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  • Blog Post: SQL Server Spruce up

    Landrovers, will take a lot of pounding and neglect, but when my wife drove hers to Australia she made very sure it was properly set up for 2 years on the road Similarly SQL Server is also often out in the wild far from DBA’s and inspection from maintenance tools, like System Center .  However now...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 19 – Data Collection

    Day 19 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. I often get asked how much faster is SQL Server 2008 than SQL Server 2000, what impact will virtualisation have on my performance, and my answer in fine Microsoft tradition is it depends.  So how can we begin to answer...
  • Blog Post: Dear Diary

    Good diary management is career mission critical at Microsoft and may well be the same for you and if it is I have some free stuff for you to try. The Microsoft BI team have issued a calendar analytics spreadsheet that shows you how you are spending your time. It works by connecting to exchange and picks...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Plan Guides

    So here’s how it’s done.. So here’s how it’s done..I rarely know more about SQL Server than my friend Beatrice so I was surprised when I mentioned plan guides and she hadn’t heard of this new feature. I have to say this is not a big mainstream thing and it takes me back query hints in SQL Server 2000...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Home Grown

    It seems very fashionable to buy in technology these days, and some of you must if anyone is actually writing their own stuff these days. I have met quite a few of the product team and they are real people, Like Boris Baryshnikov who wrote resource governor, and nearly all of the stuff in SQL Server...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Management event in Manchester

    Unlike Manchester United, SQL Server 2008 is under new management. What I mean by this is that there are a load of new tools to configure, tune and audit which are essential to keep a modern database in the premiership.  While I have done a few events on this theme in the London area, the TechNet...
  • Blog Post: Project Atlanta part 1 – Introduction

    In the post Christmas rush to get fit the well off will have personal trainers assigned to them to help get back into shape. Similarly in the world of SQL there is an abundance of experts to help ensure that SQL server is as lean and mean as possible, however not everyone can afford that expertise, or...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Performance Tuning

    In an ideal world a database engine would self heal and self tune, and the SQL Server product team work long and hard on each release to try and realise this.  However in parallel with this they recognise that they can’t cater for every eventuality and so have provided more and more diagnostics...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 7 – Partitions & Indexed Views

    Day 6 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. Indexed Views allow result sets to be persistent as they are materialized on physical storage which avoids performing costly joins and/or aggregations at execution time.  However in SQL Server 2005 they would have to be...
  • Blog Post: Primary keys and Clustered Indexes

    One of the many great SQL Server resources out there is SQL Server Central , and this article on there, Worst Practices - Not Using Primary Keys and Clustered Indexes , by Andy Warren caught my eye.  For the most part he’s absolutely right you’d be mad not to have a primary key on a table and to...
  • Blog Post: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, mixing Hyper-V and other applications in Windows Server

    I have got the highest respect for Hyper-V. It’s simple to use I don’t need to learn any new interface (it’s just another mmc snap-in)  in which to mange the virtual world.  However when someone asks me if they can install other roles alongside hyper-V in production I say “Oi mate NO don’t...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server scalability?

    Is SQL Server is only as good as the operating system – discuss The ability of SQL Server to make use of underlying hardware is often held up by the operating system, or to put it another way, pretty much as soon as there is support for some new thing the SQL Server team have a version that uses it. ...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Resource Governor in action

    One of the biggest headaches in SQL Server 2005 is trying to manage resources where there are competing workloads on a shared server. A typical approach is to use instances, but this completely hides memory and CPU from other instances which are then not available to an instance under stress whether...
  • Blog Post: On the Third Day of Christmas an IT Pro sent to me...

    Three Benchmarks Database performance is much a bit like a major sport, there's a governing body, the Transaction Processing and Performance Council (confusingly abbreviated to TPC) and they set the competition rules and judge the results. Unlike most sports there's no season and entrants can compete...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Databases and Cubes on one Server

    I have put Business Intelligence into a number of small businesses and these guys typically have one server set a side for BI, so how do you cram the database and the cubes into one box to get the best performance? SQL Server databases and Analysis Services (SSAS) both love memory, and even windows server...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Filtered Indexes vs Index Views

    SQL Server 2008 has a new feature called filtered indexes which are like normal table indexes only they have a simple where clause, meaning that the index will only cover rows specified in the where clause. As I have mentioned before an obvious example is where you can filter out nulls and still create...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 supports how many cores?

    I often say that a database is only as good as the system it is running on. For example SQL Server supports 64 cores (as opposed to CPUs) because that is the limit in Windows Server, even in Windows Server 2008.   However if you have been at PDC or TechEd in Barcelona (where I am writing this...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server upgrade perception and reality

    I had two contrasting conversation about upgrade to SQL Server 2008 yesterday. A good friend of mine Darren is keen to use SQL Server 2008 for his new projects because he understands how it makes much better use of the many cores available on his new servers and works well with Windows Server 2008. ...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Back to Basics

    With all of the BI stuff in SQL Server , the new data types like filestream and geography, it is is good to get back to basics like performance, OLTP and administration. So here’s a list of white papers for the classic DBA: Online Transaction Processing in SQL Server 2008 Security Overview for Database...
  • Blog Post: Thanks for the (dynamic) memory – Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1 beta

    Although 16Gb laptops are out there I am making do with 8Gb, so any chance to get a bit more oomph out of it is always welcome and so I wanted to try the new dynamic memory capabilities in Windows Server 2008 R2. I am going out on a limb here because you shouldn’t use any beta code in production and...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Notification Services

    Notification services is one of the deprecated features in SQL Server 2008, essentially it is supported for now but will not be in the next release of SQL Server. If you are using notification services currently and you are looking to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 then you can get it from here . But why...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Performance

    It is already possible to get an indication of how well SQL Server 2008 will perform before it is released as there already some TPC benchmarks published for it.  The performance of Integration Services has been separately tested, as have a number of applications such as Microsoft Dynamics and SAP...
  • Blog Post: Virtualized SQL Server

    [Note the information in this post is now way out of date, so please refer to my post here instead.. http://blogs.technet.com/b/andrew/archive/2008/11/08/sql-server-2008-at-teched.aspx Thanks Andrew] I get more and more questions about SQL Server running in a Virtual machine so here’s...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Disk I/O on Windows Server 2008

    Imagine you work in a library and it’s your turn to put the books away that have just been returned. You have a complete catalogue of where every book should go but it’s not quite right, because someone didn’t notice that the first book in the list is supposed to be in two volumes ...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 21 - Consolidation

    Day 18 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. Consolidation has become synonymous with virtualization, but even hardcore VMWare addicts and VMWare themselves advise that databases are one of the last targets of a virtualisation strategy.  Nonetheless SQL Server 2008...