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  • Blog Post: My Top Ten SQL Server Bloggers of 2009

    I think I may have set myself an all-but-impossible task: to choose ten bloggers who write about SQL Server, and who have been outstanding in the last year. Nearly impossible, not because I can't find ten, but because there are so many more worthy of recognition. In addition, many of those I will not...
  • Blog Post: Bored by the HP / MSFT announcement? You Need to get out More

    I'm in Tucson today, and you know what? The weather is warm and dry. Are you surprised? I guess not - what else would you expect? Yet every time I come here from Seattle (and man, Seattle was dark and wet and cold when I left this time) I find the simple intensity of the Arizona weather catches me anew...
  • Blog Post: Does Consolidation = Virtualization?

    In early 2001 I worked @ a start-up company with about 150 people. I call it a start-up because it had no revenue but did have free breakfast, lunch and dinner. @ the company there were five people named Michelle and six named Dan (including yours truly). One day the VP of operations got confused about...
  • Blog Post: T-SQL Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

    For the last few days my inbox, Twitter and Facebook feeds have been full of advice about which words I should stop misspelling. To be fair, in English, I have relatively little problem, and any misspellings I do make may be sloppy, but rarely result in misunderstandings. On the other hand, there...
  • Blog Post: The "Dallas" information marketplace

    Today I'm here in Washington DC, demo-ing in Bob Muglia's keynote at our Worldwide Partner Conference. This time, I'm showing something quite new - not just a new product, but a new concept in data - Microsoft's premium information marketplace codenamed "Dallas." "Dallas" may be better known as a...
  • 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: Crossing Boundaries

    Were you in Las Vegas last week? If you attended the SharePoint conference in the Mandalay Bay resort, you probably thought you were. But Las Vegas is famously a city of facades, illusions and well-kept secrets. Caesars Palace isn't really Rome, nor the Venetian, Venice. My favourite illusion is...
  • Blog Post: Three suggestions for SQL Server DBAs in 2010

    One of these days I really should blog about "dumb questions I have been asked at customer briefings." There's a danger in that, of course: namely, that a customer could equitably blog about "dumb answers I received from Donald Farmer." Nevertheless, the other day, a CIO asked me an excellent question...
  • Blog Post: Reviewing SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM

    This past week we released SQL Server 2008 R2 to manufacturing. This is a huge accomplishment for the team and our customers are anxious to get their hands on it. I came across one blog post that expressed disappointment that the only thing they could download was the evaluation edition – they couldn...
  • Blog Post: Virtually Unstoppable

    A friend insists that we'll only know the recession is over when software vendors no longer start every whitepaper with the phrase "In these tough economic times ..." It may be as reliable an indicator as any. Meanwhile, in these tough economic times, I often read of factories suffering so badly...
  • 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: Where Do Your DBAs Spend Their Time?

    In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory , Sheldon was excited to spend the evening reinstalling the OS and apps on his laptop. My wife asked me if I would find that fun. I had to admit that it wouldn’t suck but there were a number of other things that I’d rather do. Last week I reviewed a soon to...
  • Blog Post: Of Virtualization, Videos and VPs

    My mentors at Microsoft have always told me, how important it is to get quality 1:1 time with senior figures in the company; the idea being to get good insights to strategy and a better handle on the executives' various personalities and strengths. I don't think my mentors had in mind that I should...
  • 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: 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: 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: Introducing Project Houston

    At this point there should be no question that Microsoft is fully embracing the cloud. Windows Azure and SQL Azure launched earlier this year and have been receiving positive feedback. I’ve been happily using SQL Azure for several months. One of the great aspects of SQL Azure is the integration with...
  • Blog Post: New Stuff

    I’ve always loved getting new things. And when it comes to software it’s no exception. I enjoy exploring a new release of my favorite app – see how things have changed and advanced and discovering new features. There are two new things that I want to call your attention to. First, this week we released...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010: Better Together

    Mary-Jo Foley recently wrote a blog post about being better together. At Microsoft this is something we take seriously. In her blog post she includes some snippets of an interview with Donald Famer. Donald discussed how we exchanged some team members with the Excel team in order to have a great integration...
  • Blog Post: Divining Oracle

    Bar Bosch , in Palma de Mallorca, is one of my favourite places to hang out. It's hectic and noisy, but still leaves space and time for endless discussions or reflection. It is the perfect place to pretentiously pore over Žižek or Derrida. Yet in the autumn of '98 I found myself sitting there, ordering...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with SQL Azure

    I’ve been using SQL Azure for several months now both for messing around (kicking the tires if you will) and for hosting a real database. I have a database with research data running in SQL Azure and I use Excel to connect to the database. I even share this out with others on my team. It works great...
  • Blog Post: He cares! He really cares!

    I first met Sean McCown when I worked on the team developing SQL Server Integration Services. Sean was simultaneously one of our most active supporters and one of our most trenchant critics. He can very – what’s the word? – very forthright . You know, blunt, outspoken and generally...