Good stuff for the DBA from SQL Server Magazine…

Robert Pearl, 2011-06-24

I literally changed the topic of my blog today, (as I had my blogger open), since I had read some pretty good informative articles from the current issue of SQL Server Magazine.  But, since life is the same way, unpredictable and changing all the time, I figured just go with it….

I very rarely blog/promote an entire publication, and far be it for me to in any way direct folks away from the King of SQL Server content, (hey, they carry/syndicate other publications too :-), but all is fair in love and SQL Server Community Sharing. 

I originally shared one article by Senior Microsoft guy Robert L. DavisTwitter|SQLSoldier on LinkedIN and Twitter, and had some great number of positive feedback from many DBA’s who enjoyed the article.  So, I wanted to share with more DBA folks as well.  One of his articles appearing on was about Securing your SQL Server Instance, by reducing the surface area of attack.  His article, entitled “Hardening you SQL Server”, offers many ways to achieve a secure and protected environment for your production systems.

An excerpt from the article, SQL Server applications rely on data, and protecting that data has never been more important than it is today. SQL Server is a popular target for hackers, so your data is at risk of being intentionally compromised. In addition, your data is at risk of being accidentally compromised. You can minimize these risks by hardening SQL Server, which involves reducing its surface area and controlling access to it.

Reducing the Surface Area

The pathways that can be exploited to gain access to or elevate privileges in SQL Server are referred to as the surface area. To reduce the surface area of SQL Server, apply the following best practices.  Read More…

Securing your environment is critical in protecting your company’s data, and one way to “Avoid Disaster”, the theme of SQLMag’s current print and online edition. 

Another companion article by Mr. Davis, is 3 Log Shipping Techniques, that seeks to help you save time and minimize downtime.

In the current issue, you can read these other stories below, by SQL Server’s Top Industry Experts.  I truly found all of them enlightening and most insightful (IMHO) to any SQL DBA or professional.  Here is the latest news and views by these SQL Superstars:

Demystifying Minimal Logging

By Andrew J. Kelly, 05/20/2011

Stopping transaction logging completely isn’t possible, but you can drastically reduce what’s written to the transaction log with minimal logging. Here’s what you need to know, including the benefits minimal logging can reap.

Advanced BACKUP and RESTORE Options

By Paul Randal, 05/18/2011

Most DBAs use the BACKUP and RESTORE commands’ standard options. However, some of the commands’ infrequently used options can help minimize data loss and downtime when disaster strikes, improve backup performance, and more.

A Real-World SQL Azure Implementation

By Megan Keller, 04/18/2011

SQL Server Magazine talks to Quosal about the company’s implementation of SQL Azure, Microsoft’s cloud database solution. Learn about how Quosal’s migration process went, how migrating data to the cloud affected employees, and the advantages and disadvantages the company found to working in SQL Azure.

Do You Need a SQL Server Query Hint?

By Kalen Delaney, 03/17/2011

(If Kalen says so, then we ought to listen to the SQLQueen|Twitter 🙂

Find out how query hints can benefit you in certain situations and how the hints affect SQL Server’s built-in query optimizer.

Another article that caught my interest, is one that is sure to provoke debate (and already has), by SQL Magazine’s columnist, and co-Chief Servant Officer at SQL People , Brian Moran.  Using the well known parable “if the tree falls in the forest…..” analogy, he sets out on a course that discusses the rapidly improving hardware technology of SSD (Solid State Disks), and they’re inevitable drop in prices, vs. the high-priced performance tuning expert.  Brian poses the question, “Will SSDs make performance tuning experts irrelevant?”  Or as the title of his article, Will SSDs Cause Performance Tuning Experts to Go the Way of the Milkman? – what the heck is a Milkman ;-), suggests that throwing HW at a SQL Server Performance problem, may in fact be a valid option. 

Don’t think we’re there yet, but definitely some food for thought, and some compelling examples.  (If you and your performance tuning gang disagree, you can tell Brian yourself when he’ll be in New York City, this November 12, 2011, for SQLPeople NYC – I had made the initial annoucement here – what a way to work up a NY crowd.)

Anyway, my initial point was to share some engaging and insightful articles of interest with all of you out there. 

I have been subscribing to SQL Server Magazine for years, and highly recommend it as well!  They’re offering a 44% discount off the cover-price for new subscribers.  You can also log-on to

 I hope this blog has been helpful!

You can follow me too, on Twitter using my handle @PearlKnows.  Happy Friday and have a great weekend!





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