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Simple SQL Server

I started out working with Microsoft Access and SQL Server back in 2000 as the only employee doing IT full-time, and worked most of my career where “big fish in a little pond” was an overstatement. Learning is scarce when you do everything and don’t work with anyone who knows more than you. In 2010 I was plunged into the Ocean and grabbed onto anything I could find to stay afloat. I wasn’t going to simply run scripts I didn’t understand, so I learned the DMVs and system tables in the scripts I found and rewrote them all. Now, I know enough where I can start giving back to a community that saved me from drowning.

TempDB Excessive Memory Usage Example

I see TempDB using more memory than I feel it should and found a way to resolve it.  Previously I dove into technical details and questioning what I saw in my post TempDB Memory Leak? which is great for proving and debugging an issue.  Now I want to step back… Read more

0 comments, 1,071 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 1 February 2016

Tim Ford’s Entry-Level Content Challenge

All bloggers started as beginners.  We picked things up, learned them, and got to the point where we wanted to start sharing our knowledge.  The problem is that most of us moved on to talking about advanced topics and left people to fend for themselves on the difficult entry-level learning… Read more

0 comments, 145 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 26 January 2016

Querying Deadlocks From System_Health XEvent

It’s easy to query XEvents to see some of the basic info in deadlocks, including the system_health session which is already capturing this information by default.

This script will, by default, read from system_health.  However, change the name of one parameter at the start to have it read from any… Read more

2 comments, 1,351 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 25 January 2016

Shrinking Database Data Files

Normal DBAs will sum up shrinking a database data file in one word: NO!

I’ll talk to you about this subject because I’m not normal.  Still, my goal is that you’ll go from “why can’t I shrink my files” to “I don’t want to shrink my files.”

Truth be told,… Read more

1 comments, 639 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 19 January 2016

SQL Saturday Cleveland #SQLSat473

On February 6, 2016, Cleveland is hosting a free training event for SQL Server.  This has a lot of the great stuff from the big, paid events, and skips some of the negatives.

There’s a great team from the North Ohio SQL Server Users Group that took on a… Read more

0 comments, 108 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 11 January 2016

TempDB memory leak?

I found a bug where I’m seeing TempDB use more memory than it should on multiple versions of SQL Server, especially on servers set up with common best practices. There’s a workaround that has a profound affect on server performance, adding to my belief that this is a legitimate bug… Read more

17 comments, 2,183 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 5 January 2016

Query the Buffer Pool

DBAs are known for asking for more memory, but often can’t say what’s in memory.  While I agree that many database servers can use more memory, I’m a firm believer in knowing how you’re using your resources before asking for more.  The script below allows me to do just that. Read more

9 comments, 1,816 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 4 January 2016

Thank You for More Than You Realize

Blogging and presenting have changed me for the better, and in ways I didn’t see coming.  However, I know I wouldn’t have had them if it wasn’t for three things.  Getting it all started, having help getting established, and having an audience for my work were supported by several groups… Read more

2 comments, 144 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 28 December 2015

Advent of Code – Day 4

Day 4 of the Advent of Code has us mining for data in MD5 hashes, which is out of the comfort zone for a SQL DBA to say the least.

Some would say it’s a poor use for SQL Server, and I’d have to agree.  However, sometimes things just need… Read more

1 comments, 187 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 24 December 2015

Advent of Code – Day 3

Continuing with the language-independent code challenge on Advent of Code – Day 3, I’m tasked with figuring out how well a drunken elf can guide Santa to houses.  Since his instructions had Santa stumbling into the same house multiple times they then added in a robot to help Santa… Read more

2 comments, 146 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 24 December 2015

Advent of Code

If you want your skills to be sharp, you practice.  If you want to get yourself to actually do practice, you call it a “challenge”.  This is what the Advent of Code is.

Now let me be perfectly clear about how I feel about practice.  I saw Jeremiah’s (b Read more

8 comments, 1,065 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 23 December 2015

Use Compression to Combine Data Quality and Performance

We’ve been using the wrong data types for all the wrong reasons.  DBAs, developers, data architects, etc. have all been told to keep data as narrow as possible, using the smallest data type to get the job done.  We sacrificed the integrity of our data for the performance of our… Read more

7 comments, 529 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 21 December 2015

Indexing Strategy

What do I care about when I’m playing with indexes? That’s easy. I want as few indexes as possible efficiently referenced by as many pertinent, well-tuned, consistently written queries as is reasonable. It’s explaining that last sentence that’s the hard part.

The thing that will jump out to most people… Read more

7 comments, 2,461 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 16 December 2015

Picking a Clustered Index

A Clustered Index is not another term for Primary Key, and more thought should be put into the key columns of the index than always allowing them to default to the PK.

First of all, the primary key is the main way you uniquely identify a row in a table… Read more

3 comments, 1,932 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 14 December 2015

Data Compression

Data compression is often misunderstood to cost CPU in exchange for smaller size on disk.  Somewhat true, but that simple explanation ignores other savings that often result in net drop in CPU utilization.

Full disclosure: This is an Enterprise-ONLY feature introduced in SQL 2008.  It is engrained in the structure… Read more

7 comments, 608 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 8 December 2015

Querying the Plan Cache

I love working with indexes, and I need to know what’s using them to work on them intelligently. Most of that information is already there waiting for you to query it. Luckily, Jonathan Kehayias (b|t) did the hard work for us in his post Finding what… Read more

13 comments, 1,480 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 1 December 2015

SQL Server Error Log Reader

Reading the SQL Server Error Log is miserable.  It contains very useful information you should address as soon as possible, or at least know that it’s happening.  However, it’s hidden between so many informational messages that it’s hard to find, then it’s spread out between multiple files for every server… Read more

0 comments, 137 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 16 November 2015

Give More Feedback

I write on my blog and get a couple comments at best. I talk at conferences and a large part of the audience fills out evals at the time.  Then I often wonder if I’m making a difference while rarely, if ever, knowing if anyone actually used what they learned… Read more

1 comments, 435 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 2 November 2015

Extended Events Intro

Extended Events is supposed to be taking over for most of Profiler and server-side tracing functionality, but there were people like me out there that took their time making the switch. For me the excuse was SQL Batch Completed isn’t in 2008 / 2008 R2, most databases are slow to… Read more

2 comments, 246 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 26 October 2015

Technical Interviews – How to Thrive

There’s a trick to technical interviews. Every question is looking for integrity first, and intelligence and energy second. This is paraphrasing Warren Buffet, who became the most successful investor out there by becoming the best at interviewing the management of the companies he was investing in.

“In evaluating people you…

Read more

7 comments, 2,180 reads

Posted in Simple SQL Server on 13 May 2014

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