Survey: how much server memory on your largest machine?

[Edit 12/10/14: Survey is closed see the editorial here.] One of the trends I’m seeing this year is a slow increase in the number of people who have servers with very large amounts of memory – so time for a survey! I’d like to know how much memory is installed on your largest server that […]

Survey: target uptime – planned and actual

It’s been five years(!) since the last time I asked about your target uptimes for your critical SQL Server instances and I think we’d all be interested to see how things have changed. Edit 6/2/14: The survey is closed now – see here for the results. So I present four surveys to you. For your […]

Survey: what is the most worrying cause of log growth?

Time for another fun survey, this time around factors causing the transaction log to grow. Imagine you’re the DBA for a company and you come to work Monday morning and find that the transaction log on one of the most critical databases, which has a 24×7 workload, is growing repeatedly. You check the log_reuse_wait_desc field […]

Survey: what is the most worrying wait type?

Here’s another survey for you, and I’m really looking forward to seeing and discussing the results of this one. Imagine you’re the new DBA for a company (which shouldn’t be hard for most of you :-) and a week ago a new release of the client and server code was rolled out, and you cleared […]

Survey: using DBCC WRITEPAGE

In this survey I’d like to know what your experience is using the DBCC WRITEPAGE undocumented command. This survey is closed – see the editorial here – thanks! I’ll editorialize the results in a week or two. Thanks!

Survey: restoring and rebuilding master

In the first post of the year I’d like to kick off a survey. I’m interested to know whether you’ve ever practiced restoring or rebuilding master, or whether you’ve had to do either for real in a disaster recovery situation. I’ll editorialize the results next week. Thanks!

Survey: tempdb and transaction log IO latencies

Time for another survey! This survey’s very simple: run the following code on as many of your production instances as you can, and post a comment with the results or send me plain text/spreadsheet output in an email. Please do not add any more info to the results (like server name, commas, lines) as it’s not relevant […]

Survey: what SQL Server build number are you running?

Time for another survey (I’ll editorialize the files/filegroups data from the last survey next week). This survey’s very simple, run the following code on as many of your instances as you can, and post a comment with the results or send me plaintext/spreadsheet output in an email. Please do not add any more info to the […]

Survey: data files and filegroups per database (code to run)

This survey is closed – please don’t spend your time sending any more data – thanks In this survey I’d like to see what the distribution of the number of data files and filegroups per database is for your servers. Please run the following code (with example output): And send me the results for as […]

Survey: what’s the newest version of SQL Server that you have in production

In this survey I’d like to know what the newest version of SQL Server is in your environment – it has to be an instance that’s being used for a production workload in some way (rather than just evaluation purposes). I’ll report on the results next week. Thanks!

Easy automation of SQL Server database maintenance

A while back I kicked off a survey asking what mechanism you use for running your regular SQL Server database maintenance. Here are the results: The “Other” responses were: 7 x “A combination of maintenance plans generated from SSMS wizard and a home-grown index maintenance script” 5 x “Combo of own and modified scripts of […]

Survey: what mechanism do you use for regular database maintenance?

I haven’t done any surveys this year and I’d like to get back into doing one every week or so for the next few months. In this survey I’d like to know what mechanism(s) you use to perform your regular database maintenance. I’ll editorialize the results in a week or so. Thanks!

Survey: how often do you perform a full backup?

In this survey, I'm interested in how often you perform a full database backup of your production databases. I'll editorialize the results in a week or two. Thanks!

Survey: where do you store your database backups?

In this survey I'd like to know where you store your SQL Server backups. If a disaster occurs, where do you get them from? It doesn't matter what method you use to create the backups (native SQL Server, 3rd-party backup solution, DPM) but we're talking about database backups here, not OS-level backups. I'll report on […]

Survey: do you have a baseline?

