Database Administration

16 September 2016

Azure SQL Data Warehouse: Explaining the Architecture Through System Views

The architecture of Azure SQL Data Warehouse isn't easy to explain briefly, but if you have some useful queries that access the management and catalog views, and diagrams that show how they relate together, you can very quickly get a feel for what is going on under the hood. By using and extending these queries that use these views, you can check on a variety waits, blocking, status, table distribution and data movement in ASDW.… Read more
05 September 2016

In-Memory OLTP: Row Visibility in SQL Server’s MVCC

SQL Server's In-memory OLTP is fast, due to its multi-valued concurrency control (MVCC). MVCC avoids the need for locks by arranging for each user connected to the database to see a snapshot of the rows of the tables at a point in time, No changes made by the user will be seen by other users of the database until the changes have been completed and committed. It is conceptually simple but does the user always see the correct version of a row under all circumstances? Shel Burkow explains.… Read more
25 August 2016

SQL Server for Linux

Although SQL Server for Linux removes the concern that adopting SQL Server forces you to also adopt the Windows platform, it could also provide a useful alternative platform, and a more obvious alternative to Oracle. There are, however, several obvious concerns as to how such a product could ever achieve parity with the existing Windows-based product. Microsoft have made an interesting move with several ramifications, as Robert Sheldon explains.… Read more
02 August 2016

SQL Server Access Control: The Basics

No technology yet invented can in any way allow us to neglect the task of ensuring the security of the database by controlling access. Security must be applied in depth, and the database is designed provide a system that will thwart even the most determined external attack. If it seems a bit complicated at first, that is no longer an excuse now that Rob Sheldon has provided this simple guide for getting started. … Read more
01 June 2016

3 Built-In Technologies for Centralizing SQL Server Administration

DBAs can be more effective in managing their workload by centralizing their procedures. There are several features of SQL server that can be harnessed to this end: PowerShell is only part of the solution: there is also Central Management Server, Master /Target Agent and the Remote Server Administration Tools. It's time to work out your objectives and pick the most suitable technologies to meet them. … Read more
01 June 2016

5 Monitoring Queries for SQL Server

Every DBA squirrels away favourite queries for monitoring SQL Server. Nowadays many of these are too complex to keep in your head. Dennes describes how he uses T-SQL queries for solving problems, whether it involves fixing the problems of missing indexes, preventing unrestrained autogrowth, avoiding index fragmentation, checking whether jobs have failed or avoiding memory stress conditions. … Read more
18 April 2016

SQL Server Security Audit Basics

SQL Server Server Audit has grown in functionality over the years but it can be tricky to maintain and use because it lacks centralization and analysis tools. It can do a fast and lightweight audit of many different activities including DML and DDL at both Instance and Database Levels - even the work of the DBAs. How do you check logins and permissions? How do you script an enterprise-wide audit solution? How can you hope to analyse the log data you get? Feodor gets you started.… Read more
13 April 2016

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Analyzing Query Store Performance

There are some obvious advantages to having the Query Store, but what is the performance impact that it is likely to have on a busy OLTP database server? It is early days, of course and until we get more experience we have to rely on Microsoft's estimate of a performance impact of 3-5% on average. However, this will depend on a number of factors such as usage an the way it is configured. Enrico explores some of these factors in order to give a clearer picture of what you should expect.… Read more
16 March 2016

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Forcing Execution Plans using the Query Store

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store can give you valuable performance insights by providing several new ways of troubleshooting queries, studying their plans, exploring their context settings, and checking their performance metrics. However, it can also directly affect the performance of queries by forcing Execution Plans for specific queries.… Read more
07 March 2016

The PoSh DBA: Assigning Data to Variables Via PowerShell Common Parameters

Sometimes, it is the small improvements in a language that can make a real difference. PowerShell is able to introduce extra common parameters that can be used by any Cmdlet or advanced function. When -PipelineVariable was introduced in V4, we all wondered what it could be used for. Laerte experimented and discovered that it could be a real convenience in every-day scripting with the pipeline.… Read more
11 February 2016

Documenting SQL Server with PowerShell

SQL Server instances are generally poorly-documented. How easily can you tell if something has changed? How easily can you check that there is adequate space for growth? Are you up-to-date with licenses? What errors are happening? Who has accessing the system? Before PowerShell, it was difficult to be on top of all this. Now you can, with the help of Sander's database documenter.… Read more
08 February 2016

Five Online Database Modelling Services

To design, or redesign, a database of any complexity, the Entity-Relationship modelling tool becomes essential. The specialized tools that have dominated the industry for a long while are expensive and are installed on a workstation. Now that browser technology has progressed so rapidly, the online database modelling tools have become viable and are starting to attract the attention of database designers. Are they good enough to use now? Robert Sheldon finds out.… Read more
26 January 2016

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Accessing Query Store Information Using DMVs

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store provides several new ways of troubleshooting queries, studying their plans, exploring their context settings, and checking their performance metrics. In using the Query Store to ensure that performance is as good as possible, it isn't long before it becomes important to be familiar with the DMVs that are associated with the query store, and using them in custom queries.… Read more

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