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).

Does the New Cardinality Estimator Reduce Bad Parameter Sniffing

No. Next question.

Although, that answer can be slightly, ever so slightly, nuanced…

Parameter sniffing is a good thing. But, like a good wine, parameter sniffing can go bad. It always comes down to your statistics. A very accurate set of statistics with very little data skew (some values that… Read more

0 comments, 6,264 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 March 2015

Toshiba Portege Z301-A Review

Last year I purchased a Lenovo W530. Nightmares then ensued. Nice laptop if you just want to use it as a laptop, and only a laptop. Horror show if you need to present from it. So, I replaced it with an HP… which also gave me some troubles (try presenting… Read more

1 comments, 198 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 March 2015

Simple Parameterization and Data Types

Simple paramaterization occurs when the optimizer determines that a query would benefit from a reusable plan, so it takes the hard coded values and converts them to a parameter. Great stuff. But…

Let’s take this example. Here’s a very simple query:

FROM    Person.ContactType AS ct
WHERE   ct.ContactTypeID =…

Read more

1 comments, 6,450 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 March 2015

How To Speak At SQL Saturday Events

The PASS SQL Saturday events are meant to be a place to grow the pool of speakers, provide a mechanism for the speakers to learn, and fulfill the PASS goals of Connect, Share and Learn. So, you’ve decided you want to start speaking at a SQL Saturday event. Cool. You… Read more

8 comments, 224 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 March 2015

Speaker of the Month: February & March 2015

It’s not a question of scheduling. I just haven’t been to lots of community events in the last several months so that I can see community speakers and find one to give an award to. I’ve been trying. So, we’re giving out two awards this month (my blog, my award,… Read more

0 comments, 231 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 March 2015

Monitoring for Timeouts

The question came up at SQL Rally, “Can you use Extended Events to monitor for query timeouts?”

My immediate response was yes… and then I stood there trying to think of exactly how I’d do it. Nothing came quickly to mind. So, I promised to track down the answer… Read more

4 comments, 6,429 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 March 2015

Upcoming Events Where We Can Chat

I get around quite a bit.

Next week I’ll be visiting three cities in Germany talking to user groups in Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of March, respectively. Here’s the one link I can find for information. EDIT: Here’s Cologne and here’s Munich.

Next,… Read more

0 comments, 206 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 March 2015

No Such Thing as a DevOps DBA

Sjor Takes (b|t) has just barely started blogging, but he’s got a great post about a discussion he had with a colleague. It’s worth a read. When you get done, I’ll provide my answer to the question posed at the start and conclusion of his post.

I had… Read more

7 comments, 284 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 March 2015

How to do DevOps as a SQL Server DBA

You recognize that you need to provide a pipeline for database deployments, that you need to automate as much support for your development teams as you possibly can, that you have to have testing in place to ensure protection of the production environment, that you need to speed your processes.… Read more

2 comments, 373 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 February 2015

DevOps, the DBA, and the word “No”

Check out this DevOps Reactions animated GIF and caption.

It’s funny on multiple levels, but it also makes me both mad and disappointed.

I get mad because it’s 2015. Surely by now most of us, especially those who have worked in the enterprise with development teams, know that the old… Read more

10 comments, 5,824 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 February 2015

Oh Look, A Horseless Carriage

Never forget, we’re making buggy whips. And everybody we know drives little buggies and they need our buggy whips. We’ve got a special talent, a unique knowledge set, and it’s fulfilling a defined need. So we’re all set, right?

Well, other than that Stanley Steamer over there. And maybe that… Read more

8 comments, 266 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 January 2015

My First Board Meeting

Parents, you know that feeling you get after you’ve brought home that brand new baby (or in my case, babies) where you suddenly say to yourself, “Oh damn. What have I done?” Yeah, that’s my feeling after my first board meeting. But let me give you a run-through of how… Read more

10 comments, 5,894 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 January 2015

Understand the True Source of Problems

There’s an old joke that goes, “Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this.” While the person in question swings their arm over their head. The doctor’s response is, “Don’t do that.” Problem solved, right? Well, maybe not. Let’s take a quick example from life. I do crossfit (yeah, I’m… Read more

10 comments, 260 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 January 2015

Two Weeks on the PASS Board

The one absolute promise I made about serving on the PASS Board is that I would let you know what I was doing there. Well, we’re two weeks in and I figured now was a good time for a report.

Next week is my first board meeting (and I will… Read more

10 comments, 212 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 January 2015

Common Table Expressions Are Not Tables

There’s power in naming things. Supposedly some types of magic are even based on knowing the correct names for things. The name for the T-SQL clause Common Table Expression (CTE) is actually pretty accurate. It’s an expression that looks like a table and can be used in common across the… Read more

10 comments, 7,587 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 January 2015

I Am Grateful For

A while back I wrote about saying “Thank you” to people. Last night I was listening to NPR on my ride home from a great New England SQL Server User Group meeting (yes, I listen to NPR). Two different reports came on during my ride that got me… Read more

5 comments, 220 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 January 2015

Execution Plans, Performance Tuning and Rum

This is me on the last cruise

In just a few more weeks I’ll be setting sail on the first of two SQL Cruise events this year. I’m honored beyond my ability to appropriately express it to be included as one of the Technical Leads for both the cruise in… Read more

5 comments, 402 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 January 2015

Speaker of the Month: January 2015

I love it that my first post of the new year is going to be Speaker of the Month. I’m really enjoying doing these because I’m getting to attend a lot more sessions at the events I go to in order to get choices. But, please, don’t bug me. If… Read more

5 comments, 153 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 January 2015

“Pretty Plans vs. Performance” or “Grant Gets Pwned”

If you get an execution plan that looks like this:

I wouldn’t blame you for immediately thinking about query tuning. Especially if the code that generated it looks like this:

SELECT  soh.OrderDate,
FROM    Sales.SalesOrderHeader AS soh
INNER JOIN Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod
        ON sod.SalesOrderID = soh.SalesOrderID
WHERE   soh.SalesOrderID IN…

Read more

10 comments, 5,587 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 December 2014

Speaker of the Month: December 2014

For the month of November I was at the PASS Summit and Live360, so I didn’t get to find new speakers to see (heck, I didn’t get to see any sessions at Summit this year). But, that didn’t mean I didn’t get to see great speakers. I did (Rimma!… Read more

3 comments, 251 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 December 2014

Newer posts

Older posts