For the last few weeks I've been thinking about performance baselines, mostly because I've been producing Erin's new Pluralsight course on Benchmarking and Baselining. It got me thinking that it would be interesting to know how many of you are using baselines, and what for, and if not, why not. So I present to you […]

Survey: transaction log files per database (code to run)

In this survey I'd like to see what the distribution of the number of log files per database is for your servers. I'm planning to do similar surveys through the rest of the year around data files and filegroups too. Please run the following code (with example output): SELECT     DISTINCT [LogFiles],     COUNT (*) […]

Most common latch classes and what they mean

Back in May I kicked off a survey about prevalent latches on SQL Server instances across the world (see here). It's taken me quite a while to get around to collating and blogging about the results, but here they are at last! I got information back for almost 600 servers, and if you remember, I […]

Survey: most prevalent latch waits (code to run)

I first started blogging about latches and some of the deeper parts of SQL Server internals last year (see Advanced performance troubleshooting: waits, latches, spinlocks) and now I'd like to pick up that thread (no scheduling pun intended :-)) and blog some more about some of the common latches that could be a performance bottleneck. […]

Max server memory configuration survey results

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I kicked off a survey about memory configuration. Actually it was back at the start of January and I've been terribly remiss about posting the survey results! I was interested in how the setting of Max Server Memory (which controls the maximum size of the […]

Importance of how you run consistency checks

Back in 2009 I ran a survey about methods of running consistency checks. I recently re-ran the survey to get a better idea of the prevailing methodologies – hoping that more people were offloading consistency checks in concert with testing backups. The results are very interesing. 2009 survey results: 2012 survey results: The results are […]

Survey: how do you run consistency checks?

Three years ago I ran a survey about consistency checking methods. A lot has changed since then, including database sizes, 24×7 operations, and a lot more people reading my blog. I'd like to re-run that survey so we can all get a better idea of what the prevailing methodologies are these days. So, if you […]

Survey: memory configuration

Time for another survey – this time around memory configuration. Here is some code to run if you're on SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (thanks Jonathan!): SELECT     [physical_memory_in_bytes] AS [PhysMemBytes],     [physical_memory_in_use_kb] AS [PhysMemInUseKB],     [available_physical_memory_kb] AS [PhysMemAvailKB],     [locked_page_allocations_kb] AS [LPAllocKB],     [max_server_memory] AS [MaxSvrMem],     [min_server_memory] AS [MinSvrMem] FROM     sys.dm_os_sys_info […]

How cluster key size can lead to GBs of wasted space

Back in November I kicked off a survey that had you run some code to get some details about your cluster keys, nonclustered indexes, and table size. I got results from more than 500 systems across the world, resulting in 97565 lines of data – thanks! The purpose of the survey is to highlight one […]

Survey: wasted space from cluster keys (code to run)

Continuing with my "index health" series, I've got another piece of code for you to run. This time I'm interested in the number of columns in your clustered indexes and the consequent amount of nonclustered index space used by the clustered index keys. Again, you're going to be really interested to see the results on […]

Over and under indexing – how bad is it out there?

Back at the start of August I kicked off a survey (see here) that gave you some code to run to produce an aggregate list of the number of tables on your server with different numbers of nonclustered indexes. I got back results from more than 1000 servers across the world – a big thank you […]

SharePoint in a SQL Server environment

A few weeks back I kicked off a survey asking whether you have SharePoint in your SQL Server environment at all. Here are the results:   The "Other" responses were: 3 x "Not now but I did in a previous role." 3 x "Yes, but the dbas do not manage their servers." 2 x "SharePoint 2007 […]

Survey: nonclustered index counts (code to run)

Here's a survey I've been meaning to run for quite a while – that Kimberly and I are really interested in. For all the databases on your server, how many nonclustered indexes do you tables have, plus is the table a heap or a clustered index? The code below will return the following result set […]

OT survey results: browsers and email clients

A couple of weeks back I kicked off an off-topic survey about which internet browsers and email clients people use. Here are the results:   The "Other" results are: 2 x "Chrome, FF4, IE789" 2 x "Firefox 5" 1 x "Avant" 1 x "Dragon and IE9 for flash content" 1 x "Home Firefox 5.0.1 and […]

Using database snapshots

Three weeks ago I kicked off a survey about using database snapshots – see here - because I don’t really know how much they’re used or not out in the wild. Here are the results:   The “Other” values are: 13 x “No – not at the moment.” 10 x “In our test environment for reverting […]

OT Survey: internet browsers and mail readers

This survey is off-topic and was suggested by Justin Dearing (blog|twitter) and I'm curious about the results too so I agreed to run it. We're interested to see what internet browsers are most commonly used my members of the database community, along with which email clients. People are often fanatic about one browser/client or another […]

Survey results on rebooting – is it good or bad?

