Better PerfMon reporting with Excel

PerfMon is a great tool for collecting performance data from your servers, but it has a few shortcomings when it comes to reporting these results. One of the biggest issues that I also mention in one of my older posts here is, that the graphical presentation becomes hugely inaccurate when you collect data over a long period. While this might not bother you personally, if you’re writing that report to your manager or a customer, it makes sense to show information that is correct.

Let’s look at a simple example.

(more…)

RSS feeds about Microsoft KB articles

Just a quick tip this time, but one that can save you lot of time and manual work.

One of the information sources that all administrators, both Windows and SQL Server alike, should follow is the Microsoft Knowledge Base. However as there are new articles coming in daily, going to Knowledge Base and manually searching for them isn’t really a viable option. Even less so if you’re responsible for administering multiple versions of Microsoft software.

(more…)

You should find yourself a mentor.

A first post of the year 2015 and it took me awhile to finish this one up. I actually had a few different ideas on how to start blogging this year, for a while I considered continuing with a new Tools of the Trade Series post, but then I found a topic from my backlog that seemed like a perfect fit, mentoring. And why it’s perfect? First of all this topic has sat as a draft on my writing list for a while now and secondly, some time back I was enjoying a pleasant evening with one of my old mentors that gave me some new insights on the subject.

(more…)

Review: Ola Hallengrens Maintenance Solution

SQL Server offers out-of-the-box solution to create a workflow of tasks that can be used to optimize, backup and run consistency checks on your databases. These workflows, commonly known as Maintenance Plans, are actually Integration Services packages that are run either by scheduling them as SQL Server Agent jobs or manually. While I wholeheartedly recommend that you run regular backups and other maintenance routines to your databases, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using Maintenance Plans for this. In fact, I’d probably never recommend using Maintenance Plans, unless it’s the only thing you have.

(more…)

Review: sp_WhoIsActive

This is definitely one of the most used tools in my toolkit. Besides being incredibly useful when you need to figure out issues like blocking and locking and what the transactions are doing, you should take a few long moments to look at the code. The code extensively commented making it easy to follow and to understand what different parameters do. Also Adam has some serious T-SQL skills so going through the code is a great way to improve your own skills as well!

(more…)

Tools of the Trade.

Most DBAs have their own favorite set of tools and utilities they like to use and so do I. In this blog series, I’ll be introducing you to my favorite tools of the trade. Most of these utilities are made by the members of SQL Server community and all of these have one thing in common, they are free. While people often turn to commercial solutions (if they have the budget to do so), I would consider the following free tools essential for anyone working with databases or database servers.

(more…)

End of PASS Summit 2014 summary.

The PASS Summit is now behind us and it was both an exciting and exhausting week of learning from some of the best and brightest people in the SQL Server community. Not only did I pick up a number of new skills that I know will make me a better DBA, I have number of new tools to add to my toolkit and some new practices that I’m going to look into implementing into our daily operations. It was also nice bonus to learn that many of the things I already have on my TODO list are similar to what others have successfully implemented on their own work and their environments. Obviously I’ve been on right track, if not always, at least most of the time :)

EMP Museum

Guitar Statue at the EMP Museum

Unfortunately the long days (I pretty much had sessions running from 8AM to 6PM almost every day) and the time difference to back home made me hit the sack rather early every evening. Because of this I missed some of the evening networking activities and the opportunities to better explore Seattle. The only official social event I did attend to was the Community Appreciation party held in the EMP Museum and even then our groups was back at the hotel by 10PM. That museum was awesome though, especially for a nerd like me! If you’re ever in Seattle, I encourage you to check it out.

(more…)