Does filing bugs on Microsoft Connect for SQL Server work?

In a word; YES! In a lot more words, not always in the way that we want it to, but there are plenty of cases where it actually works and changes are made to the product as a result. Now with that said, it doesn’t work all the time, and it helps to realize that […]

Workaround for Bug in Activity Tracking Event Session Template in 2012 RC0

In SQL Server 2012 RC0 there are a number of event session templates provided that make creating a commonly used session easier using the Event Session Wizard in SQL Server Management Studio.  One of these has a bug in it’s definition XML file that was filed in the following connect item: If you attempt […]

Tracking Problematic Pages Splits in SQL Server 2012 Extended Events – No Really This Time!

Just over a year ago I blogged about the enhancements that were made to the sqlserver.page_split Event in SQL Server 2012 to make it easier to identify what the splitting object was and the type of split that was being performed.  Sadly what I discovered writing that post was that even with the extra information […]

New AlwaysOn_health Extended Events Session in SQL Server 2012 RC0

While setting up my new Availability Group using SQL Server 2012 RC0 tonight, I noticed an interesting new addition to Extended Events associated with Availability Group configuration in the Release Candidate.  When you setup an Availability Group in RC0, another default Event Session is created on the servers that participate in the Availability Group to […]

Performing a Distributed Replay with Multiple Clients using SQL Server 2012 Distributed Replay

In the first post in this blog series on using SQL Server 2012 Distributed Replay, Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2012 Distributed Replay, we looked at how to configure a Distributed Replay environment using multiple clients and a dedicated replay controller.  In this post we’ll actually make use of the previously configured servers to perform […]

The AdventureWorks2008R2 Books Online Random Workload Generator

Over time, I’ve had a number of reasons to need to run a random workload against SQL Server to be able to demonstrate troubleshooting, how SQLOS works, and most recently how to capture a Replay Trace for my series on the Distributed Replay Utility in SQL Server 2012.  For a while I’ve maintained a large […]

Installing and Configuring SQL Server 2012 Distributed Replay

This blog post is the first in a series of posts that will cover how to install, configure, and use the new Distributed Replay Utility in SQL Server 2012.  The distributed replay utility can be used to assess the impact of changes and upgrades by replaying workload activity against a test environment based on a […]

Capturing InfoMessage Output (PRINT, RAISERROR) from SQL Server using PowerShell

Tonight, a question was asked on the #sqlhelp tag on Twitter about how to capture all of the output from a stored procedures execution, to include the informational and error message outputs that may be returned by using PRINT or RAISERROR in the code.  This was a problem I ran into in the past with […]

Extended Events Changes in SQL Server 2012 – Event XML for XML data elements

While working on validating my demos for the 24 Hours of PASS and my PASS Summit 2011 Precon – Extended Events Deep Dive, I noticed a significant, and breaking change to the Event XML output for the raw event data in the ring_buffer and file_target in SQL Server Denali.  In SQL Server 2008 and 2008R2, […]

Building a Completely Free Playground for SQL Server – (1 of 3) – Downloading the Software and Setting up a Windows Server 2008R2 VM Template

For the last few years, I have always had a personal virtual playground for SQL Server setup on my laptop that allowed me to not only learn about new features in SQL Server, but also demonstrate complex topics hands on during presentations.  I recently had to rebuild my playground from the ground up and as […]

Looking at multiple data files and proportional fill with Extended Events

At SQL Connections, I presented a session titled “Learn SQL Server Internals with Extended Events” where I demonstrated a number ways to use Extended Events to learn about the internal workings of the database engine for SQL Server.  The morning of the session I was chatting with someone about a problem they had seen and […]

Does Index Fragmentation Matter with SSD’s?