About a month ago I kicked off a survey around regularly rebooting SQL Server (see here). There is much debate about rebooting SQL Server (or Windows Server hosting SQL Server), regularly or even at all so I've been looking forward to the results. My view is that there are circumstances where rebooting, even regularly, is […]

Survey: do you use database snapshots?

As I was writing a quick SQL Server Magazine blog post on database snapshots while waiting for my coffee to brew, I figured it would make an interesting survey to see whether people are making use of database snapshots at all. I don’t expect to see much activity on this until tomorrow as it’s July […]

MAXDOP configuration survey results

A month ago I kicked off a survey about MAXDOP setting – see here for the survey. I received results for 700 servers around the world! Here they are:   The X-axis format is X-Y-Z, where X = number of cores, Y = number of NUMA nodes, Z = MAXDOP setting. I didn't differentiate between […]

Survey: do you regularly reboot SQL Server?

In this survey I'd like to know if you regularly reboot SQL Server. There are two parts to this: a) no or yes with frequency b) if yes, why? If you answer the survey on the right, please also answer the one on the left to give the frequency of reboot/restart - thanks!  I'll report on […]

The pros and cons of trace flags

If I told you about an undocumented mod you could make to your car's brakes to make them more efficient, would you try it? What if a random mechanic told you? What if someone who's an expert in your make and model of car told you? What if the car manufacturer asked you to try it […]

Performance issues from wasted buffer pool memory

Back in April I kicked off a survey where I asked you all to send me some information about your buffer pools – how much memory is being used for data file pages and how much of that memory is storing empty space. I got back data from 1394 servers around the world – thanks! […]

Survey: cores vs. MAXDOP

I have a few surveys to editorialize but I'd like to kick off another one where you have to run a bit of code and send the results. For this one I'm interested in how you have your system configured for parallelism, given the number of processor cores and NUMA nodes configured. For systems using […]

Survey: what’s your comfort level with trace flags in production?

After finishing the salary survey I was kicking around ideas for the next one and thought about one of the sessions I presented at SQL Connections in Spring this year and Fall last year about undocumented tips and tricks (just the tip of the iceberg!). In that presentation I covered a bunch of trace flags […]

Salary survey results – are YOU being paid enough?

   (Used with permission from Dilbert.com) Following on from the survey I did about what your company is doing for you and vice-versa (see Job security, loyalty, and employee retention: you need to take control), people asked for a salary survey – so I complied a couple of weeks ago (see here for the survey). […]

Anonymous survey: salaries in the SQL Server world

Following my survey on company and employee loyalty, job security, and retention, I think it'll be very useful to the community to do a survey on salary vs experience for the SQL Server world – so here it is! This survey is completely anonymous – there is no way for anyone to know what you voted. […]

Job security, loyalty, and employee retention: you need to take control

  (Used with permission from Dilbert.com) It's an interesting marketplace for DBAs right now. Depending on who you speak to, and what your view into the DBA world is, a few data points are evident: There's a view that all the good people already have jobs There's a view that it's pretty hard right now […]

Survey: how much server memory is being wasted? (code to run)

In this survey I'd like you to run some code and then send me the results (and I'm sure someone will put together a PowerShell script to make it easy to run on multiple instances). I want to know how much of your precious server memory is being wasted storing empty space on data file […]

Advanced SQL Server performance tuning

It’s all very well having whizz-bang 3rd-party performance monitoring and troubleshooting tools, but sometimes you have to get deeper into what’s going on with SQL Server than any of these tools can go. Or you have to call Customer Support or Premier Support so *they* can dive in deeper. Typically you or they are going to […]

Surveys: what’s your company doing for you, and vice versa?

After a discussion on Twitter this morning, my good friend Steve Jones (blog|twitter) said it would be great to have a survey polling people on how their companies are retaining them this year, and vice-versa - so here it is! The survey is completely anonymous, so don't be afraid to answer. Also, if you'd like to […]

Survey results: Common causes of performance problems

A couple of week ago I kicked off a survey about common causes of performance problems – see here for the survey. Firstly I asked what was the root cause for the most recent performance problems you looked at – here are the results:   Secondly I asked what you think the overall most common […]

Survey: have you ever used these DMVs?

