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Category Archives: SQL Server 2012

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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I’m speaking at SQL Server Saturday #233 – Washington DC!

I’m speaking at SQL Server Saturday #233 – Washington DC!

It’s that time of the year again when SQL Saturday makes its way back to the Washington DC Area. Here is a link to register and to get all the details you need http://www.sqlsaturday.com/233/eventhome.aspx. I hope to meet a lot of new SQL Server professionals this year. Last year, I met a gentleman that now works with me, so as you can see networking pays off 🙂

Now this year’s SQL Saturday is a little different for me because I will be one of the speakers! I am very excited, as well as a little nervous.  I think having some nervousness helps me prepare because I mentally tell myself “makes sure you know what you are talking about so you don’t look like an idiot!” My topic will be about the fundamentals of Backup and Recovery with SQL Server.  It is targeted towards beginners and here is a brief abstract:

Backup and Recovery are essential parts of and DBA’s job. After all, if you lose your data you lose your job so you need a great backup strategy. In this session we will cover Recovery Models, Backup Types, Backup Strategy, Restores, RTO, RPO, and understanding how your Transaction Log is maintained through backups.

Finally, I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the other interesting sessions that are being held that I will be trying to attend. My disclaimer is that there are so many really great sessions that it is almost impossible to pick sometimes.

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Slides for SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter

Slides for SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter

For those of you that attended yesterday and are interested in the slides, you can download them here.

Thanks!
Topic:
SQL Server Internals Party: Storage, Memory and the Query Life-cycle

Abstract:
Come meet the Internals of SQL Server at this special get-together! In this presentation we will cover the basics of data storage and querying with SQL Server. We will cover how data is stored in pages and extents and how that translates to data reads/writes with the storage system. Additionally, we will explore how different queries are processed by SQL Server and how the query life cycle works in general. Finally we will cover disk storage and memory and tie it all together. This session is intended to be broad and to give a general overview of how a query is processed in SQL Server and how storage and memory play a part in that. Everyone is invited to this introductory level presentation and should be appealing to DBAs, DB & BI Developers and System Administrators. Party hats not included, rated G for Geeks.

 

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SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter October 10, 2013

SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter October 10, 2013

If you’re in the DC/Baltimore area, or just feel like coming to DC to learn about SQL Server, please join me for my presentation on SQL Server Internals. The date is Thursday October 10, 2013 at 6:30PM at the Microsoft Building in Chevy Chase. For more details please visit http://passdc.sqlpass.org/
Topic:
SQL Server Internals Party: Storage, Memory and the Query Life-cycle

Abstract:
Come meet the Internals of SQL Server at this special get-together! In this presentation we will cover the basics of data storage and querying with SQL Server. We will cover how data is stored in pages and extents and how that translates to data reads/writes with the storage system. Additionally, we will explore how different queries are processed by SQL Server and how the query life cycle works in general. Finally we will cover disk storage and memory and tie it all together. This session is intended to be broad and to give a general overview of how a query is processed in SQL Server and how storage and memory play a part in that. Everyone is invited to this introductory level presentation and should be appealing to DBAs, DB & BI Developers and System Administrators. Party hats not included, rated G for Geeks.

Date/Time: October 10, 2013 @ 6:30PM

Location:
Microsoft Technology Center
5404 Wisconsin Ave. Ste. 700
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

 

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Indexing Fundamentals Presentation – Pending Questions Answered

Indexing Fundamentals Presentation – Pending Questions Answered

On July 10th 2013, I gave a presentation with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) DBA Fundamentals Virtual Chapter. The topic was Indexing Fundamentals and there were some questions that we did not have time to answer. I have combined similar questions and given one answer to cover the specific topic.

If you missed the presentation, you can click HERE to see the recording.

Abstract:
Indexing is an integral part of SQL Performance and Architecture. In this presentation we will cover the basics of Clustered and Non-Clustered Index structure and function. Additionally, we will discuss the B-Tree structure, index density (fill factor), page splits, and performance considerations. Finally, there will be a brief discussion of index maintenance.

