Checklist: DR Plan Sanity Check

If a disaster struck tomorrow, are you ready for it? Are you sure you thought of everything? I cannot count the number of times something happened, and I thought that I should have been able to anticipate that. It can be a big benefit to get another viewpoint on your disaster plan. No matter how well you think you’ve covered yourself, someone who thinks about things differently than you do can often see something you don’t. Here’s a checklist of
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Patching SQL Server and SSMS? Order matters.

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not have noticed how frequently SSMS is getting updated. The SQL Team is really rocking over at Microsoft putting out fixes and enhancements fast and furious. When CUs (cumulative updates) and SPs (service packs) come out, it makes sense to install the latest SSMS update at the same time (if you put SSMS on your servers). If applying both an SP or CU along with an SSMS update, order does matter.
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Speaking at SQL PASS Summit 2014

I am honored to be selected to deliver 2 sessions at the SQL PASS Summit 2014. I will be delivering a half day session on administering BI systems and a regular session on techniques for indexing. If you were selected to speak this year, congratulations. I look forward to attending many of your sessions! If you like the “I’m Speaking” image I added to my blog, feel free to use it in your own blog or other materials. If you
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Network Packet Size: to Fiddle With or Not to Fiddle With

A network pipeline isn’t nearly as pleasant to look at as the oil pipeline (or anything) in Alaska, but it’s something that DBAs should be aware of. There is a server configuration in SQL Server that controls the size of packet in which SQL Server sends out data. This setting is called network packet size (B). Yet another size we need to know about in SQL Server. As DBAs, we tend to think of size in terms of 8K pages
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Recent Presentation Session Files

Recent Presentation Session Files I’ve been a little tardy about getting my session files posted, and I’m a little behind. So I’m going to try to catch up in one blog post. So here are my session files for SQL PASS Summit 2012, various recent SQL Saturdays, and 24 Hours of PASSe. Please let me know if I’m missing anything I promised to get posted. SQL PASS Summit 2012 Lightning Talk: Man Vs Machine: ManVMachine.zip (599 KB) Regular Session: Tempdb:
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SQL Rally 2012 Recap and Session Files

SQL Rally 2012 was hosted by the North Texas SQL Server User Group. More tha anything, it was nice to be back in the area where I grew up. I was born in Houston, but I grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It really brought back a lot of great memories for me like canoeing on Lake Grapevine or swimming at Lake Lewisville. I remembered fondly when the NFL banned spiking the football and a local radio station started
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Why We Follow Best Practices

There are many reasons why we follow best practices. My own reasons have changed over the course of my career. Early in my career as a database developer and then later as a new DBA, I followed best practices because people who claimed to know more about SQL Server said to, and I assumed that their advice would be better than my own. This of course led to me adopting the best practice of not following the advice of someone
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Breaking Down TempDB Contention (part 2)

I wrote a somewhat popular script and blog post a while back called Breaking Down TempDB Contention. This post explains how to identify tempdb contention. This past Friday, Jonathan Kehayias (blog|@SQLPoolboy) contacted me about the script. Jonathan said that he thought the math was off just a little bit in the script. The original script has the PFS pages repeating every 8088 pages and the GAM and SGAM pages repeating every 511232 pages. That is almost right. The first PFS
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Hardening SQL Server

My new article for SQL Server Magazine on Hardening SQL Server has been posted online and will appear in an upcoming print issue. This article is a brief explanation of how to secure SQL Server against malicious attack or invasion. This article can serve as a guide for preventing your SQL Servers from being compromised. Excerpt from Article Hardening SQL Server SQL Server applications rely on data, and protecting that data has never been more important than it is today.
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Breaking Down TempDB Contention

What is tempDB contention? From the outside looking in, tempDB contention may look like any other blocking. There are two types of contention that tends to plague tempDB’s, especially when the tempDB is not configured to best practices (multiple, equally sized data files, located on a dedicated, high-speed drive, etc.). For the purpose of this blog, I want to focus on latch contention on the allocation pages. What are allocation pages? Allocation pages are special pages in the data files
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