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  • Blog Post: Backup those keys, citizen

    Periodically I back up the keys within my servers and databases, and when I do, I blog a reminder here. This should be part of your standard backup rotation – the keys should be backed up often enough to have at hand and again when they change. The first key you need to back up is the Service Master...
  • Blog Post: Backup Meta-Data

    I'm working on a PowerShell script to show me the trending durations of my backup activities. The first thing I need is the data, so I looked at the Standard Reports in SQL Server Management Studio, and found a report that suited my needs, so I pulled out the script that it runs and modified it to this...
  • Blog Post: Have you backed up your keys lately?

    Did you know that you already have a Server Master Key (SMK) generated for your system? That’s right – while a Database Master Key (DMK) is generated when you encrypt a certificate or Asymmetric Key with code, the Server Master Key is generated automatically when you start the Instance. So you should...
  • Blog Post: Tracking SQL Server Time

    In the past few blog posts I’ve showed you how to use several methods to track things in SQL Server. You can use the “tags” to the right of this post here at this site to list things like PowerShell, Performance Tuning and so on. Now that you’re armed with these tools, what should you track? Well, one...
  • Blog Post: Check that database before you restore it...

    I'm on my way to the city of Seattle this morning on the train and I ran across an issue with a database restore. I've been working with Service Broker and then put it out of my mind. I then backed up said database and restored it the same instance as a test. Then things started going awry... Then this...
  • Blog Post: Have You Backed Up Your Database Master Key?

    If you have encrypted columns in a database or certificates used to create them, you need to make sure that you back up the Database Master Key as part of your maintenance, and then protect that backup file. Here's the short version of the command: BACKUP MASTER KEY TO FILE = '<complete path and filename>...
  • Blog Post: Checking Your System

    In most checklists for SQL Server, including the one I explained on my last Podcast , you're told to "check your system". In fact, most instructors and DBA Experts will not look kindly on you if you don’t. But what does that mean? Well, I’ll probably do a longer Podcast on that, but here are some quick...
  • Blog Post: Controlling Just One Part of a Maintenance Plan

    A few posts back I mentioned that I was speaking with someone that wanted to use the new Resource Governor feature in SQL Server 2008 to “throttle back” only one portion of a Maintenance Plan, using the Wizard to create one. The problem he had was that the Maintenance Plan Wizard creates a single Agent...
  • Blog Post: Using SSMS as a Dashboard

    The other day I was asked by a friend about a recommendation on a “Dashboard” for SQL Server 2005. She wanted to be able to see all the pertinent information about her server with just a few clicks. She asked me what I had used in the past, and wanted to know what she could get that was cheap, fast and...
  • Blog Post: Maintenance Plan MetaData

    I was recently asked about which tables are involved in a maintenance plan in SQL Server 2005.The primary tables are: msdb.dbo.sysmaintplan_subplans msdb.dbo.sysmaintplan_log msdb.dbo.sysmaintplan_logdetail msdb.dbo.sysdbmaintplans msdb.dbo.sysdbmaintplan_jobs msdb.dbo.sysdbmaintplan_databases msdb...
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