In this week's survey I've got four mini-surveys for you, all to do with in-depth performance analysis. I'd like to know whether you've ever used each of four DMVs that look progressively more deeply into the workings of the database engine. I'll report on the results in a week or two and start blogging about […]

Human nature is a significant hurdle to successful disaster recovery

A few weeks ago I kicked off a survey about disaster recovery testing and how the plan copes with human factors. You can see the original survey here. This Dilbert cartoon is a pretty accurate portrayal of most clients' disaster recovery plans when I first start working with them: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2000-08-15/. Here are the survey results:   […]

Survey: what are the most common causes of performance problems?

This survey follows on from the survey results I just blogged about, and is particularly apt given we're here in Dallas this week teaching our Immersion Event on Performance Tuning. I'm interested to know the root causes of your last few performance problems. I know that we all debug multiple performance problems every week, so […]

Query plan analysis first steps

About a month ago I kicked off a survey asking what you look for when first analyzing a plan for a poorly performing query. You can see the original survey here. Here are the survey results:   The "Other" values are as follows: 13 x "Most expensive as percentage of total cost of batch" 7 […]

Surveys: DR plan testing and considering human nature

The recent earthquake in New Zealand and this morning's devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan set off a lot of discussion on twitter about DR planning and testing. I wrote a blog post on our SQL Server Magazine blog this morning asking people to think about their testing – see here. I'm conducting two […]

Tempdb configuration survey results and advice

A few weeks ago I kicked off a survey about tempdb configuration – see here for the survey. I received results for more than 600 systems! Here they are:     These are very interesting results, for several reasons: It shows the relative distribution of core-count for SQL Servers, with a pronounced shift to 8+ […]

Better together – the importance of great inter-team relationships

Back at the end of January I kicked off a survey about the relationship between your DBA and dev teams. See here for the survey. Here are the results:   The 22 Other values are: 5 x The devs are great – it's the apps and the process that suck. 4 x It depends on […]

Survey: how is your tempdb configured?

In this week's survey, I want to know how you've got tempdb configured compared to the number of processor cores SQL Server thinks it has. I'll correlate, analyze, and present the results like the log file survey I did last year where I got results for 17000 databases. The code I'd like you to run […]

Updated database size survey results

Last week I kicked off a survey about the size of the largest single SQL Server database in your company – see here for the survey. I was interested to see how the distribution has changed since I did the same survey a few years ago. 2011 results:   2009 results:   Very interesting! As […]

Survey: what’s the largest SQL Server database at your company?

In my survey this week I'd like to find out how large the largest single SQL Server database is at your company (how much space does the data take up on disk, roughly). I ran a similar survey almost two years ago and I think it will be interesting to compare the results. [Edit: the […]

Importance of network latency when using database mirroring

Last week I kicked off a survey about network latencies and database mirroring. See here for the original post. Here are the results of the survey:   I was really interested to see whether the proportion of people doing asynchronous mirroring became higher as the network latency increased. Although this isn't a statistically valid sampe […]

Survey: what’s your plan for a plan?

In my survey for this week I'm interested in what you look for first when analyzing a query plan. I'll report on the results around mid-February. Thanks! PS Post comments are disabled to avoid skewing the results.

Importance of monitoring a database mirroring session

Last week I kicked off a survey about how you monitor your database mirroring sessions. See here for the original post. Here are the results of the survey:   The "Other" values were: 6 people monitor mirroring session state changes One uses a 3rd-party product to do monitoring One monitors response time for the application […]

Survey: inter-team relationships

I'm going to do two surveys this week. In this one I want to know what the relationship is like between the DBA team and the dev team wherever you work (or whatever comes closest team-wise). Remember the survey is completely anonymous. If you want to, feel free to add an anonymous or otherwise comment […]

Survey: database mirroring latency between servers

In my survey for this week, I'd like to know what you what the network latency is between your mirroring principal and mirror servers, and what kind of mirroring you're using. I'll report on the results during the second week of February. Thanks!

Survey: monitoring database mirroring

In my survey for this week, I'd like to know what you monitor if you're using database mirroring. [Edit: The survey has closed now. See here for the results.] I'll report on the results during the first week of February. Thanks!

What’s in a job title?

