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  • Blog Post: Buck Woody - Microsoft's "Real World DBA"

    Hello, I'm Buck Woody - Microsoft's "Real World DBA". I go by that title not because I'm a DBA here (we do have a lot of those, though) but because for over 25 years I've worked as a Data Professional. I've worked at organizations from NASA facilities to hospitals, and from legal offices to manufacturing...
  • Blog Post: A quick word about upgrading from a CTP or Beta, or RC to the latest RTM product...

    Just after a new release of SQL Server, I often get e-mails and calls from folks with this question: “Can I upgrade from Customer Technical Preview (CTP) x or Beta #x or Release Candidate (RC) to the “Released to Manufacturing” (RTM) version?” Unfortunately, no. Right up until the last minute, things...
  • Blog Post: Planned versus Unplanned Work

    Most data professionals are familiar with the term "planned downtime" and "unplanned downtime". The first is painful to ask for, and the second is painful to explain. We strive not to have either. SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 have introduced features, such as better recovery from corrupt...
  • Blog Post: The SQL Server Year in Review

    It's getting close to that time of year when you're going to start seeing lots of "the year in review" specials on television. I started in my new role working with our customers last December, so it seems only fitting that I take a moment and go over some of the highlights in the SQL Server community...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 Free Book from Microsoft Press

    Ross Mistry, a noted author on many Microsoft topics, has his latest book out, and it's on SQL Server 2008 R2. We're able to make that available to you for free in electronic form - just go here to pick up your copy: http://blogs.msdn.com/microsoft_press/archive/2010/04/14/free-ebook-introducing-microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Active Thankfulness and SQL Server Professionals

    A few countries around the world have a day set aside for giving thanks - and some do it all year long. We stop to give thanks to those who have made us what we are, and those in the past and present who have given us the benefits that we enjoy. From teachers to family, we owe them a lot. I've noticed...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 Review

    I like it when *other* people review Microsoft software. I still volunteer as a DBA, so I still use multiple versions of our own products (and comptetitors, by the way) in the "real world". That's how I normally present, that's how I teach at the University of Washington, and how I work with my Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Makes the Cover of the Economist

    OK, sort of. I've been a fan of the Economist magazine since a friend of mine in Florida introduced me to it years ago. Imagine my shock when I check out the latest issue and find a story about - Big Data! This is the kind of thing we think about all the time in the SQL Server group here at Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Thinking at the Database Level

    With SQL Azure, you're no longer in charge of the Instance of SQL Server that you're running on. You're dropped into your environment at a database level. Also, the size of those databases are more restricted than you might be used to for your on-premise system (Keep in mind that SQL Azure has a set...
  • Blog Post: Going to TechEd - Are You?

    I hope you’re able to join me next week at TechEd 2010 U.S. In New Orleans, Louisiana. I love taking this time each year to learn in an environment where I’m “out of my element”. What I mean by that is I have not only SQL Server knowledge all around me, but also knowledge for...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 Overview and Whitepaper

    I know, SQL Server 2008 R2 was released some time back, but with so much content out there I thought I might simplify it a bit. I've written a complete overview that you can read through in about 10 minutes, and there's a great new whitepaper on one of the main features, PowerPivot. Thought I'd share...
  • Blog Post: Community and the SQL Server Presence

    You've probably seen some press lately about how pervasive Microsoft is in lots of areas ( here , here and here ). We've also seen SQL Server show up in more and more enterprises - you can read lots of case studies here . There are lots of reasons that you're seeing SQL Server numbers grow - we're less...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure Marches On

    I follow the Database Trends and Applications magazine because it is pretty platform independent, with a section for Oracle, SQL Server and DB/2. I found it interesting that when I turned there yesterday and today, among the top stories are "Cloud" - front and center. It's easy to see why. When we think...
  • Blog Post: What are your Five?

    "Five" seems to be a big number these days - is it compression to have a "top-5" instead of a "top-ten"? :) Over at Network world they've posted a quick slide deck of "Five things we love about SQL Server R2" . They even include...the Start Menu? OK - I guess everyone has different likes and dislikes...
  • Blog Post: Great Example of a Simple Cost-Benefit Analysis

    I saw a post the other day that you should definitely go check out. It’s a cost/benefit decision, and although the author gives it a quick treatment and doesn’t take all points in the decision into account, you should focus on the process he follows. It’s a quick and simple example of the kind of thought...
  • Blog Post: The Microsoft / HP Announcement - How does this affect the Data Professional?

    I've been watching with interest the reactions to the new Microsoft/HP alliance that was announced here this week. Being an old-timer DBA, I rarely implement the latest technology, jump on the new bandwagon or react to the latest news quickly. I try to think about what I'm hearing, digest it a little...
  • Blog Post: Giving Back

    Most of us have some help we can provide back to the community. Even if you're new, you can write down some of the things you've learned. And there are several easy ways to to that - you can certainly jump in on the forums ( http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/sqlserver/ ) and answer...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft is in the Cloud - What does that mean for the Data Professional?

    There has been a lot of buzz lately about "the cloud" and what it means for IT, and the organizations they serve. I just finished watching Steve Ballmer deliver Microsoft's vision for the cloud , wondering if it would be different than the offerings of other firms. It feels like it is different....
  • Blog Post: TechEd 2010 (US) Recap - New Orleans, LA

    Well, I've almost recovered from TechEd this year. I had a fantastic time - learning, teaching and most of all, interacting. I'm really glad that Microsoft stuck with New Orleans - they've had a tough go of it since Katrina, but the city didn't show a trace. It was clean, positive and vibrant. Lil' Buck...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 – A Love Story

    Some things just really work well together. Peanut butter and chocolate. Abbot and Costello. Coffee and...well...anything. You get the idea. But there are some real advantages in using SQL Server 2008 (and of course the upcoming SQL Server 2008 R2 release) with Windows Server 2008 and higher. It...
  • Blog Post: The SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer and Policy Based Management

    The SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) came out for SQL Server 2008 R2 recently , and I’ve been asked what the difference is between the BPA and Policy Based Management (PBM) that was introduced in SQL Server 2008. While it’s true both of these tools can do similar things, each has...
  • Blog Post: That BI Guy

    Donald Farmer , he of the BI fame, has been on a roll lately. He and I have something of a competition going most of the time, but it's a "friendly" competition. See, my audience is usually more administration and programming focused; his more BI focused. And no one can deny that BI has a lot more eye...
  • Blog Post: The SQL Server Roadmap

    I've mentioned elsewhere that you should be thinking about a "data roadmap". A way of thinking about how you intend to leverage all of that data you're collecting. And in that post I mentioned that Microsoft has a "roadmap" for SQL Server. We think about how to evolve the product all the time...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure and On-Premise Solutions - Weighing your Options

    Since the introduction of SQL Azure, there has been some confusion about how it should be used. Some think that the primary goal for SQL Azure is simply “SQL Server Somewhere Else”. They evaluate a multi-terabyte database in their current environment, along with the maintenance, backups,...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 Launches!

    It's here! The latest version of SQL Server is out, and it's a big release. This is an exciting time for us - this release is an "R2" - a first for SQL Server. No, it isn't a service pack, and no, we didn't change the product so much that it affects anything that you've already installed in SQL Server...