On the piste, France.
UK Consulting Blogs
I've started playing around with MSH http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx to see what it can do and how it may be of use to DBA's. This article http://pluralsight.com/blogs/dan/archive/2005/12/29/17703.aspx goes even further to explain how to integrate MSH with SMO (new SQL Server object model) I haven't read all of it yet but it certainly seems quite powerful.
If you are interested in how our internal IT department deployed SQL Server 2005, then this is a good read http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/msit/deploy/movingtosql2005.mspx
I've been keeping my eye on the TechNet Briefings and there are some good SQL Server specific events appearing over the next few months. This one in particular looks useful https://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-GB&eventid=118768584 Upgrading to SQL 2005 – How do I migrate from my existing SQL Server and what are my options? This is scheduled for 28th Feb at the Microsoft UK campus. I'll also be helping out so please come along if you're interesting in migrating to SQL Server 2005.
Yes, its here... The new JDBC driver for SQL Server 2000/2005 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e22bc83b-32ff-4474-a44a-22b6ae2c4e17&displaylang=en
Thanks to Euan http://blogs.msdn.com/euanga for pointing this out - There is a good post here on ADO.NET 2.0 data access methods from PDC 05 http://blogs.msdn.com/dataaccess/archive/2006/01/09/510083.aspx (includes code samples, slide deck and also the recorded session!)
Just seen this http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqlservereurope/.
"Get the facts about deploying SQL Server 2005 in one information-packed day. SQL Server experts will present practical, real-world information in three tracks--administration, development, and business intelligence. You'll come away from the SQL Server 2005 Up & Running Roadshow with a clear understanding of how to put SQL Server 2005 into practice and how to use its new capabilities to improve your database computing environment.
The SQL Server Roadshow has already visited Lisbon, Prague, Reykjavik, Rome, Milan, Istanbul, the Hague, Helsinki, and Dubai and will soon be visiting London and Stockholm"
Although work is still in progress, I am impressed by the screenshots of the new version of Web Data Administrator for SQL Server http://microsoftsqltools.com/photos/screen_shots/images/17/original.aspx. Go here for more http://microsoftsqltools.com/. This looks like a big improvement on the original release http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C039A798-C57A-419E-ACBC-2A332CB7F959&displaylang=en.
Just seen this new KB article; may be worth considering if you are using /PAE to support more than 4GB RAM.
Data is corrupted when PAE is enabled on a Windows Server 2003-based computer http://support.microsoft.com/kb/834628 "...When you run Microsoft SQL Server on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based computer, data that is saved to the SQL Server database may be corrupted. This problem may occur if you use the Intel Physical Addressing Extension (PAE) specification to support more than 4 gigabytes (GB) of installed memory in your computer".
If you're in the UK and near the Microsoft office in Reading on 24th January, please come along to the TechNet Briefing Whats NEW in SQL 2005 - Integration Services https://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-GB&eventid=118761630. I will be there along with Matthew Stephen, SQL Server Product Specialist http://blogs.technet.com/mat_stephen/.
I'm on a roll...
Good article on SQL Server 2005 64-bit http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/advantages-64bit-environment.mspx
Ok, I know I haven't posted for a while... but as it is a new year I thought I'd try and post more frequently.
Some new (and really good) SQL Server 2005 downloads have appeared recently on the microsoft.com. I've listed these below:
SQL Server 2005 Samples and Sample Databases (December 2005) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=e719ecf7-9f46-4312-af89-6ad8702e4e6e&displaylang=en
Troubleshooting Performance Problems in SQL Server 2005http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/tsprfprb.mspx
SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Metadata Whitepaper http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=182BD330-0189-450C-A2FE-DF5C132D9DA9&displaylang=en
This white paper covers several interesting and unique methods for managing metadata in SQL Server Integration Services, Analysis Services and Reporting Services using built-in features including data lineage, business and technical metadata and impact analysis.
SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Metadata Samples Toolkithttp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=11DAA4D1-196D-4F2A-B18F-891579C364F4&displaylang=enMicrosoft
SQL Server 2005 BI Metadata Samples provides tools and samples for analysing dependencies within and across SSIS and SSAS.The source code for the tools is provided. The following are the components of this pack:DependencyAnalyzer: a utility that scans SSIS packages and SSAS databases for enumerating metadata (objects, properties and dependencies).DependencyViewer: a utility to view metadata organization & inter-dependencies (lineage/impact analysis).Analysis Services Samples : sample SSAS packages that can be analyzedIntegration Services Samples: sample SSIS packages that can be analyzedReport Model Samples (Report Builder): report builder modelReports: sample reports built from metadata storeSQL: SQL script for creating metadata store
BOL has been updated, you can download it from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=BE6A2C5D-00DF-4220-B133-29C1E0B6585F&displaylang=en
The December 2005 update to Books Online contains new material and fixes to documentation problems reported by customers after SQL Server 2005 was released. Refer to "New and Updated Books Online Topics" for a list of topics that are new or updated in this version. Topics with significant updates have a Change History table at the bottom of the topic that summarizes the changes.
This was kept quiet! Scalable shared databases are supported by SQL Server 2005 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/910378
PromptSQL http://www.promptsql.com/index.html have produced an intellisense add-in for SQL Server - this is very cool.
There are some great SQL Server 2005 webcasts appearing on http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/technetsqlserver2005.mspx which can be downloaded for offline viewing (always good when you're on the road etc.). I also like the SSIS MSDN resource http://msdn.microsoft.com/SQL/sqlwarehouse/SSIS/default.aspx and the new MSDN SQL Server Forums http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=19 which covers pretty much every feature. And finally...there are some good whitepapers / articles appearing on the TechNet site http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/default.mspx. I won't mention SQL-related blogs because there are so many but I do have a few favourites which I mentioned in a previous post.
The question of SAN configuration for SQL Server always comes up so here is a very good webcast on SAN configuration/best practices for SQL Server 2005 http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032275439&EventCategory=5&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US (some of the information is also relevant to SQL Server 2000, just ignore the DMV stuff)
There are many things to investigate if you are worried about SSIS performance or would like to optimise package execution. One of the things to take a look at is the SSIS Pipeline events in performance monitor. There is a counter called Buffers Spooled which, quite simply, indicates the number of buffers which are spooled to disk. This is worth monitoring if you are concerned there is memory pressure. Ash also talks about performance tuning in great detail so I advise you to check out his blog at http://sqljunkies.com/WebLog/ashvinis
On a slightly different note; a new whitepaper has recently been published on sqlskills.com titled The Database Administrator’s Guide to the SQL Server Database Engine .NET Common Language Runtime Environment. The whitepaper can be viewed here: http://www.sqlskills.com/resources/Whitepapers/SQL Server DBA Guide to SQLCLR.htm - I'm always interested to read about the other cool features in Yukon.
I've been hitting quite a few bugs in the Integration Services June CTP recently; some are minor and others not so. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long until the final CTP in August/September. I'm finding many uses for package configurations and property expressions. Event handlers are also a great new feature...I just need to understand the difference between OnTaskFailed and OnError. Anyway..I thought I'd mention that there are some great webcasts appearing on MSDN TV. The latest one provides an overview of Analysis Services 2005 http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/episode.aspx?xml=episodes/en/20050714sqlserveran/manifest.xml. Check out the episode archive for other SQL Server nuggets.
Please take some time to look at the SQL Server TechCenter http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/default.mspx, particularly the SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence section http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/BI/default.mspx which has some great information on Analysis Servers and Integration Services. The SQL Server 2005 homepage http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/default.mspx also has a plethora of useful whitepapers.
You can also subscribe to the SQL Server KB / downloads RSS feeds on TechCenter http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/default.mspx (I find Sauce Reader to be the best tool out there http://www.synop.com/Products/SauceReader/)
I've just read a good article which discusses using SQL Server in a hyper-threaded environment http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322385. To cut a long story short, we recommend that the maxdop (maximum degree of parallelism) setting should remain equal to the number of physical processors that are being used.
"...The performance of hyper-threaded environments varies. Conservative testing has shown 10 to 20 percent gains for SQL Server workloads, but the application patterns have a significant affect. You might find that some applications do not receive an increase in performance by taking advantage of hyper-threading. If the physical processors are already saturated, using logical processors can actually reduce the workload achieved. For example, applications that cause high levels of contention can cause decreased performance in a hyper-threaded environment. We recommend that you test your application thoroughly to make sure that a hyper-threaded environment provides you the performance gain that you want versus the purchase of equivalent physical CPUs. Hyper-threading can be very helpful but hyper-threading cannot replace the full power of an additional physical CPU"