Category: Experiences

Availability Groups – Making SQL Agent Jobs only run on Primary Replica

Availability Groups – Making SQL Agent Jobs only run on Primary Replica

I recently encountered some strange behaviour with SQLAgent Jobs in an Always On Availability Group. There’s a major difference between SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances (FCI) and SQL Server Availability Groups that makes it a little bit more complicated with SQLAgent Jobs. Put simply, with a Failover Cluster, there is only one “SQL Server” involved.…

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Using SQL Server Data Compression

Using SQL Server Data Compression

Over time, things come along that you think “that would have been so useful” in the past. Data Compression is one of those features within SQL Server.   Data Compression has been around for a few years. It was introduced in SQL Server 2008. I remember a conversation with Tony Rogerson (UK SQL Server User…

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Out of control Database Log Files

Out of control Database Log Files

I have previously spoken about the issues caused by Shrinking Data Files in SQL Server, but also some genuine reasons why you might need to do this, and how. Shrinking Log files is a different matter. Log files can grow enormously for a few reasons, quite often by accident. A common pattern occurs when someone…

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Checking Databases after Backup / Restore

Checking Databases after Backup / Restore

When Moving a Database between Servers – e.g. migrating to a new Production Server, how can you be absolutely sure that the Backup that you restored is the correct one? The nature of the DBA role dictates a certain amount of OCD. Most people work in a methodical manner – using a specific Folder for…

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Breaking into SQL Server

Breaking into SQL Server

I recently had a situation where I needed to access a SQL Server that I didn’t have permissions to. This was a bit inconvenient and always in such a situation, the SQL Server was experiencing difficulties that needed a quick resolution. An Application had been installed by someone with Domain Administrator privileges. The Application Installed…

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Shrinking Database Files

Shrinking Database Files

There are times when you need to do things that you’re told not to do. Scan the Internet, and you’ll find a lot of advice on Shrinking Database files. Generally, it’s “Don’t”. Paul Randal – “Don’t do it”, Pinal Dave – “Shrinking Database is bad”, Brent Ozar – “Don’t touch that dial”. In many cases,…

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Introducing DataBloat

Introducing DataBloat

So, what is DataBloat? DataBloat is a term that I use to describe issues caused when a table takes up more space than necessary due to the use of inappropriate Data Types. You don’t always notice it straight away… I frequently run the “Disk usage by Top Tables” Report on a Database as it’s useful…

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Virtual Log Files – Too many and you’re gone!

Virtual Log Files – Too many and you’re gone!

We had a situation whereby a Database maintenance job over-ran on a Data Warehouse Server. The overrun was so bad that it was blocking the overnight Data Load process. At the time, there was a separate team that handled general Operations, so I contacted them. They stopped the maintenance job, to no avail. The blocking…

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SQL Server SSPI Errors

SQL Server SSPI Errors

Over the years, I’ve frequently had users complain to me about SQL Server producing variants on the following error: SSPI Handshake failed / Cannot Generate SSPI Context Now, I’m not going to go into depth about the various causes of this error (largely because it’s not really my area and there are far more qualified people…

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