Monday, December 21, 2009

Why Do We Give?

There several thoughts of camp around giving gifts at Christmastime. There are probably just as many blogs about it, too. So, what makes me throw in my buck-fifty this time around? I'm pretty sure it all started with the annual Family Gift Exchange. You see, each year, my husband's family decides on what method to use to exchange gifts. We have tried a few ideas, and this year was the typical Secret Santa variety. Apparently, my guy had not put even ONE item on his wishlist. Yesterday, his mother calls to say "Hey, Santa needs to know what is on your list!" So, we start talking about what he wants, and that leads to what did we get for other people. I won't bore you with the details of our conversation, but let's just say in the end we both learned that we have very different motivations for buying Christmas presents.
Now this gets me to thinking - how many schools of thought are there about gift giving? Probably more than a handful. I think it can be boiled down to two in the end though.

Type 1 - obligation. You feel obligated to buy a gift for certain people. Maybe it's "everyone" or just "family", it doesn't matter. You just feel you are forced to make purchases, wrap something up and have a gift for a given individual. You don't feel any connection to the gifts you buy and you more than likely do not feel your gift is special in any way. It's all just part of the Machine which is labelled Christmas.

Type 2 - generousity. You enjoy giving gifts for the joy you anticipate bringing to someone else. Maybe it's just a colorful pencil or maybe it's a brand new car, it doesn't matter. You just feel you have found something that person will enjoy (even if only for a short time) and bring a smile to their face. Perhaps it a luxury item -small or large- you know they would never buy for themselves and you feel they would appreciate it. It's all about sharing the fact that you care about someone.

If you find yourself identifying with Type 1, I'm sorry. I'm a Type 2 and it makes the holidays a lot of fun for me. I don't try to over think any gift, I just want my friends and family to know they are appreciated. Some gifts will cost me more than others. They will be given with the same amount of intention regardless of price.
As for being on the recieving end, it's not about the dollar amount. When I get a gift I know someone cared enough to take a few minutes to think of me and I feel appreciated.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you choose to observe. Spread the cheer and embrace the spirit which was intended. God bless you and yours today and every day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Networking at PASS Summit 2009

I had the incredible opportunity to meet many influential and fun people at the SQL PASS Summit this year. Along the way I learned a few things about myself as well. As every experience should be an opportunity to learn more about the world around us, other people and more of ourselves, this week’s journey of discovery was fruitful (in abundance!).

In order to simplify this recount of people and how they helped me learn more about these things, I came up with a few categories to plug folks into. I hope no one minds, as these are more for my benefit than anything else.

Board Members
Starting here, it quickly became apparent that I knew a good number of the Board Members already. This being my 6th year attending the Summit, that should be a reasonable expectation. What I didn’t realize was how incredible some of the ‘names’ really are and it was exciting to meet and talk to some people I had not previously had opportunity to interact with.

First up is Andy Warren whom I only began conversing with the week prior to the Summit because of an initiative to bring SQL Saturday to Chicago Spring of 2010. Andy has vision and motivation. While our conversations were brief, I’m looking forward to working with Andy over the next several months.

Wayne Snyder knows my name! There were a number of occassions when I looked around and there was Wayne – a very busy man who always had time for a friendly ‘Hello’. If you have ever heard Wayne speak about the PASS organization, it is impossible to not be moved to become involved. And Wayne, if you’re listening, I will take your comments to heart.

Jeremiah Peschka, man of mystery (and amazing ink!), was a lot taller than I anticipated. Since I’m so short, I notice these things. While we did not get much time to interact one-on-one, he was usually nearby in a group of friends and very busy getting caught up with his newly acquired Board membership. I have no doubt we will get more opportunity to work together in the next year and it was apparent he will be taking his new role to heart.

I met Brian Moran in passing intially and was fortunate to run into him once again later in the week to have a great discussion about ideas for expanding the Women In Tech Virtual Chapter. I am also looking forward to working toward additional goals with you in that endeavor.

