Failovers can’t serve two masters

As I’m sure you’re aware, the career path for a SQL Server DBA is a wonderful journey of growing your catalog of knowledge through unexpected lessons. For example: Did you find out the hard way you need to test restoring those backups? Did you discover you need to enable the dedicated admin connection after a server locked up? Did you learn the unexpected results of using reserved words as object names?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Speaking of reserved words, I recently learned there’s a bit of a situation regarding a certain word and logical file names. Let me tell you a story.

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Batching data manipulation is great as long as you do it correctly

As Sinatra was fond of singing, “regrets, I’ve had a few.” And one of those came this week immediately after my presentation. This isn’t to say the presentation didn’t go well – it did. At least I think it did. I had several people come up and thank me afterwards for showing them things they didn’t know previously, so in that sense it went well.

But in hindsight, one part of it, well, it sucked. So I’m going to take a moment here and now to correct that.

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Friendly Reminder: Memory-optimized files and filegroups can never be forgotten

Although I have experience with In-Memory OLTP on SQL Server, I don’t anticipate I’ll be writing about it much. If you want to learn about that subject I highly recommend checking out Ned Otter’s blog. Much like Marcel Marceau is to miming, Ned has quietly become the master of documenting In-Memory OLTP. So much so I’ve even heard Microsoft’s Bob Ward refer to Ned’s posts.

Meanwhile, since you’ve decided to stick around this site, let me share some bad news about the files supporting your In-Memory OLTP.

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Help! My tempdb database won’t shrink!

In my previous post I discussed a particular query design that made the tempdb data files consume all available drive space. When discussing the resolution I noted one of the steps was to reduce the size of the data files. That’s means shrinking them, and I am fully aware that sometimes tempdb can stubbornly refuse to shrink. It’s kind of the reverse problem George Costanza mentioned about swimming.

So let’s talk about what you can do when tempdb requires shrinkage.

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Getting Aggregate Functions to Go Horizontal

I want to continually make the point that nearly everything I post in this corner of the interwebs can be categorized as “Things I have learned” and not “Things I have made.” Despite my years of work with SQL Server databases, I have used learned concepts from others far more than I have discovered myself. And I’m not ashamed to say this, because for any given task we can either reinvent the proverbial wheel or we can use one of the many wheels in working condition that are already in existence. I would like to think my employers don’t care who made it, so long as it’s a correct, timely, and scalable solution.

Which brings us to Sven. Well, almost.

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Don’t mess around with varchar(1)

Maybe I’m showing how old I am, but I remember as a kid hearing a song on the radio that went like this:

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

You’ve probably heard it at some point, although likely you won’t remember the whole thing. This is because it isn’t played much anymore due to the lack of demand for ’70s folk-rock stations.

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