Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 

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).

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, 930 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, 208 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, 121 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

0 comments, 153 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, 183 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, 563 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 April 2014

Thanks For Stopping By

Yesterday I passed 300,000 views on the blog. Recently I went over 1,000 comments. My little joke on Tuesday garnered over 2,000 views alone. I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by and reading about my struggles to understand SQL Server, Azure, our amazing community and whatever else… Read more

3 comments, 170 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 April 2014

SQL Server 2014 New Defaults

Today, April 1st, 2014, marks the release of SQL Server 2014. There are tons and tons of great new methods and functions and processes within the product. We’re all going to be learning about them for quite a while to come. One of the most exciting though is one of… Read more

10 comments, 255 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 April 2014

Save Money On Your Training Server

You can spend less money. Some of us are lucky. We work for very large corporations who can easily set aside a spare desktop or even space on a rack for a server on which we can train. Others of us are not as lucky. We work for smaller organizations… Read more

10 comments, 1,311 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 March 2014

PASS DBA Virtual Chapter Talk

I almost forgot to tell you about the Database Administration Virtual Chapter meeting next week, March 26th, 2014. I’ll be doing a talk about query tuning in Windows Azure SQL Database. It’s a talk I’ve given before (it was in the top 10 at the PASS Summit last year). Come… Read more

0 comments, 176 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 March 2014

Query Tuning Near You

It really is so much easier to just throw hardware at badly performing databases. Just buy a bigger, faster server with more and faster disks and you can put off doing tuning work for another 6-9 months, easily. But, for most of us, sooner or later, our performance problems get… Read more

0 comments, 245 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 March 2014

Finding Mistakes

Ever had that moment where you start getting errors from code that you’ve tested a million times? I had that one recently. I had this little bit of code for pulling information directly from query plans in cache:

WITH XMLNAMESPACES(DEFAULT N'http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/showplan'),
QueryPlans AS
(
SELECT RelOp.pln.value(N'@PhysicalOp', N'varchar(50)') AS OperatorName,
RelOp.pln.value(N'@NodeId',N'integer')…

Read more

2 comments, 155 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 March 2014

SQL Saturday: You can’t have it all.

SQL Saturday’s are awesome! Let’s get that clear up front. The organizers of SQL Saturday events are glorious individuals. Let’s get that clear too.

I want to be up front about those things because, well, I’m going to be critical.

First though, I want to establish my bona fides… Read more

10 comments, 169 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 March 2014

sp_updatestats Is Not Smart

No, I don’t mean the use of sp_updatestats is not smart. It’s a fine, quick mechanism for getting statistics updated in your system. But the procedure itself is not smart. I keep seeing stuff like “sp_updatestats knows which statistics need to be updated” and similar statements.

Nope.

Not true.

Wanna… Read more

4 comments, 184 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 March 2014

Speaker of the Month, March 2014

This never gets easier. I was able to attend a bunch of sessions in the last month from a number of speakers that I’d never seen before. A lot of them were good, very good. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I think the general level of… Read more

3 comments, 177 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 March 2014

Let’s Talk Query Tuning

I spend quite a bit of time writing about query tuning on this blog. I’ve written (re-written and am actively re-writing) books on query tuning. But what I like most is talking about query tuning. I love giving sessions at various events on different aspects of query tuning, but, what… Read more

2 comments, 177 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 February 2014

SQL Intersection, Spring 2014

I am terribly jazzed to be involved with this amazing event, SQL Intersection. It’s featuring some truly amazing speakers presenting on important topics. It’s being held here on the East Coast, right near the Mouse, the Duck and Dog. This is one of those conferences you need to… Read more

0 comments, 824 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 February 2014

Approachable? Sometimes.

Deservedly so, I got called out for a bit of attitude I displayed in a recent blog post: Time for a Quick Rant. Steve Hood took the general attitude of “Do this or I will beat you” to task in his blog post The Approachable DBA.

Granted, my… Read more

10 comments, 1,105 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 February 2014

The CASE Statement and Performance

In case you don’t know, this query:

UPDATE dbo.Test1
SET C2 = 2
WHERE C1 LIKE '%33%';

Will run quite a bit slower than this query:

UPDATE dbo.Test1
SET C2 = 1
WHERE C1 LIKE '333%';

Or this one:

UPDATE dbo.Test1
SET C2 = 1
WHERE C1 = '333';

That’s… Read more

10 comments, 4,476 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 February 2014

SQL Server 2014 and the New Cardinality Estimator

Cardinality, basically the number of rows being processed by an operation with the optimizer, is a calculation predicated on the statistics available for the columns in question. The statistics used are generally either the values from the histogram or the density. Prior to SQL Server 2014, and going all the… Read more

1 comments, 187 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 February 2014

Newer posts

Older posts