SQL Server Thoughts from the Field

Rob's SQL Server & BI Blog

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  • Blog Post: SQL Server Wow64 Perfmon Issues

    I recently came across some issues running perfmon on Windows Server 2003 where the OS is 64-bit and SQL Server is 32-bit (Wow64). The SQL Performance counters were not appearing as the default Perfmon is 64-bit, which is unable to read the 32-bit SQL counters. Running the 32-bit version of Perfmon allows...
  • Blog Post: Windows Failover Clustering Overview

    The host node in the failover cluster performs a "looks alive" check every 5 seconds. An IsAlive check is performed every 60 seconds using SELECT @@SERVERNAME. If this fails the IsAlive retries 5 times and then attempts to reconnect to the instance of SQL. If all fail, then the SQL Server resource fails...
  • Blog Post: Hosting the Performance Dashboard Reports in SSRS

    I blogged a while back about modifying the SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard reports to run on SQL Server 2008 . I’ve since been working with several customers who use these reports for performance troubleshooting, but who would like to host them on their Reporting Services platform so they...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Technical Reference Guide Released

    The SQL Server 2008 Technical Reference Guide has just been released, covering the essential steps and best practices to upgrade existing 2000 and 2005 instances to 2008. There is also a list of other upgrade resources available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc936623.aspx These guides...
  • Blog Post: Forthcoming UK SQL User Group Meetings - Leeds, Edinburgh, London

    Regional Meetings of the UK SQL Server User Group coming up in the next couple of weeks: LEEDS AREA SQL SERVER USER GROUP: THURSDAY 29TH MAY 18:30 - 21:00 : LEEDS http://sqlserverfaq.com/?eid=116 Martin Bell - Whats New in SQL Server 2008 T-SQL. Martin Will talk about some of the many...
  • Blog Post: SSUG Presentation 19th August

    Thanks to all who attended the SSUG meeting in Edinburgh last night. I've included my slides and demo scripts in the attached file (SSUG_190810_ExecutionPlans.zip). I've also included some additional references relating to discussions we had during the course of the evening. If you need any other information...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard

    I've had one or two requests recently to set up the Performance Dashboard reports on SQL Server so I've created this blog post to step through the process. Firstly, the Performance Dashboard was created to allow customers and support engineers to monitor the general performance characteristics of a server...
  • Blog Post: Scottish SQL Server User Group Meeting - Oct 8th

    I have the great pleasure of speaking at the next Scottish SQL Server User Group meeting being held in Mocrosoft's Edinburgh ofice on Thursday the 8th of October. Full details can be found on the UK User Group site . My talk will focus on some of the great tools we have for collecting and analysing SQL...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server and Windows Memory

    SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition introduced support for the use of Windows 2000 Address Windowing Extensions (AWE) to address 8GB of memory on Windows 2000 Advanced Server and 32GB of memory on Windows 2000 Datacentre. With AWE, SQL Server can reserve memory not in use by other applications and the...
  • Blog Post: Scottish Area SQL Server User Group

    I'm happy to announce that the next Scottish SQL Server User Group will be hosted at Microsoft Edinburgh on the evening of the 13th November. Full details of the agenda and how to register can be found on the UK SQL Server User Group site here: http://sqlserverfaq.com/events/144/Scottish-Area-SQL...
  • Blog Post: CU #3 for SQL Server 2008 Released

    On January 19, 2009 Microsoft shipped the Third Cumulative Update for SQL Server 2008 RTM. This CU represents 36 Resolved Issues and 30 Unique Customer Requests. More details and download details can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/960484/en-us
  • Blog Post: Scottish SQL Server User Group Meeting 19th August

    The next Scottish SQL Server User Group meeting will take place on Thursday 19th August at the Microsoft offices in Edinburgh. I'll be talking about SQL Server execution plans and how to use them to identify issues in your application code and Martin will be educating us all with his knowledge of Extended...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 RC0 Available

    The release of SQL Server 2008 has hit another milestone with the news that Release Candidate 0 (RC0) has been made available for public download this morning. This was initially released to Technet Plus and MSDN subscribers last Friday. It is expected that this will be the final release prior to SQL...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Locking

    Locking is a mechanism used by the Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine to synchronize access by multiple users to the same piece of data at the same time. Before a transaction acquires a dependency on the current state of a piece of data, such as by reading or modifying the data, it must protect...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 - Performance Studio

    I've been looking at this new feature of SQL Server 2008 in order to demo it to customers, and I have to say it's pretty cool ! Along with Resource Governor and compression, it's one of my favourite new features and a good reason to consider an upgrade. Performance Studio builds on the concept of the...
  • Blog Post: June SQL Technical Rollup Mail

    The June SQL Server Technical Rollup Mail has now been released. Check it out for some great SQL Server information and resources... http://blogs.technet.com/trm/archive/2008/06/01/june-2008-technical-rollup-mail-sql.aspx
  • Blog Post: Performance Dashboard Reports for SQL Server 2008

    During a recent visit to Seattle for a Microsoft conference, I learned from my colleague Michael Thomassy that it's possible to run the SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard reports on SQL Server 2008, with a slight modification. There is a great new feature in SQL Server 2008 called Performance Data...
  • Blog Post: Mirroring Multiple SQL Server Databases on a Single Instance

    This is a question I get asked a lot by customers (last week being the latest) and the answer really depends on which platform you are running on. There is a support policy in Books Online that states that we only support a maximum of 10 mirrored databases per instance on 32-bit systems , however in...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Statistics

    SQL Server 2005 collects statistical information about indexes and column data stored in the database. These statistics are used by the SQL Server query optimizer to choose the most efficient plan for retrieving or updating data. Good statistics allow the optimizer to accurately assess the cost of different...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting SQL Server 2008 Performance Problems

    A new whitepaper covering the topic of performance troubleshooting in SQL Server 2008 has now been released. You can download the paper from the following link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd672789.aspx
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2005 Multi-Site Clustering with Windows Server 2008

    I was working recently with a customer who was looking to deploy a SQL Server 2005 cluster across 2 geographically dispersed sites using Windows Server 2008. They were looking to utilise the new clustering improvements in Windows Server 2008 to build a highly available SQL Server solution. The customer...
  • Blog Post: Scottish SQL Server User Group Meeting – 25th Feb

    The next Scottish SQL Server User Group meeting will take place in the Microsoft Edinburgh office on Thursday the 25th February. Quest Software’s Iain Kick will be talking about performance troubleshooting and Alistair Board and Martin Bell will be talking about their experiences and resources available...
  • Blog Post: DBCC CHECKDB

    DBCC CHECKDB checks the logical and physical integrity of all objects in the specified database by performing the following: Runs DBCC CHECKALLOC on the database Runs DBCC CHECKTABLE on every table and view in the database Runs DBCC CHECKCATALOG on the database Validates the contents of...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Cumulative Update #2 Released

    Cumulative Update package 2 has now been released for SQL Server 2008. See the following KB article for full details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958186/en-us
  • Blog Post: SQLBits VI Conference - London 16th April

    I am very happy to announce that I've been chosen as a speaker for the SQLBits VI conference in London on the 16th April. The theme for this conference is performance and scalability and I'll be talking about some of the new features in SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 in this area. There is a great...