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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: January 2012

Returning Results from an Insert – OUTPUT clause

I needed to return an identity value recently from an insert for use in another piece of code. For a client front end, you can easily encapsulate your insert in a stored procedure and then SELECT scope_identity() to get the last identity. However there’s an easier way: the output clause. Read more

2 comments, 3,561 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 January 2012

Enabling Compression? Update your baseline

I wrote recently about capacity planning, with an item near the end about disk usage. Someone pointed out to me that compression can dramatically affect your baseline, and as you implement it, or de-implement it, you need to update your baseline.

That’s an important point, and if you make… Read more

0 comments, 1,057 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 25 January 2012

Insert multiple rows from one INSERT statement

One of the things that has been annoying for a long time in SQL Server is adding lots of data for testing. Personally I use Data Generator, and I recommend that, but for a quick few rows of data, do you want to do this:

( OrderID…

Read more

0 comments, 28,070 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 23 January 2012

RECONFIGURE can flush the procedure cache

I ran across this KB article the other day, which lists a few ways in which performance is affected by various maintenance or administrative type operations.

In KB article 917818, it notes that some operations cause a performance issue. Some of the operations make sense (offline/online, restores, etc), but… Read more

0 comments, 2,167 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 19 January 2012


It’s anti-SOPA/PIPA day, and a number of sites have shut down for the day. O’Reilly closed their page, and of course, Wikipedia shut down.

Google didn’t do the blackout I was hoping for, but they have hidden their logo:

I like the Wikipedia closure, which appeared seconds after hitting… Read more

4 comments, 1,805 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 18 January 2012

SQLServerCentral Webinar #15

Once again, I’m the moderator for a webinar coming up at the end of the month, on Jan 31, 2012. It starts at 11am EST, and features Brad McGehee (blog | @BradMcGehee and Grant Fritchey (blog | @gfritchey)talking about DBA administrative tasks.

Come register and save the… Read more

0 comments, 808 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 17 January 2012

Capacity Planning – Monitor and Extrapolate

I wrote a post recently on capacity planning, and then thought of one more thing. In addition to planning for the future for new systems, you also need to regularly monitor your existing ones.

Planning for the future, IMHO, isn’t something you want to do when you have a… Read more

2 comments, 1,940 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 16 January 2012

Ethics and Power

Power corrupts.

A famous quote, and it’s one of the the most true quotes I’ve seen in my life. When someone has power, they develop a sense of importance, their decisions seem to be more “correct” and their arrogance grows.

It’s a sign of being human, and we have… Read more

10 comments, 1,264 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 13 January 2012

Bloopers from Dec 2012

The raw ones from podcasts in late Nov and Dec 2011.

Dec 2011 Bloopers

Filed under: Blog Tagged: Humor, syndicated

Read more

0 comments, 1,107 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 January 2012

Unlimited Vacation

Unlimited Vacation sounds good, and maybe it works, but I wonder how much vacation people really take at Red Frog. My guess is that it’s not far off from what most progressive companies give, something like 20 days a year.

It’s a good perk to have, and I’m sure… Read more

3 comments, 2,268 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 January 2012

T-SQL Tuesday #26 – Second Changes with Date/Time

I missed the very first T-SQL Tuesday, so when this month’s topic of second chances came up, I decided to write that one.

If you are unsure of what T-SQL Tuesday is, follow the link to this month’s topic to get the rules and description and then write a… Read more

3 comments, 1,386 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 10 January 2012

DBAs in Denver

I have a friend looking for a production DBA in Denver, so if you’re interested, email me at SQLServerCentral.

They need a production DBA in the South Denver area, backups, config, query tuning, replication, partitioning. SQL Server 2005-2008 R2.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: career, syndicated

Read more

0 comments, 760 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 January 2012

Capacity planning for new hardware

I get asked this question a lot: When getting a new application and database, what kind of hardware do I need?

The answer is easy: it depends.

It depends on

  • the load you will put on the SQL Server instance.
  • on the SLA and performance numbers you need.
  • the uptime…

Read more

0 comments, 1,608 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 January 2012

Creating Strong Passwords

I was writing a presentation recently on encryption and one of the important things to show in the presentation is the use of strong passwords. Many of the encryption functions will use passwords as an alternate way to secure keys, and I hate showing bad habits, like “mystrongpassword” in examples. Read more

4 comments, 1,049 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 6 January 2012

SQL Server 2012 Licensing VMs without SA

I ran across a blog talking about Microsoft licensing, and found it very interesting. I learned a few things, and it’s a bookmark I’ll keep in mind.

A subtle change, one that caught my eye. In SQL Server 2012, if you don’t have Software Assurance, you have this limitation… Read more

1 comments, 1,978 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 6 January 2012

Windows OS Information from SQL Server

I ran across a thread recently where someone was asking how to get the Windows start time from within SQL Server. Since SQL Server is a process running on the Windows host, I wasn’t sure how one would do this without running something like Uptime from xp_cmdshell. There was an… Read more

0 comments, 1,061 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 3 January 2012


I received my fourth (or fifth?) renewal notice as a Microsoft MVP this morning. I am proud to be recognized as contributing to the SQL Server community. Thanks to everyone that reads my work or comes to see me speak and I’m glad if I can help a few of… Read more

3 comments, 920 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 1 January 2012