|

SQL Server and Other Topics

rss

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


It has been more than a year since I blogged a word. Half of that is due to too much going on and half of that is due to wanting to move my blog to Microsoft. 

 

So let me start on the second issue, Microsoft is working to get their blog sites under "control" and decrease the amount of administration effort by Microsoft employees. That means that at this moment they aren't creating any new blog sites. It also means I procrastinated just enough time to totally miss the boat. 

Now the second part.  I've spent 26 weeks in Silicon valley, 20 weeks in Chicago, 4 weeks in Boston, 4 weeks in Philly and now Charlotte. During that time I moved twice, once to our condo in Seagrove Beach, FL and 5 months later into a house in Inlet Beach, FL. We still have a garage and a 10' x 20' full of boxes. Yes, we bought a house with about half the available square footage (including the basement in the original house). 

 

What have I been doing? I completed several Availability Group POCs, multiple "health checks" with hundreds of servers. A production hybrid AG and lots and lots of training. 

 

I've put together a CosmosDB presentation that I've given several times internal and external. I'm also putting together a CosmosDB demo as well as a Managed Instance presentation and demo. 

 

In coming weeks, months and years, I'm going to try to blog more of the tips and tricks that I'm using to build the AGs along with a lot of PowerShell code to improve your scripts. 

Now, what most of you want to hear. Yes, Microsoft is an awesome company to work for! Yes, I still can't believe that I work for Microsoft. The management so far have been amazing, it doesn't mean that there aren't those that forget about the work life balance. I'm lucky that my last two bosses, Shelly and Matt, have been great managers. I've been able to meet all of the management up the line between me and the 5th level above me, but a new one, and they've all been amazing. I actually had one of the senior managers ask to meet me. 

 

All in all, I should have joined earlier. Yes, I can make more money as an independent, but then I have to do so much more work. 

 

Best career decision ever. 


I have really enjoyed being an independent consultant, even in the down times, because it gave me the freedom to help my wife with her business. Being independent means I have to go out and find work, which is more difficult than you would expect, which is why you have to have a great network. When I started my network was fairly small. After three years of speaking at SQL Saturdays and PASS Summit, my visibility, friendships and network have grown. 

I believe this year as an independent would have been my best ever, but an opportunity knocked on my door that I had basically given up on. 

For the past three years there has been one company that I've wanted to work for more than being an independent consultant. Yes, Microsoft. I've interviewed with Microsoft three times in the past three years. The first time another person with better BI skills was chosen, it was a a little depressing, but definitely understood. The second time the interviewers were the same as last time and all of them were very positive about my skills from the last go round. I expected to get this position due to their feedback until I found out it was the same day as a large amount of layoffs. 

This time it came out of the blue from a friend at Microsoft that forwarded my info to the recruiting staff. A couple of days later a phone screen was scheduled. The phone screen was pretty simple (some of the questions were silly). The recruiter called me immediately after to schedule the technical interview. It happened within a couple of days and it was actually pretty tough... I had a brain fart when I was asked, name a couple of wait types... ahh... I know this.... I know lots of wait types... work with them daily... what is wrong with my brain!! I was so embarrassed that my brain wasn't working. 

Immediately after the technical interview the recruiter called and said, when can you come to Reston, VA for a face to face interview? Schedule for Thursday of the next week. The travel coordinator waited until Wednesday (the day before) to get me confirmed on a flight. I was really sweating, not sure what was going on, but finally it came through (after my bedtime).

The day of the interview was pretty interesting. As an interviewee I had a little tiny office where the interviewers would come and interview me. I'm assuming there are multiple people interviewing for the same position in the office, since I've seen several people walk by. 

After my first interview I thought I saw someone I knew to the point I started typing him an email when the second interviewer walked in.  This was a pretty long technical interview, and no brain farts...thank goodness! The interview ended and this time I definitely recognized my buddy Ryan Adams walking by... I called out his name, "Ryan". We started talking and he asked me, "you're a BI guy, right"? Nope, I do the same things you do... we both said about the same time, "oh no, I'm not going to get the job because you are"! It was pretty funny but a little nerve racking.

