Some databases may show a NULL collation in the sys.databases DMV

While working on my Swart’s Ten Percent Rule post last week, I needed to test the Windows version of the script on my SQL Server 2016 instance. Just before removing all the databases, I noticed something interesting when querying the sys.databases Dynamic Management View (DMV). Because the process I had come up with involved setting[…]

fire in a bucket

Public Service Announcement: check your backup notifications

The Azure cloud platform lost a data centre for a number of hours recently due to inclement weather. This affected many customers — including Microsoft’s own services — for almost an entire day. Given that the cloud is ostensibly designed to mitigate downtime by way of distributing workloads across multiple redundant systems, this could have[…]

Speaking at SQLSaturday 725 in Victoria

Victoria is on an island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The island is wisely called Vancouver Island. It is beautiful there, and I wouldn’t mind retiring there someday. Those of you who listen to my convoluted stories will recall that it was on Vancouver Island that I broke my foot in 2013. Hopefully[…]

SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out

For the last five months or so, I have been helping some really smart people put words on paper, both the physical and electronic kind, which is hopefully going to culminate in an actual technical book that I can point to and say “Yes, that’s the name I invented for myself when we moved to[…]

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What is a good Disaster Recovery Plan?

During a Q&A session I hosted at our local Calgary SQL Server User Group last month, one of the attendees mentioned an interview question he’d had and wanted to hear my thoughts. How would you design a disaster recovery solution for a 1 TB database, using Simple Recovery Model? Replication is not permitted, and switching[…]

Volcano

Remote Storage Sync and Restore updated

Recently, I presented my “Back up and Restore your Database with Azure Blob Storage” session to the Bellingham PASS Chapter. There are two components to the Azure Blob Storage Sync and Restore utility: Sync and Restore. I wrote the Sync tool to work around difficulties I’d experienced with Azure Blob Storage’s Infinite Lease, and limitations[…]

The Interview Process

Interview Questions for a SQL Server DBA

When I’m interviewing a SQL Server DBA, I have three questions that I always ask. My favourite interview question is this: “What is the difference between a clustered and a non-clustered index?” My second favourite question is this: “What is the right disaster recovery strategy for my company?” The first question is one of basic[…]