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Indexing Fundamentals Presentation

Indexing Fundamentals Presentation

**This Session has been rescheduled for July 10th @ Noon EST (16:00 UTC)**

On July 10th 2013 @ Noon EST (16:00 UTC) I will be giving a presentation with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) DBA Fundamentals Virtual Chapter. Entrance is free as always and details can be found at http://fundamentals.sqlpass.org.

Code, Slides, and other information about the presentation will be under the Presentations section of this site afterward. Hope to see you there!

Abstract: Indexing is an integral part of SQL Performance and Architecture. In this presentation we will cover the basics of Clustered and Non-Clustered Index structure and function. Additionally, we will discuss the B-Tree structure, index density (fill factor), page splits, and performance considerations. Finally, there will be a brief discussion of index maintenance.

 

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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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SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 available for RTM


SP1 for the RTM of SQL Server 2012 has been announced during PASS Summit 2012.

It can be downloaded here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35575

Don’t worry, it’s not for the CTP as I posted a some weeks back 🙂

 
 

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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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Point in Time recovery via GUI a new SQL 2012 Feature


Very nice post about one of the new features of SQL 2012 – the GUI for point in time recovery.

Basit's SQL Server Tips

SQL Server 2012 introduces Database Recovery Advisor that provides significant user experience improvements to the ways DBAs can restore databases with SQL Server Management Studio. As we know, SQL Server provides a variety of backup types, so creating the proper recovery sequence for each point in time can be tricky at times. This is where Database Recovery Advisor is useful, because it makes the database restoration process more agile by helping the customers to create more predictable and optimal recovery sequence.

The Database Recovery Advisor provides a visual timeline from the backup history of the database and then presents the available points in time at which the user can restore the database, algorithms to streamline the identification of the appropriate sets of backup media to restore the database back to a specific point in time. By default, the Database Recovery Advisor tries to restore the database from the last backup…

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Running a SQL Server Environment at Home Using Native Boot Virtual Hard-Drives (VHD)

Running a SQL Server Environment at Home Using Native Boot Virtual Hard-Drives (VHD)

I’ve run into a road block. As a Microsoft Certified Trainer, I have all the software I need to get hands on with SQL Server. I even have Virtual Hard Drives (VHDs) that I can download directly from Microsoft; there are even publicly available ones HERE. My problem is on the hardware end. Since I’m not a millionaire that can throw money around and buy an entirely new server to put Windows Server on with SQL Server, I had to find another way… and I did 🙂

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SQLAuthority News – Microsoft Whitepaper – AlwaysOn Solution Guide: Offloading Read-Only Workloads to Secondary Replicas


 

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Jump start your SQL 2012 Certification for FREE

Jump start your SQL 2012 Certification for FREE

Hey all you proactive SQL junkies, want to jump start your SQL 2012 Certification? Or are you just here because you saw the world’s most favorite four letter word – FREE? Either way I got your fix right here.

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SQL Server 2012 New Feature – The Sequence Object

SQL Server 2012 New Feature – The Sequence Object

One of the cool new features with SQL 2012 is the Sequence Object.  One of the worst parts of this feature is that whenever I mention it’s a cool new feature a lot of people say “that has been in Oracle forever.” Patience is a virtue!!

Anyway, so I like to consider the Sequence Object as a “Global Identity” that can be shared by many objects in the same database, or even across databases on the same server (I have not tried it via Linked Servers because I only have one test SQL 2012 server). You can take values from the Sequence Object and insert them into tables or you can have a column in a table default to a value from the Sequence Object. A warning to the wise: If you assign a default value for the table as a Sequence Object then you cannot drop it because of dependencies. That is actually a pretty good security measure.

I have included a code snippet so that you can play around with this new feature and I’ve put a few screen shots to show how you can manage it via the GUI. Make sure you run the code section by section; I have included a lot of comments to let you know what to expect while running it.

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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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