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Category Archives: High Availability

SQL Saturday 294 Philadelphia, Nostalgic!

SQL Saturday 294 Philadelphia, Nostalgic!

Less than a week left and I’m extremely excited about SQL Saturday in Philly on June 7th, 2014 and the Precon the day before (I signed up for Allan Hirt’s).  I lived in Philadelphia for about 10 years during which I went to college, had my first two full-time jobs, and my first to kids were born in that area. This SQL Saturday is going to be a blast from the past for me.  The actual event takes place in Malvern PA which is off of 202 in the Northwestern Region of the Philadelphia suburbs.  It is part of the “mainline” and close to Valley Forge, King of Prussia and other historic/tourist attractions.  I used to work in the Mainline area for Johnson Matthey in Wayne (and part time in Malvern) so I’m very excited about taking this trip back to visit friends and family.

For those of you that don’t know about SQL Saturday it is a fantastic event. Here are some of the reasons I’ve encouraged people to attend SQL Saturday events:

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SQL Server Management Studio Rainbow Edition

SQL Server Management Studio Rainbow Edition

Ever wanted to know the reason behind the Database color scheme in SQL Server Management Studio?

I have always wondered why all the Databases in management studio were Yellow (Online), Grey (Read-Only), Lighter Yellow with text next to it (something like Restoring), or Yellow with a Red Icon (Offline). Have you ever wondered why there aren’t any more useful colors like Red for when a Transaction Log is Full or Purple when your Statistics are Outdated. I have a theory on this that I have entitled “The Theory that you have to actually work to call yourself a DBA.”

colorful databases

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How to Avoid a Database “Heart Attack”

How to Avoid a Database “Heart Attack”

For the past couple of months I have been working with Ben Weiss a Digital Marketing Strategist at Infusive Solutions (http://www.infusivesolutions.com/). Our partnership was based on a mutual understanding that there is much needed career growth and guidance among IT Professionals. Since my background is primarily with Database Management Systems I have been helping him with writing articles, guides, and even interview questions for top professionals in the field, all for the purpose of furthering the careers of IT professionals.

Our latest project is a Lessons Learned pamphlet based on several articles I wrote about a year ago after attending open heart surgery (as an observer, not a patient). Here is the link to the final product, I hope you enjoy and benefit from it.

Here is a link to a summary of the project
http://www.infusivesolutions.com/blog/bid/98928/3-Ways-Business-Observation-Catalyzes-SQL-Server-DBA-Job-Growth

 

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Email Response: SQL Server 2012 Planning and Architecture

Email Response: SQL Server 2012 Planning and Architecture

I received an email from a connection on LinkedIn seeking some advice for architecture on a new reporting system. Although I don’t know the gentleman personally, he is a SQL Server professional and I felt obliged to help out a fellow colleague in the field. The email is included below and my suggested solutions following it.

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Free SQL Server 2012 Installation Guide

Free SQL Server 2012 Installation Guide

Everyone’s favorite four letter word is back, FREE! Yes, it is time I gave back to the community since I’ve been mooching off them them for so long. I’ve put together a short Installation Guide for those interested in getting their feet wet with SQL Server. I’m trying to encourage those that have no experience to get a little curious and try to install SQL Server and play with it.  Maybe afterward you can even try to set up your own Clustered SQL Server Virtual Lab with Hyper-V. Just trying to rub off some of the enthusiasm and passion, did it work?

Anyway you can view the guide Here on Google Docs or Download it Here as PDF. It is just a first draft, so please feel free to add your suggestions or point out mistakes and I will try to fix it ASAP.

You can also read it right off of this page… check it out by clicking “Read the rest of this entry”

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SQL Server 2012 Virtual Lab with Clustering using Hyper-V

SQL Server 2012 Virtual Lab with Clustering using Hyper-V

After having a great opportunity to attend a Beta course for Hyper-V with Windows 2012 at Learning Tree, I decided to finally do what I have been planning to do for a while; build a fully working SQL Server Clustered Virtual Lab.

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SQL Server Backup and Recovery Fundamentals Presentation

SQL Server Backup and Recovery Fundamentals Presentation

SQL Server Backup and Recovery Fundamentals – February 5th, 2013

A copy of the recording is available here. Code and slides are under the Presentations section of this website.

Correction:Compression on Backups is available on the Standard Edition of SQL 2008R2 and SQL 2012 but not SQL 2008. Thanks to Mark Harrison for pointing that out to me.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/datacenter/configure-compressed-backups-with-sql-server-2008-r2-standard-edition/2788

 

 

 

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SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) and SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse


The SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse and SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse are very high end builds of Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008R2 product; and SQL 2012 in the future. I’ve been intrigued by these products so I’ve started to learn about it. They have both been on the market for a while, but I’ve just recently been exposed to the technology and it has been exciting to learn more and more about it.

