Friday, August 8, 2014

Upcoming PASS Virtual Chapter Webcast (FREE!!!)

As always, there are many free ways to learn more about SQL Server and the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) free membership to Virtual Chapters is one of those ways.

Here is what I would suggest watching:

 

Next Meeting: Tue, Aug 12 2014

Bridging the Communication Gap Between DBA and Developer

Online Meeting URL:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3764807338290354689

Database Administrators and Developers are all working toward the same common goal yet sometimes they seem to be talking different languages. This session is for developers and DBAs alike and helps bridge the communication gap between the two groups.

Better communication means better relationships and better communication begins with understanding the other person. Learn how to think like the other person to understand what they are saying and to know how to respond back in a way that they will understand your point of view.

Bio:

Robert is a SQL Server Certified Master, MVP, and an experienced Database Administrator, SQL Server evangelist, speaker, writer, and trainer. He has worked with SQL Server for 14+ years. He has recently worked for Outerwall, Idera Software, and Microsoft, He served as PM for the SQL Server Certified Master Program at Microsoft Learning, and as a production DBA at Microsoft. Robert is co-founder and co-leader of the Security Virtual Chapter for PASS.

When

iCal
UTC : Tue, Aug 12 2014 16:00 - 17:00
Event Time : Tue, Aug 12 2014 12:00 - 13:00 Eastern Daylight Time

 

Next Meeting: Tue, Aug 12 2014

Tue, Aug 12 2014 12:00 Central Daylight Time


Mirroring Start to Finish

RSVP: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/30598668687577858

MIRRORING START TO FINISH

Mirroring is not dead! If you don't have Enterprise Edition, then this is still your tried and true solution. We’ll cover what mirroring is from start to finish, how it can fit into an HA/DR plan, the rules surrounding its use, configuration via the GUI and T-SQL, as well as how to monitor mirroring. This presentation is designed to walk you through a basic implementation. At the end you will have learned what mirroring is, how it can fit into your environment, what business requirements it solves, and how to configure it.


Ryan Adams has worked for Verizon for 16 years. His primary focus is the SQL Server Engine, high availability, and disaster recovery. Previously he was a Senior Active Directory Architect and designed the company's worldwide Active Directory infrastructure. He serves on the Board of Directors for the North Texas SQL Server User Group and is President of the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter

 

Wed, Aug 13 2014 10:00 Mountain Daylight Time


Optimizing SQL Server Performance in a Virtual Environment

RSVP: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5549269630483888130

Building Your Own SQL Server Virtual Playground

As the number of SQL Server versions and features grow over time so does the the difficulty in maintaining a set of tools for working with all of them on your local machine. Add in that some features require multiple physical instances and suddenly a single installation isn't enough. Need to quickly switch between versions and editions of SQL Server? Want to learn how to set up a cluster? Or maybe you want to try out the latest features in SQL 2012...virtualization offers a convenient way to do any or all of these. In this session we'll show you how by covering the fundamentals of desktop virtualization and demonstrating how to set up a virtual playground on your own machine.

Bio:

Kendal is a database strategist, community advocate, public speaker, and blogger. He is passionate about helping leaders use Microsoft SQL Server to solve complex problems that protect, unlock and optimize data's value. Since 1999, Kendal has specialized in SQL Server database management solutions and provided IT strategy consulting.

 

Wed, Aug 13 2014 12:00 Mountain Daylight Time


Best Practices for your Very Large Databases– sponsored by Dell Software

RSVP: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6234121338626213890

BEST PRACTICES FOR YOUR VERY LARGE DATABASES– SPONSORED BY DELL SOFTWARE

Abstract: As businesses' data needs keep growing so do the sizes of the databases we are entrusted to manage. Faced with constant growth and the scale of multiple Terabytes, more DBA's are facing the challenges to properly tune and maintain the VLDB's in their environment. In this session we will go into the best practices, tips and tricks learned from helping customers in the field with this common growing pain. We will cover the best way to do integrity checks, stats updates, index maintenance, partitioned tables and more so you can to tame your Very Large Databases and keep them running in top shape.