Just before Christmas last year I created a survey to ask you what your job title is and additionally, if you wanted, what you actually did in your job. See here for the original post. Here are the results of the survey:   I think that clearly shows the type of people reading my blog […]

Results of CPU power saving survey

At the end of December I showed you how to discover if power saving is enabled on your server, which can lead to variable and often degraded performance. I also included a survey to let me know what you found after running the free CPU-Z tool on your servers. See here for the original post. […]

Are your CPUs running slowly? Tool tip and survey

(Yes, I know I haven't editorialized the last survey on What's in a Job Title – I will in the New Year.) Over the last couple of weeks I've signed up a bunch of new customers for maintenance/ops audits and general perf work and I've had all of them check whether power saving mode is […]

Survey: what’s in a job title?

There's been a lot of discussion on the MVP distribution list about various certifications and what SQL Server roles they cater to. Furthermore, there's a lot of disagreement on what the multitude of job titles mean. In this survey I'd like to find out what you think your primary job role is, and if you're up […]

Survey: what is the highest wait on your system?

I've recently been creating some content about wait stats analysis and I think it would be really interesting to see what kind of waits people are seeing out there in the wild. Hopefully it'll also introduce a bunch of people to the waits-and-queues performance troubleshooting methodology and how it can be really useful to them. […]

Survey results around purchase and use of SSDs

Back at the start of July I kicked off a survey around your plans for SSDs (see here) and now I present the results to you. There's not much to editorialize here, but the numbers are interesting to see.   The "other" answers were (verbatim): 3 x 'have bought and am trying them out' 3 […]

Survey: SSD purchasing and deployment plans

It's been a while since I conducted blog surveys so I'm going to do a few through July and August. First up – I'd like to know what your plans are for purchasing SSDs – do you already have them or are you planning to buy some in the next year? Secondly – I'd like […]

Log file configuration metrics for 17000 databases

(Happy Independence Day to everyone back home in the USA! We're in Dublin for another week…)  Back at the end of April I conducted a survey of transaction log characteristics (see here) and now I present the results to you. I had a great response to the survey from almost 100 people, and the total […]

Survey: how are your transaction logs configured?

Over the last few months there's been some noise (mostly of my making) on Twitter about the number of VLFs in transsction logs. Given the large numbers of people who read the blog and follow me on Twitter, I thought it would be very interesting to collect some statistics from a few hundred of you […]

Survey: how do you create and maintain statistics

This survey is based on a suggestion from Jonathan Kehayias (blog/Twitter). In this survey I'm asking two questions: When you're designing/implementing a database, do you manually create statistics or let SQL Server create them automatically? How do you maintain statistics? Manually or letting SQL Server do it for you? Or both?  I'll probably collaborate with Kimberly on […]

Importance of having a good disaster recovery plan

A few weeks ago I kicked off a survey asking what kind of disaster recovery guide/run-book/plan (I'll just call it a plan from now on) you have (see here for the survey). Here are the results as of 9/15/09:   Out of all these answers, IMHO the last answer is the only acceptable one for […]

Survey: what kind of disaster recovery guide do you have?

In this survey I'd like to find out what kind of disaster recovery guide/run-book/plan you have, if any. When a disaster occurs, do you just wing-it, or is there something written-down that was worked out in advance to help you along the way. I'll report on the results in a couple of weeks. *Please* no comments […]

Adding geo-redundancy to failover clustering

A few weeks ago I kicked off a survey on how you add geo-redundancy to a failover cluster (see here for the survey). The results as of 8/26/09 are as follows:   So why is this interesting? Well, many people will suggest failover clustering as the best way to provide high-availability for a database (or […]

Survey: How do you provide geo-redundancy with clustering?

I'm moving away from strictly weekly surveys as they're a little demanding, especially when we're on the road. In this survey I'd like to know which technology you use to provide geo-redundancy to databases that are protected locally using a failover cluster. I'll report on the answers sometime around the middle of August. *Please* no comments […]

Importance of running regular consistency checks

A long time ago, in a blog post far, far away (well before I went offline in July) I kicked off a weekly survey about how often you run consistency checks (see here for the survey). Now I'm back online again, and so here are the results as of 8/3/09.   The results are actually […]

Weekly survey: how often do you run consistency checks?

