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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).

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, 198 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, 194 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, 841 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, 1,128 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, 4,506 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, 202 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 February 2014

Speaker of the Month, February 2014

I didn’t get out to many events in January, so I was somewhat limited in the pool of presenters that I could choose from. Luckily for me, that pool primarily consisted of the entire Caribbean since I was on the SQL Cruise. There I got to see some of… Read more

0 comments, 173 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 February 2014

Thank You!

I am humbled and honored (and more than a little horrified) to be on this list of the Best of PASS Summit 2013. I mean look at those names. Every single one is a person I look up to and respect and learn from constantly. How I made a… Read more

0 comments, 206 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 February 2014

Book Review: The Phoenix Project

Let’s get this straight right up front, the thought of reading a novel that’s about IT is so repellent, so repugnant, just so horribly wrong, that it’s kind of hard to fathom why I would even attempt it. What’s even more difficult for me to fathom is how much I… Read more

6 comments, 942 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 February 2014

Time for a Quick Rant

This is an actual quote from what we can only assume is a functional human being:

The database is very big so we stopped taking backup’s.

Eight lords a leaping are you kidding me? Seriously! Seriously? By the Great Gu and all the Valkyries in Valhalla, you stopped taking backups… Read more

10 comments, 208 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 January 2014

Database in Source Control

Many years ago, I was working with a great DBA. Seriously, a very smart and capable guy. He told me, “We need to put the database into source control, just like app code.” And I just laughed. Not because I disagreed with him. I knew he was right, but I… Read more

10 comments, 264 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 January 2014

Sausage Making

For those who don’t know, I work for Red Gate Software. I’m not a developer, but I work directly for the development teams so I spend a lot of time with them. This week I’m over in the UK, where they are headquartered, meeting with the different teams and… Read more

6 comments, 1,441 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 January 2014

Speaker of the Month, January 2014

A whole new year. Cool.

I was at SQL Saturday DC, #233, at the beginning of December. I sat through several really good presentations. I could honestly give the award this month to any of the ones I took notes on, but I have to pick one person (although, not… Read more

2 comments, 162 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 January 2014

Tribal Awards: Vote Now!

The #tribalawards voting is now online. Get over there and get it done.

I honestly don’t care who you vote for because that is a great list of wonderful people in every single category. But if I were to pick one category, in which I’m nominated, that I’d like… Read more

2 comments, 513 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 December 2013

How to Set Up Managed Backups in SQL Server 2014

Earlier this week I introduced the concept of Managed Backups (and caused less of a turmoil than I thought I would). Now I want to show you how it works. It’s really simple and quite well documented. Before you get to the, insanely simple, task of actually enabling Managed… Read more

2 comments, 310 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 December 2013

Speaking in 2014

I love that I get to travel around and learn from my #sqlfamily. We’re still filling in the majority of the 2014 schedule, but the plans are to go to as many events as Mrs. Scary will let me. I’d like to alert you to a couple coming up in… Read more

0 comments, 146 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 December 2013

Introducing Managed Backups in SQL Server 2014

Some of the new functionality of 2014 is straight forward, non-controversial and easily welcomed by the community. Think, updateable column store indexes. Some of the new functionality is going to raise an eyebrow or three (most of the time, not on one person, but you know the #sqlfamily, we have… Read more

3 comments, 838 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 December 2013

SQL Server 2014 Backup to URL

I’m absolutely in love with the concept of being able to create a backup directly to a protected, off-site location. Yeah, you can spend all sorts of money on terribly wonderful technology to enable that within your enterprise. And if you have that kind of money, great. But, what if… Read more

2 comments, 789 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 December 2013

Speaker of the Month, December 2013

This will be my fifth speaker of the month post. Do a search to see the others.

I try to find speakers that people may not have heard of who are out there, working hard, doing a good job. But, sometimes, I’m going to see a presentation by someone who… Read more

0 comments, 151 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 December 2013

Windows Azure Views

It’s kind of fun to see Azure development artifacts on display. I’ve posted about them before, a couple of times. I’m starting to finally get systematized about the whole thing, just so I can see stuff as it changes rather than discover them by accident or get told about them… Read more

3 comments, 193 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 November 2013

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