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  • Blog Post: SQL Server edition sprawl

    One of the confusing things about SQL Server is all the editions it comes in and one of the great things about SQL Server is er… all the editions it comes in. Recent additions to this edition sprawl are the SQL Server DataCenter edition, the SQL Server Parallel data warehouse and SQL Azure. Why is this...
  • 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: Installing the SQL Server 2008 R2 August Technical Preview

    I see a lot of comments on Twitter making comments about how hard SQL Server is to install and so I thought I would go through a simple installation based on the August Technical Preview, SQL Server 2008 R2. I also used the latest operating system Windows Server 2008 R2 We are also having a debate...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation for the DBA part 2 – SQL Server Management

    Given the almost mandatory drive to server virtualisation in data centres, what do you need to worry about and what’s in SQL Server to help you? The biggest worry is probably  trying to manage everything, as typically many organisations simply create a virtual machine for every physical server they...
  • Blog Post: SQLBits Goes West 19-21 November, Newport

    When I am not doing the day job I like to draw and paint to relax so I have combined a bit of business & pleasure for the SQL Bits Goes West  conference by doing a few cartoons for them… As you can see the event has grown to three days. While there has always been a deep dive, paid for training...
  • Blog Post: Using Shared Web Parts in Report Builder 3

    Introduction Report Builder 3 is built into SQL Server 2008 R2 report manager and is a click once application. It is also available as a separate download in the feature pack. At the time of writing the November ctp is the latest verison which can be downloaded from here , and the relevant feature...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP1 released

    The first publicly available technical preview of SQL Server 2008 R2 has just been released to TechNet / MSDN subscribers.  As with the development of SQL Server 2008 each successive CTP will have more features in. This CTP’s main feature is the Report Builder 3, and also included multiple machine...
  • 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: Virtualisation for the DBA part 3 – SQL Server Performance

    As I have said already in this series the major concern most DBA’s have when virtualising SQL Server is performance. I think this is actually a bit of myth for a number reasons: Virtualisation just keeps getting better .  This is down to a partnership between the hardware and software industries...
  • Blog Post: Query Across the Mersey

    SQL Bits 9 , Adelphi Hotel Liverpool 29th September to 1 October 2011, what else do you need to know? Well possibly a few things if you are now reading the second line of this post or you haven’t been to them before.. It’s the biggest and best SQL event in Europe, I know this because we get people coming...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server BI Community Evening, 10th June, Reading

    I wanted to call out the BI evening on 10th June because they’ve given me a slot to talk about SQL Server 2008 r2 and specifically the BI features you can expect.   There’s also sessions on Data Modeling and information architecture from Alex Pratt & Andrew de Rozairo (Sybase) and one on...
  • Blog Post: Multi Server Management in SQL Server 2008 R2

    There have been tools to manage multiple instances of SQL server pretty much since it came out. If you don’t like the Microsoft tools or you have multiple database platforms in your business then there are quality tools around form the likes of Idera, Quest and RedGate amongst others. However I want...
  • Blog Post: Guest Clustering–What is it and do you need it?

    I am pretty sure the term guest clustering is not a standard industry term nor is it official Microsoft speak, so what do I mean by it? I mean the business of creating a cluster out of a group of virtual machines – you might call this a virtual cluster but that might confuse it with clustering physical...
  • Blog Post: Spatial and OLAP data in Reporting Services

    I spent a very interesting afternoon last week with the IT team at the RSPB to explore what they could do to combine their mapping data with the olap cubes they have in analysis services. The only out of the box solution in SQL Server for spatial data is the map control in reporting Services (in SQL...
  • 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: Excel add ins for Analysis Services

    Excel and analysis services are pretty open technologies so it’s very easier for anyone to grow their own stuff in for a richer experience, and even Microsoft provide things like the data mining add-ins which follow this principle. These add-ins are not confined to Microsoft and they are not always free...
  • Blog Post: System Center Advisor– now live

    I remember hearing about a Project Houston about a year ago, a cunning plan to allow Microsoft to check the heath of your SQL Server databases and the operating system it sits on. It is now live and it’s called System Center Advisor . It works by using an internet gateway server you setup which in turn...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 August Technical preview Installation Guide

    I have decided to install the SQL Server 2008 R2 August technical preview (aka CTP2) on Windows Server 2008 R2. On this new OS there is a specific role the application sever role that you should setup before installing SQL Server This role adds in the .Net framework 3.5 sp1 that SQL Server needs...
  • Blog Post: Bye bye Atlanta, Hello System Center Advisor

    One of the many announcements to come out of the recent Microsoft Management Summit was System Center Advisor . Essentially this is Operations Manager (SCOM) in the cloud, so a sort of InTune for servers.  I had a look at the precursor to this, Project Atlanta back in January, but at the time it...
  • Blog Post: SQL Bits Friday session

    I promise this is the last time I mention SQL Bits this week, but I wanted to let you know I have got 25 free tickets for the paid for event this Friday which would normally cost £149 to attend.  The venue is the Celtic Manor in Newport… and is probably the next best thing to going to TechEd. There...
  • Blog Post: Tricking a client into connecting to a SQL Server Instance

    One of the challenges of consolidation and upgrades is that some applications might have hard coded or difficult to find references to the server instance they are connecting to. When you want to point this hypothetical application to the non-default instance on a new server you can often use DNS to...
  • Blog Post: A last word on Policy based Management

    If I search my blog for Policy Based Management in SQL Server, I notice there are a fair few posts on the matter. I am not going to apologise for this as it’s a vital tool in any DBA’s armoury in the world of ever increasing databases compliance and risk management.  My blog is also like paging...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 2–The Lee-Robinson Script

    In my last post I mentioned how Marcus Robinson & had adapted PowerShell scripts by Thomas Lee to build a set of VMs to run a course in a reliable and repeatable way.  With Marcus’s permission I have put that Setup Script on SkyDrive, however he has a proper day job running his gold partnership...
  • Blog Post: Data Tier Applications

    I have a confession to make; I have been doing a little bit of development! I wanted to check out one of the new features in Visual Studio 2010 / SQL Server 2008 R2, data tier application projects (confusingly shortened to DAC). Essentially this is a simple lift and shift capability that allows a developer...
  • Blog Post: TechEd Berlin Day 1

    Simon and i are at TechEd Berlin all week, his post on the keynote is here.  I didn’t get to that as I was setting up BI demos al day on the SQL Server stand. I got asked a couple of interesting SQL Server questions I thought I would share: I have SQL Server 2008 but not R2 what BI features do I...