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Picking up the pieces after the DBA has left: taking ownership of a SQL Server instance

WARNING: This post contains information that can get you fired if you use it without express written permission. In some jurisdictions it might get you jail time as well. Let’s assume you are a consultant, and a customer has called you in a panic because they have lost access to their production environment. Let’s assume
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person driving car during night

On the continuity of business

With entire countries shutting their borders, and people being forced to stay home and isolate themselves for as long as possible while health departments ramp up to handle this pandemic, the question of business continuity has been raised. This is where our training as data professionals comes in. The classic DBA must make sure that
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Accelerated Database Recovery in SQL Server 2019: Choose your own filegroup for the version store

An exciting new feature in SQL Server 2019 is Accelerated Database Recovery (ADR). Resulting from a combination of magic beans and smart software developers (I might be wrong about the beans), there is a good chance that you will find yourself using it. Not only can ADR dramatically improve recovery time with database restores, but
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SQL Server on Linux – feature change in Pacemaker 1.1.18

Heads up for SQL Server on Linux folks using availability groups and Pacemaker. Pacemaker 1.1.18 has been out for a while now, but it’s worth mentioning that there was a behaviour change in how it fails-over a cluster. While the new behaviour is considered “correct”, it may affect you if you’ve configured availability groups on
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AzCopy finally gets a sync option, and all the world rejoices

I consider Blob Storage to be the gateway drug to Azure, because it’s a really easy way to get going with offsite backups. One of the ways I’ve leveraged Blob Storage is with SQL Server backups. I even wrote a Sync and Restore command-line toolset to keep files and folders in sync between an on-premises
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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
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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
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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
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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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