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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Archives: June 2011

The difference between REVOKE and DENY

There was confusion recently with a poster that was moving permissions around and asked why I said they should revoke permissions and not deny them. I decided this was worth a post to explain.

If I GRANT SELECT (or UPDATE/INSERT/DELETE) permissions to a user, then they can use those permissions… Read more

3 comments, 10,217 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 June 2011

Why I’m raising my son to be a nerd

A good read, from ESPN and CNN columnist, LZ Granderson: Why I’m raising my son to be a nerd.

We need more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in this country, and probably in all countries.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: career, syndicated

Read more

0 comments, 1,568 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 June 2011

New Connect Item – TDE

Does the certificate matter for TDE? Apparently not as I found a number of people discussing the fact that the expiration date for certificates is not checked for TDE restores. So if your certificate expires, you can still restore the TDE backup.

However the documentation doesn’t mention this, and I… Read more

1 comments, 1,169 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 June 2011

A Lost Day

I’m not sure what happened, but I had some sort of stomach bug yesterday. I was up throughout the night in the wee hours of Monday with cramps in my stomach or intestines and feeling miserable. Slightly better at 7:30am, I got up and tried to work. Even made some… Read more

0 comments, 852 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 28 June 2011


Someone was asking if the HASHBYTES function was a good one to use in T-SQL as far as performance goes.. I wish I had a good reference for the function, but the best one I had on SQLServerCentral was this piece on using it to load a data warehouse.… Read more

6 comments, 15,048 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 28 June 2011

Why Two Devices

I used to travel with two laptops, one as a backup, however lately I’ve switched to taking the iPad and a laptop. The iPad doesn’t double as a backup, but it does let me do things like take notes at events or conferences with an extremely long battery life. My… Read more

1 comments, 899 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 27 June 2011

Five Lines of Code

An interesting story on how a database speeds up by changing some application code. Worth the read for sure.

I caught this from Andy Warren’s blog, and it shows why we need developers to think for themselves and ask relevant questions, not just meet the spec. If someone had… Read more

0 comments, 764 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 24 June 2011

Setting a Unique Index on a Bit Field

Can you set a unique index on a bit field? Well, you can, but you’d end up with a very short table of two (or three) rows. I defined this table:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[BitTest](
    [MyBit] [bit] NULL,
    [MyName] [varchar](50) NULL


Read more

1 comments, 1,821 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 23 June 2011

Data Compression in SQL Server

Do you know much about data compression? It seems that quite a few people I meet don’t really understand how it works, or what the benefits are. I heard about compression first hand from Sunil Agarwal a few years back at TechEd. I visited one of his sessions and then… Read more

4 comments, 2,319 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 21 June 2011

Evaluating Sessions You Attend

I have seen more than a few posts about feedback that speakers get from sessions in the last couple months. Last week Buck Woody made an attempt to build a better form that could be used for feedback, which I like, but I think it’s a little too long for… Read more

0 comments, 1,403 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 20 June 2011

BCPs – The Disaster Recovery Plan

I came up with a short acronym for my Preparation for Disaster presentation: BCPs. It describes what I think you need to do in order to be prepared for issues with your database server. The initials stand for:

  • Backups
  • Checks
  • Practice and Preparation
  • Script and Schedule

With a utility in… Read more

0 comments, 1,590 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 16 June 2011

Speaking at the 2011 PASS Summit

I submitted three sessions to the 2011 Summit for consideration and I heard today that two of them were accepted, with the third being an alternate.

It’s nice to be accepted, especially as there is always a lot of competition for people to speak and there are tons of submissions… Read more

4 comments, 709 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 June 2011

The 2012 Rally

In case you hadn’t heard, the 2012 SQL Rally will be in Dallas. Andy Warren talks about the process for picking the city, and some of the challenges involved. There was supposed to be an open submission process and then votes from the community, but that didn’t work out. For… Read more

0 comments, 916 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 June 2011

T-SQL Tuesday #19 – Disaster Recovery

This month Allen Kinsel hosts T-SQL Tuesday #19 with a disaster recovery theme. This is the blog party idea started by Adam Machanic where everyone that participates writes on a single theme.

If you want to host, contact Adam. If you want to participate, read Allen’s post and write… Read more

0 comments, 843 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 14 June 2011

What’s a Disaster?

In working on my Preparation for Disaster presentation and doing research, one of the questions that came up early for me was “what is a disaster?” After all, if you can’t answer that question, how do you prepare for it.

I’ve got a list of stuff here, which ones of… Read more

1 comments, 1,473 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 13 June 2011

SQL Dream Cars

A mini debate on Twitter the other day got me thinking about cars. People that know me know I like cars. I’ve owned (or my wife has owned with me) 26 cars since I started driving. I used to write a car update, but found that there are a lot… Read more

1 comments, 1,491 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 10 June 2011

SQL Server Default Backup Directory

Someone asked me in a webinar how to change the default backup directory. I knew, but realized that I didn’t have a reference and ended up with more explanation than needed if I’d had a post. So here it is:

If you right click on a server in Management studio… Read more

2 comments, 23,101 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 June 2011

[OT] Running With Steve

I woke up to this very cool photo from my employer.

I was checking my Twitter feed, and noticed quite a few #runwithsteve hash tags, from various people already knocking out mileage for the goal of 1,000 miles today. The tally survey is here: Running With Steve. I… Read more

1 comments, 986 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 June 2011

SQL Saturday #77 – Pensacola Recap

This past weekend I went down to Pensacola, FL for SQL Saturday #77. This was the third event in Pensacola, and my third time going down there. It was also the second time that I brought my daughter along for the trip. She had a great time the first time,… Read more

2 comments, 1,030 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 June 2011

Combinations and Permutations

I ran into an interesting question from someone asking for all combinations of numbers. The thread was here, and it was confusing at first. However we started to understand what was being asked and eventually the person stopped, realizing that there were too many combinations.

However at one point there… Read more

3 comments, 9,921 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 June 2011

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