Warner is a SQL Server MCM and SQL Server Principal Consultant at Pythian, a global Canada-based company specialized in DBA services. A brief stint in .NET programming led to his early DBA formation working for enterprise customers in Hewlett-Packard ITO organization. From there he transitioned to his current position at Pythian, managing multiple customers and instances in many versions and industries while leading a highly talented team of SQL Server DBAs.

 

Tue, Aug 19 2014 11:00 Central Daylight Time


The Roadmap to Better Performance: Reading Query Plans

RSVP: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2124351382524970497

THE ROADMAP TO BETTER PERFORMANCE: READING QUERY PLANS

Whether you’re a DBA or a developer, you probably know that when you submit a query to SQL Server it generates a plan – a map if you will – that determines how it will get the data you’ve requested. But if you’re not familiar with how to read that map, then how do you know how to create a faster route to the data? How can you tune a query? If you’ve been lost when looking at plans before, then sign up for this session where we will cover the basics of query plans. We’ll step through how to capture them, discuss the essential information to review in a plan, and highlight a couple patterns to look for when tuning queries. As usual, expect lots of demos to highlight key points, and “plan” to walk away with new methods to use when reviewing query plans in SQL Server. Level: 200


Erin Stellato is a Principal Consultant with SQLskills and lives in Cleveland, OH. She has over 12 years of technology experience and has worked with SQL Server since 2003. Her areas of interest include internals, performance tuning, and high availability and disaster recovery. Erin is a SQL Server MVP and an active member of the SQL Server community. She is involved with the Ohio North SQL Server User Group and blogs at SQLskills.com/blogs/erin. You can find her on Twitter at @ErinStellato.

Monday, July 21, 2014

PASS Data Arch VC presents SQL Server MVP Grant Fritchey - How to Build a Database Deployment Pipeline

Please come join the Data Architecture VC this Wednesday to get info from MVP Grant about Database Deployment something all DBAs should be doing to work with developers.

Grant Fritchey – Microsoft MVP

July 23, 2014 Noon CST

How to Build a Database Deployment Pipeline.

The pace of business accelerates fairly continuously and application development moves right with it. But we’re still trying to deploy databases the same way we did 10 years ago. This session addresses the need for changes in organizational structure, process and technology necessary to arrive at a nimble, fast, automatable and continuous database deployment process. We’ll use actual customer case studies to illustrate both the common methods and the unique context that led to a continuous delivery process that is best described as a pipeline. You will learn how to customize common practices and tool sets to build a database deployment pipeline unique to your environment in order to speed your own database delivery while still protecting your organization’s most valuable asset, its data.

Speaker Bio:

Grant Fritchey, SQL Server MVP, works for Red Gate Software as Product Evangelist. In his time as a DBA and developer, he has worked at three failed dot–coms, a major consulting company, a global bank and an international insurance & engineering company. Grant volunteers for the Professional Association of SQL Server Users (PASS). He is the author of the books SQL Server Execution Plans (Simple-Talk

Webinar Link Click here   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3676956357735772161

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Upcoming Free PASS VC Webcasts

Here is a list of upcoming webcast presented by various PASS Virtual Chapters that are always free. Some are recorded to view later.

 

Database Administration VC

Date: July 9

Noon Mountainhttp://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?msg=PASS+DBA+Virtual+Chapter&iso=20140709T12&p1=75

Topic: How to be a great DBA– sponsored by Dell Software

Registration: You must register if you want to attend. You can register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5111261580659448577

When you register, you will receive a link to the meeting. All registrants will be included in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.

Presenter: Jeff Garbus

Abstract: This presentation describes the tasks a DBA needs to perform to do a great job. Formal training classes and certifications only take you so far; this session talks from experience about everything from preventive maintenance to planning to scaling to communication. Great for beginner to intermediate DBAs, as well as Developers who think this is a direction in which they might want to move.

