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Rodney Landrum

SQL Server Tacklebox Free eBook

04 August 2009

As a DBA, how well-prepared are you to tackle issues such as backup failure due to lack of disk space, or locking and blocking that is preventing critical business processes from running, or data corruption due to a power failure in the disk subsystem? If you have any hesitation in your answers to these questions, then Rodney Landrum's SQL Server Tacklebox is a must-read.

SQL Server Tacklebox

(Free 240-page eBook)

Click here to view a sample chapter

The book is avaible to download for free to all Simple-Talk members. To reach the download page, click on the above link. You'll be asked to sign in, if you're already a member, or create a new login, if not.

Why read this book?

For the day-to-day DBA, there are dangers around every corner; monsters waiting to strike down the unsuspecting database with a resource-hungry query, an inefficient data load, or even outright data corruption. When the worst happens, and SQL Server is down, or performance is suffering, customers are quick to complain. During such difficult periods, you, the DBA, are the centre of attention. Suddenly, three or four people crowd your desk, laser beam focused on your every action, fully expecting you to solve the problem quickly

The success of your career as a DBA depends largely on how well-prepared you are to deal with such situations. Without verified backups, sound server documentation, and a ready supply of tried-and tested troubleshooting tools, there is no safe place to hide when the monster rears up. All you can do is buy some time, patch things up as best you can and then duck away into your cubicle, which, if you lost any data in the process, may soon be empty.

However, with the tools and techniques provided in the SQL Server Tacklebox, you will be fully-equipped to fight back. Inside, you'll find scripts that will allow you to automate and standardize SQL Server installation, document and report on your servers, migrate data and manage data growth, troubleshoot performance issues, receive notifications of impending danger, secure access to your servers and fight off data corruption.

In short, you'll be able to respond quickly and professionally to the many issues that blight the waking, and often sleeping, hours of the DBA. Then, one day, who knows? That cubicle may turn into an executive office with wall-to-wall tinted windows revealing a flowing brook outside, where no monsters live.

Rodney Landrum

Author profile:

Rodney Landrum has been architecting solutions for SQL Server for over 10 years. He has worked with and written about many SQL Server technologies, including DTS, Integration Services, Analysis Services, and Reporting Services. He has authored three books on Reporting Services including his most recent 2008 edition for Apress. He is a regular contributor to SQL Server magazine and, where he blogs on about things like spiders, beer, somnambulance and SQL. His three recent articles in SQL Server magazine on building a DBA repository with SSIS and SSRS have been well received and implemented widely by DBAs around the world. Rodney also speaks regularly on SQL topics at such events as SQL Saturday and the Pensacola SQL Server Users Group. His day job finds him overseeing the health and well being of over 100 SQL Servers as manager of database administration in Pensacola, Florida.

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Subject: SQL Server Tacklebox
Posted by: NJdeVaal (view profile)
Posted on: Friday, September 4, 2009 at 9:25 AM
Message: This is a perfect book! I implemented the DBA repository from chapter 2 and it gives me lots of valuable information.
However it took me half a day of troubleshooting because of a designing error in the Populate_DBA_REP.dtsx. The Execute SQL Task "Update Server Versions" contains the following code:

UPDATE serverlist_SSIS
SET version = @@microsoftversion / POWER(2, 24)
FROM ServerList_SSIS
ON ServerList_SSIS.Server = SQL_Servers.Server

This code results in wrong SQL Server version numbers in the repository. The code below solves the problem:

UPDATE serverlist_SSIS
SET version = LEFT(ProductVersion,PATINDEX('%.%',ProductVersion)-1)
FROM ServerList_SSIS
ON ServerList_SSIS.Server = SQL_Servers.Server

Soon I will implement more of the solutions in this book. Thanks Rodney, you helped me very much with collecting valuable SQL information.

Nico John de Vaal

Subject: The DBA Repository was great stuff...
Posted by: lewi0168 (view profile)
Posted on: Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 8:19 PM
Message: Rod,

Great book, easy to read... finished it in one sitting over 3 hours.

The DBA repository was great stuff, I went and built my DBA repository based on your SQL Mag article in Feb 2008.

I will have to review it and see if there are any changes raised in the book that can be applied to my repository and SQL environment in general.


Michael Lewis

Subject: Interesting so far...
Posted by: John W. (view profile)
Posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Message: I'm still going through it but I highly recommend this book from what I've seen so far!
I am having an issue implementing the code though. I've run into an issue with the tail end of the "CH1_Listing_1_Automated_Configuration_Script.sql" code.
I'm on the
--Create Index Maintenance Job

EXEC _dbaMain..spxCreateIDXMaintenanceJob
'Admin Profile'
, 'sqlsupport'
, 'Sunday'
, 0

section. Whenever I execute it I get:
Msg 14234, Level 16, State 1, Procedure sp_verify_job, Line 243
The specified '@notify_email_operator_name' is invalid (valid values are returned by sp_help_operator).

If I throw email addresses in either of the first 2 variables, I get:
Msg 515, Level 16, State 2, Procedure sp_add_job, Line 137
Cannot insert the value NULL into column 'owner_sid', table 'msdb.dbo.sysjobs'; column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails.
The statement has been terminated.

I've tried several different variables on this stored proc with no luck. So close but yet so far.

Thanks. And I did post on sqlservercentral in the hopes of an answer there. I'd really like to get this implemented.

Subject: Book Revisions\Updates
Posted by: swoozie (view profile)
Posted on: Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 7:06 AM
Message: Have you created an updated version of the Tackle box for SQL 2014 and 2016?

I really enjoy the book, it covers a lot of basics.

Subject: Unable to open SSIS solution in VS2008 and VS2010
Posted by: fiyo (view profile)
Posted on: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 4:01 AM
Message: Great book for junior DBA's like me :-). I am unable to open the SSIS package in VS2008 or VS2010. When opening the solution, I was prompted to convert the solution, which I did but then the solution did not load - error when loading. Can you please advice how I could get it to work? Thanks in advance

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