Some people I alreay knew from years past and am happy to report that I know them a bit better now:

Rushabh Mehta, our upcoming PASS President may seem quiet, but don’t let that fool you! An extremely motivated and enterprising man, he truly wants to make PASS ‘the’ place to go for the SQL Server community. Thank you, Rushab for taking the time to help make the Women In Technology Luncheon a ‘must see’ for many attendees!

Tom LaRock who excels in ‘keeping it real’. As one of the Board Members who is very closely connected with the average joe, you are our voice. Work always needs to be done, but there’s no reason you can’t have fun doing it. Keep on keeping-on, Tom and thanks for the comic relief when it’s needed!

Kevin Klein (Past PASS President) whom I first met last year at the airport upon arrival at the Summit. Sharing a cab ride with one of the Big Names was at first intimidating, but Kevin’s easy-going nature really put me at ease and we found conversation to proceed easily. This year it was like saying Hi to a long-time friend and I found myself in his company a few times.

Pat Wright really got me interested in Volunteering and being on the Ambassador Team several years back. Every year, I really look forward to wearing my red vest: welcoming people to the Summit and helping people find their way around. While Pat is coming off of the Board this year, we had a nice talk about how once you get involved making the Summit a success, you will always want to be involved!

Joe Webb, while not a Board Member is still an influential force in the PASS organization. I was fortunate to have a humble breakfast with him and a few others which will have an impact on me for the rest of my life. Thanks guys 

And coming last in this list, but always First in my book, is Bill Graziano, my very first Summit ‘hello’ back in Orlando (2004). As outgoing of a person as I am, I still contemplate what my role in the PASS organization would be if I had not met Bill that first day of my first Summit. Bill, you have been more of an influence than you know and through your dedication and inspiration, PASS keeps getting better and better. I’m happy we had some time to reconnect this year!

Please take some time and make opportunities to meet the Board Members. They cannot do their job of making PASS an organization of the people if they don’t know what the people want! I have found each and every one of them to be approachable and interested in listening to the community. Well, they should – we elected them!

Twitter Folks
Next up is a large list of people I had the pleasure of meeting or catching up with. I KNOW I WILL HAVE MISSED SOME IN MY LIST. Some of you helped me with SQL Saturday information, some of you inspired me to do my job better and many of you I am happy to now be able to call ‘friend’. If this isn’t proof of the power of social networking, I don’t know what is.

Some of you are Summit veterans and several came for the first time, but it felt like family and it was fun to visit ‘home’. I’m sure I’ll embarrass myself by forgetting someone, but I’ll give it a shot anyway :)

Andy Leonard (@AndyLeonard)– almost right out of the gate and into the hotel – there you were!
Buck Woody (@buckwoody) – Thanks for the great DBA cheatsheet
Brent Ozar (@BrentO) - I'm glad we live in the same city, I only saw you twice and briefly at that!
Tim Mitchell (@Tim_Mitchell), Jack Corbett (@unclebiguns) and Damon Clark (@DamonRipper) my Airport buddies.
The SQL Ladies: Pam Shaw (@pamshaw), Michelle Ufford (@SQLFool), Lori Edwards (@loriedwards), Lee Anne Pedersen (@leeannepedersen), Arlene Gray (@WhimSQL)

People I communicate with so often I alreay felt like we were friends even before meeting them in person: Colin Stasiuk (@BenchmarkIT), Jason Strate (StrateSQL), Steve Jones (wayoutwest), Patrick Leblanc (patrickdba), Denny Cherry (MrDenny) + Chris (nodns), Adam Mechanic, Stuart (Stuarta), Kendal VanDyke (SQLDBA), Bill Fellows (@billinkc)

More cool people I know personally now:
Aaron Nelson (SQLVariant)
Mike Walsh (Mike_Walsh)
Mike (SarasotaSQL) – so many Mike’s I’m starting to get mixed up (PICS PLEASE!)
Todd McDermid (Todd_McDermid)
Erik Humphrey (lotsahelp)
Donabel (SQLBelle)
Jen & Sean McCown (MidnightDBA)
Mike Wells (@helpfulDBA) – See, yet another Mike…
Bugboi – still smiling at “My Way” performance
Rob Boek (Robboek)

