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  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Database Administrator’s Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization . In a way, the Systems Architect has the easiest transition to a new way of using computing technologies. In fact, that’s actually part of the job description. I mentioned that...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Windows Azure Disaster Recovery Options for On-Premises SQL Server

    One of the use-cases for a cloud solution is to serve as a Disaster Recovery option for your on-premises servers. I’ll explain one particular use-case in this entry, specifically using Windows Azure “IaaS” or Virtual Machines as a Recovery Solution for SQL Server (more detail here:...
  • Blog Post: Using Hadooop (HDInsight) with Microsoft - Two (OK, Three) Options

    Microsoft has many tools for “Big Data”. In fact, you need many tools – there’s no product called “Big Data Solution” in a shrink-wrapped box – if you find one, you probably shouldn’t buy it. It’s tempting to want a single tool that handles everything...
  • Blog Post: A SQL Saturday in Cambridge – Buck Woody’s Ragtime Database Workshop

    The SQL Server community is really engaged. They are an active bunch on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, they help each other on forums, they attend conferences. But that isn’t enough interaction – the community started a grass-roots effort to hold local conferences on a Saturday. Free conferences...
  • Blog Post: The Data Scientist

    A new term - well, perhaps not that new - has come up and I’m actually very excited about it. The term is Data Scientist, and since it’s new, it’s fairly undefined. I’ll explain what I think it means, and why I’m excited about it. In general, I’ve found the term deals at its most basic with analyzing...
  • Blog Post: Big Data and the Cloud - More Hype or a Real Workload?

    Last week Microsoft announced several new offerings for “Big Data” - and since I’m a stickler for definitions, I wanted to make sure I understood what that really means. What is “Big Data”? What size hard drive is that? After all, my laptop has 1TB of storage - is my laptop “Big Data”? There are actually...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure Use Case: Shared Storage Application

    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx Description: On-premise data will be a part...
  • Blog Post: Databases are the longest-lived component

    Most of you know that I write a technical article each week for the InformIT website - you can see a list of all my articles here . I’ve been writing for that site for – well, a really long time. I have articles all the way back to SQL Server version 7! The question was that we saw a huge...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 101: Back to Basics at SQL Bits

    I’m traveling to the United Kingdom (York, England, to be specific) in September, joining Brent Ozar, Brad McGehee, Kevin Kline, Simon Sabin – and a host of other top-notch speakers. They will be covering deep technical topics ranging from server health checks to SANs and Virtualization....
  • Blog Post: Dealing with Data: Defining the Components to Tune

    I've been reading a fascinating article about the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC facility. It's a scientific research facility that houses a particle collider, which generates an incredible amount of data. Their original plan was to stream the data to tape, then sending the data to "islands" closer to...
  • Blog Post: The New World of Work: Hyper-Connectivity and Work/Life Blur

    In my last couple of posts I’ve mentioned a new world of work environment put forth by the Gartner Group’s Tom Austin, with a few additions from my own perceptions. I’ve mentioned “swarming” and that we deal with more unique tasks , and today I’ll continue that theme...
  • Blog Post: The New World of Work: Unique Tasks

    In a previous post I mentioned that I’ve seen some Gartner Inc. studies, among others, that state that we’re in a “new world of work”. Since I’ve been working in technology for quite some time, and working around the world for longer, I agree that things are not what they...
  • Blog Post: The New World of Work: Swarms

    I’ve been reading some excerpts from Gartner, Inc. and information from others on the changes they are seeing in the workplace. It’s holding true where I work and in the workplaces of the other data professionals I work with. One of those new trends is called “Swarming” –...
  • Blog Post: A combination of crowdsourcing, people helping people, and the best technical community there is

    I talk a lot about “giving back”. It’s a personal issue with me – I grew up quite poor, and from time to time someone would take notice that my mom and I didn’t have enough to eat, and they would help us out. I’ve never forgotten those folks. So whenever I can...
  • Blog Post: Direct Contact with SQL Server's Future

    Many times I'm asked "does Microsoft ever ask the users what they want in SQL Server"? Yes, we do. A lot, actually. And you can be a part of that conversation. For starters, you can hit the http://connect.microsoft.com site, read up on how it works, and submit bugs (problems you've found in the software...
  • Blog Post: Watch those clustered indexes

    I had a discussion with a friend in Microsoft IT this morning, and as we were evaluating some query plans we ran into more clustered index woes. Remember that clustered indexes affect the base table itself (which is why there can be only one) and are expensive to update. They are fantastic for reading...
  • Blog Post: ISV Applications versus In-House Applications

    I’ve written a series on creating an “Application Profile” for your organization, which allows you to create a strategic plan on everything from Business Continuity to Disaster Recovery , but many of us just don’t have the time to do that much work. But that doesn’t...
  • Blog Post: Permanent storage – a myth or a requirement?

    I'm looking over some data retention strategy documents for a company, I noticed that they want to keep some data "forever". Now, beyond the quibble of determining how to store something for eternity, how permanent can data really be? There are atomic (n, not ACID, atomic) ways of storing binary representations...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell for the DBA: Search the Windows Event Logs for Errors

    This is a very simple script - but it's one I run each morning. It searches the Windows System Event Log for an error condition. You can replace "System" here with "Application" or "Security", or any of the other logs that are created on your Windows Server. This is run at the server, since I have each...
  • Blog Post: Schemas as Security Boundaries

    There was a question yesterday on Twitter (hashtag #sqlhelp) wondering how to let developers create stored procedures and then grant the rights to those procedures to other people. I believe that question got answered, but it also brought up the subject of Schemas, which I've blogged about before. ...
  • Blog Post: Don’t mess with the system databases in SQL Server, or Error: 916

    Note: If you’re reading this more than a few months away from July of 2010, do more research. Never trust an old blog as gospel on anything, including my entries. Always refer to Books Online for the authoritative answer, and if it’s wrong, file a bug against it using the “Feedback”...
  • Blog Post: Just how permanent does that data need to be?

    As data professionals, we plan for things. We plan for growth, we have a disaster-recovery plan, we have a plan for consolidation. Those are all good things. But I've seen very few shops that have a good data retention plan . This is a plan that basically answers the question, how permanent does that...
  • Blog Post: The Microsoft IT Showcase

    I had dinner in Seattle ( three words: bacon-wrapped-steak ) with the folks that put on "How Microsoft Does IT" (get it? Does "it", "IT"? OK, I'm easily amused) and I wanted to point out this fantastic resource to you - again. I rave about it all the time, because before I started at Microsoft I worked...
  • Blog Post: The TechNet Wiki and Updated Security Checklists

    You're probably familiar with a Wiki - a document set that anyone can edit. Did you know TechNet (Microsoft's source for technical professionals) has one? And did you know there are lots of folks keeping it up to date? Well, Rick Byham, one of my friends over in the SQL Server group has posted a bunch...
  • Blog Post: Exploration and Understanding

    As most of you know, I tend to spend a little time on social networks like Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn. On one of those networks, Ken Simmons sent the following thought: “One hour sessions give you great ideas you can explore; full day sessions give you in depth knowledge you can use.”...
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