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  • Blog Post: My Performance Tuning Methodology

    I was speaking with some folks yesterday about tuning a system, and they asked me about my methodology. As time goes on, I find myself doing things differently based on the situation, but there is a general approach I use that I'll explain here. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule; it's just a guideline...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server PowerShell Provider And PowerShell Version 2 Get-Command Issue

    The other day I blogged that the version of the SQL Server PowerShell provider (sqlps) follows the version of PowerShell. That’s all goodness, but it has appeared to cause an issue for PowerShell 2.0. the Get-Command PowerShell command-let returns an error ( Object reference not set to an instance of...
  • Blog Post: Upgrades from Beta or CTP SQL Server Software are NOT Supported

    As of this writing, SQL Server 2008 R2 has released, and just like every release, I 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?” No. Right up until...
  • Blog Post: Which Edition of SQL Server 2008 R2 should you use?

    SQL Server 2008 R2 has just released to manufacturing (RTM’d) as I write this. With each new release, we make changes to the “Editions” we offer. A SQL Server “version” deals with the major changes in the product – and “edition” is a set of features and capabilities within that version (you’re welcome...
  • Blog Post: Start a SQL Server Agent Job using the SQL Server PowerShell Provider

    Whew!  That’s a mouthfull. Anyway, I thought I would share part of a script I wrote today to help automate (more) from PowerShell. This assumes a few things: that you’re doing this from the SQL Server 2008 PowerShell provider (not just good old regular PowerShell) and that you change the HAL9000...
  • Blog Post: Multi-Monitor Support in SQl Server Management Studio 2008

    Did you notice that there are a lot of "little" things that were improved in SQL Server 2008? One of those was done by one of my favorite developers and deals with multi-monitor support. In previous versions of SQL Server Management Studio you could open the tool in multi-monitor and arrange the panes...
  • Blog Post: Transparent Data Encryption and the Latest Data Breach

    Well, It’s happened again. Hundreds of thousands of private records were stolen from a database . This one, however, was different. No one stole any passwords, no one did any social engineering, nothing was captured in-line. No, this one was accomplished by stealing the actual hard drives themselves...
  • Blog Post: FILESTREAM: Storing Binary Objects in a database – or not

    Many shops need to store binary large objects (sometimes called BLOBS) in a database. There are really only two ways to do this: store in them in a table structure in the database itself using a binary data type, or store them in the operating system in a file folder somewhere and point to the file using...
  • Blog Post: Data as Strategy

    I’ve created a presentation called “Data as Strategy”, and in it I cover multiple solutions for various issues that organizations face in dealing with the “new world” of data management. No longer are we just DBA’s or Developers, now we’re part of the broader business strategy of using data in strategic...
  • Blog Post: Hovering Over the Titles in Activity Monitor

    I show this little-known feature in just about every perf tuning class I give, and it’s often a surprise to most of the folks there. It’s not earth-shattering or anything, but I do find it helpful. In SQL Server Management Studio 2008, start the new Activity Monitor. Open one of the “Bands”, such as...
  • Blog Post: Know Your Product Specifications

    As the Data Professional in your organization, the rest of the org looks to you to ensure that the system can handle what the business requires. To do that, you need to know two things: what the business requires, and what SQL Server can do. But of course there’s a bit more to it than that. Knowing the...
  • Blog Post: Spit it out already!

    You’ve probably seen that commercial where the chewing-gum company van stalks the guy who has been chewing the same piece of gum too long, and they attack him and make him chew another piece. I feel like that with SQL Server 2000. Almost every shop I go into has at least one primary application running...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell Demo Prompt

    When I teach I have to set my fonts really big so that folks in the back can see. I show PowerShell from time to time, and people keep asking me about my latest prompt.   Here’s what my prompt looks like:   { univac\Buck on UNIVAC using AMD64 } --     12/23/2009 7:54:10 PM    ...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 does not always script out all tables

    I teach my college students to periodically script out their databases so that they can run the script to create the entire project on any system. I use this to check their homework, and to teach them about source-code control. We use the scripting wizard in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and select...
  • Blog Post: After the Upgrade, it runs differently…

    I got a question yesterday in the mail that I thought I would just answer here in a broad context. While I can’t troubleshoot or do performance tuning from a distance, there are some interesting concepts and suggestions this e-mail brings up: “I have recently seen a change from SQL Server from 2005 to...
  • Blog Post: Create an Excel Graph of your Big Tables – with PowerShell!

    I showed a demo of how to find the top ten tables in the database at the PASS Conference. Here’s that script – you’ll need to fix the server name, instance name, and database name. You can use this to display any numbers – and even more. The mind reels with the possibilities. This uses the PowerShell...
  • Blog Post: Find and learn DMVs

    This morning I showed how I find DMVs, and find out how to use them. First, I just run this query:   USE MASTER; GO SELECT ‘sys.’ + name FROM sys.sysobjects WHERE name LIKE ‘dm%’   Then I copy and paste a result into the “Index” panel of Books Online. I also use a web search to learn more....
  • Blog Post: Win7 – Install SQL Server Native or go Virtual PC?

    I have Windows 7 on my laptop, and I also teach, demo and use SQL Server 2005 and SQL server 2008. Should I install this “native” on my outside operating system or use the Virtual PC (VPC) software that comes with Windows 7? Well, there are arguments for each. It’s far simpler to start up SQL Server...
  • Blog Post: The Fourth Paradigm

    Microsoft Research published a book based on Dr. Jim Gray’s research into Computer Science, called “The Fourth Paradigm”. It’s about 300 pages long, and it fascinated me so much I stayed up reading it last night. I have so many notes to decompress it will take me weeks. If you’re a data professional...
  • Blog Post: Color Your Connections

    In cyber-space, no one can hear you scream. Have you ever connected to a server, thought it was a testing or development system, and only a split second after you pressed “F5” to run that command, realized that it was the production server? Yeah….me neither :). To make sure that’s never you, when you...
  • Blog Post: Go To Find Combo

    A friend of mine – Bill Ramos – showed me a little-used feature in Management Studio that I’ve been using ever since. It’s a combo box that works in the Query Window and it allows you to find text quickly in a script, but it also has a hidden benefit. To put this box on your toolbar, right-click anywhere...
  • Blog Post: Channel 9 – The PASS Interviews

    I recently interviewed (on Channel 9) a few of the folks that are presenting at PASS this year – I thought I would share the links so you can check them out: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LarryLarsen/Upcoming-SQL-PASS-Summit-1/ http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LarryLarsen/Upcoming-SQL-PASS-Summit-2/
  • Blog Post: SQL Saturday in Redmond – Stop By and Say Hello!

    http://www.sqlsaturday.com/ This Saturday I’ll be speaking at the “SQL Saturday” event in my own backyard – Redmond, Washington! I really enjoy these events – enough to give up a Saturday to come out and join you. No, we don’t get paid for these, it’s all volunteer. We do it because we want to. I have...
  • Blog Post: Great new Whitepaper on High Availability

    Paul Randal, he of SQLskills.com fame, has published a new whitepaper on High Availability with SQL Server. If you follow any SQL Server news or blog sites, you’ve probably already see the announcement for it, but I wanted to mention it here in case you haven’t seen it yet. There are certain references...
  • Blog Post: Speaking Schedule for October 2009

    I’ll be speaking at two of the “SQL Saturday” Events in the next month. The first is here in my own back-yard, in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be demonstrating the Resource Governor with simple, easy-to-follow examples, and I’ll even show you how to monitor its activity. That one is on the 3rd of October...
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