New Twits I’m happy to have met: Scott Gleason (@SQLScottGleason), Josh Cros, Nancy Hidy Wilson (@NancyHidyWilson)

And the Classic Crew – guys you make PASS for me on an ongoing basis!
Richard Baumet (@SQLDBA_Dude)
Todd Robinson (@DevSQL)
Allen Kinsel (@Sqlinsaneo)
Tim Ford (@sqlagentman)
Grant Fritchey (@Gfritchey)
Melissa Demsak (@SQLDiva)
Louis Davidson (@drsql)
TJay Belt (@tjaybelt)

Some peple I’m still missing, and here’s to hoping there are opportunities to meet face-to-face in the near future!

WIT Volunteers and Luncheon participants

Wow. Just – Wow. From our Panel members to our volunteers and other people who came out to support Women In Technology: THANK YOU!

Kathi Kellenberger (@auntkathi), Jessica Moss (@jessicammoss), Lynn Langit (@llangit) and Cathi Rodgeveller of IGNITE who not only served to inspire others to come to the luncheon, but were inspired themselves to now be part of the Women In Technology Virtual Chapter!
Meredith Ryan Smith – were we twins separated at birth?
Michelle Ufford (yes, you made my Twitter list, but I’m so excited to have you on the WIT team now!)
And to Sheila Ackerman (@sjacker), Barb Rokke, Cindy Gross (@CindyGross) and Mai Low: I wish we had more time to connect this year. The small bits of time we did get to say ‘hi’ were nice, and I look forward to working with you more in the upcoming year. Thank you again for your contributions (especially at the Luncheon) and helping spread the enthusiasm for Women In Technology!
Denise McInerney (@denisemc06), to borrow a phrase from Stripes, “our Big Toe”. Okay, I’ll admit, not very glamorous and definitely out of context, but without Denise, WIT would not be where it is today. She is a highly motivated and incredibly organized individual who is not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is worthwhile and just plain “right”. She never would shy away from an opportuity to make things better and has no problem speaking up to defend and promote her ideals. You are a great role model, Denise, and I’m happy to be on your team!

To Sum Up
Okay, too late for that! In the incredibly unlikely event you are still reading – the Summit was THE place to network this year especially. Look for at least two more posts on 2009 later this week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I’m A Square! SQLPass B-I-N-G-O

Here’s something fun going on at the SQLPass Conference in Seattle November 2-6:

(rules and playing cards can be found here)

I’m personally looking forward to meeting people I ‘see’ on Twitter every day. Even though I’m not eligble to play (and win PRIZES), my goal will still be to meet those I haven’t spoken face-to-face with.

Here is a list of the people playing. I’ve marked those whom I’ve met and those who I know from being online and then the remainder is anyone I haven’t ever encountered. They will definitely be at the top of my list. If you find me and need help with anyone I know already, I'll point you in the right direction!

SquareSquareUserNameMy Status
Andy LeonardAndyLeonardNeed to meet
Aaron BertrandAaronBertrandNeed to meet
Aaron NelsonSQLvariantNeed to meet
Adam MachanicAdamMachanicNeed to meet
Allen KinselsqlinsaneoI know Allen!
Andy WarrensqlAndyNeed to meet
Arlene GraywhimsqlNeed to meet
Bill FellowsbillinkcNeed to meet
Bill GrazianobillgrazianoHey! I know Bill!
Blythe MorrowblythemorrowHey! I know Blythe!
Brent OzarbrentoHey! I know Brent!
Brian KelleykbriankelleyNeed to meet
Colin StasiukBenchmarkITNeed to meet
Denny CherrymrdennyNeed to meet
Eric HumphreylotsahelpNeed to meet
Geoff HitenSQLCraftsmanNeed to meet
Grant FritcheyGFritcheyI know Grant!
Jeff RushJeffRushNeed to meet
Jeremiah PeschkapeschkajNeed to meet
Joe WebbJoeWebbI know Joe!
Ken SimmonskensimmonsNeed to meet
Kendal Van DykeSQLDBANeed to meet
Lee Anne PedersenleeannepedersenNeed to meet - my roomie!
Lori EdwardsloriedwardsNeed to meet
Mike WalshMike_WalshNeed to meet
Mike WellsSarasotaSQLIt will be a discovery
Pat WrightSQLAsylumI know Pat!
Peter SchottpaschottIt will be a discovery
Peter ShirePeter_ShireNeed to meet
Ross MistryRossMistryNeed to meet
Rushabh MehtarushabhmehtaI know Rushabh!
Steve Jonesway0utwestNeed to meet
Stuart AinsworthstuartaNeed to meet
Tim BenninghoffbugboiNeed to meet
Tim FordsqlagentmanI know this Tim!
Tim MitchellTim_MitchellNeed to meet this Tim
TJay BelttjaybeltI know TJ!
Todd McDermidTodd_McDermidNeed to meet
Tom LaRockSQLRockstarI know Tom!
Trevor BarkhouseSQLServerSleuthIt will be a discovery
Wendy Pastrickwendy_danceWell, this is me...
Wesley BrownWesBrownSQLNeed to meet
William McKnightwilliammcknightIt will be a discovery

