiled procedures. Or, put another way, why bother? I’ve posted a couple of times on natively compiled procedures and SQL Server execution plans. I’ve found the differences interesting and enlightening, but I’m seriously questioning why I… Read more

2 comments, 985 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 June 2014

The Curse of Relational Databases

Let’s face it, none of Information Technology is easy. Oh yeah, there are those few geniuses that have an absolute grasp over some small aspect of the stack, or those other geniuses that have a very shallow knowledge level, but understand the entire stack. But the stack itself, it’s vast,… Read more

10 comments, 3,849 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 June 2014

Natively Compiled Procedures and Bad Execution Plans

I’ve been exploring how natively compiled procedures are portrayed within execution plans. There have been two previous posts on the topic, the first discussing the differences in the first operator, the second discussing the differences everywhere else. Now, I’m really interested in generating bad execution plans. But, the… Read more

2 comments, 275 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 June 2014

Differences In Native Compiled Procedures Execution Plans

All the wonderful functionality that in-memory tables and natively compiled procedures provide in SQL Server 2014 is pretty cool. But, changes to core of the engine results in changes in things that we may have developed a level of comfort with. In my post last week I pointed out that… Read more

3 comments, 920 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 June 2014

Speaker of the Month, June 2014

It’s not like I can’t find plenty of great presentations here in the US, but, while I was over in Belgium at Techorama I checked out several of the presenters there. They were awesome. This was the first ever Techorama. It’s a developer focused event, but there was stuff there… Read more

0 comments, 169 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 June 2014

Natively Compiled Procedures and Execution Plans

The combination of in-memory tables and natively compiled procedures in SQL Server 2014 makes for some seriously screaming fast performance. Add in all the cool functionality around optimistic locking, hash indexes and all the rest, and we’re talking about a fundamental shift in behavior. But… Ah, you knew that was… Read more

2 comments, 340 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 June 2014

Add an Instance to SQL Server Azure Virtual Machine

How do you add an instance to your local SQL Server installation? You run the executable that you probably downloaded from MSDN or maybe from a CD. Works the same on an Azure VM right? Sure… but wait. Do I have to go and download the software to my VM… Read more

8 comments, 611 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 May 2014

Carolina Cruise

I’m going to speak at three user groups in three days in North and South Carolina. Evidently this is known as the Carolina Cruise.  Here are all the details. And yeah, that’s me and a bunch of Scouts down in the Florida Keys at Seabase. I’m really looking forward… Read more

0 comments, 175 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 May 2014

Speaker of the Month, May 2014

Whoa! Another month gone by already? I guess I better pick a speaker of the month then. I went to several events this month, so selection was difficult, getting to see so many great speakers. But, one stood out in my mind, partly because he’s the least experienced speaker I’ve… Read more

8 comments, 587 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 May 2014

Azure Automation

I introduced Azure Automation in a previous post. I’ve spent some more time exploring it.

There’s a set of documentation available as I noted before. Unfortunately, reading through the full set of documentation, I have some criticisms to offer. The layout of the documentation goes through “Common runbook tasks”… Read more

2 comments, 262 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 April 2014

I Am Better Than You

That is a patently false statement and total BS. It sure does crawl up your spine though doesn’t it? Why then do we need to do this?

I read an article, “How DevOps is Killing the Developer,” and, frankly, was a little put off by this:

Good developers…

Read more

10 comments, 242 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 April 2014

Microsoft Azure Automation

Microsoft just announced a new mechanism for managing your Azure resources, Automation. You can check out the documentation on it here. It’s a mechanism to create runbooks using PowerShell that you can then combine with other runbooks inside a runbook, etc. Let’s check it out. I’m doing everything you… Read more

2 comments, 971 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 April 2014

SQL Server First Aid

If you take basic first aid, say a CPR course, you’ll learn a handy mnemonic for the primary assessment you have to make, A-B-C. That breaks down as Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Is there an open airway so they can breathe? Are they breathing? Do they have circulation, a pulse, are… Read more

10 comments, 230 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 April 2014

Sharing a Good Idea

I posted earlier about my experiments with Microsoft Curah!. (yes, technically the period should follow the exclamation since the exclamation is part of the name, not the end of the sentence) Evidently people actually read this blog because it inspired Stephen Bennet to start putting together his own curations… Read more

0 comments, 130 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 April 2014

I’m a Traveling Man

We are coming into quite a busy time for my speaking schedule. I’m hitting the road. It does one thing for me that I truly love, I get to talk to people. So, if you have questions, want to chat, need to call me a pompous know-it-all to my face,… Read more

2 comments, 174 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 April 2014

Curation and Performance

I’m trying out a new web site from Microsoft called Curah! that is all about curation. Curation is basically what blogging started out as. Blogs, short for Web Log, was really just a collection of links you’d visited recently and what you thought about them. But it’s grown into all… Read more

6 comments, 203 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 April 2014

Speaker of the Month, April 2014

I’m really enjoying picking a speaker of the month. It forces me to sit through a lot more sessions at the events I attend. I had been getting rather slack about attending sessions. It’s easy to get caught up in networking so much that you’re not taking advantage of the… Read more

4 comments, 593 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 April 2014

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