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Saleem Hakani
Don’t confuse backup and restore with high availability. In the event of an outage, backup and restore will get back your data, but only after some downtime.
August2013
Glen Berry, Louis Davidson, Tim Ford
There are several tactics for determining what’s causing the most wait times in SQL Server so you can direct your performance tuning.
August2013
Paul S. Randal
This month, our SQL Server columnist helps readers parse through differing data, develop strategy and manage data with filegroups.
May2013
Paul S. Randal
Take a look inside query plan selection, excessively slow backups and the process of repairing a replication database.
March2013
Reducing workload and smoothing mirroring functions is always a good idea—but shrinking databases is not.
January2013
Saleem Hakani
If the unthinkable happens and you forget your SQL Server password, there are ways to get back into the system.
December2012
Brad McGehee
You have a lot of options for getting certified on your version of SQL Server, and you should do so if you’re the one responsible for keeping it up and running.
December2012
Paul S. Randal
Processes like backup and restore and consistency checking can cause some unexpected behaviors, but they do make sense.
November2012
Stephen Strong
Pre-configured Reference Architectures give you a tested roadmap for configuring SQL Server to manage business intelligence workloads.
September2012
Glen Berry, Louis Davidson, Tim Ford
Query tuning and indexing is an effective way to reduce physical and logical disk I/O.
September2012
Paul S. Randal
The relative speed of SQL Server queries and the size of data files and transaction logs seem to be primary performance factors.
September2012
Saleem Hakani
The snippets in SQL Server 2012 are essentially templates that can expedite building database statements.
August2012
Paul S. Randal
Backups, disaster recovery and database mirroring have endless variations, all suitable for endless scenarios.
July2012
Glen Berry, Louis Davidson, Tim Ford
Managing your indexes, and having the proper indexes in place, is an essential part of managing your overall SQL Server workload.
May2012
Paul S. Randal
There are always several ways to push the SQL Server performance envelope, and it often doesn’t cost any money to do so.
May2012
Paul S. Randal
Duplicate indexes, cancelled rollback operations and I/O spikes can cause performance issues, but you can work around them.
March2012
Glen Berry, Louis Davidson, Tim Ford
You can use the tracking data for SQL Server transaction wait times to find overused resources and eliminate bottlenecks.
February2012
Glen Berry, Louis Davidson, Tim Ford
Managing SQL Server transactions is an important step toward ensuring smooth operations and avoiding locking and blocking errors.
January2012
Paul S. Randal
Database size, index fragmentation and post-failover availability are among the issues dogging SQL admins this month.
January2012
Brad McGehee
There are a number of ways you can actively participate in the SQL Server community – all of which increase your knowledge and value.
January2012
Denny Cherry
With the advent of SQL Server “Denali” comes the ability to create user-defined server roles, a huge step forward for SQL management.
December2011
Denny Cherry
SQL Server 2012 will support partially contained databases, which should ease some migration and consolidation issues.
November2011
Glen Berry, Louis Davidson, Tim Ford
Focus on query tuning to truly optimize your SQL Server performance and efficiently manage workloads.
November2011
Paul S. Randal
Error logs and temp database files can grow out of hand in short order. Following these configuration tactics can help.
November2011
Glen Berry
Dynamic Management Objects help you manage and monitor workload details in SQL Server, which is essential for performance tuning.
September2011
Paul S. Randal
Transaction logs are an essential component of any instance of SQL Server. Properly and efficiently managing them is equally essential.
September2011
Denny Cherry
The new Microsoft SQL Server platform features sequencing, which ought to be a huge help for SQL administrators everywhere.
August2011
Joshua Hoffman
Security is just as essential to hosted solutions, although the tools and tactics are certainly different.
July2011
Welly Lee
Migrating massive databases can never be called an easy task, but Microsoft has a tool available that can help ease the way and ensure that you’re ready.
July2011
Paul S. Randal
Transaction logs are critical to backup efforts, but you must ensure they’re properly configured and clearing when they’re supposed to clear.
July2011
Paul S. Randal
This month’s solutions for SQL success run the gamut from expanding a tempdb and clustering a conundrum to half-baked disaster recovery plans.