Both of our next interviews were phone interviews with different people. While they were setting us up, I asked them, are me and Ryan interviewing for the same position? I was happy to hear, no we are not going for the same position. 

The local coordinator of the interviews that day told us to give them 7 to 10 days for the recruiter to get back to us, we both were a little shocked about that as we were told we would hear that evening whether we go the position. 

Ryan and I went to dinner that night and Ryan got a call form the recruiter. Recruiter says, we want to move forward, Ryan got up so he could go somewhere quieter to talk. Sure enough, he has a verbal offer. Yea! All dinner I'm thinking, where's my call. :-)

By this time I know I did well on the interview. But I'm still a little nervous I haven't received the call. 

We decided to meet for breakfast the next morning before driving to the airport. Still no call by breakfast. 

At the airport, Ryan and I were one gate away from each other so we hung out before his plane boarded (mine was boarding close to an hour later). No phone call yet. 

With business as usual, I completed a phone "interview" with a potential client; just in case. 

So we board the plane and I'm sitting in the exit row way back in the back of the plane. Everyone is on the plane, the door is shut and here comes the flight attended to make sure we know we're in an emergency row. Bzzzzzzz... yep there is my phone ringing and the phone number is from Redmond... not now... yes, now.

I of course answered the phone and the recruiter asks, you home yet? "Nope", I said, "on the plane, doors shut and everyone looking at me. How's it going? " He says, "Well, we want to move forward, how's..."  the flight attended is being very cool as I mouth, "sorry!" She says, "we can't leave until you hang up the phone". "No problem", I said, "its a job offer".  I told the recruiter I needed to hang-up the phone but I would be online as soon as we got to altitude. The negotiations started from cruising altitude. 

Yep, I got the job!

Best news, Microsoft is still hiring for PFE and Consultants. Let me know if you're interested!


Highlights

Social Events

As usually the social events are the most valuable aspect of the conference. Most organizations are very critical about conferences assuming they are all about parties. Yes the headline for this section is social events...the most important thing gained from the social events were the relationships built with the other data professionals. People I look up to and have asked for help at one time or another. 

These are the people who I learn from and lean on when I need help. 

I've developed friendships with people like Grant Fritchey (@scaryDBA @GFritchey), Adam Saxton (@GuyInACube), Patrick LeBlanc (@patrickDBA)  Joey D'Antoni (jdanton), Denny Cherry (@MrDenny), Edwin Sarmiento (@EdwinMSarmiento), Louis Davidson,  (@DrSQL), Gareth Swanpoel (@GarenthSwan), Hamish Watson (@TheHybridDBA), Martin Catherall (@MartyCatherall), Martin Cairney (@martin_cairney), Argenis Fernandez (@DBArgenis), Hope Foley (@hope_foley), Mickey Stuewe (@SQLMickey) ...this year I met Mladen Prajdic (@MladenPrajdic), Michael J Swart (@MJSwart), David Peter Hansen (@DPHansen) ...and so many more ... not to mention all of my friends from TN, GA, FL, PA, TX and SC (You all know who you are...Ed, Rob V., Rob V., Mike F., Rie, Lindsey, Monica, Randolph, Kevin, Stuart, Eric...on and on). Anyone I missed.... sorry!!

My skills are better because of these guys, and their Tweets and Blogs. Knowing them and talking to them builds a relationship that opens doors for when I need help. And if I happen to see some good Karaoke while I build the relationship...awesome!

Monday Night Andy Warren Steve Jones Networking Dinner

Yardhouse is a great place for dinner. Add Steve Jones and Andy Warren and you have a great networking event! 

PASS Summit Welcome Party

Tuesday night PASS throws this big First Timer/Summit Attendee event every year. It is a great way to network with first timers, and start building the relationships with SQL Professionals. There were so many first timers this year that I got to talk to, passed out close to 30 business cards. I hope they all stay in touch.

