SQL Server and Other Topics


I got my start with SQL Server in 1997 with SQL Server 6.5 at BellSouth Cellular. From that point on I've had the opportunity to work on Versions 6.0 to 2014. I specialize in Performance Tuning, High Availability and SQL Development. Contact me through this site or through my Twitter handle @SQLDiver

Features I'm looking forward to:

  1. Always Encrypted

    Daily an enterprise organization has made a bad decision of not keeping their sensitive data protected. Why? Well, the excuse is its too expensive, too difficult, will take too long, will slow down the database, yada, yada. You're not going to get away with the whining any more. Always Encrypted is a solution that should make the process of encrypting sensitive data at rest and in motion at a point the much of the data enters the database (the application). Yes, of course, just like other encryption technologies, you need to plan the process of encrypting your data.

  2. Stretch Database

    One of the coolest ideas for "stretching" data rarely used to the cloud. There are lots of limitations currently as well as some cost issues that make it very difficult for the average Joe to afford the Stretch Database feature. I'm hoping they get this one fixed fairly quickly. Please?

  3. Query Data Store!!!!

    Ever since seeing Conor Cunnigham talk about this feature  at Summit 2014 my mouth has been watering. I started playing with it as soon as CTP 1 was released. The best article I found at the time was by Enrico van de Laar called The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Overview and Architecture. This is going to make performance tuning more easier with more detail data available, the tools that monitor performance will begin to use the Query Store for its monitor data. Can't wait until all databases are on 2016... oh well... guess I'll be retired by then.

  4. Live Query Statistics

    I've been playing with this one a lot. Since it works with SQL Server 2014 (what? Yep!) as long as you're using SSMS 2016+ you will get Live Query Statistics for SQL Server 2014. I've been showing this one in my Performance Tuning for Mere Mortals sessions and pre-cons with Ed Watson. IT is a beautiful thing.

    Did you ever have someone bring you a @#%! stored procedure that takes forever to complete? You would have to wait hours for the graphical execution plan to complete in order to see where the bottleneck is. Not any more! Now you can see the operators percents, and information as the query is running.

  5. Dynamic Data Masking!

    Ok, there are a lot of issues in V1, you can easily get around the dynamic data masking, and can accidentally overwrite the actual data with the mask... but it is a good start. I won't use it in V1..until they have the issues worked out, but nice start.

  6. Row Level Security... woohoo.
    1. Now were getting somewhere with security. We can control what a user or group has access to at a row level. This would have been very useful a few years ago for several projects I had. Maybe. I still need to evaluate it closely to determine if it will be beneficial.
  7. Ok, Data Scientists... R, yes R is in 2016. It too has a long way to go to be fully usable (as I hear).

And it doesn't stop there... but I'm going to have to stop here for now. See you soon!


Ed Watson and I have been presenting a tag team performance tuning session for over a year now at local SQLSaturdays. We've had the pleasure of presenting the subject in multiple formats from 1 hour (rapid fire taste) to 8 hours as a precon session.

You probably already know who I am if you're reading my blog, in short I am a Linchpin People teammate and independent consultant with almost 20 years of SQL Server experience. My forte is performance tuning for large enterprise corporations with serious performance issues.

Ed Watson is a Microsoft MVP, and is a consultant in his day job. Ed has more than 15 years in IT, and has been a senior Production DBA for many years... you probably know him best as @SQLGator and can find him blogging at the SQLSwampland... yes he's a Florida Gator... don't hold it against him (I try not to).

September 25th, 2015, Ed Watson (b|t) and I will be presenting the session, "Getting the New DBA Up to Speed with Performance Tuning" as a full 8 hours class.

This session is for those guys or gals wanting to become a DBA, are an "accidental DBA" or a DBA with a little experience who wants to gain some add knowledge to their performance tuning playbook.

In this session we'll start at the beginning of the process of building the foundation following best practices for a highly tuned or tune-able environment. We will cover how to configure the OS and database server to best take advantage of features built in to the OS and SQL Server for peak performance. We'll dig into some of the database server configurations that effect performance such as "Optimize for Adhoc Workloads", MAXDOP and "Cost Threshold for Parallelism".

We'll talk about TempDb optimizations, and why they make a difference and how to find the correct number of data files. Mike Lawell

We'll cover benchmark basics and how to see that your database performance is suffering compared to historical expectations.

Once you have the foundation needed to build a stable environment we'll look at some of the top performance issues and how to identify them when you've had a complaint about performance. Using some of the free tools that come with SQL Server, such as extended events, we'll teach you how to trap what is causing the slowness in the database for many issues encountered by a DBA.

We'll spend more than an hour going over execution plans from beginning concepts to some advanced topics (don't worry, we'll make sure we don't go too far). We'll make sure you know where to get more information from some of our performance tuning heros!

But wait, there's more... we'll share with you some of our favorite scripts that we've collected over time that will give you a little bit of an edge next time someone calls and says, "everything is slow", help!!

All of this for an extremely low price of $150... that is the sum total of $18.75 per hour!!

 We can't wait to see you at "Getting the New DBA Up to Speed with Performance Tuning"

SQL Server Innovators Guild (ssig)
Friday, September 25, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)
Spartanburg, SC

Register Today






Friday I was notified that my "Execution Plans for Mere Mortals" was chosen for PASS Summit 2015. I've been presenting this session for over a year at many SQL Saturdays, and expect to present it and fine tune it at 3 - 4 more SQLSaturdays prior to Summit.

This will be my first time presenting at a PASS Summit, so I'm very excited and humbled to be on the speaker list.

Session Details


SQLSaturday Session

On January 17, 2015, I presented an "Execution Plans for Mere Mortals" session. The session had 49 attendees, more than the number of desks. Although I had PowerPoint issues (it crashed every time I tried to return from SSMS), it was a good session. I had many people come to the front so I could answer questions. All of the Pluralsight free 30 days were gone and many of my business cards were gone. 

The participation was very good.

Thank you for all who attended and participated!

Here are the slides.


Precon Half Day Session

Ed Watson and my precon session was a success. We had a lot of fun with the people in the class. We had 17 attendees for the "Getting the New DBA Up to Speed with Performance Tuning" half day session.

Slides for: Getting the New DBA Up to Speed with Performance Tuning