May2011
Paul S. Randal
Maintaining high availability to corporate data stores managed with SQL Server is an essential element of any data management strategy.
April2011
William Stanek
Properly securing your SQL Server 2008 R2 servers is more than just maintaining physical and network security, and reducing attack surface. Here’s how to complete the task.
December2010
Iqbal Khan
Storing your millions of SharePoint documents externally can boost both SharePoint and SQL Server performance.
December2010
Paul S. Randal
Maintaining a SQL Server environment is a potentially complex endeavor. Here are the top ten ways you can minimize complexity and reduce stress.
November2010
Brien Posey
Moving to SQL Server 2008 R2 is a big deal. Make sure you examine your environment and carefully plan your steps to ensure a smooth migration.
November2010
Paul S. Randal
SQL Server is a powerful platform, but does require finesse when considering your transaction log settings and other configuration questions.
November2010
Lafe Low
A company’s data is invariably its most valuable asset. It’s essential to carefully protect that data from harm or malice, and ensure appropriate access.
November2010
Paul S. Randal
Some of the key ways to keeping SQL Server running efficiently are preserving log backups and properly maintaining indexes.
September2010
Paul S. Randal
This month's SQL questions focus on shrinking or expanding the size of SQL database files, and how best to manage that process.
July2010
Alan Le Marquand
With the release of SharePoint Server 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 come significant improvements to the integration between SharePoint and SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services (SSRS). This article looks at configuring and using the latest enhancements.
May2010
Brien Posey
Deploying SharePoint isn't the hard part -- deploying it properly and securely takes some careful planning and execution. One size does not fit all with SharePoint.
April2010
Paul S. Randal
Paul S. Randal answers a host of reader questions this month, including a discussion of distributed transactions, performance counters, and SQL backup and restore advice.
March2010
Steve Rachui
Combining SQL Server Reporting Services with System Center Configuration Manager creates a flexible and powerful reporting solution.
January2010
Paul S. Randal
In this installment of SQL Q&A we take a look at some database recovery tips, database shrinkage advice, and discuss DBCC CHECKDB usage.
January2010
Greg Steen
Greg Steen discusses how to wipe disks clean with Eraser, streamline backups with SQL Backup Pro and map out projects and ideas with MindManager.
December2009
Stacia Misner
There’s a lot of information hidden in your data. Learn how a cube helps you analyze your data—and how to build one. We show you how.
November2009
Chris Sfanos
Forefront Security product management is being unified in a single management console known as Forefront Protection Manager (FPM). Here’s a peek at FPM’s features, including its effective task and alert systems and its comprehensive monitoring views.
October2009
Paul S. Randal
Paul S. Randal answers your SQL questions: Why are consistency checks running? How do I figure out how much memory is being used? Why are some of our databases becoming "suspect"? And more!
October2009
Stacia Misner
Even BI novices can learn what goes into creating a BI solution, from planning and designing a data mart to preparing data. An Adventure Works example illustrates the first steps a company can take to ensure that its BI solution supports the strategic decisions it needs to make.
August2009
Derek Comingore
See how you can design and build a data mart that uses SQL Server 2008 Integration Services to perform the extract, transform and load (ETL) processes for the Adventure Works BI solution introduced in "Planning Your First Microsoft BI Solution."
August2009
Paul S. Randal
Paul S. Randal answers your SQL questions: How can I tell when there’s a checksum problem without waiting until the monthly maintenance plan? Is it true that using a GUID as the clustered index key can lead to performance issues with indexes? How can I choose the correct recovery model? And more!
August2009
Pav Cherny
Pav Cherney presents an overview of key SharePoint architecture components, describes how they can lead to common performance issues, and discusses how to resolve and troubleshoot problems.
August2009
Greg Shields
With the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer credential being retired for all iterations but Windows Server 2003, a new certification program has been created. Greg Shields explains how this new certification path helps to better identify where your skills lie.
August2009
Paul S. Randal
Paul Randal answers your SQL questions: How does removing index fragmentation affect statistics? Does data compression interfere with backups? Can you explain database mirroring states? And more!