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SQL University: SQL Admin Part 1 – Database Files and Management

We are going to start our week off by taking a look at where the database files are stored and how to work with them.

Two Types of Files
First, there are two types of files which make up your database:
mydatabasename.mdf -- These are the data files (you may also have .ndf files)
mydatabasename.ldf – These are your transaction log files

Data files store all of the, well, data and metadata associated with your database. Things like data structures, stored procedures, views, etc.

Log files are a transactional history of activity in your database. These should not be confused with other available log files for SQL server operations, however (errors, setup, etc.)

Great – where are these files anyway? There is a lot of information out on the web about determining the architecture for your database storage. Instead of rehashing that here, I will show you where to find existing files.

Default Location
In SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), right-click on the servername and choose “Properties”. In the left hand navigation bar, click “Database Settings”. Near the bottom, you will see “Database default locations”. There will be a listing for Data files and one for Log files. Most companies have these in separate file directories, if not separate hard drives.

This is where any new database created will store its files by default.

Specific Location
To determine where a specific set of database files is located, right-click on the name of any database, choose “Properties” and then click “Files”. You will need to scroll to the right to see the Path. The File Name will also be shown. Note: there may be more than one .mdf and/or .ldf file for your database.

Now, you can also do this without resorting to drilling through GUI screens. Just use the following command:
select * from sys.master_files

Moving Files
On occasion, there is a need to move your files to another location, or perhaps you need to make sure a database has been taken offline. Using the Sp_detach_db and ATTACH commands are a great tool to have in your arsenal.

Sp_detach_db is used to first disassociate the database from the underlying files. This does NOT delete your database, even though it will no longer show up under Databases in SSMS.

sp_detach_db [ @dbname= ] 'database_name'

Once a database is Detached, you can move the .mdf and .ldf files anywhere you need them. This is also great for copying databases.

Once you have the files in the appropriate locations, use the ATTACH command to re-attach the database:

CREATE DATABASE database_name
ON [ ,...n ]

Refer to the MSDN page if you would like to get more information about additional parameters or dealing with replicated, mirrored, or other database scenarios before Detaching.

Of course, SSMS also has these features availabe. Right-click any database and choose “Tasks” then “Detach”.

To Attach the database, right-click on the heading “Databases” and choose “Attach”. You can then browse to the file location by clicking the “Add” button. The appropriate .mdf and .ldf files should appear and then you can click “OK”.

Refreshing your list of Databases will confirm if your Attach was successful.

A Word of Caution
SQL Server comes with a set of System Databases which are used internally by SQL Server to keep track of data and processes necessary to make the engine function. Here is a short description of each for you:

If you find you need to move any System Databases (master, model, etc), Microsoft’s detailed instructions can be found here:

Go back to the SQL University home page.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How I Became a Database Administrator

Thanks to my buddy Ted for Tagging me. (See his blog here, or find him on Twitter @onpnt)

My journey to the position of DBA starts off much like those of others: I graduate from college (with my degree in Psychology) and start looking for work. As a new graduate with a piece of paper to prove it, all I have to show for experience are the odd jobs I held while in High School and College. Fortunately, for me anyway, those jobs were always in an administrative role instead of fast food. Taking my diploma and my admin/customer service skills into the workforce I found myself employed – as a ‘secretary’ as they were called back then.

