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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Data Purity and beating the RAP

Recently we had Microsoft Risk Assessment Program (RAP) completed on some of our SQL Server instances. This is where Microsoft deploys some software that performs a similar function to when you go to the doctor for an annual physical. There’s a lot of poking and prodding, they draw samples, and at the end they tell you everything that is wrong. Your servers have high blood sugar, your databases need to take up yoga, etc. It’s pretty much everything except having the MS technician stroke his chin, saying “Hmmm.”

You are going to a doctor for a regularly scheduled checkup, right? Ok then.

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Database snapshot: a deployment’s best friend

I have a confession to make: Historically speaking, I don’t like deployments. I dread them with an unavoidable pessimism that asks “so what is THIS going to break?”

Now, I have worked with a lot of smart people who knew how to write some fabulous code. I don’t doubt that one bit. But I’ve also worked in several places where that code wasn’t rigorously tested before it was time to be deployed in Production. Maybe the business wanted a fix deployed immediately. Maybe the deployment instructions were incomplete. Maybe velociraptors invaded your workplace.

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Give tempdb a chance

If you’re a DBA, you probably secretly wish that you could have one of those cool red and black portrait graphics like those folks at Brent Ozar Unlimited get. But that’s not important right now. You probably also enjoy the privilege of performing the installation of every new SQL Server instance. And if you don’t, well, you can still keep reading, I guess.

Hey, I’m new at this SQL blogging stuff. I’m still working out the kinks.

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