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The DBA Who Came In From The Cold

I’m Andrew Pruski and I am a SQL Server DBA with 5 years experience in database development and administration.

The online SQL Server community has helped me out immensely throughout my career, whether from providing reference material in blog posts, or answering my (sometimes obscure) questions on forums. So, to try and say thank you, I would like to contribute my own experiences in the hope that they could benefit someone out there.

So here’s my general ramblings and thoughts about working as a SQL Server DBA.

You can find me on twitter @DBAFromTheCold

If you have any feedback on my blog please send me an email to dbafromthecold@gmail.com.

SQL Server 2016 features I’m interested in

Microsoft announced this month what features/improvements will be in the next version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2016. You can download the datasheet they’ve posted from here.

The features that have caught my attention are:-

  • Enhancements to In-Memory OLTP
  • The Query Data Store
  • Temporal Database
  • Stretch Database
  • Automatic failover…

Read more

0 comments, 204 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 26 May 2015

In-Memory OLTP: Part 4 – Native Compilation

This post follows on from In-Memory OLTP: Part 3 – Durability & Recovery

In this final post for the #SQLNewBlogger challenge I want to go over another new feature of In-Memory OLTP, natively compiled stored procedures. Natively compiled stored procedures differ from normal stored procedures in that the In-Memory OLTP… Read more

1 comments, 197 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 27 April 2015

In-Memory OLTP: Part 3 – Checkpoints

This post follows on from In-Memory OLTP: Part 2 – Indexes

So far in this blog series memory optimised tables have been created with the durability option of SCHEMA_ONLY meaning that data will not be retained. However there is another durability option of SCHEMA_AND_DATA which means that SQL will retain… Read more

4 comments, 114 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 20 April 2015

In-Memory OLTP: Part 2 – Indexes

Following on from In-Memory OLTP: Part 1 – Introduction where we created a database capable of hosting memory optimised tables, I’d now like to run through the indexing options available.

As I mentioned in the last post, memory optimised tables do not have data pages. They are data rows written… Read more

4 comments, 118 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 13 April 2015

In-Memory OLTP: Part 1 – Introduction

In-Memory OLTP is getting a lot of (rightly deserved imho) hype at the moment. But what does it entail exactly? If you’re a DBA with a few years experience under your belt and are looking to get into this new feature but don’t have the time to sit and read… Read more

2 comments, 191 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 6 April 2015

Review of Minion Reindex

Back in October 2014 Midnight SQL released v1.0 of Minion Reindex, a free, open source index maintenance solution. I’m all for making my day job easier so I once I heard about this I wanted to get it into a development environment asap to see what it can do. Unfortunately… Read more

0 comments, 6,293 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 16 March 2015

Identifying Blocking via Extended Events

There are a number of ways that you can identify blocking that is occurring in your SQL instance. You can run the undocumented sp_who2 stored procedure but that will only give you the session that is being blocked. You could download the excellent sp_whoisactive, written by Adam Machanic, which… Read more

4 comments, 4,742 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 24 February 2015

Collation Conflicts

I have recently seen some “bad plans” being generated by the optimiser and from investigation, the cause came down to the fact that the collation of the database where the queries were running was different to the tempdb collation.

Consider this situation, you have a stored procedure which collects various… Read more

0 comments, 1,175 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 20 January 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I know it’s late but I’ve been away, I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year.

I try and regularly review my skills as a DBA but more so at the start of a new year. You know the type of questions:-

  • Have I improved my overall…

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0 comments, 136 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 5 January 2015

Book Review – SQL Server Internals: In-Memory OLTP by Kalen Delaney

The new SQL Server 2014 feature In-Memory OLTP (code-named “Hekaton”) has been attracting a lot of interest since its release, promising to deliver (if you believe the rhetoric) an increase of up to 100 times in performance.

If you’re like me, you’ve got a copy of SQL Server 2014 Developer… Read more

2 comments, 380 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 9 December 2014

Video – Identifying large queries using Extended Events

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Webucator (an online training company) asking if they could use my blog post “Identifying Large Queries using Extended Events” for a video training session in their free series called SQL Server Solutions from the Web.

The main reason… Read more

1 comments, 1,723 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 5 December 2014

Blogging for a year!

I’m actually quite proud of the fact that I’ve now been doing this for a year now (and that I’m still going).

So one year on, what have I learnt?

Syndicate
Get your blog syndicated with other, larger websites. The amount of views my blog got went through the roof… Read more

4 comments, 161 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 7 November 2014

Cardinality Estimation in SQL Server

Each time you view a seek/scan operator in an execution plan, you may have noticed that there’s a value for the estimated number of rows and a value for the actual number of rows. Sometimes these values can be fairly similar and sometimes they can be very different.

The estimated… Read more

0 comments, 231 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 4 November 2014

Identifying large queries using Extended Events

Following on from my last blog post I now want to run through how to identify large queries using Extended Events.

Extended Events were introduced in SQL Server 2008 and allow monitoring to be run against a server with a lower performance impact than profiler sessions and server side traces. Read more

2 comments, 7,118 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 1 October 2014

Identifying large queries using Server Side Traces

Who are your worst offenders? By offenders I mean, queries that are consuming the most resources on your server(s).

I know Extended Events have a lower impact but I like server side traces. Not only because once you’ve set one up, setting up others is very simple but also because… Read more

4 comments, 6,913 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 11 September 2014

The Art of Performance Tuning

Performance tuning often gets called an art as people feel that a certain knack or innate talent comes into play. And whilst I don’t disagree that a certain level of knowledge is involved, I completely disagree that only certain people can performance tune.

Given the correct approach, anyone should be… Read more

1 comments, 7,445 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 28 August 2014

Website Pulse

Short blog post this time as Website Pulse contacted me a few weeks ago with a few questions about working as a DBA. They’ve now published the article, it can be found at the following link:-

http://www.websitepulse.com/blog/for-dbas-think-of-backup-strategies-as-restore-strategies

Let me know if you have any comments or feedback – dbafromthecold@gmail.com


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1 comments, 282 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 31 July 2014

Partitioning Basics – Part 3 – Switching Data

This post follows on from Partitioning Basics – Part 2

In this final part, I want to go through how partitions can be used to archive data from a table. Firstly a table to archive the data from the primary table needs to be created:-

CREATE TABLE dbo.[DemoPartitionedTable_Archive]
(DemoID			INT…

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0 comments, 2,144 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 20 June 2014

Partitioning Basics – Part 2 – Splitting/Merging Partitions

This post follows on from the previous post Partitioning Basics – Part 1

Let’s have a look at the partitions setup in part 1, the following script will show the partition information:-

SELECT 
	t.name AS TableName, i.name AS IndexName, p.partition_number, 
	r.value AS BoundaryValue, p.rows
FROM 
	sys.tables AS t
INNER JOIN…

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2 comments, 467 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 12 June 2014

Partitioning Basics – Part 1 – Creating Partitions

Partitioned tables can be a quick and efficient way to (amongst other things) archive data. In the next couple of posts I will run through the basics of partitioning. Starting with setting up a partitioned table and loading some data.

Let’s create a demo database:-

USE [master];
GO

IF EXISTS(SELECT…

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4 comments, 2,974 reads

Posted in The DBA Who Came In From The Cold on 4 June 2014

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