Denny Cherry/SIOS Karaoke 

Denny always has the best party of the year. I have blackmail video tape on multiple people... you know who you are. :-) Actually, it is a who's who of the SQL Server World including Microsoft employees, Data Platform MVPs and the rest of my 200 closest friends! When Denny announces the party, you had better signup right away. This year the party was on Tuesday.

Redgate Rocks Party

Thursday night was a huge party night. Redgate had their Regate Rocks party where once again we had a blast with friends from around the globe. The Redgate employees are always awesome to hang around! Annabel, Grant, Karis, Tony, Carly and all of the Awesome Redgate employees know how to have fun.

Bush Garden

Bush Garden is the default Karaoke destination ... every night (I only made it one time this year). I saw R$% F#4rLy, #en%4 P@5*74, $%@#$%, and #!$%$!$ from Microsoft (redacted). What happens at Bush Garden stays at Bush Garden! :-)

Nope, I didn't sing! 

Others

I attended many social events that were invite only that I won't go into details about since they were invite only. These are events where prior year socialization helped build relationships with Vendors that have helped my career greatly. 

 

So in short, "socialization" is extremely valuable to the employers, because their employee is building his network of professionals (and potentially putting a bug in a future employee's ear).

 

Sessions

Of course my favorite session was my own. This is the second year that I've been a presenter at the PASS Summit Conference. I had 375 people attend my session, Execution Plans for Mere Mortals. It is only a 75 minute session (that I could make into an all day precon). As a previously, petrified of public speaking, speaker, I love getting on stage and teaching beginners. Sure I can teach some deep super advanced detailed session, but beginners are more fun and I love to give back.

I had a very long line of people who had questions at the end and wanted to give me feedback saying how much they loved my session. Always much appreciated. I had multiple friends and previous co-workers in the crowd which was even more fun. Several of them it was the first time for them to see me speak.

Bob Ward's "Inside SQL Server In-memory OLTP

Sitting right behind Kalen Delaney, the original writer of the In-Memory OLTP white paper (which I've read multiple versions), I got to hear the always deep Bob Ward teach us so much more than we'll ever be able to remember. Bob usually brings out the debugger very quickly to look at what is going on inside SQL Server (I think Geoff Hiten (@sqlcraftsman) said it was less than 12 minutes). 

Awesome 3 hour session. 

Joey D'Antoni's "Building Secure Applications in Azure SQL Database"

Joey gave a great session on Azure SQL Database security. I'm currently working with a client where security is extremely important and Joey gave me some good tips on how to answer their concerns with having their data in Azure. 

I've been working with Azure for a short time (a little more than a year), playing with it  a little longer, so the more experience I get the better. I am working hard to prepare for the 70-532, 533 and 534. I plan on taking all three before the end of the year. Keep your fingers crossed. 

Bill Gibson's "Design Patterns for SaaS Applications with Azure SQL Database"

Bill's session was awesome, as it talked a lot about the Elastic Database capabilities in Azure. This one hit home as in the recent past I had a client who needed this functionality pretty badly. I'm already putting together my document about the Elastic Database capabilities for my client.

Brandon Leach's "Data Pages, Allocation Units, IAM chains... Oh My!"

I saw this one previously, Brandon does an excellent job of going through the data page. An awesome session for sure!

So many great sessions, I wasn't disappointed in any of the ones I saw. I am very sad at not being able to see several of the ones that were on my list such as Mladen's "Algorithms For Searching Through Encrypted Data". Great speaker and great subject. I missed all of the chalk talks which I love every year. 

Steve Stedman's "When Database Corruption Strikes", who I've been following through the weekly "Database Corruption Challenges" that are too much fun.

Food

Yes, I said food... I gained 4 of the 6 pounds I recently lost. Breakfast is always pretty good (the bacon is awesome)! I'm a little miffed that breakfast ends at 8:00AM instead of 9. Many speakers spend their mornings trying to prepare for their presentation the morning of their session. I did, and I missed breakfast by about 45 minutes. I had planned on running in and getting my breakfast quickly then onto Dr. Dewitt's keynote.... unfortunately I had to go find breakfast somewhere... I had to prepare for a big day after all. 

