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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: December 2011

How Many Calls? Part 2

I wrote recently about a report that a friend of mine needed from his Access database. In the first post, I used a CTE and an outer join to cull together some data, however since I wasn’t sure Access would support any of that, I came up with another way. Read more

0 comments, 769 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 December 2011

Backing up the Service Master Key

Making a backup of your Service Master Key (SMK) should be one of the first things that you do if you are enabling encryption. This key encrypts and secures your other keys, and it will be needed when you have to rebuild the server.

Backing up the key is simple.… Read more

0 comments, 834 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 26 December 2011

How many calls – A T-SQL Question

I got a call from a friend recently that was looking for some query help. He was actually using Access, which I haven’t used in years. He knew a little T-SQL, so he could convert anything I gave him to work with his database.

Here was his issue. He had… Read more

6 comments, 582 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 22 December 2011

Creating a Service Master Key in SQL Server

The basis for all the encryption in SQL Server is the Service Master Key, which is the top of the encryption hierarchy. You can see the image below from Books Online of how this is setup.

The service master key is automatically created when you create a key… Read more

0 comments, 766 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 19 December 2011

How to change the SQL Server service account

It’s easy. First you click here:

Then you find the SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 program group

Open those and then pick the SQL Server Configuration Manager.

You might get a UAC message asking if you want to make changes to the system, and say yes. This application can… Read more

2 comments, 4,879 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 December 2011

T-SQL Tuesday #25 – T-SQL Tricks

It’s time for T-SQL Tuesday again, and this time Allen White (@SQLRunr | blog) is asking for your tricks. If you want to participate, read Allen’s post and learn how.

The question this month is: What T-SQL tricks do you use today to make your job easier?… Read more

0 comments, 1,967 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 13 December 2011

Working with SQL Server Third Party Vendors

I ran across Denny Cherry’s (@MrDenny) blog on Fixing Vendor Performance Problems in which he outlines three methods of dealing with the. His list is basically

  1. Work with the vendor
  2. Do nothing
  3. Fix it yourself

Denny recommends that you do #3, and add indexes, statistics, etc., and script… Read more

0 comments, 499 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 December 2011

PASS Speaking Results

I got the PASS speaking results today on the new speaker portal. They posted the top sessions as well, overall and in each track. I did two sessions, and here are my summarized results:

Branding Yourself for a Dream Job

67 attendees, 39 surveys.

Overall, I was mid 4’s (4.59,… Read more

0 comments, 498 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 December 2011

Data Usage

This is somewhat shocking to me. I was reading about ATT’s decision to throttle some high bandwidth users, and there was this quote in the article:

“But as business rises, so does data usage. J.P. Morgan estimates that the average iPhone user will consume around 800MB of data per… Read more

0 comments, 418 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 December 2011

The Layman’s View of a DBA

I wrote this piece as a guest on Bradmcgehee.com for the DBA in Space competition. Republishing here.

A DBA (Database Administrator) is someone who takes care of your data. When you place an order on Amazon.com, it’s the DBA who ensures the order is permanently recorded in the database.… Read more

0 comments, 409 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 December 2011

Power Tools for Windows

Scott Hanselman has a great list of the power tools he uses for Windows and development. It’s worth a read, and worth checking some of them out. I have used quite a few of these tools over the years, and I find them great, however I’m definitely considering trying… Read more

0 comments, 892 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 6 December 2011

A traveling man

It’s been a long year for me. This year I’ve attended:

  1. SQL Saturday #60 – Cleveland
  2. SQL Saturday #66 – Colorado Springs
  3. MVP Summit
  4. Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta v3.0
  5. SQL Saturday #63 – Dallas
  6. SQL Saturday #77 – Pensacola
  7. SQL in the City – London
  8. SQL Saturday #64 – Baton…

Read more

0 comments, 365 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 5 December 2011

Autogrow guidelines

I always enable autogrow on my databases. However, it’s there for emergencies, not as a space management tool. I monitor disk space, and I grow my files manually as space runs low. I want to control the growth, but in the event of a runaway process or some unexpected event,… Read more

3 comments, 2,988 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 2 December 2011