SQLGardner

Lisa Gardner - SQL Sever Premier FIeld Engineer

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    SQL 2012 AlwaysOn and Backups – Part 2 - Configuring Backup Preferences and Automating Backups

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    In my last post I showed that you can perform backups from your replicas. A thought you may have had is “Well that is great, but how do I know if that instance is the replica and has not become primary? What if I want a particular replica to perform the backup but allow another to be able to do it just in case that one is not available?” Luckily, the product team thought of just those questions and created some configuration options for backup preferences. The easiest way to start...
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    SQL 2012 AlwaysOn and Backups – Part 3 – Restore

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    Work and family stuff delayed this blog post a bit, but we all must strive to find a balance in life! Sometimes things have to slide a little.  Anyway, let’s talk a little about how all these wonderful backup options in SQL 2012 can affect the restore process. First and foremost, you cannot restore a database that is part of an Availability Group.  If you find you need to restore any of your replicas or your primary, you must evict it from the Availability group.  The mindset here...
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    Implementing Log Shipping for Many Databases

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    In my previous post, I discussed using log shipping as a method for migrating databases to reduce application downtime. Using Management Studio to configure log shipping for each database is fine… until you have a large number of databases to implement. Here I will describe some sample scripts that will utilize a reference table and implement log shipping for multiple databases. I am sure there are other solutions that may fit your environment/situation better than this one, but I have had...
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    SQL 2012 AlwaysOn and Backups – Part 1 – Offloading the work to a replica

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    One of the greatest aspects of AlwaysOn is the ability to offload the work of backups and integrity checks to a replica.  This can really help preserve resources on your primary for your application workload. I am going to focus primarily on transaction log backups in this post as the log backup piece is best to use in order to illustrate this new feature. One of the key pieces enabling this backup ability is the single log chain that is maintained across all replicas. I will illustrate this...
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    Identifying Contention in TempDB

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    It has been a number of years since I have seen a TempDB contention issue in a system that I support. When I came across this one, luckily during a load test and not a production environment, it was a great refresher.  The offending application in this case is SharePoint 2010, but the problem was due to a customization/configuration exceeding a known limitation within SharePoint. I will start off by discussing how to diagnose the issue from a SQL perspective regardless of the offending application...
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    Minimizing DB Migration Downtime Using Log Shipping

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    A common and often unpleasant task for DBA involves moving databases between physically separate SQL instances. This could be due to a data center move, hardware refresh, SQL Server version upgrade, server onsolidation, company merger, and more. Whether you have a small number of large databases or a large number of small databases, this task can be quite tedious and time consuming. To complicate matters, DBAs are getting pressed more and more to reduce downtime affecting their applications. What...
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    SharePoint, that was a poor choice, you need a time out.

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    As the mother of a 3 year old, I find myself saying talking about poor choices and sitting in time out quite a bit. Perhaps that is due to the fact that my little one has her mommy’s spirited nature, so I can’t always fully blame her. I also notice that with my customers that use SharePoint, I see SharePoint making poor query choices! This often times leads to a different type of time out. And just like my 3 year old, it is sometimes in part due to SharePoint’s nature. Just like...
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    Primary Keys and the Default Clustered Index

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    When it comes to determining what your clustered index should be for a given table, you often think of the primary key.  Often times that is a good choice.  In fact, that is the default is to do that.  That is not always your best choice, though, depending on how your data is being accessed.  Here I am going to show some different ways in which you can create your PK and your clustered index as well as some default behavior that you may not be aware of. When you create a table...
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    Reporting Services problem after installing MS11-100

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    I have not posted a new blog entry in the last couple months due to the holidays and doing a lot of work travel in January.  This will be a short one, but I have seen a lot of customers having issues with this. A recent security patch, which you may already have installed if you are using automatic updates, seems to be having a bit of an affect on a number of Reporting Services reports.  If you have SSRS reports with a large number of parameters, you may be affected.  Your report will...
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    MS12-027 may fail on servers with SQL 2005

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    The MS12-027 security bulletin was just released on 4/10 which contains a fix to Office 2003 web components. What does this have to do with SQL Server you ask? Well, SQL Server 2005 installs the Office 2003 web components as part of the install. I believe this is part of the management tools only, but I have not been able to confirm as of yet. The problem that has been occurring is that the installation of this security update fails with the following error: “The expected version of the...
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    AlwaysOn Restore Revisited

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    In my last post I talked about restoring a database that is part of an Availability Group which may have backups taken from multiple instances. The problem is that MSDB is only aware of backups taken from that instance.  This means that the Database Recovery Advisor can’t really build the nice pretty timeline if you have backups taken from multiple instances.  I have found a way around that problem.  When I say “I”, what I really mean is my fellow PFE Denzil found it. Since I mentioned...
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    What do you mean you won’t let us install you?

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    I recently came across an puzzling SQL install issue.  Actually, it was more of a “SQL won’t let me install” issue with SQL 2008 R2. When running the SQL installer for a failover cluster, one of the prerequisite checks is that cluster validation has been run successfully on the Windows cluster.  If that test does not pass, you will get the error described in KB953748 . Note that this does show you a workaround to ignore this error, but do you really want to continue installing SQL when...
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    I Used PowerShell Today…. Have You?