Bio: Jeff Garbus is a well-known author, lecturer and consultant with more than 20 years of expertise in architecture, tuning and the administration of Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase ASE, Oracle, and other databases. Jeff has assisted clients of all sizes, from .com startups to the most demanding F100 clients. His specialty has always been maximizing database performance for his clients. Jeff has recently released his 16th book: Microsoft Transact SQL – The Definitive Guide. Jeff is also the founder and CEO of Soaring Eagle Consulting, a consulting and management consulting firm specializing in all aspects of database and information management. http://mssqlperformance.blogspot.com/

 

DBA Fundamental VC

 

WHAT       Rolling Upgrades, The Easy Way!

WHEN:      Tuesday, August 5,   11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT

WHO:        Argenis Fernandez

WHERE:   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/998862692698291202

In this session we will discuss how to perform upgrades while maintaining high availability of your SQL server infrastructure by leveraging rolling upgrades. We will review how to use database mirroring or AlwaysOn Availability Groups for this, along with a simpler version using Log Shipping. This is a demo-intensive session that you won't want to miss. 

There will be a drawing for a $25  Amazon gift card at the end of the meeting.  A winner will be randomly chosen from all those in attendance for the whole webcast who provide their email address.

 

Data Architecture VC

 

Grant Fritchey – Microsoft MVP

July 23, 2014 Noon CST

How to Build a Database Deployment Pipeline.

The pace of business accelerates fairly continuously and application development moves right with it. But we’re still trying to deploy databases the same way we did 10 years ago. This session addresses the need for changes in organizational structure, process and technology necessary to arrive at a nimble, fast, automatable and continuous database deployment process. We’ll use actual customer case studies to illustrate both the common methods and the unique context that led to a continuous delivery process that is best described as a pipeline. You will learn how to customize common practices and tool sets to build a database deployment pipeline unique to your environment in order to speed your own database delivery while still protecting your organization’s most valuable asset, its data.

Speaker Bio:

Grant Fritchey, SQL Server MVP, works for Red Gate Software as Product Evangelist. In his time as a DBA and developer, he has worked at three failed dot–coms, a major consulting company, a global bank and an international insurance & engineering company. Grant volunteers for the Professional Association of SQL Server Users (PASS). He is the author of the books SQL Server Execution Plans (Simple-Talk

Webinar https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3676956357735772161

 

Virtualization VC

 

Wed, Jul 09 2014 10:00 Mountain Daylight Time


SQL Server Virtualization 301

RSVP: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6360531090119570945

SQL SERVER VIRTUALIZATION 301

Can you objectively demonstrate that your SQL Servers are running the same or better after they were virtualized than when they were physical servers? Do you have your key system monitoring in place so you know your steady-state system performance metrics? What is your methodology and key items for benchmarking and baselines, and what are your long-term projections for when you will need more infrastructure capacity? Performance and capacity management topics are discussed in this interactive session, and key tips and tricks will be presented to help you squeeze the most performance from your virtualized SQL Servers.


David Klee, VMware vExpert, is a SQL Server performance and virtualization expert. With over seventeen years of IT experience, David spends his days handling performance and HA/DR architecture of physical and virtualized critical SQL Servers as the Founder of Heraflux Technologies. His areas of expertise are virtualization and performance, datacenter architecture, and risk mitigation through high availability and disaster recovery. When he is not geeking out on database and infrastructure techno.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Things to Know About Indexes for SQL Server

One of the first questions I got while interviewing for a potential position as a DBA was “If there is performance problem, where is the first place you would look?”

Now at this time, I was trying to move from Software Developer to DBA, and I answered that I would look at IO, Network and errors in code. The interviewer said, “Indexes.” I always assumed that all database designers knew you needed good indexes. This changed my thinking about what I was learning to start reading more about being a DBA. SQLServerCentral.Com became my friend and I started reading one article a day and answering the Question of the Day every morning when I got to work.

1. Clustered Index

What is a clustered index? Or better yet, what do I need to know about a clustered index? The first thing to know is that you can have only one. The logical structure of the table becomes the order of the column(s) you use in a clustered index. You might hear someone say that the primary key is always the clustered index. This is not true. Any index can be the clustered index. By default, the primary key becomes the clustered index unless you change this in a script or the User Interface creating/modifying a table.

