TechNet Magazine: September 2011 SQL Q&A column

The September edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Online index operations logging changes in SQL Server 2008 Is that transaction contained in my full backup? ALTER INDEX … REBUILD vs. ALTER INDEX … REGORGANIZE Avoiding regular […]

TechNet Magazine: July 2011 SQL Q&A column

The July edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Deferred log truncation from concurrent data and log backups Database mirroring monitoring Multiple transaction log files Best use of SSDs in a SQL environment (high-level) Check it out […]

TechNet Magazine: May 2011 SQL Q&A column

The May edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Tempdb space analysis and tracking The four qualities of a good clustered index key Convincing management of the need for DR planning Considering data compression for OLTP workloads Check […]

TechNet Magazine article: data protection and the corporate jigsaw puzzle

My latest feature article for TechNet Magazine has just been published in the April edition. It focuses on planning an HA/DR strategy within the confines of a larger corporate IT strategy, from multiple perspectives but really focusing on the IT manager role and how to interact both up (to business managers) and down (to DBAs). […]

TechNet Magazine: March 2011 SQL Q&A column

The March edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Using I/O and wait statistics Missing index analysis Smoothing relations between DBA and dev teams Page splits, fill factor and SharePoint  Check it out at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg703775.aspx.

TechNet Magazine: January 2011 SQL Q&A column

The January edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Diagnosing I/O subsystem bottlenecks Capacity planning for transaction logs Why there are no non-logged operations in user databases Check it out at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg552991.aspx.

TechNet Magazine Article: Top-10 Secrets of a SQL Server Expert

The November 2010 edition of TechNet Magazine is now available on the web and contains my latest feature article. In this article I give my top-10 secrets for success as a DBA, covering: Take inventory Standardize configurations Understand the I/O susbsystem Create a customized maintenance plan Ensure the security of your system Get on good terms with […]

TechNet Magazine: July 2010 SQL Q&A column

The July edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column (and I forgot to blog about it a couple of weeks back). This month's topics are: Why shrink runs slower on some databases than others Is it true that autogrow should always […]

TechNet Magazine: May 2010 SQL Q&A column

The May edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: How to change the file locations for a user database The difference between page latches and page I/O latches Why database snapshots are not a good substitute for […]

TechNet Magazine: March 2010 SQL Q&A column

The March edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Distributed transactions and database mirroring – why they don't work together Background processes that can cause I/Os even with no connections to the server How to restore backups […]

TechNet Magazine: January 2010 SQL Q&A column

Happy New Year!  The January edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Using backups for corruption recovery Why snapshot isolation is required when using change tracking, and its performance implications Is DBCC CHECKDB a really comprehensive integrity […]

TechNet Magazine: feature article on recovering from disasters using backups

The November 2009 edition of TechNet Magazine is up on the web and contains my latest feature article, the second in a 3-part series on backups/restores/repairs. In this article I explain all about using the RESTORE command. Not much point having backups if you don't know how to use them! Topics include: The four phases […]

TechNet Magazine: October 2009 SQL Q&A column

(First blog post from Poland! We're here to present at the Microsoft Poland Technology Summit.)  The October edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Unexpected consistency checks? How much space is each database using in the buffer […]

TechNet Magazine: August 2009 SQL Q&A column

The August edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Proactive page checksum failure detection Why GUIDs make for bad clustered index keys  Possible problems using a log shipping secondary for reporting  Recovery model choice for log size […]

TechNet Magazine: Feature article on backups and backup strategy

The July 2009 edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web and include a feature article I wrote explaining backups. It's the first in a 3-part series, with parts 2 and 3 being on recovering from disasters using backups and recovering from disasters without backups. The backup article covers: Full backups Differential backups Log […]

TechNet Magazine: June 2009 SQL Q&A column

The June edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Combining index and statistics maintenance How some Enterprise-only features can prevent a database restoring on lower editions Why database mirroring can switch between SYNCHRONIZED and SYNCHRONIZING Use a […]