Fortune smiled upon me once again, having more than half a brain, and I ended up being the Go-To Person in the office when someone couldn’t get their computers to behave the way they expected: network issues, printing, using applications, you name it and I fixed it. Evenutally, I had the good fortune to take a class on how to use Microsoft Access. As my first introduction to the word ‘database’ and learning about datastorage and querying, I was hooked! As fate would have it, my Administrative Assistant position was no longer needed and I was in search of another opportunity.

I went back to that company where I took the database class. They were hiring! For the next three years, I worked as a Software Trainer. I began teaching VBA and .net classes and had my first taste of SQL Server teaching T-SQL. As I started to talk more with my students, I realized I wanted to get out there and use the skills I had been teaching everyone else. This leads to my first Real Job™ as a developer for a booming Dot-Com and what I like to call the “Sold My Soul” years. As much work as it was, this opportunity did give me the stepping stone to becoming a DBA, though. About 4 weeks into my first full-fledged .net developer position, the DBA walked out. When management looked around the room and said, “who here knows anything about databases? Ah, yes – Wendy! You’re our new DBA” well, the rest is history.

Formal training has not existed since that first Microsoft Access class. Sometimes it reminds me of the saying “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”; other times it’s a struggle to make sure I keep up and learn whatever I can whenever the opportunity strikes. Fortunately there is a wealth of information on the interenet and many wonderful resource books. However, I learn best in hands on situations. This makes conferences that much more valuable for me. While I have attended a TechEd here and there, my preferred conference is SQLPass ( It’s refreshing to be a contributing member or a professional community.

I still haven’t reached my personal professional goal, and while I can’t reveal what that is, I promise to share it when I do!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My SQL 'rap' Entry

Okay, I'll finally admit to doing it. Back in May, I entered a very funny contest hosted by Michelle Ufford (@sqlfool). The idea was to take SQL Server concepts and put them to the tune of a rap, or come up with something completely your own. Since my own musical writing ability is limited, to say the very least, I went with the more popular "Filk" method.

Here is my contest entry. Sing along if you like!

To the tune of Beyonce’s Single Ladies (the tune we love to hate!)

All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies

Now put your hands up
Up in the cube, server blew up
I'm runnin' my own little scripts
gotta find the fix get it online quick
before users start screaming
Kim-ber-ly Tripp and sql team
your ex-per-tise is sal-va-tion
cuz I profiled this, used DMVs
Now it's running smooth

Cuz if you break it then we trace it and we will find it
If you break it then we trace it and we will find it
Don't be mad once we prove that you caused it
If you break it then we trace it and we will find it

wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh x2


Select * in the code, .net won't load
get it through to development team
acting up, better clean it up
I could care less what you think
I need no permission, I'm the admin
please close your every transaction
Cuz you had your turn
But now you gonna learn
Better read some Kalen Delaney

wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh x2
wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh x2

Don't forget the women of the PASS world
Kathi Kellenberger
our own sql fool, Michelle Ufford
Denise McInerney, Sharon Dooley
Here to educate and inspire me, Jessica Moss an MVP!
Program chair Lynda Rab
So index and defrag
Write it up for SQLMag
Amy Lewis, sing along!

All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies
All the SQL Ladies

Now put your hands up
wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh x2
wo oh oh!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to Blogging - What is your Quick Escape?

I just attended a great session from Steve Jones (@way0utwet) regarding blogging during the 24 Hours of PASS. Thanks to his inspiration I have made a new commitment to blogging!

As I'm writing, I'm about to head off to my weekly Yoga session. I think it's great that my office offers FREE yoga once per week for anyone who wants to show up. Only being once per week, you may think "what good is that?" You may be surprised to hear that several of us look forward to it so much, we are already talking about it on Monday each week. It's just a few minutes to unwind, and let your mind focus on nothing but YOU. Turns out, it's an amazing tool to increase productivity for the remainder of the week.