June2009
Paul S. Randal
Have you found yourself inadvertently in charge of a SQL Server database and don’t know all the best practices for making it secure? Paul Randal covers the top 10 security areas you should worry about, detailing common problems and their solutions.
May2009
Paul S. Randal
Why does DBCC CHECKDB find corruption errors that disappear? Does tempdb really cause performance issues? Are there any drawbacks to using the FILESTREAM datatype? Paul Randal answers these reader questions and more.
April2009
Paul S. Randal
Logging and recovery are critical parts of SQL Server, but they are often poorly understood. Paul Randal gives an overview of how the logging and recovery features work in SQL Server and explains the transaction log and recovery models to help you maintain a better database.
February2009
Paul S. Randal
Should you enable Backup Compression? How can you avoid dropped application connections during a failover? Paul Randal answers these questions and more in the latest installment of SQL Q&A.
February2009
Paul S. Randal
SQL Server 2008 includes a new “eventing” mechanism called SQL Server Extended Events that enables some sophisticated troubleshooting. Get an overview of Extended Events and find out how you can use this new functionality for monitoring and troubleshooting.
January2009
Paul S. Randal
Paul Randal answers your questions about SQL Server. In this installment, Paul discusses the row-overflow feature, database mirroring and automatic failovers, backup strategies, and managing workloads and memory for failover scenarios.
December2008
Paul S. Randal
SQL Server 2008 introduces two new features that allow you to track changes more easily and efficiently. Paul Randal examines the new Change Tracking and Change Data Capture features and discusses the implications these features will have for database administrators.
November2008
Paul S. Randal
In this installment, Paul Randal answers questions about backing up and restoring, looks at the differences between log shipping and database mirroring, and explains why the Repair function should only be used as a last resort.
October2008
Paul S. Randal
Far too often, people who are not trained database administrators somehow end up responsible for a database. They lack the proper training and knowledge to maintain their database, and problems begin to develop. Here’s a primer for all those involuntary DBAs who need a crash course in database maintenance best practices.
August2008
Paul S. Randal
Paul Randal answers your SQL Server questions, showing you how to perform consistency checks and other maintenance on very large databases, how to handle an accidental upgrade, and more.
August2008
Dave Ohara
The Microsoft datacenter located in Quincy, WA is powered entirely by hydroelectricity. Dave Ohara takes you on a tour of this facility and shares some best practices from the Microsoft datacenter team for building and operating a sustainable datacenter.
June2008
Paul S. Randal
Paul Randal answers your SQL Server questions, showing you how to create corruption in a test database, helping you avoid a shrink-grow-shrink-grow cycle, and explaining how you can determine how many databases you can mirror before performance starts to degrade.
June2008
Randy Dyess
The new version of SQL Server offers a host of new features and enhancements that promise to improve performance, increase security, and make life better for database administrators. Here’s an overview of the key changes and what you can expect from SQL Server 2008.
April2008
Rick Byham
Security continues to be an area of deliberate improvement for SQL Server. Explore some of the most important security-related changes you’ll find in SQL Server 2008, from encryption and authentication enhancements to Policy-Based Management and the new auditing system that will help with regulatory requirements.
April2008
Kelly Wilson
SQL Server 2008 offers seven new built-in data types that let you work with more complex data and simplify the management of structured, semi-structured, and even unstructured data. Get an in-depth look at these new data types and find out how you can use them to improve data management in your infrastructure.
April2008
S. Agarwal, T. Grabs, and J. Hammer
SQL Server 2008 offers more powerful relational data warehousing capabilities. Take a close look at key performancerelated data warehousing features and find out how you can use all this new technology to optimize query performance.
April2008
Cherié Warren
While locking is essential to support concurrent read and write activities on a database, blocking can adversely affect system performance. Learn how to optimize your SQL Server database to minimize blocking, and see how you can monitor the system to better understand how locking impacts performance.
April2008
Edited by Matthew Graven
Find out how to grow databases programmatically, learn how to use IFilters, and explore firewall settings that support remote SQL Server connections.
April2008
Saleem Hakani and Dan Carollo
February2008
Maciej Pilecki
When you optimize database performance, tuning individual queries is as important as tuning server hardware and software configurations. Even one runaway query can bring a database to its knees. Here's a guide to generating, analyzing, and tweaking execution plans to optimize the performance of your SQL Server queries.