TechNet Magazine: feature article on Common SQL Server Security Issues and Solutions

The May 2009 TechNet Magazine is now available online, and it's the annual security issue. In there is an article I wrote highlighting 10 common security issues (and solutions) you should worry about if you're not a security-savvy DBA. It covers: Physical security Network security Attach surface minimzation Service accounts Restricting use of administrator privileges […]

TechNet Magazine: April 2009 SQL Q&A column

The April edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web now and has the latest installment of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's topics are: Disappearing errors with DBCC CHECKDB Provisioning tempdb when moving from 2000 to 2008 Does fillfactor prevent fragmentation and should it be set instance-wide Avoiding FILESTREAM performance problems Check […]

TechNet Magazine: February 2009 SQL Q&A column

OK – last content post today. I forgot that the February TechNet Magazine also has the latest edition of my regular SQL Q&A column. This month's column covers: Should backup compression be enabled at the instance level? Client redirection during database mirroring failovers Partition-level lock escalation in SQL Server 2008 Is it ever safe to […]

TechNet Magazine: feature article on understanding logging and recovery

Wow – today is all about new content. As if I haven't already blogged about enough stuff to keep you reading through next week, the February issue of TechNet Magazine is now available and contains a feature article I wrote about understanding how logging and recovery work inside SQL Server. The article covers: What is […]

Daily SQL Server 2008 tips from TechNet Magazine

TechNet Magazine is publishing a series of SQL Server 2008 tips every day through January – mostly taken from upcoming Microsoft Press books on SQL Server 2008. Later this month it will include some tips from our upcoming book Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Internals. Check out the tips at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd391795.aspx. Enjoy!

TechNet Magazine: feature article on Advanced Troubleshooting with Extended Events

The January 2009 issue of TechNet Magazine is now available on the web and has a new article I wrote on Advanced Troubleshooting with Extended Events in SQL Server 2008. The article covers: An overview of troubleshooting in SQL Server, along with links to a bunch of tools like DMVStats and RML An overview of […]

Paul Randal named Contributing Editor of TechNet Magazine

As you may have noticed, I *really* like blogging and writing about SQL Server (to the point that Kimberly jokes in our sessions and workshops that I blog so much I don't sleep…). Well, to cap off our very successful conference season, I'm very pleased to announce that I've just been made a Contributing Editor […]

TechNet Magazine: December 2008 SQL Q&A column

It's really scary how quickly time flies – seems like it was just last week when I last blogged about TechNet Magazine (actually it was a month ago when I blogged about my 2008 Change Tracking article - see here). Anyway, a new issue of TechNet Magazine has just come out and this one has the […]

TechNet Magazine: Article on Tracking Changes in Your Enterprise Database

The feature article on SQL Server 2008: Tracking Changes in Your Enterprise Database I wrote for the November issue of TechNet Magazine is live on the web. It also includes a 5 minute long screencast I recorded where I demo the change data capture feature. You can get to the article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc987538.aspx. The topics covered are: The […]

TechNet Magazine: October SQL Q&A column

It’s been almost two weeks since my last post as we’ve been offline in Scotland (another photo post to follow – I owe you two now…) but now we’re back for the crazy Fall conference and teaching season. The latest installment of my regular Q&A column in TechNet Magazine is available at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc895648.aspx. This month […]

TechNet Magazine: Effective Database Maintenance article and August SQL Q&A column

Well, we’re just back from vacation (photo blog post to follow) and I’ve heard that the feature article on Effective Database Maintenance I wrote for the August issue of TechNet Magazine is live on the web. It also includes a 5 minute long screencast I recorded where I demo the effect of database shrink on index […]

In Print: TechNet Magazine June 2008 SQL Q&A Column

My first magazine article is in print! I’ve taken over the bi-monthly SQL Q&A column for TechNet Magazine and I just received the June magazine in the mail today with my first column in it. Topics covered are: Creating corruption and using page checksums The shrink-grow-shrink-grow trap How many databases can be mirrored per instance […]