I'm going to say it once.... why does breakfast have to end so early (I see the amount of food thrown away in the morning and many attendees miss breakfast because it closes so early). At least allow speakers to get breakfast later.

The lunches are also awesome, chicken, steak, fish, every day.... did I say I gained 4 pounds?

And there is that one day I joined Karla and Rob V. at Blue C Sushi...mmmm sushi with my friends. 

Goodbyes

It is always bitter sweet to say goodbye. Tim Mitchell arranges a final dinner at Crab Pot every year (sorry I was late Tim). Again, another opportunity to network with people I didn't know before. 

Miss my #sqlfamily already and its only been one day!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



For the past several years I've been a speaker at SQLSaturday Oregon and PASS Summit. SQLSaturday Oregon is historically the weekend before Summit which makes it convenient to fly into Oregon, take the #SQLTrain up to Seattle with a big group of close friends and experience the camaraderie of people I only get to see once a year if I''m lucky.

 

Because there are so many people coming in from outside the States to SQLSaturday Oregon, because of the timing, its even more special.

Funny thing is for both PASS Summit and SQLSaturday Oregon, my Execution Plans for Mere Mortals was picked. This is my last opportunity to run through my session before I present it on Thursday, October 27th.

I've updated the session and improved much of the content for beginners. I love that this session was picked because it is so near and dear to my heart, performance tuning is some of the most fun activities I do. When I have someone complaining that their critical to life stored procedure is taking 45 minutes and that they've made major improvements to get it to 43 minutes, but still suffers timeouts in production I go to work.

 My work starts with an execution plan. I normally search the procedure cache for a copy of a recent copy of the execution plan, just to see how it compares with a lower environment like DEV or QA. Does it have the same plan? Can I use those environments to track down the problem?

 This is where the fun comes in... using the awesomeness of SentryOne's (new name!) Plan Explorer, I quickly take a look at the plan fro plan cache and see if there are any red flags. Do I see anything that is out of the ordinary? Does this plan really need a hash join? Is that sort warning a major problem or just a red herring? Are there any residual predicate issues?

In my session, I will show the attendees many of these issues and where they will be found. This session is for beginners that are somewhat lost in the graphical execution plan. The session is only 75 minutes for a subject that could fill a day, seriously. That session is in the works.

If you're wanting to get the basic beginner information about execution plans, come see me at either SQLSaturday Oregon #572 or PASS Summit 2016!!


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!


Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save

Part 1 > Part 2 > Part 3

 

My current client has a very complex environment where up time is extremely important. They are a payment processor handling credit card payments 24x7x365.

They currently are using a combination of SQL Server Mirroring and Failover Cluster Instances for their high availability and disaster recovery across a WAN between data centers.

Current EnvironmentA mirroring failover is known to be a much faster recovery than clustering. This is mostly due to the disk arbitration that takes place during a failover to protect the data on the disk.

For this reason, the client was unhappy with Failover Clustering Instances. They wanted the failover to always be a mirroring failover to result in the smallest downtime.

The Windows Failover Cluster was a multi-subnet cluster traversing both data centers. There were two environments R-710s and R-720s. The R-710s were coming to the end of life. Each had a Fusion-IO solid state drive for the data. The free space on the drives was dwindling.

The mirroring witness resided in Bermuda which encountered irregular network issues causing loss of quorum frequently.

The client decided to rebuild the servers, re-installing Windows Server 2012 R2 so they have a "clean" environment.

The client had the following requirements:

  1. Re-install Windows on the servers.
  2. Increase redundancy.
  3. Use existing equipment.
  4. Keep license cost to minimum.
  5. Failover must be automatic with zero loss of data.
  6. Complete the project with near zero downtime.

 With this information I recommended the following:

  1. Consolidate the two environments, preventing the need to purchase additional licenses1 for the new environment (new licenses hadn't been purchased for SQL Server Enterprise on the R-720s).
  2. Evict the passive nodes from the cluster, re-install, team the NICs for redundancy, create a new cluster (named properly).
  3. Add Fusion-IO drives from R710s to R720s.
  4. Log ship databases to rebuilt machines.
  5. Create Availability groups for each business region.
  6. Flip from Log Shipping to Availability Group.
  7. Tear down the old cluster.
  8. Rebuild the last set of servers.
  9. Add to new Windows Failover Cluster.
  10. Add servers as new availability replicas using PowerShell to minimize downtime.