ALTER TABLE [Person].[Address]
    ADD  CONSTRAINT [PK_Address_AddressID]
    PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
  ( [AddressID] ASC )
  ON [PRIMARY]
GO

 

2. Non-Clustered Index

You can have more than one non-clustered index. I would suggest creating a clustered index before creating any non-clustered indexes. The clustered index column(s) become part of the non-clustered index. A query plan might need to go to the clustered index to retrieve more columns not available in the non-clustered index after a scan or search of non-clustered index. The non-clustered index can be one or more columns, and the order is important. You want the most specific column (as far as values go) as the first column. It also important to have the first column(s) to be used in the join or where clause that you are trying to be used for a query.

CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX
      [idxAddress_AddressLine12CistyStateZip]
    ON [Person].[Address]
( [AddressLine1] ASC, [AddressLine2] ASC, [City] ASC,
     [StateProvinceID] ASC, [PostalCode] ASC)
ON [PRIMARY]

 

3. Include Columns (i.e. Covering Index)

This is where Microsoft started shining in my opinion. The include columns in a non-clustered index can be these columns that your query is trying to retrieve from the clustered index mentioned above. Instead of retrieving more columns from the clustered index, the include columns are the ones the query needs. The are stored in the Data Page of the non-clustered index and not in the index tree.  Be careful not to go overboard with include columns, because you can eventually create a whole new table (even though it is an index) by including all the columns not specified in the index itself. I have also seen a form of Deadlock with Include Column indexes.

CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX
      [idxAddress_State_IncludeColumns]
    ON [Person].[Address]
( [StateProvinceID] ASC)
INCLUDE ([AddressLine1], [AddressLine2], [City], [PostalCode])
ON [PRIMARY]

 

4. Filtered Indexes

Filtered Indexes should be used carefully because they could become more of a performance problem with Insert/Update/Delete statements. They are really nice for large data warehouses where some tables are not structure. Also, I have seen them used for a column that has one value other than a empty value. Filtered indexes are new to SQL Server, so you should see performance improvements in future versions.

CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX
      [idxAddress_State_Filtered]
    ON [Person].[Address]
    (AddressLine1, [AddressLine2], [City], [PostalCode])
  WHERE [StateCode] = 'LA'
ON [PRIMARY]

 

5. Missing Index Feature

Now, this is really cool. With SQL Server 2008, the Query Plan now includes a Missing Index feature which basically gives you a hint on what index might be beneficial. Again, you should be cautious when it suggests include columns that look like all the columns in the table. See number 3 above.

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In conclusion, indexes are a great help with query performance. There are some basics shown above to get you started with understanding indexes. Do not close your mind to more information about indexes after you start to understand what was mentioned in this article. I know today after doing DBA work for over 10 years, there is always more to learn.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SQLSaturday #308 Houston, TX Saturday May 10th

This will be the second SQLSaturday in Houston I have spoken at and I am excited about talking Execution Plans and Multidimensional Analysis Services. These are 2 topics I deal with on a daily basis, so it is great I get to help others understand these technologies.

image

I also get to talk with John Sterret, Alan Kinsel and Nancy Hide Wilson who are #SQLFamily. Their hard work on spreading the knowledge of SQL Server is a pleasure to watch.

There are many great speakers coming to Houston because the MS TechED event is the following week in Houston. So, MVPs, MCMs and veteran speakers will be at San Jacinto College – South Campus this Saturday to help all us learn to love SQL Server.

Hope to see you there!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

SQLSaturday #305 Business Analytics Edition Dallas–RECAP

So, I am flying home thinking about the event Saturday and many things are running through my head. No, not work on Monday. First, I would like to say that Hadoop is not going to replace SQL Server nor Business Intelligence. Second, a new thing is coming but it is only going to compliment what we already do. And last, Dallas did an excellent job of spreading the learning over 4 tracks with lots to choose from – Visualization, Deployment, Big Data and Analytics. You always had something good to choice from.