Hopefully, there is something in your week, or maybe each day, which allows you a few moments for complete introspection and peace.

I'll check back next week with a more technically minded topic. Until then - have a great Holiday weekend!

Steve's SQL Server Central blog is HERE.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Best Thing I Learned at PASS Summit

My favorite annual user conference, SQLPass is helping sponsor attendees this year by having a contest. Oddly enough, the contest is to blog about "What is the Best Thing I Learned" at the conference. There are so many wonderful things about the conference - the amazing sessions, the super nice staff, Seattle in November, the fun parties, the Exhibition hall with more than just vendors, the hands-on labs, the Women In Technology luncheon - my list can go on and on! (just kidding on the Seattle in November thing - although it IS warmer than Chicago that time of year!)
Really, the most wonderful thing to me at the conference is the people. I have met some of the Rockstars of the SQL community (thanks for the cab ride Kevin Kline!), some of the movers and shakers of the PASS community (Bill Graziano was the first person I talked to at my first conference) and a whole lot of the everyday Joe-DBA's out there who walk the walk and talk the talk. Without the camaraderie of all of the people, we would never find ourselves in groups of 10 or more schlepping off to dinner and discussing our work environments, issues we regularly encounter and solutions discovered after countless hours of research.
Also, with Twitter, we collaborate, we comisserate and we congratulate each other every day. Seeing them at the confernce will be the icing on the cake - and looking forward to adding more to the network!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Twitter Psychology

As a computer geek (well, SQL Server anyway) with a degree in Psychology, I found this site to be rather interesting. Thanks @pnt for tweeting about this site.

Here is my twitter personality profile according to TweetPsych.

Cognitive Content

Present tense
Self reference
Occupation & work
Past tense
Upward motion
Future tense
Positive Feelings
Positive emotions

Primordial, Conceptual and Emotional Content
Social behavior
Constructive behaviors
Abstract thought
Temporal References
Positive affect
Visual sensations

Friday, June 5, 2009

Double Hop Issue - .NET to IIS to SQL Server Authentication

Recently, after going through an analysis of our SQL Server (2005) security setup, we decided to switch over to Windows Authentication for our .NET applications. Our reasons were enhanced security and implementing best practices. Oddly, in order to achieve some of the ‘best practice’ recommendations, the change over to Windows Authentication does go against some prefered security settings on IIS.

Use at your own discretion and weigh the options for your scenario before implementing.

What I Learned
First – While it may seem a no-brainer to add an AD group to your SQL server, assign it permissions to the required database(s) and configure your .NET app to use Integrated Security, there are additional hoops to navigate before it will actually work.

Second – The Double Hop Issue. In the simplest terms, when the .NET application makes a call to the IIS server and then the IIS server makes calls to the SQL server, the original Authentication used to call the IIS server is not passed along to the SQL server. Time for Kerberos!

Third – There are some wonderful resources on the web for explaining this scenario and ways to fix it. Here are some of the links I used, which I will summarzie below:

I found the first link to be the most helpful, however both provide great insight.

What I Accomplished

  1. Server Principle Names for the service account. My SQL server and IIS server were in the same domain. If your SQL Server has TCP/IP enabled and runs under a domain admin user account, you should be all set to go here. If these three things are not true, go back to the article and follow their instructions.
  2. AD account. You need an Active Directory service account which allows delegation to the MSSQLService. Each server you will be connecting to must be listed on the delegation tab. If you have multiple instances of SQL Server on any box, you also must include the port number for each instance.
  3. IIS Application Pool Properties. In the Application Pool, the Identity property needs to be set to “Configurable”. The Active Directory account used must be set Delegated as “Trust this user/computer for delegation to any service (Kerberos)” in AD.

A few words about the AD account
This account is for authentication between IIS and SQL Server. The .NET application uses the appropriate user account and the credentials for the user are passed through the application to IIS and on to SQL Server via the AD service account set up in (2) above.

I may have some updates to post in the next few days, as I have to wait for 'corporate' to implement some of the settings before we can get an accurate test through.

