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The Data Files

Ed Leighton-Dick is a SQL Server performance and architecture expert and Founder/Principal Consultant of Kingfisher Technologies, a consultancy focused on SQL Server performance, architecture, and security. He is a frequent volunteer with PASS, including roles as regional mentor, chapter leader of I-380 PASS SQL Server User Group, and organizer of SQL Saturday Iowa City. He can often be found teaching sessions at local, regional, and national events, including user groups, SQL Saturday events, and Iowa Code Camp. Ed can be reached through his blog, edleightondick.com, and on Twitter at @eleightondick.

MVP Status: Renewed

On October 1, 2016, I was first honored by Microsoft with their prestigious MVP award, given to those that they feel have made a significant difference in their development communities. Many of those that had previously been named as an MVP were people that I had looked up to for… Read more

0 comments, 140 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 10 July 2018

10 Years Young

It was early in 2009 – I don’t remember the date exactly. A group of us had gotten together after the previous year’s PASS Summit and started I-380 PASS, the first PASS chapter in Iowa. At one of our regular lunches, Michelle, the leader of the group, proposed an idea… Read more

0 comments, 193 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 12 June 2018

Upcoming: Speaking on permissions at PASS Summit 2018 and 24 Hours of PASS

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been selected to present at the PASS Summit! This will be my fourth year speaking at the Summit, and it’s always a privilege.

My topic this year is on permissions – specifically, SQL Server’s permissions model and how to implement the Principle of… Read more

0 comments, 291 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 7 June 2018

Giving back [T-SQL Tuesday #102]

This post is part of the May 2018 T-SQL Tuesday blog challenge, “Giving Back“, from Riley Major.


It’s been quite a while since I’ve participated in a T-SQL Tuesday. For that matter, before my post earlier this month, it had been quite a while since I… Read more

0 comments, 121 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 8 May 2018

Rotating encryption keys for Always Encrypted

In my last post, I talked about the process of rotating your encryption keys. It’s just one of those routine maintenance tasks that need to be done from time to time in order to keep your encryption strong for the long haul. One type of rotation I didn’t address… Read more

4 comments, 1,750 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 1 May 2018

SQLSaturday Madison – “Data Security for the Cloud” and “Three Steps to Lasting Encryption”

In just a few short weeks, SQLSaturday Madison will happen in Madison, WI, and I’m happy to say that I’m a part of it again this year.

On Friday, April 6, I’ll present my new “Data Security for the Cloud” pre-conference session. This is a full-day workshop all… Read more

0 comments, 177 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 23 March 2018

“Data Security for the Cloud”: A New Pre-Con at SQLSaturday Chicago

More and more companies are considering a move to the cloud, but one aspect of such a migration that may be overlooked in the transition is the security of the data. In many cases, the cloud provider only handles a portion of the security, leaving you to handle the rest.… Read more

4 comments, 248 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 7 February 2018

An open letter to the PASS community (2017)

PASS is our community.

It may sound a little cliche, especially with the current political climate in the US and other nations, but it’s absolutely true. PASS is our community. It’s made up of data professionals from around the globe. All of us are volunteers, from the attendees to the… Read more

0 comments, 278 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 20 September 2017

Replacing an expiring SQL Server encryption key

So you’re using encryption in SQL Server, but you’ve discovered that the expiration date of a certificate is expiring. What do you do? The process of safely replacing the certificate is called rotating the encryption key. It’s important to do, and SQL Server makes it a simple, quick process.

First,…

Read more

5 comments, 2,163 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 5 May 2017

24 Hours of PASS is coming up!

Another installment of 24 Hours of PASS is coming up next week on May 3-4! This semiannual event features 24 back-to-back webinars on a certain theme. The theme this time is data security and data quality, a subject I’m passionate about.

I’m happy to say that I get to present… Read more

0 comments, 435 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 27 April 2017

SQLSaturday Madison – April 7-8

The first event I ever spoke at was SQLSaturday in Madison, Wisconsin, back in 2012. I was petrified – would anyone want to hear someone talk about normalization? Especially when that someone was pretty much unknown outside of his city? Long story short, yes, they did. I didn’t have a… Read more

0 comments, 321 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 28 March 2017

An open letter to the PASS community

PASS is our community.

It may sound a little cliche in this time of election propaganda in the US, but it’s absolutely true. PASS is our community. It’s made up of data professionals from around the globe. All of us are volunteers, from the attendees to the speakers, from the… Read more

0 comments, 554 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 28 September 2016

SQL Sentry Plan Explorer is now free

You’ll probably hear about this from other sources, but an announcement made this morning bears repeating: One of my favorite tools, SQL Sentry’s Plan Explorer, is now completely free.

I’ve used Plan Explorer since its first version. It started out as simply a better way to view execution… Read more

0 comments, 2,534 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 9 September 2016

Defending your data

Which of these is more secure?

shilmar / Pixabay

Nicolas Chadeville / 500px

It’s a trick question – the correct answer is “neither”.

Both castles and vaults have their strengths. Castles are built to withstand large-scale assaults and sieges, but an individual has a good chance of getting inside. Conversely,… Read more

0 comments, 355 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 7 September 2016

SQLSaturday Indianapolis Wrap-Up

This weekend, I attended SQLSaturday in Indianapolis for the first time. It’s one of the larger events in the Midwest and I’ve tried to schedule it for several years, but it’s always fallen on a weekend when I couldn’t attend. This year, the date finally worked out!

My presentation for… Read more

0 comments, 406 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 15 August 2016

Security VC Webinar: TLS 1.2 and SQL Server

The PASS Security virtual chapter hosted a great webinar on Thursday. Amit Banerjee from Microsoft’s SQL Server Tiger Team (b|t) spoke about upgrading our SQL Server instances to use TLS 1.2, including many pitfalls that are frequently encountered.

We’re all familiar with SSL – we use… Read more

0 comments, 707 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 2 July 2016

I’m speaking at Summit!

I’m excited to announce that I have been selected to speak at PASS Summit again this year! I’ll be presenting a new session, “Extending Applications Securely Using Service Broker”:

If you’ve ever tried to build a distributed application – one that spans multiple servers or even multiple sites – you…

Read more

0 comments, 290 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 23 June 2016

SQLSaturday Iowa City is this weekend!

If you’re within driving distance of Iowa City, IA, I’d love to see you at SQLSaturday Iowa City this weekend!  We have a fantastic weekend planned:

  • On Saturday, June 11, we have our free conference, with around 30 sessions on all aspects of SQL Server, plus a Women in Technology…

Read more

0 comments, 380 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 6 June 2016

Save the date: SQLSaturday Iowa City

Q: True or False – Iowa has one of the world’s longest-running SQL Server conferences?

A: True! SQLSaturday #19 was held in the fall of 2009 in Iowa City. We’re one of only a handful of chapters to host an event every year since then.

We’ll hold our eighth SQLSaturday… Read more

0 comments, 849 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 28 January 2016

Speaking at SQLSaturday Chicago

I’m happy to announce that my first public session of 2016 will be at SQLSaturday Chicago on March 5! I will be talking about the system_health Extended Events session and the default trace. Here’s the details:

Dammit Jim! Dr McCoy’s Field Guide to system_health (and the default trace)

As DBAs,… Read more

0 comments, 384 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 26 January 2016

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