November2007
Zach Nichter
The key to healthy CPU utilization on your database server is to make sure that the CPU is spending its time processing what you want it to process rather than wasting cycles on poorly optimized code or sluggish hardware. Here are some tips for getting the most out of SQL Server and your hardware.
October2007
Edited by Nancy Michell
October2007
Randy Dyess
To get the best performance out of SQL Server, you need to oversee and maintain healthy indexes. New dynamic management views and functions give you a window into SQL Server to help you better understand how your indexes are functioning and discover potential performance issues.
March2007
Zach Nichter
SQL Server 2005 offers a number of options to improve database availability, from replication to clustering to log shipping. We’ll take a closer look at the various options for configuring SQL Server and help you find out which ones are right for your environment.
March2007
Noah Gomez
In the past, working with partitions and very large tables was a burdensome and tedious task, but with SQL Server 2005, table partitioning has gotten much simpler. Now you can easily create multiple partitions, move those partitions around, drop old partitions, and even change the way data is partitioned. Here’s how.
March2007
Tom Moreau, PhD
A server cluster provides failover capabilities, ensuring more uptime for your critical operations. But for a cluster to be effective, it must be implemented properly. Here are some key tips that will help you get your cluster up faster and keep it functioning reliably.
March2007
Saleem Hakani
Database failure can be detrimental, causing loss of data and loss of productivity. Fortunately, SQL Server 2005 SP1 introduced a database mirroring feature that can prevent such a disaster. Here's what you need to know to create a hot standby database that you can switch to in case your production server ever goes offline.
March2007
Edited By Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
November2006
Edited by Nancy Michell
October2006
Edited by Nancy Michell
September2006
Edited by Nancy Michell
August2006
Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
July2006
David Lindquist
The Microsoft corporate Web sites rely heavily on databases, which power such high-traffic destinations as Microsoft® Update, Download Center, Communities, TechNet, and MSDN®. Microsoft. com operations has a team of 17 engineers, the SQL Server™ operations team, that manages these database systems.
July2006
Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
May • June2006
Edited by Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
March • April2006
Randy Dyess
January • February2006
Kalen Delaney
January • February2006
Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
January • February2006
Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
November • December2005
Stephen Strong
Running SQL Server 2000 on a Windows Server 2003 Server failover cluster will get you more uptime by alleviating your reliance on a single server.
Spring2005
Ward Pond
Using the SQL Server 2000 T-SQL syntax, you can manipulate XML in a variety of ways. For example, you can access data contained in an XML string passed into a stored procedure and produce XML output. Find out what these flexible, powerful XML features can do for you.
Spring2005
Matt Evans and Josh Moody
By querying data from the master.sysprocesses table you can get almost any information you need about connections to your SQL database, what each process is doing, which processes are blocking, and lots more. Then you can use this data to create some truly enlightening reports.
Spring2005
Roger Wolter
SQL Server 2005 Service Broker is more than just a developer tool. DBAs can use it to schedule tasks, run batch processing, and perform routine database maintenance.
Spring2005
Don Kiely
Microsoft has performed extensive threat modeling and security analysis to identify the threats facing database servers. This work has resulted in an upcoming version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2005, that is secure by design. This article enumerates the various security improvements to the popular database.
Spring2005
Edited by Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
Spring2005
Brian Randell
One of the most promising updates to a Microsoft product this year is SQL Server™ 2005 (formerly known by its code-name "Yukon"). SQL Server 2005 will come in a variety of versions, supporting many different types of deployments from the desktop to the enterprise datacenter.
Spring2005
Joshua Trupin
One of the trickiest things about learning SQL is mastering how various JOIN statements differ in the ways they combine data from multiple data tables. There are three types of joins: inner, outer, and cross.
Spring2005
Edited by Nancy Michell
Your queries answered by Microsoft IT professionals.
Winter2005
Theresa Auricchio
Two colleges in the City University of New York (CUNY) system needed to implement a student retention system. The system, a client/server application, would sit beside an IBM mainframe.
Winter2005