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  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2012 – Always On

    There have always been several ways to do high availability in SQL Server, but choosing the right one has always been difficult as each approach has obvious benefits coupled with unavoidable limitations: Clustering looks after a whole instance of SQL Server containing many databases and is completely...
  • 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: Microsoft Valuable Penguin

    I sometimes think the IT industry is a bit like a load of penguins on the pack ice, each one checking the others out to see who going to brave the ocean first.  In IT it’s nervousness about when to jump onto a new technology and if there is one technology that makes IT professionals really nervous...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server AlwaysOn in a virtual world

    Despite what I posted yesterday about clustering, mirroring is the preferred option for many DBAs in a virtual world although you can of course combine the two.  On the up side mirroring gives you one (and only one) copy of the database in another location which you can’t really use, and failover...
  • Blog Post: Beyond Relational - Installing SQL Server FileTable

    A long time ago in a land far far away, somebody had the bright idea of using a database as part of a file system and the Windows Future System (WinFS) was born – but this is not that story.  However the idea and some of the team moved to the SQL Server engineering team and FileStream was the result...
  • 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: Some SQL Server 2012 upgrade advice for ISVs

    I have spent a lot if time recently briefing Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) on SQL Server 2012,so I thought a consolidated post on the subject might be useful for those planning to develop solutions on top of SQL Server 2012. New Features that will just work By this I mean there are some new...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server developer training kit–to useful to be just for developers

    One of the few niggles I have about working at Microsoft is the way we try and put you the reader into pigeon holes, and an area where this fails for me is when it comes to SQL Server.  My developer friends won’t go near SQL Server unless they have to and this things like  LINQ / Entity Framework...
  • 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: What’s good in SQL Server 2012 Integration Services

    This is a guest post by Allan Mitchell MVP, and one of the top speakers at SQL Bits   The launch of SQL Server 2012 is not too far away and the SQL Server team have been hard at work adding new functionality and also improving upon existing features.  I am lucky enough to have been working...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This – Storage Spaces

    So far in this series I have used the new storage features of Windows Server 2012 as a  place to run VMs from, but there’s more to it than that.  Shared storage used to mean presenting SAN storage inside a cluster, and you relied on your SAN experts to provision the storage you needed. ...
  • Blog Post: Before I get started with SQL Server Denali ctp3

    I have spent the last couple of days setting up a demo environment for SQL Server “Denali”, and I thought it might be useful to share some of my experiences over the next few days. Before I get into that a short post about the environment I have which will comprise of 7 x virtual machines (VMs) running...
  • Blog Post: Contain your Enthusiasm

    You may be aware that I am still keen on SQL Server and despite the changing nature of my role at Microsoft I still try and keep my hand in with the latest version.  One thing I overlooked until I did SQL Relay was contained database security which is easy to use and can make your life a lot easier...
  • 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: SQL Relay

    I am in the middle of SQL relay this week, but I just realised that you might like to have a copy of my Denali slide deck, which I have now posted to SkyDrive . You are welcome to have a look at it even if you couldn’t make one of the four venues I am presenting at this week, but there isn’t a lot of...
  • Blog Post: Reporting Alerting in SQL Server Denali ctp3

    The installation experience for SQL Server Denali is very similar to SQL Server 2008 R2 but there are some important differences because of the new services.  I would also add that this is the install of the beta and I daresay I’ll need to do another post when it is released. The options for the...
  • Blog Post: Installing Denali ctp3–how hard can it be

    l forget sometimes that installing SQL Server isn’t that straightforward, in part because it is now so much more than the database engine, that was SQL Server 7 when I started.  I also think its important that you understand the choices you are making when installing it although many of these can...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server on Windows Server Core - part 1 Server Core installation

    A while ago I got SQL Server (only the database engine) running on Server core and then found out that this wasn’t going to  be a supported scenario for SQL Server 2008 R2.  However with the launch of SQL Server Denali this will be supported scenario but now it’s a little more complicated to...
  • Blog Post: OLTP performance in Denali - Less is more

    I get the occasional criticism about SQL Server that all then new stuff is related to BI, and there isn’t anything for the traditional or grumpy DBA (aka Colin Leversutch Roberts ). Listening to Tom Casey (corporate vice president within the Microsoft Business Platform Division)of at the SQL Social...
  • Blog Post: NO SQL Server

    I spent last Thursday at Black Marble’s Architect Forum and my slot was on SQL, NoSQL, some SQL. It went down very well but I used OneNote on my tablet not PowerPoint and like all modern art my drawing needs a bit of explaining.. Databases were originally used to  store transactions which are highly...
  • Blog Post: SQL Relay Notes and Queries

    I wanted to something different for SQL Relay last week as this is a community driven event and I didn’t want to cover areas that the other experts on the Relay team would cover. This left some gaps and I have had several follow up questions via twitter and e-mail which I want to cover in this post....
  • Blog Post: SQL Server sprawl

    Normally the term sprawl carries an implied criticism, in the case of SQL server that DBAs have lost control of their infrastructure and users are install it willy nilly without regard for data protection or disaster recovery.  However when it comes to SQL Server user group meeting then sprawl is...
  • Blog Post: Drinking the Champagne – SQL Server 2012 on Windows Server 8

    Dogfood is the commonly described term for running your own beta software, however I prefer the term drinking your own champagne and to that end I have spent  a days leave today playing Window Server 8 .   Yes its very different to what you have seen before and rather like having the decorators...
  • Blog Post: Running out of space

    One of the best parts of my job is helping people, and although I am not a Microsoft support guy, I will respond if I can to requests on my blog , twitter etc. a particularly if it’s from people new to a particular technology.   This is partly out of a recognition that we’re all experts in...
  • Blog Post: Analysis Services cubed in SQL Server Denali ctp3

    I have now managed to install analysis services (SSAS) in SQL Server Denali ctp3 three times to reflect the three installation options that now exist .. The top instance is the table based installation that’s completely new for SQL Server Denali Then I have olap based SSAS instance that I have deliberately...