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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).

Say Thank You

I was approached by a man at SQL Bits who only wanted to thank me for blogging. He said, “I know you probably never hear from anyone, but you should. Thanks for what you do.” I’m not mentioning his name because he promised me he’d write an editorial for publication,… Read more

10 comments, 7,325 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 August 2014

Speaker of the Month: August 2014

Speaker of the Month is now officially one year old.

I went back and reread my first post. The goals were for a relentlessly positive experience. Reading back through the twelve posts, I feel like I hit that mark pretty well. Yes, I’ve always pointed out places where improvements can… Read more

6 comments, 6,606 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 August 2014

Challenge Accepted

There seemed to be some question whether my comfort level with my own masculinity would prevent me from wearing these:

Oh please! Couldn’t we be a little more challenging? Anyway, here’s the deal, you donate to a good cause, Doctors Without Borders. We hit 10K and I’ll sport those… Read more

6 comments, 182 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 July 2014

Victims of Success

I took part in the PASS Summit 2014 selection committee this year because I was really curious about seeing how the sausage gets made. I’ve seen how actual sausage gets made and I still eat sausage.  Despite a few hiccups and communication issues, internal and external, I think the selection… Read more

5 comments, 151 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 July 2014

Execution Plan Details

I wouldn’t say it’s common knowledge that you should look at execution plans when tuning queries, but it’s not exactly uncommon knowledge either. But, people tend to get focused on just looking at the graphical part of the plan and there’s just not enough information there. Let’s take a look… Read more

1 comments, 9,326 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 July 2014

Speaker of the Month, July 2014

Another month another bunch of great presentations. I almost don’t want to do this any more. It’s hard. I sit through a presentation and I think, “Well, here’s the winner this month.” Then I go to another presentation and I think, “Well, fudge, now one of these people loses.” Then… Read more

0 comments, 180 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 July 2014

Worst Day of a DBAs Life

Red Gate Software is running a campaign around coping with the worst day of a DBAs life. We’ve been posting some really fun stories with, I hope, a kernel of useful information inside each. Chances are, if your DBA career has been like mine, your worst days don’t involve explosions… Read more

4 comments, 243 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 July 2014

Reflections on the 2014 PASS Summit Selection Process

Oh we are a bunch of high school kids at heart. Maybe high school never ends (and there’s a nightmare, god I hated high school). But, there’s been drama about the 2014 PASS Summit sessions and the Selection Committee’s work. I was on the committee. I worked as a part… Read more

9 comments, 387 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 July 2014

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

5 comments, 1,594 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, 399 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, 291 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, 1,084 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, 4,043 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, 352 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, 1,032 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, 219 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, 423 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, 704 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, 202 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, 650 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 May 2014

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