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SQL Saturday #511 (Redmond)

One of the things I really look forward to recently is SQL Saturday as it is a day where I can both learn and talk with others about my passion with Microsoft SQL Server. The latest SQL Saturday #511 in Redmond on 2 April 2016 was no exception to this wonderful community of SQL server folks. It felt like a home coming of sorts as it has been about 18 months since I last was in the area. It was really good to run into old friends and meet new people. It is amazing to me how fast those 8 hours that day fly by and how much more I want to keep going, but like all good things, as does SQL Saturday come to an end as well.

One of the cool things I did not know about and learned during the keynote was that there are Free SQL Licenses to assist with database migrations from Oracle. We also did a cool message to the fine folks at Microsoft

This year, I decided to take the following classes and here is a brief overview:

  1. This was a very well thought out class to an old problem dealing with documentation for your environment. A lot of times you are unable to know all information about databases or servers that you end up being responsible for maintaining. This will help you gather all things, like logins (how you access the box) and users (permissions) plus other SQL objects. The problem with getting all SQL objects is that SQL code often change between versions and PowerShell is a better tool to gather this data as it will ensure to work with all versions. This script can be run either locally or remote (preferred) to get any and every object. The cool I liked about this script is that it can also assist you on disaster recovery to avoid have to do a full restore for minor things. The output of his scripts will be T-SQL on adding back those permissions, users or other SQL objects.

    Requirements: SQL CLR Types, SMO, PowerShell Tools, RSAT and Feature Pack or SSDT

  2. I also really enjoyed this presentation as well. It covers one topic that I like a lot, performance and specifically disk. Jimmy went over how SQL Server writes information to the transaction logs sequentially, but they are massive interrupts along the way as seen in his slide here:

    One of the really cool things that he did was using cups (starting at 8 ounces) and buckets (up to 2 gallons) to help visualize these writes and how crazy it can cause latency on your storage systems. He shared a humorous story about this new “enterprise only” feature: C:\>sqlservr.exe /faster (Just kidding, but someone did try to use this switch and the SQL server would not start, so be careful)

    He also went over how you can use wait stats and performance counters to help identify disk bottlenecks in the storage subsystem.

  • Logmon can help automatically configure these settings

Last but not least, he explained the right way to ask a SAN Administrator for storage (as opposed to just capacity)

  1. Steve as usual, did not disappoint in his presentation and I always take away something great from what he was sharing with us. In case you are not familiar with Steve, he wrote a really helpful tool called Database Health and I highly recommend that you take a moment to look it over. In the presentation he went over a lot of the ways you can monitor the performance and behavior of your tempDB.

  2. Another great person to meet as she demo’d a lot of the new Azure portal features, plus explained how a Database Transaction Unit (DTU) works in the Microsoft Cloud. She also has a lot of good blog articles on her blog and was extremely positive and helpful in her presentation.

I would recommend downloading all of these presentations from here.

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