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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Interview Questions: Curiosity

As a Senior DBA I’m occasionally asked to participate in interviews for other prospective data professionals. Full disclosure: I actually love doing this because, and this may sound odd, I really enjoy asking people questions. Unlike most of my IT colleagues, my university studies featured a huge helping of journalism classes, so interrogating, err, interviewing is something that comes naturally to me.

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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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Why I have this here blog

This should be slightly more interesting than “Hello Google!”

I am starting this very blog as a direct result of my experience on SQL Cruise. No joke. Two pertinent facts:

  1. I’ve been a SQL Server DBA for the better part of two decades.
  2. I’ve been writing about Indycar racing at my own blogs and others, including one sponsored by the series, for nearly a dozen years.

And yet, I’ve never put SQL Server and blog together and written about being a DBA. Go figure.
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Hello world!

Somehow, when starting a blog, “Hello World” seems overly optimistic. I mean, it’s not like THE ENTIRE WORLD is reading this. Right now it’s pretty much just me, maybe my wife, and a few search engines.
 
“Hi Honey!” seems weird. Maybe I should go with “Hello Google!”