With the class we taught yesterday in Zurich for Microsoft, Kimberly and I have just finished almost three weeks of continuous travelling and presenting at conferences. Now we’re taking some time off to relax and recharge. My blog will be silent until Monday 26th November, when I’ll start posting some cool articles with example scripts […]

CHECKDB From Every Angle: Consistency Checking Options for a VLDB

This is a question that comes up a lot – how to run consistency checks on a VLDB? We’re talking hundreds of GBs or 1 TB or more. These databases are now common on SQL Server – there are many customers with multi-TB databases. Any experienced DBA knows the value of running consistency checks, even […]

Conference season over again – phew!

It’s been a very tough couple of weeks for us with back-to-back conferences in Las Vegas and Barcelona. Now we’re in Zurich for a few days before heading back to Redmond for the rest of the year. TechEd IT Forum was probably the most tiring conference I’ve ever done – we did 12 sessions between […]

Kimberly & Paul interview with SSWUG TV

On the last day of SQL Connections a couple of weeks back we did a 20 minute TV interview with Steve Wynkoop of SSWUG. Apart from the mandatory mention of our favorite game Blokus, we discussed a bunch of new features coming in SQL Server 2008 while I struggled not to say ‘we’ instead of ‘they’ […]

Conference Questions Pot-Pourri #6: How to cope with losing the mirror AND the witness in a mirroring session?

Here’s a question that came up yesterday in our chalk-talk on database mirroring at TechEd IT Forum that Kimberly and I talked about this morning (here in Barcelona). Q) I have a database mirroring session where the witness and mirror servers are in one physical location, and the principal server is in another. The mirroring session […]

CHECKDB From Every Angle: Can CHECKDB repair everything?

In my previous post on interpreting DBCC CHECKDB output, plus in my DBCC Internals session at TechEd IT Forum in Barcelona yesterday, I mentioned there are some things that DBCC CHECKDB can’t repair. In this post I want to go into a bit more detail – based on a post from my old Storage Engine […]

CHECKDB From Every Angle: How long will CHECKDB take to run?

This is a subject I posted about last year on my old blog but it came up at SQL Connections last week several times so I want to repost it for those who’ve just started following my blog. There’s only one time when you should be trying to work out how long a CHECKDB is […]

Conference Questions Pot-Pourri #5: Database snapshots, and creating a snapshot of a single filegroup

One of the sessions we did yesterday at IT Forum was an Instructor-Led Lab on database snapshots, an Enterprise Edition feature of SQL Server 2005. Database snapshots are not particularly well known in the DBA community and there are many misconceptions about them. The session generated a bunch of questions, some of which I’ll answer […]

CHECKDB From Every Angle: Tips and tricks for interpreting CHECKDB output

Last week at SQL Connections someone said that CHECKDB’s output is ‘useless’.  Given that I wrote CHECKDB for SQL Server 2005 I was only mildly offended :-) But there’s a lot of truth in that statement – the error messages from CHECKDB do tell you exactly what’s corrupt in the database but they’re not exactly […]

Kimberly & Paul interview from TechEd IT Forum

(Oops – deleted this by accident – re-entering it.) Day 1 for us here in Barcelona was pretty tiring. After flying in from Seattle on Monday, and waking up with jet-lag on Tuesday at 2am, we did 4 sessions during the day, with 8 more to go by Friday. By the time we got back […]

Auto-shrink – turn it OFF!

I’m in the middle of a flight from Washington D.C. to Zurich on the way to Barcelona for TechEd IT Forum and I can’t sleep – Kimberly’s out like a light so what else is there to do except write another blog post? :-)OK – actually posting this from Barcelona on Tuesday before our first […]

Conference Questions Pot-Pourri #4: How many databases can you really mirror per instance?

This is a question I was asked multiple times over the last week: the Microsoft guidelines for database mirroring say not to mirror more than 10 databases per instance – why is that and is it true? The answer is my favorite 'it depends!'. The number 10 is a rough guess at the sweet-spot for […]

How can data-type choice affect performance?

In one of the sessions Kimberly and I taught this week at SQL Connections, we discussed how to choose efficient data-types – I’d like to share the discussion here with an example. The crux of the matter is in the amount of space required to store the data-types in the schema, and ensuring that the […]

Conference Questions Pot-Pourri #3: unexpected index rebuild results and bulk-logged operations

A couple more questions from the last couple of classes. Q1) Why doesn’t performing an index rebuild alter the fragmentation? A1) Here are the possibilities – all of which I’ve seen happen: There isn’t an index – either DBCC DBREINDEX or ALTER INDEX … REBUILD are being run on a table that only has a heap, […]

CHECKDB From Every Angle: Why would CHECKDB run out of space?

This is a question that came up yesterday in our Disaster Recovery class so I’m typing it up in between attending sessions at Microsoft Day here at the conference. It’s an interesting experience watching all the Microsoft speakers walking around in the distinctive blue shirts and no longer having to wear one myself. The question is […]

Conference Questions Pot-Pourri #2: Database mirroring

Sitting here in our Disaster Recovery class at SQL Connections and Kimberly’s on till lunch so I’m banging out a quick blog post covering the database mirroring (DBM) specific questions. Q1) Can I use IP addresses instead of server names when using the DBM Monitor? A1) Unfortunately not. Q2) Is there any in-built throttling mechanism […]

Why won’t my log clear in SIMPLE recovery mode? SQL 2000 bug or very large VLFs

Quick post this morning before this gets knocked out of my head by the Disaster Recovery session we're doing today at SQL Connections. This came up yesterday for a few people both on 2000 and 2005 – the database is running in SIMPLE recovery mode but the log isn't getting cleared as it usually does […]

Conference Questions Pot-Pourri #1: Indexes, stats, corruption, and Enterprise-only features

As promised, here’s the first of the grab-bag of questions we were asked during conferences. I’m blogging a selection of the stuff I noted down. These are some of the questions we were asked during our pre-con at SQL Connections on Database Maintenance: From Planning to Practice to Post-Mortem. It was cool that people came prepared […]

And we’re off – Fall conference season begins!

After all the build-up over the last few weeks (putting finishing touches to decks and demos), we’re finally off to the last set of conferences for the year. First up is SQL Connections in Las Vegas, with over 5000 attendees!!. We flew down yesterday from Seattle to hang out for an extra few days before the conference, as […]

Indexes From Every Angle: What indexes are necessary when using SWITCH PARTITION?

This is a quick answer to a question I was sent today by someone who’d read Kimberly’s partitioning whitepaper – Partitioned Tables and Indexes in SQL Server 2005 – and is implementing a “sliding-window” scenario. (This is a mechanism to allow fast insertion and deletion of significant portions of data into/from a partitioned production table. Insertion […]