In this week's survey I'd like to know how often you run consistency checks on your *most critical* production database, regardless of *how* you run them (we did that survery already – see Importance of how you run consistency checks). I'll report on the results around July 4th. I'd only like you to answer for […]

Importance of data file size management

In last week's survey I asked how you manage the size of your database *data* files – see here for the survey. Here are the results as of 6/24/09. The 'other' values are as follows: 5 x 'manual file growths and a custom mom alter to when the datafiles are 98% full. autogrow set to […]

Weekly survey: how do you manage your data file sizes?

In this week's survey I'd like to know how you manage the sizes of your database *data* files (remember we've already done log file size management). I'll report on the results around 6/21/09. I say this every week in the PS, but I'm moving it up here because I don't like having to delete comments […]

Becoming an involuntary DBA – you’re not alone

In last week's survey I asked you what you think is the hardest thing when becoming an involuntary DBA – see here for the survey. Here are the results as of 6/15/09. The 'other' responses were: 3 x 'Learning to tell good advice from bad advice' 1 x 'Learning to know *that* you don't know' […]

Weekly Survey: what’s the hardest part of becoming an involuntary DBA?

This week's survey is all about being a DBA or involuntary DBA – what do you think is the hardest thing when becoming an involuntary DBA? I'll report on the results sometime over the weekend of 6/13/09. As always, a big Thanks! for contributing to the blog by responding. Please shoot me an email (Contact […]

Important considerations when performance tuning

In last week's survey I asked what you think is the most important thing when it comes to performance tuning, if you *had* to choose one – see here for the survey. Here are the results as of 6/7/09. Now of course you're all calling 'foul' because I didn't put an 'it depends' option on […]

Weekly survey: what’s the most important thing when performance tuning?

This week's survey is going to provide some fun debating topics. I'd like to know what the number 1 thing is that YOU go after when performance tuning – what do you think is most important? (Assuming you're not just randomly walking up to a server to do some perf tuning – there's an actual […]

Importance of defining and measuring SLAs

In last week's survey I asked you two things, as a precursor to a whitepaper I'm writing for Microsoft The first question was what is your maximum allowable downtime SLA (either for 24×7 operation or not). See here for the survey. Here are the results as of 5/30/09.   The Other values were all about not having […]

Weekly survey: maximum allowable downtime – target and actual

This week's survey is inspired by this morning's Kimberly+Paul hot-tub conversation around data-dependent routing vs. network load balancing, which then turned to SLAs. Yes, we lead an exciting life . This survey is a *four*-parter. Part 1 is for each of your databases, which survey option is closest to your target maximum allowable downtime SLA (Service-Level […]

Importance of testing your disaster recovery plan

In last week’s survey I asked whether you’re ever tested your disaster recovery plan, and if so, what happened? (See here for the survey). Here are the results as of 5/25/09: The ‘other’ responses are: 2 x “restored to test env regularly. don’t know if sla would be met.” 2 x “test it regularly, most […]

Weekly survey: have you ever tested your disaster recovery plan?

This week's survey is inspired from many stories I saw on the forums and Twitter this week – mostly bad, one good (someone I'm following is spending the weekend testing their disaster recovery plan – cool!). I'd like to know whether you're ever tested your disaster recovery plan, and if so, what happened? I'll report […]

Importance of choosing the right architecture and SQL Server Edition

Last week's survey was another two-fold one – when you buy new servers, what architecture to you predominantly buy, and why?; when you buy new servers, which Edition of SQL Server do you predominantly buy, and why? Here are the results as of 5/17/2009.   For the first survey, the 'other' values were basically that […]

Weekly survey: what architecture do you buy? And which SQL Server edition?

This week's survey is another two-parter, part 1 of which suggested by Mike Walsh on Twitter: When you buy new servers, what archictecture do you predominantly buy, and why? When you buy new servers, which Edition of SQL Server do you predominantly buy, and why? I know the surveys below don't have a 'whatever suits […]

Importance of having a manageable environment

Last week's survey was two-fold – what's the largest SQL Server database you manage, and how many SQL Server databases are you responsible for managing. Here are the results as of 5/10/2009.   As far as the database sizes are concerned, the distribution curve isn't surprising, but the average size of databases *is*. 70% of […]

Weekly survey: what’s your largest database, and how many do you manage?

