Learning Stuff

Yeah, I work for Red Gate. For some reason people seem to think that means I know everything there is to know about all their products. Let me break the news, I don’t. But I’m learning.

My previous employer had me do an evaluation of SQL Hyperbac and I fell in love. But we didn’t do an evaluation of Red Gate SQL Backup. I’ve been working on a few articles and presentations on backup fundamentals, targeting the accidental DBA. As part of this I’m learning how to work SQL Backup. Um. wow! How come no one told me about this?

Who remembers WAY back to SQL Server 6.0? Yeah, I know it was out before some of you were out of diapers, but there was this neat little scheduling device that came with SQL Agent (was it called Agent then? I don’t remember). It would show you the jobs you had scheduled as a sort of a grid with the jobs lined up on the left and time displayed to the right. It was pretty cool and then it went away. Well, it’s back. Check this out:


That’s my machine with a series of backups that ran against my server from an Agent job that I was able to create through the backup job scheduler built into SQL Backup.

Don’t get me wrong, I spent years helping to tweak and tune a series of backup processes to support a large enterprise. I’m pretty sure we were doing it right. But having something like this. it sure would have helped. You can hook it up to multiple servers and see where you have successful backups (the little green stripes, also showing how long the backup took) and where you had issues (note the little orange stripe at the top, I had a permissions issue on a folder when I was setting things up). It’s all in one place and pretty basically immediate. It’s a nice way to manage your work. That doesn’t even get into compression and all the other

I’m just so jazzed because I’m getting to learn more, not only about Red Gate’s tool set (which is fun, all by itself), but about SQL Server, how it works, capabilities, etc. Why? Because they want me to teach. Let’s face it guys, the best way to really know something is to teach it. So I’m digging in to backups more than I had to in the past (even when I wrote a chapter in this book) and pick up details on how backups work. It’s that stretch in ability and knowledge that we should all be working for. I’m absolutely horrified of being that guy that has one year of experience, twenty times. I want twenty distinct years of experience. That’s a big reason why I’m spending lots of time, learning stuff.