The Dimensional Modeling 101 session I presented was great. Lots of sharing of individual experience with creating dimensions and facts. Most of the time was spent on talking about surrogate keys and performance. When I first started doing dimensional modeling, I had the idea that all data came from one transactional system with foreign keys on all tables. The real world proves different. That is what happens after you use some technology for awhile. There was much talk about making mistakes with dimensional modeling and learning from success and failure. There were mostly good comments and 4-5 conversations after the session, during lunch and between other sessions. I look forward to reviewing the critical comments to improve my session abstracts, session content and presentation.

The first session I attended was Intro to Hadoop. The MSBIC group from Dallas was able to get HortonWorks’ speakers which help with explaining a lot about how Big Data works. It is obvious this is a good thing for high output manufacturing systems, logging systems or internet data. Future versions will expand the current features. You could hear many questions about how it all works because you want to wrap your head around the inner workings. The visual display of the Hadoop stack helped tremendously. There is definitely a programming background needed before diving into this new technology. You can download a free sandbox from HortonWorks.

After my session (9:45), I went to a session on pig. It was very hard to follow, so afterwards I went to the speaker room to discuss with others. There, I meet back up with Meagan from Kansas City and Kristen, the leader of the Oklahoma City SQL Server user group. This conversation continued from where we left off from the Friday night speaker social. There is a lot of excitement within the SQL Server community no matter where you are.

The lunch session involved a Microsoft Technical Architect (David Brown) from Dallas that shared his experience with clients in the BI stack. He had great examples that had people laughing and relating to his project management. One comment he made that has stuck in my head is that the problems presented with BI – Self-service, Master Data, Security, Performance, etc. – was “Maybe these problems are good to have for IT.” I think I understand.

The afternoon included a HDInsight session. The cloud is here and you can use it. Next was statistics with R and Mahout which was more about how excited the speaker was rather than demos (that worked). Lastly, was a Slalom consultant talking about Time Intelligence in PowerPivot. He did a good job of listing the functions, but more time should have been spent on simple examples rather than showing everything. The crowd started to ask to many questions that he had to back up and explain.

Finally, I wanted to mention something that happened during the last PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte that triggered me  to come to this SQLSaturday. Karla was talking with me about the Business Analytics conference coming up and I said something about how this was not SQL Server. Her comments made me think back 6-7 years ago when BI started to gain exposure at the Summit and I and others where saying “This is not SQL Server.” Now, I am in the BI stack and love it. I still love DBA work, but I expanded my skills by learning SSIS and SSAS. In Baton Rouge, you need a variety of skills to be employed in the SQL Server realm. You can not just be an expert in SSIS and expect to be employed.

Now might be the time to learn some more skills – Big Data.

Winking smile

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SQLSaturday #305 Dallas Business Analytics Edition

I am excited about being selected to speak and attend the May 3rd SQLSaturday BA Edition in Dallas, TX. There are a number of sessions I want to attend including Eric Mezell’s An Introduction to Hadoop, Andy Egger’s Applied Predictive Analytics, David Browne on Enterprise Business Intelligence (for lunch) and Garrett Edmonson – Measuring Data Warehouse Performance. The full schedule is here - http://www.sqlsaturday.com/305/schedule.aspx.

I hope to create some time to visit with old friends in the Dallas area like Brian Smith (MS) and Tim Costello. I hope this is a precursor for Dallas to host a PASS Business Analytics week long conference in the future. California was a little to far to travel this year even though I should have went.

I am presenting one of my first BI presentations I have ever given – Dimensional Modeling 101. When I move over to Business Intelligence, I had a strong background in Data Normalization. Transitioning to a Dimension Model was quite difficult and I wish I had someone to explain like Warren Thornthwaite did at a pass PASS Summit before I started. He did a great job using PASS registration data to great a simple Data Mart and Analysis Services cube while previewing in Excel. That hooked me.

Thanks to all the sponsors for helping make this a free event for all attendees.

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