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    For being a Microsoft employee, I am almost ashamed to admit that I am a novice at PowerShell.  Also taking into account my scripting history with both Sybase and DB2 on UNIX systems, PowerShell should be a very comfortable place for me. That being said, in the SQL Server space I do not always get many occasions to use PowerShell.  Well, today was a great opportunity.  I needed to pull out each instance of a particular error from a SQL errorlog file.  Initially I was going to...
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    PASS Summit 2011: My Recap and Advice on Takeaways

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    This was my first time attending the PASS Summit as a Microsoft employee, but I have been to the summit 6 times before.  I had typically gone to the summit simply for educational purposes and steered clear of a lot of networking and social events. This year I added more networking into the mix.  Instead of booting up my laptop and working, I tried to sit a different tables during each meal and chat with other attendees to network with customers. The PASS Summit has been invaluable to me...
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    PASS Summit 2012 Recap

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    Ahh yes, yet another post PASS blog entry. I know that SQL blogs will be riddled with these types of posts for the next week, but I just gotta add in my 2 cents as well. I believe that this was my 8th time attending the PASS Summit. I still feel that this is the best way to get a great amount of training as well as networking. Remember to show your employers what you learned and how it will help your environment. This will help them quantify and value of the event. Also remember to try to get...
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    PASS Summit 2012 Session Slides

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    It has been a hectic week back at work after being in Seattle all last week. Here are the slides from my presentation SQL Server and SharePoint: Best Frienemies. Sorry for the delay! I hope that if you attended you had the time to fill out the evaluation. I really want feedback.... good and bad. I hope to speak at PASS again and want to make sure and improve each time.
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    Introduction

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    I am a SQL Server Premier Field Engineer who has been with Microsoft since March, 2011. Before joining Microsoft, I worked as a DBA for over 13 years. My primary technical expertise is with SQL Server (starting with version 6.0), but I have also managed DB2, Sybase, and Oracle systems. Most of the systems I have supported have been large scale OLTP applications in the financial services industry. Within SQL Server, I have gained many years of experience with HA/DR solutions (clustering, mirroring...
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    I’m Speaking at PASS!

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    I believe this will be my 8th time at the summit. I first went in 2003, and I missed a year somewhere in there. This is my second time attending as a Microsoft employee, and I am excited to represent my employer as a first time speaker at PASS. I feel very honored to get to speak and share some knowledge with the SQL community from which I have gained (and continue to gain) so much! My session is titled “SQL Server and SharePoint: Best Frienemies” . If you are a DBA and have to manage...
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    SQL Saturday 117: Columbus, OH

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    I will be teaching a session at SQL Saturday in Columbus, OH this weekend! While I have done plenty of workshops and customer presentations, this will be my first time speaking at a user group event. I am looking forward it! My session is titled SQL Server and SharePoint: Best Frienemies I decided to do this session as I have gotten the luck of the draw to work with a number of very large SharePoint environments. The two products do not always play nice together, but they can be managed...
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    Backup Compression Confusion

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    "When I use backup compression, I notice the backup file is very large but then once the backup is complete the file is much smaller. Is this how it is supposed to work?" In the past few weeks I have seen this question pop up a number of times, so I thought I would write a short note about it. Short answer..... YES. This is done as the backup file is initially preallocated to a certain percentage of the db size. This is a performance enhancement to keep from having to grow the file over...
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    Lazy Log Truncation – SQLPFE Team Blog

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    I have been so busy working with customers that I have not had much time to blog as of late.  That being said, I have found a little time to contribute to the SQL PFE team blog where many of my fellow PFEs also contribute.  If you are into understanding more about SQL internals, especially with the transaction log, then you will want to check out my blog post over there at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sql_pfe_blog/archive/2013/06/27/lazy-log-truncation-clearing-of-sql-transaction-log-vlf-status...
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    Presentation from DaySPUG

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    Thanks to the Dayton, OH SharePoint users group for having me come talk about SQL Server. Here is my presentation that I gave.
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    SQLSaturday 242

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    It has been a little while since I have done some public presentations, and today I had the opportunity to present at SQLSaturday in Indianapolis. I want to that the Indy crew for putting on a very smooth and well organized event. I also want to thank the sponsors as without them, SQLSaturday would not exist. It is a great day of free training for local IT folks to give them a taste of what the PASS Summit it like. It also helps people like myself get an opportunity to present, which I really enjoy...
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    Columbus PASS on Valentine’s Day

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    I was surprised at how many SQL lovers out there showed up for our Columbus OH PASS chapter meeting on Valentines Day. I made sure to remind everyone to buy flowers on their way home! I did an overview of AlwaysOn which has to be my favorite new part of SQL Server. It really addresses a number of items that I have personally struggled with as a DBA. I am including my slides from the presentation for the attendees. If you live in the Columbus, OH area, I try to make as many chapter meetings...
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    Dogfood Conference

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    Last week I had the opportunity to give 2 sessions at a local IT conference in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio.  I gave a talk on using SQL Server Data Tools and another on SQL Server File Management.  I always enjoy getting to speak at community events, and especially local ones that are free for attendees.  If you are in the central Ohio area, keep a look out for the conference next year.  Attendance sold out in 2 days this year.  We had a number of Microsoft PFEs speaking...
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