My Performance Tuning Methodology

I was speaking with some folks yesterday about tuning a system, and they asked me about my methodology. As time goes on, I find myself doing things differently based on the situation, but there is a general approach I use that I’ll explain here. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule; it’s just a guideline I use…


SQL Server PowerShell Provider And PowerShell Version 2 Get-Command Issue

The other day I blogged that the version of the SQL Server PowerShell provider (sqlps) follows the version of PowerShell. That’s all goodness, but it has appeared to cause an issue for PowerShell 2.0. the Get-Command PowerShell command-let returns an error (Object reference not set to an instance of an object) if you are using…


Upgrades from Beta or CTP SQL Server Software are NOT Supported

As of this writing, SQL Server 2008 R2 has released, and just like every release, I get e-mails and calls from folks with this question: “Can I upgrade from Customer Technical Preview (CTP) x or Beta #x or Release Candidate (RC) to the “Released to Manufacturing” (RTM) version?” No. Right up until the last minute,…


Which Edition of SQL Server 2008 R2 should you use?

SQL Server 2008 R2 has just released to manufacturing (RTM’d) as I write this. With each new release, we make changes to the “Editions” we offer. A SQL Server “version” deals with the major changes in the product – and “edition” is a set of features and capabilities within that version (you’re welcome). So… definitely…


Start a SQL Server Agent Job using the SQL Server PowerShell Provider

Whew!  That’s a mouthfull. Anyway, I thought I would share part of a script I wrote today to help automate (more) from PowerShell. This assumes a few things: that you’re doing this from the SQL Server 2008 PowerShell provider (not just good old regular PowerShell) and that you change the HAL9000 and SQL2K8 parts with…


Multi-Monitor Support in SQl Server Management Studio 2008

Did you notice that there are a lot of “little” things that were improved in SQL Server 2008? One of those was done by one of my favorite developers and deals with multi-monitor support. In previous versions of SQL Server Management Studio you could open the tool in multi-monitor and arrange the panes onto mulitple monitors. But…


Transparent Data Encryption and the Latest Data Breach

Well, It’s happened again. Hundreds of thousands of private records were stolen from a database. This one, however, was different. No one stole any passwords, no one did any social engineering, nothing was captured in-line. No, this one was accomplished by stealing the actual hard drives themselves!  When a thief breaks in and steals hard…


FILESTREAM: Storing Binary Objects in a database – or not

Many shops need to store binary large objects (sometimes called BLOBS) in a database. There are really only two ways to do this: store in them in a table structure in the database itself using a binary data type, or store them in the operating system in a file folder somewhere and point to the…


Data as Strategy

I’ve created a presentation called “Data as Strategy”, and in it I cover multiple solutions for various issues that organizations face in dealing with the “new world” of data management. No longer are we just DBA’s or Developers, now we’re part of the broader business strategy of using data in strategic decisions. That presentation covers…


Hovering Over the Titles in Activity Monitor

I show this little-known feature in just about every perf tuning class I give, and it’s often a surprise to most of the folks there. It’s not earth-shattering or anything, but I do find it helpful. In SQL Server Management Studio 2008, start the new Activity Monitor. Open one of the “Bands”, such as “Processes”….