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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).

Do You Teach Azure Data Platform?

I offer instruction on the Azure Data Platform, and have for about six years, since shortly after it came out. I started using Azure SQL Database (although it had a different name then) Day 1.

I know a few other people who don’t work for Microsoft, but have been actively… Read more

2 comments, 174 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 March 2016

Query Store and Optimize For Ad Hoc

I love presenting sessions because you get so many interesting questions. For example, what happens with Optimize for Ad Hoc when Query Store is enabled? Great question. I didn’t have the answer, so, on to testing.

For those who don’t know, Optimize for Ad Hoc is a mechanism for dealing… Read more

5 comments, 1,254 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 March 2016

Happy Dance!

I’m all like:

Because I saw this on an eval:

I’ve been trying to ramp up to take advantage of my MSDN subscription and haven’t known where to start. I don’t have that excuse now.

And then I was all like:

Because:

We are moving a lot of stuff to…

Read more

4 comments, 186 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 March 2016

PASS Board 2016: Update #2

Time flies. I didn’t notice that I hadn’t posted an update in February.

There’s been a lot going on since I last posted! I’ve attended the executive committee meetings. I’ve also hosted my first board meetings and I took part in my first Town Hall. I’ve been working with PASS… Read more

0 comments, 156 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 March 2016

Cross Database Query in Azure SQL Database

You can’t query across databases in Azure SQL Database… or can you?

Let’s check. I’ve created two new databases on an existing server:

I’ve created two tables on each respective database:

CREATE TABLE dbo.DB1Table (
     ID INT IDENTITY(1, 1)
            NOT NULL
            PRIMARY KEY,
     Val VARCHAR(50)
    );


CREATE TABLE dbo.DB2Table (…

Read more

10 comments, 957 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 March 2016

Opportunities To Talk

It’s weird being an introvert who likes to talk to people, but what can I do. I like talking to people. I have a number of upcoming trips, quite literally all over the world, that provide us with the opportunities to get together and have a chat.

First, I’ll be… Read more

2 comments, 192 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 March 2016

Leadership Lessons

Not for you, for me.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statement: Praise in public. Criticize in private.

I agree with this approach. However, I find it extremely difficult to do. It’s one of the fundamental proofs that all leadership, all life for that matter, is about constant practice and discipline.… Read more

1 comments, 1,447 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 March 2016

SQL Server Backups Are A Business Decision

Blog post #3 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel

Read more about Tim’s challenge here.

It’s very easy to think of SQL Server backups as a technical problem. You have so much stuff going on, BACKUP DATABASE commands, recovery models, BACKUP LOG… Read more

1 comments, 1,429 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 March 2016

Speaker of the Month: March 2016

I’m finally getting back out to community events so I should be able to avoid giving this gigantic honor to professional speakers for a month or two. My Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Ron Dameron (b|t)

I saw Ron’s presentation Monitoring & Alerting… Read more

3 comments, 179 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 March 2016

Wait Statistics in Azure SQL Database

You need to be aware that you’re going to see differences when you’re working with Azure SQL Database when it comes to wait statistics. If you’re running a v12 Azure SQL Database (and if you’re not, go fix it), you can run a query against sys.dm_os_wait_stats. Here’s the output for… Read more

4 comments, 745 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 February 2016

Query Store and Recompile

One of the many advantages of SQL Cruise is the ability to have enough time during a presentation to be able to answer questions from the people there in great detail. One question came up while I was showing the new functionality of Query Store (available soon in SQL Server… Read more

5 comments, 190 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 February 2016

Why Is The Server Slow?

This is blog post #2 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel.

If you haven’t been working in SQL Server for very long, you may not have got this phone call yet, but you will:

Hi, yeah, the server is slow. Thanks. Bye.

Let’s pretend… Read more

1 comments, 2,267 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 February 2016

Azure SQL Database Error

I was on SQL Cruise where I was scheduled to present a session on Azure SQL Database. I recorded all my demonstrations before we went to sea, but, I planned to attempt to try live demo’s. Yeah, yeah. Well, anyway, I got a unique error when I attempted to connect: Read more

4 comments, 193 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 February 2016

Loading Data into Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Ouch.

Let’s start with the level set. I’m not an ETL expert. In fact, I haven’t done any professional ETL work for several years. My skills are, at best, rusty. With this in mind, I knew I’d have a hard time extracting data from a local database in order to… Read more

9 comments, 612 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 February 2016

Speaker of the Month: February 2016

I’ve been a little remiss on this. I just haven’t been getting out to see people speak for a while (no travel is nice). However, I’m back in the airplane seats again, so these blog posts are off and running again.

Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Jason… Read more

0 comments, 210 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 February 2016

Positivity

I’m sitting in the classroom of SQL Cruise listening to Tim Ford (b|t) explain mechanisms for monitoring indexes. It’s a great class. Earlier in the week I got to hear Jes Borland (b|t) talk about extended events and do a session on… Read more

1 comments, 220 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 February 2016

Learning R: Happy With My Book Choice

This is just a quick update. I wrote about the two books I’m using to learn R. Well, I’m extremely happy with my choices, especially with the Using R for Introductory Statistics book. It has problems at the end of each chapter. No, unlike our elementary school math books the… Read more

0 comments, 211 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 February 2016

PASS Board 2016: Update #1

Hello everyone. Just because I’ve moved on to the executive committee doesn’t mean I’m walking away from these reports. I will continue to communicate all that I can about my role as EVP throughout the year. One of our commitments this year is providing greater insight into each of the… Read more

0 comments, 242 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 January 2016

The Importance of a Full Backup in SQL Server

This is the first of 12 posts this year in support of Tim Ford’s #iwanttohelp initiative. These will be completely 100 level, introductory blog posts meant to help people that are just getting started as data professionals. I’ll try to cover several different topics over the year, but felt I… Read more

2 comments, 235 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 January 2016

Finding Your Query in Query Store

Query Store is pretty amazing. I’m loving working with it. I think it’s likely to change how query tuning will be done in the future. Lots of people are probably going to just use the reports and tools in SQL Server Management Studio. However, a pretty healthy chunk of us… Read more

1 comments, 1,752 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 January 2016

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