Brad M. McGehee is a MCITP, MCSE+I, MCSD, and MCT (former), and, until recently, the Director of DBA Education for Red Gate Software. He is now the editor of the SQL Server Central Stairway series. Brad is also an accomplished Microsoft SQL Server MVP, with over 16 years SQL Server experience and over 7 years training experience. Brad is a frequent speaker at User Groups and industry events (including SQL PASS, SQL Server Connections, devLINK, SQLBits, SQL Saturdays, TechFests and Code Camps), where he shares his 16 years of cumulative knowledge and experience. A well-respected name in SQL Server literature, Brad is the author or co-author of more than 15 technical books (freely available on SQLServerCentral) and over 275 published articles.
Experienced DBAs have a wealth of experience to rely on when it's time to troubleshoot a problem, but it can be harder if you're just starting out. Brad McGehee reviews a book designed to get new and accidental DBAs up to speed on their troubleshooting skills.… Read more25 September 2012
Brad finds Glenn Berry's 'SQL Server Hardware' book to be a valuable reference, not so much for the actual hardware recommendations which will always go out of date, but more for the methodology for selecting hardware, and the wisdom that comes from long experience in doing so.… Read more05 July 2012
There are plenty of detailed step-wise ways in which you, as DBA, can reduce the escalating cost of data storage for your organisation, but to get a radical effect, you'll need to apply some powerful compression techniques. Brad explains more...… Read more18 May 2012
Wouldn't it be great to offload the daily chore of checking the integrity of your production databases, and checking that your backups can successfully be restored. It can be done, and managed automatically too, in one process; as Brad explains.… Read more30 January 2012
Occasionally, when you install identical databases on two different SQL Server instances, they will behave in surprisingly different ways. Why? Most likely, it is down to different configuration settings. There are around seventy of these settings and the DBA needs to be aware of the effect that many of them have. Brad McGehee explains them all in enough detail to help with most common configuration problems, and suggests some best practices.… Read more13 September 2011
Within an instance of SQL Server, the database settings can have a direct effect on the database's behavior, performance and availability. Sometimes, it is difficult to tie a symptom to a cause, so it is wise to routinely check and record these settings. Before you change the current setting, it pays to understand exactly what it means and the implications of any change.… Read more10 June 2011
This is an updated article by Brad M McGehee on how DBAs can use SQL Monitor to help monitor their SQL Server instances. It focuses on the latest edition, SQL Monitor 3.0, which includes several key new features, including custom metrics, user roles, and SQL Server 2012 support.… Read more16 February 2011
Both Performance Monitor and SQL Server Profiler provide valuable information about your server. However, if you combine the data from the two sources, then this correlated information can help find some of the subtler bugs. Brad explains how.… Read more07 December 2010
SQL Storage Compress does just that, and encrypts as well, allowing the files associated with a live database to take much less file-space, and securing them from unauthorised access. Why would this be useful, and is it really a free lunch? Brad puts it to the test to find out.
… Read more18 August 2010
Index fragmentation can cause problems with query performance. Indexes therefore need to be occasionally rebuilt. the Rebuild Index task of the SSMS Database Maintenance Wizard drops and rebuilds every index in a database. It is effective but an off-line activity that is resource-intensive, so it not always the best way of avoiding index fragmentation in a production database. Brad explains...… Read more05 August 2010
In the first of a series of in-depth software reviews, Brad investigates a newcomer, SQL Virtual Restore. What does it aim to do? How does it achieve it? Why is it safe to use? What are the benefits? Brad aims to answer a range of questions fairly and squarely.… Read more20 July 2010
If you ever feel uneasy when you set about handcrafting database maintenance jobs for SQL Server, it may be the voice of your conscience saying 'Ola, Ola!'. Follow your conscience. Ola Hallengren has already crafted a superb set of routines to do this for you. Why reinvent something that does it all, safely and well. Brad McGehee explains....… Read more20 January 2010
Sometimes, all a DBA needs, to help with day-to-day work, is a checklist of best-practices and dos and don'ts. It provides a handy reminder. Brad has come up with a new update to his famous checklist… Read more06 January 2010
Maintenance plans are essential. Microsoft provide two tools, the Maintenance Plan Wizard and the Maintenance Plan designer, to assist the busy DBA to get started with one, but they don't include all the likely tasks, so Custom-created T-SQL or PowerShell scripts are usually required sooner or later to provide a more comprehensive plan… Read more07 October 2009
Brad's Sure Guide to Maintenance Plans shows you how to use the Maintenance Plan Wizard and Designer to configure and schedule eleven core database maintenance tasks, ranging from integrity checks, to database backups, to index reorganizations and rebuilds. … Read more03 September 2009
Despite the fact DBAs are protectors of an organization's knowledge, and privy to much confidential information, there is no clearly defined set of rules and standards to help govern and guide their ethical conduct. Brad McGehee, in an article based on a chapter from the second edition of his book 'How to Become an Exceptional DBA', discusses a Code of Conduct for DBAs. He advises on why such a code is required, the sort of topics it should contain, and how it might be enforced. Much of this article has relevance for any IT professional.… Read more30 July 2009
A 2nd edition of Brad McGehee's popular "career guide" for DBAs, designed to help new and prospective DBAs find their feet in the profession, and to advise those more-experienced on how they can excel at their jobs, and so become Exceptional DBAs...… Read more09 July 2009
Index Maintenance Plans are essential for the well-being of a database. However, there is more to the process than just the use of the wizard. Brad McGehee takes this one stage further in suggesting that, instead, you should create your own index maintenance tasks that you can schedule to run using the SQL Server Agent.… Read more11 June 2009
In order to best appreciate the reasons for, or importance of, the various administrative tasks that are needed for indexes, it is a good idea to take a look at how the various types of indexes work. Who better to help with a clear expanation for this than Brad McGehee?… Read more
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