SQL Server 2016 and Ignite On Demand

ignite_bannerMicrosoft Ignite is currently happening in Chicago, IL and there’s already been a some rather interesting news coming in. For us who work with the SQL Server the datasheet for SQL Server 2016 release is now available online. I spotted some rather delicious improvements listed there, especially when it comes to high availability and security (multiple synchronous replicas, round robin load-balancing, always encrypted data and tables “stretched” to cloud!). It was also announced that the public preview for SQL Server 2016 will be coming available this summer.

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End of Lifecycle for Windows 2003 R2 and SQL Server 2005

Just a friendly reminder to everyone that just like all good things come to and end so does the extended support for these two Microsoft products. First will be the Windows 2003 R2 with the end of lifecycle date set to July 14 2015 and soon after that SQL Server 2005 with it’s end of lifecycle date set to April 12 2016.

You can still run these products after these dates of course but it’s definitely not recommended and the reason is simple. End of the extended support means that neither of these products will be receiving any patches or security updates, ever. So if you’re not already working on upgrading them, now would be a good time to start.

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Management Studio Query Templates

Did you know that SQL Server Management Studio comes with a number of ready made templates for writing queries? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Lot of people I’ve talked with aren’t familiar with these, even though they’re not all that well hidden secret.

Let’s take a look at where they are and how they can be used for making your life just a bit easier.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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