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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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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: SQL Server and Data Protection Manager

    I was busy recording session movies last week for a big TechNet event, hence the slip in blogging regularly. One of these was on the little known Data Protection Manager (DPM) a comprehensive archive and backup solution for the whole Microsoft platform including SQL Server 2008. But why a separate backup...
  • 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: You get a lot more than you pay for

    Microsoft’s approach to stuff is to ship the basic product as part of a license and then provide you with lots of other add-ins, packs, resource kits and so on which are all free to use on top of what you just paid for e.g. Windows has the Live platform which gives you basic photo editing (Live...
  • Blog Post: End of the Road for SQL Server 2000

    Microsoft will be turning off mainstream support for SQL server 2000 for most editions of the product in April 2008: Products Released General Availability Date Mainstream Support Retired Extended Support Retired SQL Server 2000 64-bit Edition 30/11/2000 08/04/2008 09/04/2013 SQL Server 2000 Developer...
  • 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: SQL Server - monitoring reports

    I am manning the ask the experts SQL server booth at TechEd this week. One of the many interesting questions I was asked was how the reporting information from the standard reports in SQL server could be integrated into one set of data from multiple servers.   I couldn't think of anything immediately...
  • Blog Post: SQL Injection

    Fuel injection is generally considered to be a good thing for cars, while IT professionals consider SQL injection to be a bad thing.  The technique does not exploit weaknesses in the the database , but how it and the relevant web server are configured.  In the Microsoft world a lot of work...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 r2 Beta

    What is with operating systems? Nothing for ages then two on the same day, Windows 7 Beta and now Windows 2008 r2 Beta? Well sort of as Windows Server 2008 shares a lot with Vista so Windows Server 2008 r2 has a lot in common with Windows 7.  Obviously DBA’s will be a bit more interested in the...
  • 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: Compression without Compression in SQL server 2005 sp2 fact tables

    In case you weren't at the excellent SQL Community yesterday evening, I thought I would share a top tip for getting on top of your fact tables in the next version of SQL Server. Mark Hill of Edenbrook gave the evening an update of the relational engine as it affect BI and we then got into a debate about...
  • 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: 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: Barriers to upgrading to SQL Server 2008

    Most IT Professionals like to use the latest (stable) version of a product, so what’s holding up your adoption of SQL Server 2008? Hardware. If you are moving from SQL Server 2000 to 2008 that’s probably going to mean a new server as you’ll probably want to move to 64 bit hardware and that could be tricky...
  • 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: Many to Many Dimensions

    One of the many cool things that's already in Analysis Services in SQL Server 2005 (SSAS) is the concept of many to many dimensions. Suppose I have 3 bank accounts and one of those I share with my wife, and on another I am co-signatory for a local charity. This means there is a many to many relationship...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server for Data Mining

    SQL Server 2005/2008 has a number of data mining algorithms built in to discover hidden relationships in your data or to use a set of attributes to predict the value of other attributes: Microsoft Association Algorithm . Used to work out which items are most likely to appear together in a transaction...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 not just for DBAs

    I am sure SQL Server is administered by many ‘accidental’ DBAs i.e. IT Professionals who get saddled with looking after databases, while performing a bunch of other infrastructure management tasks.  One of my good friends Jonathan Noble at Newcastle University is one of these and so I thought it...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2000 upgrade follow up

    I just wanted to make sure that anyone watching my TechNet webcast last night has all the resources they need, but before I do that I also wanted make the point that Upgrade is a simple task for many environments provided you follow the advice in the resources below: The deck should be on the post events...
  • 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...