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SQL Server thoughts, observations, and comments
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Low Availability

Things we do as DBAs that work against our best interests
Why DBA skills are important (T-SQL Tuesday)

    DBA skills are important only if your company’s data is important. Basic skills like backup and restore are the minimum but sometimes you have to understand the technology involved to make decent business decisions. Recently, I was at a client with a blown cluster. They weren’t too worried since they had a replicated copy of the database at another location they could use. Replicated as in SQL Replication. When I pointed out that this did not include and foreign key references or unique constraints, they didn’t completely freak out. They did lose it when I showed that not one single trigger made it across. You see, SQL...

posted @ Tuesday, November 02, 2010 2:36 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ SQL General Low Availability ]

How Low Can You Go

I was recently called in to what has to be the most interesting low-availability environment I have ever seen. There was not any single thing that I had not seen before, but to see all of them together in one place was truly amazing. I try very hard not to say bad things about systems or in-house DBAs. It is bad practice to call a baby ugly, you might be standing next to its momma. This time I lost it on about my fourth WTF moment.   The platform was a Windows 2003 and SQL 2005 cluster. And this cluster was more if a US Marine Cluster...

posted @ Friday, October 01, 2010 11:33 AM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ SQL General Low Availability ]

Side-by-Side !Solution

Solutions and Projects were one of the really cool features introduced in SQL Server 2005, judging from the responses I got when I showed how it works.  Personally, I use them a lot.  SQL 2008 has the same feature in SQL Server Management Studio.  However, SSMS 2008 breaks this feature in SQL 2005 SSMS when installed side-by-side. See all the ugly details here:  https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=361706 This also affects 64-bit systems, I just happened to find it on a 32-bit box first. I am guessing that this failure is inherited from SSMS's Visual Studio ancester, which may make it difficult for the SQL team to fix.. ...

posted @ Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:41 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ SQL General Low Availability ]

Wait for it...

It looks like SQL 2008 may have a slight dependency issue.  If you have already installed Visual Studio 2008, you will be blocked from installing SQL 2008 until you install Visual Studio SP1.  The problem is that Visual Studio SP1 is not released yet.  Our guys came in ahead of schedule and they still get no respect. Not to worry, Visual Studio 2008 SP1 should be out very soon (think days, not weeks) and this problem goes away. Microsoft actually documented this issue here: Visual Studio 2008 SP1 may be required for SQL 2008 Installations http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956139 --GNH UPDATE:  It's Here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=FBEE1648-7106-44A7-9649-6D9F6D58056E&displaylang=en

posted @ Thursday, August 07, 2008 1:09 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ SQL General Microsoft Low Availability ]

The worst IT job (at least for today)

There is an old saying in politics and entertainment that there is no such thing as BAD publicity. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for IT, especially in the Database realm. If your name gets mentioned outside of a technology publication, you can bet it is something bad. Data losses, system outages, privacy disclosures, and other public failures are how DBAs get famous. Unfortunately, that is the world we operate in. Today we have another poor soul to add to the roll call of failure. The anonymous person in charge of the Webkinz web site database is now one of the...

posted @ Friday, December 28, 2007 3:24 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Low Availability ]

Update: SQL 2005 Build 3186 Cluster problem

Microsoft does not have a complete resolution for this problem yet, but they have found some more details.  Evidently the problem with SQL Agent failure only occurs on systems using a domain admin account for the SQL Agent Service account.  Microsoft is not 100% sure yet, so this is just a preliminary finding.  However, it does match my own personal experiences.  Worst Practices always has a cost.  Several DBAs just found that out the hard way.  Just as a reminder, this problem only occurs on x64 clusters using SQL Server 2005 build 3186 and higher.

posted @ Monday, November 12, 2007 4:09 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Microsoft High Availability Low Availability ]

One step forward, two steps back.

We sometimes do things as DBAs that are self defeating, especially regarding high availability. We can get so focused on the One True Thing™ that will solve all of our problems that we don't realize that the way we implement something can end up costing us all the benefit. Clustering is often seen as the complete solution to availability. Unfortunately, clustering adds complexity to the system which can then impact stability. The way we remove that uncertainty is to use high quality hardware that is tested and approved for clustering. We have the Windows...

posted @ Thursday, October 18, 2007 3:24 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Low Availability ]

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