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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, 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, 160 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, 196 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, 920 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, 194 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, 249 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, 1,424 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, 150 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, 500 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, 267 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, 144 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, 814 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, 774 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, 146 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, 182 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 November 2013

Cargo Cult Data Professionals

Ever since David Moutray introduced me to the concept of cargo cult programming, it’s been running round and round in my head. I’m actually coming to believe that this is a major issue in all walks of life. True or not, we’re absolutely seeing it in the data professionals… Read more

10 comments, 322 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 November 2013

For the Aspiring DBA

Getting started as a data professional is an incredibly daunting task. If you’re not concerned that you’re going to mess stuff up and cause a system to crash and burn, maybe you’re in the wrong job. The amount of information you have to learn is insanely huge, coupled with the… Read more

0 comments, 991 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 November 2013

More Azure Goodies

Microsoft keeps sneaking little things under the door for Windows Azure SQL Database. This time it’s a couple of new views, a system view and a Dynamic Management View (DMV); sys.resource_stats and sys.dm_operation_stats.

But, I also learned another fun fact, not all this stuff rolls out at the same speed.… Read more

4 comments, 1,110 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 November 2013

Speaker of the Month, November 2013

Yeah, I’m a couple of days late. Tough. My blog. My rules.

Speaking of rules. Speaker of the Month is chosen by me based on my whims, interests and the direction of the wind on every other Tuesday at 3PM. No whining.

I saw a ton of excellent sessions during… Read more

3 comments, 210 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 November 2013

Query Tuning in Dallas

Let’s have some fun.

This Friday, November 1, 2013, I’m putting on an all day seminar on query tuning. It’s set up as a pre-conference event for SQL Saturday 255 in Dallas. It’s a 200 level course on understanding how the query optimizer works, the importance of statistics,… Read more

1 comments, 152 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 October 2013

SQL in the City, US Tour 2013, Recap

Red Gate visited three cities this year with our SQL in the City event; Pasadena, Atlanta and Charlotte. I just wanted to give you a quick assessment of how the events went from my point of view.

Overall, each and every one of these events was awesome. I can safely… Read more

2 comments, 271 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 October 2013

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