I would like to throw out props to @SQLSocialite (Twitter) for sharing information to be included in an upcoming publication. @SQLChicken and @kbriankelly were also very helpful in pointing me in the right direction. Thanks to the community!

Further, thank you also to @SQLDBA for these posts on Delegation:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Movie List

Here are my picks for summer movie viewing. Some may end up on the Fall Rental list as I don't make it to the theater as often as I would like. I will update the list as I see the films listed, and possibly add some which my husband may insist on seeing (the 'caveman' movie First Year comes to mind....)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Star Trek (May 9)
Terminator Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

If you notice a theme, well, I don't think that makes you particularly brilliant or anything. Yes, I love Sci Fi!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Linked Server Naming

Spurred by a post from SQL Batman I wanted to share a few of the Linked Server topologies I have encountered. I see the reasoning behind each one, and I have yet to find the be-all-end-all of naming conventions.

Both scenarios include the development sandbox servers, testing and production servers. Keeping simple references by server function seems to be common and helps with the reuse of code. Additionally, having entries to link across environments helps with change management.

JobA (all found on each server)
PUB - publisher
SUB - subscriber
EXT - High volume query processing server
WEB - Internet database server
INT - Intranet database serer
BI - Datawarehouse server
RPT - Reporting server
{servername} - publisher
{servername} - subscriber
{servername} - High volume query processing server
{servername} - Internet database server
{servername} - Intranet database serer
{servername} - Datawarehouse server
{servername} - Reporting server
PROD - matching server in Production environment
Example: if current server is the Publisher, this links to the Production equivalent
DEV - matching server in Development environment
TEST - matching server in Testing environment

LINKSVR_APP - Application DB Server
LINKSVR_STG - BI Staging Server
LINKSVR_RPT - Reporting Server
{servername} - Application DB Server
{servername} - BI Staging Server
{servername} - Reporting Server

In addition, this is what I have seen for a Replicated environment:
Development: PUB (publisher), SUB (subscriber)
Testing: PUB (publisher), SUB1(subscriber), SUB2 (subscriber)
Production: PUB (publisher), {loc}_SUB (subscriber 1), {loc}_SUB (subscriber 2), {loc}_SUB (subscriber 3), etc...

In the end, I believe you need two sets of linked servers. One set for the application to utilize and another set for the maintenance of the environment.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where is your TempDB?

Eventually, I will be posting a list of my pet peeves for SQL Server. This one will make #1 or #2:


Recently, I've started a new job. One of my first tasks has been to document the system since nothing exists to indicate what state the environment is in currently. Figuring that the best place to begin would be to understand the installation, I log into each server and do a thorough investigation of the filesystem and default locations. What I find, incredibly, is a hodge-podge of installation architectures. Incredible. The most glaring issue, by far, is the fact that on at least half of the servers, TempDB files (sometimes both data and log) are installed right on the C:\ in the installation default location.

Why should this be a problem, you say? Let me give you the short list:
  1. TempDB is responsible for a lot of processing, it can fill up FAST.
  2. A Root directory is typically only OS and the drive is often smaller than others which might be available. TempDB can fill up FAST.
  3. Configuring TempDB is often overlooked, allowing for out of control growth of both the data and the log files. TempDB can fill up FAST.
  4. When you get a call at 4am from your server telling you "there is not enough space on the disk" it doesn't make for a good start to your day.

I will happily point you to the following article on which is a great resource for working with TempDB.

The good news is, since I was able to fix the issue quickly, I get to play the hero.

Another day in the life of a DBA!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Officially Blogging

After toying with the idea for months now, I have finally jumped in and decided to start a blog. I will not limit my topics to anything in particular, but you can be assured there will be snippets from Work (Microsoft SQL Server DBA), Dance and Motherhood.

This will not, however, be a 'mommy blog'.

Well, maybe occassionally. They do some funny stuff ya know!

I'm usually willing to give anything a try at least once, so we will see how this goes. I hope to be able to contribute the SQL Server community, keep up with my friends and maybe introduce a few people to the amazing world of Tribal Fusion bellydance.

Happy Monday to the two people who will probably read this! I plan to follow up with an actual posting later today.