Each product will have 4 replicas, 2 synchronous (local and across WAN2). Against best practices of only using asynchronous availability mode across the WAN, because the application was unable to handle the prevention of the loss of transactions during failover. The transaction(s) could possibly be committed or rolled back locally but not on the replica. They can't afford for a $100,000 transaction or batch of transactions to be committed at the client but not committed in the database..i.e. the credit card transactions were accepted but not recorded (or be paid for).

1The machines were licensed for SQL Server Enterprise on 2 - 8 core CPUs. With two active and two passive nodes, that is 32 core (16 - 2 pack licenses). They had an extra 2 pack license, so they had to purchase an additional license.

 The client approved the design and the migration plan.

Over the next few weeks I will go into the details about how we migrated the 25 databases with less than 5 minutes of down time. Keep in mind I'm not a PowerShell guru, this is the most PowerShell I've ever written.

 


In 2014, I started off the year struggling with half of January on the bench, looking for my next contract. Being an independent consultant has many huge benefits that I love, but there also comes the part many people struggle with of finding work. 

I'm blessed with many friends in the SQL Server Community with a solid footing for consulting. I jumped into consulting after drowning in the political BS frequently found in an enterprise organization. I had been developing my "side work" contracts planning on jumping into consulting when it was appropriate. One day in 2013, the Director of HR was reminding me why they refuse to pay out vacation banked by employees when they leave. I reminded him of the propensity of the employees to either use up their vacation then give notice, or give notice (less than a week) because they have nothing to stay for (vacation pay). So managers lose the transition period expected with an company that pays out the vacation. I digress. That day, I decided it was time to work for myself, and the day before a good friend of mine Geoff Hiten @SQLCraftsman called be to offer me a 3 month contract through MSC in New York City. It was a tough decision to leave the security of my position, not knowing what the next contract would be... but I felt it was a sign from above.

 

 

 

 


Sessions

It is always a challenge to attend half of the sessions I set out to attend. I walked in double and triple booked for many of the key time periods. Knowing this I pre-purchased the recordings. 

Favorite Sessions

Dealing with Multipurpose Procs and PSP the RIGHT Way! by Kimberly Tripp 

Kimberly's sessions are always interesting and I always leave with something. This session was no different. She went into detail about strategies she recommends for the dreaded "all purpose" , one for all procedures and how to "defeat" the parameter sniffing issues encountered with these types of procedures. 

She demonstrated the OPTION(RECOMPILE), dynamic SQL and a very interesting pattern for getting the best performance. If you missed it, watch her blog, no doubt she'll cover it completely.

Having Paul Randal in the front row was an added benefit, adding the fun occasional banter between them. 

BI Power Hour

The BI Power Hour is always over the top hilarious. Matt Masson, Matthew Roche and others profess to present a worthless uninformative session about BI (lies) and always show the ease and functionality of the Power BI tools through humorous demonstrations. You have to be early to the room in order to get a seat, as the line forms outside the door and around the corner. The BI Power Hour is a must see!

Lightning Talks

6 speakers, each has ten minutes to present a topic. I got to witness the Lightning Talks 103 session with Randy Knight, Julie Smith, Stuart Ainsworth, Rick Heiges, Argenis Fernandez and Kevin Boles. I'm lucky enough to call 4 of the six friends, so it was extra fun for me. 

The audience was fully engaged, the presenters were hilarious and took every opportunity to tease each other just to keep the ball rolling. If you ever have the opportunity to see any of these 6 present, do it. 

Query Tuning Mastery: Manhandling Parallelism

All I can say about this one is wow. Adam showed some very interesting ways to "trick" the optimizer to improve the performance of a query through parallelism. This one appeared on PASStv, and is a must see. It truly warps reality! I can't wait to play with his demos to try to fully understand what he is doing. 

