What the Cluster Validation Test doesn’t tell you.

When I’m dealing with a problem on a Failover Cluster (not very often, but sometimes) one of the first steps I do is to run the Validation Test. It’s a great tool that’ll usually show what might be the problem, but apparently not always…

For the last couple days I’ve been busy wrecking havoc on a cluster with a Microsoft Cluster PFE on a Cluster Disaster Recovery workshop. Among the scenarios we’ve gone through causing, fixing and then documenting there was one that had a small surprise in store for both of us.

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Database Design Tip: Involve the Production DBA

I was reading this blog post by Thomas LaRock (@SQLRockstar) about a database design mistakes and I’ll warmly recommend that anyone who is involved with database design should read it as well. It also got me into thinking about one database design issue which, in my opinion, is not taken into consideration often enough; Database Administration.

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Alternatives to KILL (SPID)

A few days ago there was a question in Twitter about options to KILL (SPID) with a long running transaction that was causing a lot of blocking in a mission-critical system. The person asking the question got some helpful tips on how to fix the problem, such as looking at the tables and the indexes and some tools were pointed out to him, like Adam Machanics Sp_WhoIsActive.

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SAN migration in Windows Failover Cluster

I recently did a migration from one SAN to another and decided to write a quick blog post about the procedure I used. In this particular case the difficult part was handled by the SAN administrator as we were moving from one manufacturer to another. He had the pleasure of trying to add disks from two different storage systems to two nodes, which required not a small amount of dismantling features such as MPIO. We did have some problems with disks showing up multiple times, but nothing we couldn’t work around with.

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Cluster Validation test fails on Windows Update check

Every once in a while I run into this little issue with cluster validation check that, while not a critical one, can lead to some confusion. When I deploy clusters to my customers one thing I keep telling them is that they need to update their cluster nodes regularly like any other Windows Server. The other thing I keep telling them is that once they’re all properly updated run the validation test that checks the Windows Updates. And yes, that’s a one way to use the validation tool after you’ve done the deployment :)

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Creating a basic performance baseline

What is a Performance Baseline?

One of the important things every DBA should have, is a performance baseline for their business critical servers. A good baseline is something that tells you how your server is performing under various workloads. This is also the reason why you should have multiple sets of performance data collected instead of just one. In a perfect world you should have one for the minimum load, one when the usage is “normal” and finally one for the situation where your server and databases are under a lot of stress.

In this post, I’ll be giving you some advice on when and why you should have a performance baseline and how you can create one.

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Microsoft provided training

When it comes to finding information or learning more about the SQL Server and it’s features, the professional community around the product is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I personally have a score of SQL Server blogs in my bookmarks, I visit SQL Server forums and follow a bunch of world-class experts in Twitter. Basically, there’s a wealth of information out there and unlike many other things in this world, it’s completely free.

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