Jason Massie posted an interesting statistic yesterday – Facebook has 1.5 petabytes of image storage, and it grows by 25TB daily – I wonder how they store and manage it? In this week's survey, I'm interested in two things: what's the largest single SQL Server database in your company and how many SQL Server databases […]

Importance of having the right backups

Last week's survey was on what kind of backups you take, along with the recovery model used (see here for the survey). Here are the results as of 5/2/2009.   The 'other' responses were combinations of the other answers. This survey is a bit of a pre-cursor to my article on Understanding SQL Server Backups […]

Weekly survey: what kind of backups do you take?

In this week's survey I'm interested in what kind of backups you take, and also what recovery model you mostly use. If you have multiple database with different strategies, by all means respond multiple times. The more responses the better! I'll report on the survey results some time over the weekend of 5/2/2009. A couple […]

Physical database layout vs. database size

A couple of weeks ago I kicked off the latest survey, on what the physical layout of your databases are and why you have them that way (see here for the survey). I let the survey run for a while to get a good sampling, and I wasn't disappointed, with over 1000 responses! Here are […]

Weekly survey: still running last week’s survey

Last week I kicked off a survey about the physical layout of your databases, based on database size. I'm running it for two weeks and will report on the results next Friday. One thing I missed was 'multiple filegroups over multiple drives/arrays/LUNs for any reason' in the > 1TB category – not enough options on […]

Weekly survey: does size really matter – or is it what you do with it?

This week's survey is a little more complicated. I'm interested in the physical layout of your databases. I've got four surveys, for a variety of database sizes. Please vote multiple times in each survey, as you see fit – and by all means forward this link to your friends/clients/etc or re-blog/tweet it. I'm going to report […]

Importance of proper transaction log size management

Last week's survey was on how *you* manage the size of your transaction log (see here for the survey). Here are the results as of 4/10/2009 – the most popular survey yet: In my opinion (guarantee that I'm going to say stuff that some of you won't agree with!), there are only two valid answers in […]

Weekly survey: transaction log size management

In this week's survey, I'm interested in how *you* manage the size of your transaction log. I'll report on the results around 4/10/2009. Thanks! (No comments please… wait till the results post next week) 

Importance of choosing the right LOB storage technique

Last week's survey was on how you should store large-value character data in SQL 2005+ (see here for the survey). Here are the result as of 4/3/2009 – and I think my favorite answer is starting to catch-on: My favorite answer is, of course, it depends! For all those who didn't answer 'it depends', your […]

Weekly survey: large-value character storage

(And it's official – this is blog post 39 this month, making this my most prolific month yet for blogging. An arguably dubious achievement…) In this week's survey, I'm interested in your views on the best way to store large-value character data. I'll report on the results next week (around 4/3/09). Thanks!

Weekly survey: method of running consistency checks

In this week's survey, I'd like to know *how* you run consistency checks, not how often. I'll report on the results next week (around 3/27/09) Thanks!

Importance of index maintenance

Last week’s survey was on what kind of regular index maintenance you perform (see here for the survey) as a way of kicking off a new series I’m writing around index maintenance. Here are the results as of 3/21/09 – I find them very encouraging: As you can see, about 2/5 of respondents are performing some form […]

Weekly survey: index maintenance plan

I'm about to start a new series of post about index fragmentation and removing it. For this week's survey, I'd like to know what index maintenance you do to address fragmentation (in any of its forms) – I'll report on it in a week. Thanks

Importance of validating backups

Last week I kicked off the first weekly survey – on whether you validate your backups or not (see here for the survey). The results are very interesting (as of 3/13/09): As you can see, almost 25% of respondents never validate their backups! And a further 25% only validate them occasionally, with 30% doing some […]

Misconceptions around instant file initialization

Whenever I teach a class I’m amazed at the number of DBAs who don’t know about instant file initialization. Without wanting to redo blog posts that others have done, in a nutshell it allows a file to be create or grown ‘instantly’ by not having to zero the space in the file. This is especially […]

What’s a valid question for a DBA interview?

There's been an interesting discussion on SQLServerCentral about whether this question is valid for a DBA interview: what's the name of the executable that runs SQL Server? My view is that it's a perfectly valid question, based on the cliched premise that the more you know, the further you go. I've conducted hundreds of interviews […]

Testing a new survey method: backup validation

I'm toying with the idea of having a weekly survey that'll highlight an interesting facet of database management. I've signed up with SurveyPopups.com, which is free and allows you to see the results as you vote on them. If you think this is a cool idea, vote in the survey using the options below. If […]