29 September 2009
29 September 2009

Finding Data Corruption

In this article, taken from Chapter 8 of his new book, SQL Server Tacklebox, Rodney describes how a working DBA goes about troubleshooting data corruption. He demonstrates the tools and scripts required to seek out and fix data corruption in a timely manner, and so prevent it propagating into your backups.… Read more
03 September 2009
03 September 2009

A Code of Conduct for DBAs

Despite the fact DBAs are protectors of an organization's knowledge, and privy to much confidential information, there is no clearly defined set of rules and standards to help govern and guide their ethical conduct. Brad McGehee, in an article based on a chapter from the second edition of his book 'How to Become an Exceptional DBA', discusses a Code of Conduct for DBAs. He advises on why such a code is required, the sort of topics it should contain, and how it might be enforced. Much of this article has relevance for any IT professional.… Read more
27 August 2009
27 August 2009

Python for the SQL Server DBA

Python is increasingly used by DBAs as a general-purpose scripting language, despite the pressure to adopt Microsoft's PowerShell. They find it easy to learn, powerful, and reasonably intuitive. Here Timothy Wiseman, a working DBA, explains the attraction of Python and gives a general introduction to the language, suitable for anyone who has been wondering whether to give it a try. … Read more
04 August 2009
04 August 2009

SQL Server Tacklebox Free eBook

As a DBA, how well-prepared are you to tackle issues such as backup failure due to lack of disk space, or locking and blocking that is preventing critical business processes from running, or data corruption due to a power failure in the disk subsystem? If you have any hesitation in your answers to these questions, then Rodney Landrum's SQL Server Tacklebox is a must-read.… Read more
31 July 2009
31 July 2009

Defragmenting Indexes in SQL Server 2005 and 2008

Rob Sheldon tackles the subject of Index Defragmentation in SQL Server 2005 and 2008, using the sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats system function. He shows how to analyze indexes and, if necessary, how to go about  reorganizing or rebuilding indexes. He makes the point that, by analyzing indexes effectively, you can save a lot of unnecessary  rebuilding of indexes.… Read more
31 July 2009
31 July 2009

The DBA as Detective: Troubleshooting Locking and Blocking

In this article, taken from Chapter 5 of his great new book, SQL Server Tacklebox, Rodney describes in his own unique style how he, as a working DBA, goes about troubleshooting problem queries, and investigating various types of locking and blocking problems. In the process, he  passes on valuable tips learned from practical, and sometimes stressful, experience.… Read more
13 February 2009
13 February 2009

Let PowerShell do an Inventory of your Servers

If you run a regular and comprehensive inventory of all the servers you manage, you can solve problems more quickly and answer most questions from management. If you then repeat these reports over a time period, it helps to to track trends such as disk space usage so you can spot trouble before it becomes a problem. Allen describes a PowerShell script to do the inventory.… Read more
10 November 2008
10 November 2008

The DBA Script Thumb

Like many DBAs, Rodney has squirrelled away a large number of routines that he uses almost daily to check on his servers and databases. Of this large collection he chooses five that he wouldn't want to be without. and there is something for everyone in this DBA's Script collection which goes with him on his 'Script thumb'… Read more
11 October 2008
11 October 2008

On the Trail of the Expanding Databases

It is sometimes difficult for other IT people to understand the constraints that DBAs have to work under. So often the ideal or obvious solution is frustratingly out of reach because of 'political' reasons that seem baffling to the spectator. Francis Hanlon describes a typical incident: It is essential reading for anyone wishing an insight of the problems that DBAs fac… Read more
04 July 2008
04 July 2008

DML Trigger Status Alerts

When databases suddenly stop working, it can be for a number of different reasons. Human error plays a large part, of course, and the DBA needs to know what these various humans are up to. DDL triggers can help alert the DBA to unauthorized tampering with a production system, of course, but DDL triggers can't tell you everything. At some point, you will need to implement your own checks.… Read more
14 March 2008
14 March 2008

SQL Server Tracing: An Automated and Centralized Solution

When you are trying to pin down the cause of a problem with a SQL Server, there is probably going to come a time when you need to get 'trace' information. If you've ever done that, you'll know how easy it is to get overwhelmed by the detail. Here, Shawn McGehee shows how to get round the problem by capturing trace information on a schedule, filtering the captured information, and monitoring it from a central location. … Read more