 

Keynotes

Dr. Rimma Nehme - It is quite unfair to be put into the position of stepping into the shoes of Dr. David DeWitt. Everyone wondered how it could be possible for anyone to come in and keep the audience mesmerized as Dr. DeWitt always did. The session started out a little rough with the clicker not working, but she tap danced past it once she got it working.

Fact is, Rimma did it by winning over the audience with an excellent presentation filled with humor. She presented Cloud services using a Pizza as a Service example. 

For a great breakdown of the talk see Erin Stellato's blog here.

Networking

Monday - Steve Jones and Andy Warren's Networking event. Buffalo Wild Wings let down Steve and Andy by totally turning their back on the community by turning everyone away?! Weird, strange..great... we found a new place, The Yard House, huge place, opened their arms to over 100 people. Great food and a great time. I met quite a few new people at the event and hung with some old friends. Overall a success...can't wait until next year.

Tuesday - The Welcome Reception is a great place to meet people, and this year was no less...then SQL Karaoke with Denny Cherry and SIOS. Always the top networking event at PASS, Denny chose a great venue, Cow Girls, for SQL Karaoke. The bartenders were awesome, waitresses hustled and always there when you needed them.  It was definitely a who's who of SQL Server. More MVPs per square inch than the MVP Summit (small bar, lots of people). I met at least 10 new people and spent more time with friends I get to rarely see. Big Score! 

Wednesday - Too many events not enough time, the Exhibitor Reception for munchies, meeting sponsors and more networking ...then on to Pragmatic Works Karaoke. Too much fun watching drunk people singing. Great time...

Thursday - Kilt Thursday was the first time I wore a kilt. Wearing a kilt is showing support for Women in Technology. Kilts of PASS Summit 2014

SQL Wine with some close friends and some new friends. Gareth brought out his secret stash of Biltong, and we sampled the wines each person brought to sample. Next year will be bigger and better.

The evening went on until the morning, I missed the PASS Appreciation Event completely, winding up the morning walking back to the hotel with a group of friends at 4AM in the morning after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Best Summit ever!

Atlanta Kilts

 


 

Friday - After the sessions, exhaustion has set in. By buddies, Rob Volk and Jason Carter were in heated competition with 2 other speakers in the Speaker Idol contest. All of the speakers were awesome, Rob and Jason placed 2nd and 3rd respectively (and respectably). I felt they should have been 1st and second. Planned to meet the gang at the Tap House, but the wife and I hit the Yard House for dinner, then crashed. 

Saturday - After meeting Rob Volk for breakfast at Lowell's, and seeing other #SQLFamily members JRJ and Adam Jorgenson, it was time to say goodbye and enjoy our weekend. Karen, my wife, and I did a Lake Union and Lake Washington tour. Too cool, we saw Bill Gate's house and the Sleepless in Seattle floating home. 

Sunday - Breakfast at Lowell's again and a nice walk around the Pike Place Market. On our flight back to Atlanta I sat behind Stuart Ainsworth and his wife. Great trip home and great to be home. 

PASS Summit is an event that should never be missed by a data professional.


Have you ever been memory constrained do to physical hardware constraints (or budget constraints)? Well Microsoft has decided to help us out a little bit. The addition of the Buffer Pool Extension, adds the ability to extend buffer pool to nonvolatile random access memory for instance an SSD. 

This functionality allows the buffer pool manager to use the NAND memory from the Flash Storage to maintain a pool of lukewarm pages (Microsoft term not mine). In effect the buffer pool manager is using the Flash Storage as Level 2 buffer pool that only writes clean pages for safety purposes. 

Although the buffer pool extension can be up to 32 times the size of RAM, the recommendation is to maintain a ratio between 1:4 and 1:8. As usual, the optimal ratio can vary, so test as is always the recommendation.

Refer to the following technet article for more information.


On May 3, 2014, the always popular, highly attended SQLSaturday #285 will be hosted! Atlanta is known as being an awesome venue with many sessions at all levels of experience. 

Watch Twitter hash tag @SQLSat285!

Link to registration page and information.

Register Now!

Add to your calendar!