James Serra was kind enough to take the time to point me in the right direction with a great post that he wrote up last year:
http://www.jamesserra.com/archive/2011/08/microsoft-sql-server-parallel-data-warehouse-pdw-explained/

Here are some additional resources about this product:
https://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/solutions-technologies/data-warehousing/pdw.aspx

http://dwjunkie.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/parallel-data-warehouse-pdw-poc-lessons-learned/

Finally, a very nice set of videos provided by the Microsoft Virtual Academy:

https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/tracks/breakthrough-insights-using-microsoft-sql-server-2012-scalable-data-warehouse

Module 2  talks about the PDW architecture. Module 4 talks about the Fast Track Datawarehouse; which is a product that sits between your custom build of SQL Server and the PDW. Of course all the other modules are useful, but just in case you wanted to take a quick dive into material related to the PDW you should go for Modules 2 and 4.

 

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Link

Log File Full–Availability Group Database

An interesting post by Gethyn Ellis about an issue he encountered using Availability Groups. Follow the link above to read more.

I run into an interesting issue with an Availability Group database recently. I was running a data load against a database in an Always On Availability group database in SQL Server 2012.  The load was SSIS package migrating data from staging database when the package fell over with the following error

“The transaction log for database DBName is full due to ‘AVAILABILITY_REPLICA’”

 

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SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Released for CTP4.


CORRECTION: This is for CTP4 (Community Technology Preview) not RTM (Release to Manufacturing). Therefore, you cannot install this if you are running a full version of SQL Server 2012. Sorry for the confusion, the original article I read did not mention anything about it being for CTP.

Fresh off the tree and ripe for picking…

Link for downloading SQL Server 2012 CTP4 Service Pack 1:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34700

 

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8 Habits/Skills/Traits of Highly Effective DBAs

8 Habits/Skills/Traits of Highly Effective DBAs

The whole “7 Habits” title is so cliché so I decided to make it eight! Plus that will probably relieve me from any copyright violations as well. So anyway, these are the eight habits/skills of Highly effective Database Administrators in my humble opinion. Although I come from the Microsoft SQL Server world, I believe most of these traits or skills can be adapted cross-platform.

Feel free to add your feedback in the comments section, this is after all just my own opinion.

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Deploying a SQL Server 2012 Multi-Subnet Cluster


Excellent write up on how to deploy a SQL Server 2012 Multi-SubNet Cluster (GeoCluster).

- Microsoft technologies and what I do for fun -

I’ve been wanting to write a series of articles on deploying a SQL Server 2012 on a multi-subnet cluster for quite some time now. This was driven by the fact that my series of articles on SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering had been in the Top 10 Tips for more than 2 years since being published three years ago. I guess more and more systems administrators and SQL Server DBAs are being tasked with deploying failover cluster instances. Ever since I had my hands on the beta version of Denali (codename for SQL Server 2012) last year,  I’ve been testing some configurations for the multi-subnet clustering feature. I think I’ve built like 3 test environments prior to Denali going RTM just so I can wrap my head around the concepts (plus the fact that Windows Clustering Experts like Microsoft MVP Allan Hirt (blog | Twitter) have been gracious…

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Open Heart Surgery Lessons Learned for IT Part 3 – Monitoring Health and Disaster Recovery

Open Heart Surgery Lessons Learned for IT Part 3 – Monitoring Health and Disaster Recovery

One of the biggest issues we have in health is poor monitoring.  This is also the case in health of many of our systems.  As a DBA, I’m always concerned about the health of my database servers; mainly because I would like to keep my job and not get the 3am call that something has gone terribly wrong. However, with that said, no matter how careful we are there is always the probability of something bad going wrong.

This is part three of my lessons learned and will have more of a focus on Database monitoring and Disaster recovery.

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System Center for the SQL Server DBA: Wrap-Up


Might be worth investigating if you need a robust enterprise level system to monitor your database servers.

MSSQLDUDE Blog

I’m going to call the series on System Center for the SQL Server DBA complete with this one last post today. First, here is the full series to date … my apologies for the lack of post naming consistency!!

System Center for the SQL Server DBA Intro

The Continuing Story of System Center for the SQL Server DBA

Monitor SQL Server from System Center Operations Manager

SQL Server management pack for SCOM

System Center for the SQL Server DBA Part 2: DPM

System Center Data Warehouse for SQL Server DBAs

What I wanted to point you all to is an update to my methodology of using SQL Server 2012 business intelligence leveraging in-memory analytical models to provide very important insights into your SQL Server environment with System Center Operations Manager. The link is here to my blog on this on SQL Server Pro Magazine.

By leveraging the SCOM data warehouse…

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SQL Server 2012 New Features Presentation

SQL Server 2012 New Features Presentation

Professional Association for SQL Server Presentation
Topic: SQL Server 2012 New Features
Presenter: Ayman El-Ghazali

SQL Server Presentations with PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) Virtual DBA Chapter.

http://dba.sqlpass.org/MeetingArchive.aspx

January 11, 2012 – SQL 2012 New Features. Click here to start streaming.

Slides and Code for all Presentations can be found here

 

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