Two weeks ago at SQL Connections in Orlando, FL, I got to participate in a session that Paul and Kimberly do at the end of the conference titled, “Follow the Rabbit.”  The premise of the session is that Paul and Kimberly throw a big list of topics up on the screen and anyone in the […]

An XEvent a Day (30 of 31) – Tracking Session and Statement Level Waits

While attending PASS Summit this year, I got the opportunity to hang out with Brent Ozar (Blog|Twitter) one afternoon while he did some work for Yanni Robel (Blog|Twitter).  After looking at the wait stats information, Brent pointed out some potential problem points, and based on that information I pulled up my code for my PASS […]

An XEvent a Day (29 of 31) – The Future – Looking at Database Startup in Denali

As I have said previously in this series, one of my favorite aspects of Extended Events is that it allows you to look at what is going on under the covers in SQL Server, at a level that has never previously been possible.  SQL Server Denali CTP1 includes a number of new Events that expand […]

An XEvent a Day (28 of 31) – Tracking Page Compression Operations

The Database Compression feature in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition can provide some significant reductions in storage requirements for SQL Server databases, and in the right implementations and scenarios performance improvements as well.  There isn’t really a whole lot of information about the operations of database compression that is documented as being available in the […]

An XEvent a Day (27 of 31) – The Future – Tracking Page Splits in SQL Server Denali CTP1

Nearly two years ago Kalen Delaney blogged about Splitting a page into multiple pages, showing how page splits occur inside of SQL Server.  Following her blog post, Michael Zilberstein wrote a post, Monitoring Page Splits with Extended Events, that showed how to see the sqlserver.page_split Events using Extended Events.  Eladio Rincón also blogged about Using […]

An XEvent a Day (26 of 31) – Configuring Session Options

There are 7 Session level options that can be configured in Extended Events that affect the way an Event Session operates.  These options can impact performance and should be considered when configuring an Event Session.  I have made use of a few of these periodically throughout this months blog posts, and in today’s blog post […]

An XEvent a Day (21 of 31) – The Future – Tracking Blocking in Denali

One of my favorite features that was added to SQL Server 2005 has been the Blocked Process Report trace event which collects an XML report whenever a process is blocked inside of the database engine longer than the user configurable threshold.  I wrote an article about this feature on SQL Server Central  two years ago […]

An XEvent a Day (19 of 31) – Using Customizable Fields

Today’s post will be somewhat short, but we’ll look at Customizable Fields on Events in Extended Events and how they are used to collect additional information.  Customizable Fields generally represent information of potential interest that may be expensive to collect, and is therefore made available for collection if specified by the Event Session.  In SQL […]

An XEvent a Day (15 of 31) – Tracking Ghost Cleanup

If you don’t know anything about Ghost Cleanup, I recommend highly that you go read Paul Randal’s blog posts Inside the Storage Engine: Ghost cleanup in depth, Ghost cleanup redux, and Turning off the ghost cleanup task for a performance gain.  To my knowledge Paul’s posts are the only things that cover Ghost Cleanup at […]

An XEvent a Day (14 of 31) – A Closer Look at Predicates

When working with SQL Trace, one of my biggest frustrations has been the limitations that exist in filtering.  Using sp_trace_setfilter to establish the filter criteria is a non-trivial task, and it falls short of being able to deliver complex filtering that is sometimes needed to simplify analysis.  Filtering of trace data was performed globally and […]

An XEvent a Day (13 of 31) – The system_health Session

Today’s post was originally planned for this coming weekend, but seems I’ve caught whatever bug my kids had over the weekend so I am changing up today’s blog post with one that is easier to cover and shorter.  If you’ve been running some of the queries from the posts in this series, you have no […]

An XEvent a Day (11 of 31) – Targets Week – Using Multiple Targets to Debug Orphaned Transactions

Yesterday’s blog post Targets Week – etw_classic_sync_target covered the ETW integration that is built into Extended Events and how the etw_classic_sync_target can be used in conjunction with other ETW traces to provide troubleshooting at a level previously not possible with SQL Server.  In today’s post we’ll look at how to use multiple targets to simplify […]

An XEvent A Day: 31 days of Extended Events

Back in April, Paul Randal (Blog|Twitter) did a 30 day series titled A SQL Server Myth a Day, where he covered a different myth about SQL Server every day of the month.  At the same time Glenn Berry (Blog|Twitter) did a 30 day series titled A DMV a Day, where he blogged about a different […]