Free SQL Server Magnetic Poetry Kits

We were looking at magnetic poetry words on a public bathroom wall (true story, insert TempDB joke here) and thought, “You know what would be really awesome? If there was one of these for databases.”

So we made ’em.

SQL Server Magnetic Poetry

SQL Server Magnetic Poetry

Each of us put together our own favorite database words, so we each have our own sheet.

Availability Group politely fails over app fatally bombs fantastic #SQLpoetry

A photo posted by Brent Ozar Unlimited (@brent_ozar_unlimited) on

AlwaysOn loves and hates. #SQLpoetry

A photo posted by Brent Ozar (@brento) on

To get one, just track us down at a conference or user group. This week, Doug & Kendra will be at the PASS Summit in Seattle, and I’ll be at SQL Intersection in Vegas. The more of us you meet, the more words you’ll be able to work with, since we’ll each carry our own sheets.

Share your favorites with us on Instagram or Twitter with the tag #SQLpoetry. We’ll pick out our favorites and send you a little something special.

Introducing Our 2016 Scholarship Program for SQL Server Training

You work with Microsoft SQL Server – maybe as a developer, report writer, analyst, sysadmin, or DBA.

You want to learn more about how to make it faster and more reliable.

But your company can’t afford training. Maybe it’s a charity that needs to save every dollar to make a difference in the lives of others. Or maybe it’s a non-profit arts foundation, or a small startup that’s barely making ends meet.

We want to hear from you. We’re going to pick 25 SQL Server professionals to get access to a tailored set of training classes that focus on issues relevant to each person’s pain points.

The fine print:

  • You must already have a job working with SQL Server.
  • You must work for a foundation, non-profit, charity, or similar company that’s doing good work. It can totally be a for-profit company, just as long as they’re making a difference. (If you work for Ginormous Profitable Global Corporation, forget it.)
  • Your company or government rules must allow you to receive free or discounted training. (Some companies prohibit their employees from accepting gifts.)
  • You can be anywhere in the world. (Some of our scholarships will involve in-person training, and some will be online video training.)

Apply now – applications close Friday, November 6th.

Free SQL Server Training: Architecture, 2016, Metrics, Index Maintenance, and More

No, we won't teach you how to paddleboard, because we already forgot.

No, we won’t teach you how to paddleboard, because we already forgot.

Do you like to shake sticks?

Because we’ve got more upcoming SQL Server webcasts than you can shake a stick at:

Easy Architecture Design for HA and DR – Clustering, log shipping, mirroring, AlwaysOn Availability Groups, replication – database administrators have so many confusing choices. Microsoft Certified Master Brent Ozar will cut through all the confusion and give you a simple worksheet. You’ll learn how to get the right RPO and RTO numbers in writing from the business users, then turn those requirements into the right features for you.

How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine – normally $29, and for one day we’re giving it to you completely free. When you pass in a query, how does SQL Server build the results? We’ll role play: Brent Ozar will be an end user sending in queries, and you’ll be the SQL Server engine. Using simple spreadsheets as your tables, you’ll learn how SQL Server builds execution plans, uses indexes, performs joins, and considers statistics. This session is for DBAs and developers who are comfortable writing queries, but not so comfortable when it comes to explaining nonclustered indexes, lookups, sargability, fill factor, and corruption detection.

What’s New in SQL Server 2016? – SQL Server 2016 is just around the corner. There are a lot of new features in the box, and improvements to old ones. There’s a lot to learn, and you need to start planning before SQL Server 2016 hits the streets. In this webcast, Jeremiah Peschka will share a high level overview of what’s next in SQL Server 2016.

Prove It!: Collecting the Right Metrics to Show Performance Gains – It’s easy to say adding more memory, faster drives, or a new index will help. How do you prove it really did help? What numbers and counters should I be watching? Doug Lane will explain which numbers matter when trying to show your changes were worth the cost.

Register now by just filling out your name/company/email. See you there!

We need your help.

Doctors Without Borders is a truly awesome charity. Medical professionals volunteer their own personal time to go to war-torn countries and solve issues of world health.

SQL Server community member, MCM, and all-around-good-guy Argenis Fernandez organizes Argenis Without Borders, a giving event to help. Last year, the SQL Server community helped raise $13,000 for this well-deserving charity.

doctors-without-bordersNow it’s your turn. Please donate $25 if you can. It would mean a lot to me, and I know it’d mean a lot to people all over the world who urgently need medical help. You’ve got a great job – it’s your turn to give back.

Donate now. Seriously, right now.

Fake moustaches, barbecue, and SQL Server.

Must be Dell DBA Days:

Join us live as we performance tune – and break – SQL Servers:

  • Thursday Morning: Finding Your Slow SQL Server’s Bottlenecks in Record Time with Wait Stats
  • Thursday Afternoon: How to Prove Hardware is the Problem
  • Friday Morning: SQL Server High Availability, Disaster Recovery, and Licensing Explained
  • Friday Afternoon: Watch SQL Server Break and Explode

Register now and join in.

New SQL Server Management Studio 2015/June – with Check for Updates!

This morning, Microsoft announced a new standalone SQL Server Management Studio download:

This is our first effort to release SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in a mechanism outside of the SQL Engine releases. Our goal is to update this frequently with new features, fixes and support for the newest SQL Server features in SQL Server Engine and Azure SQL Database.

Awww yeah! Lightweight installer, and here’s the best part: there’s a built-in check for updates.

Check for Updates in SSMS

Check for Updates in SSMS

That’s right: Microsoft might start shipping updates to SSMS outside of the regular SQL Server Service Pack scenario!

This telegraphs a couple of interesting things: first, they had to do it because Azure SQL Database ships updates much faster than SQL Server does, so this gives Microsoft a way to enable those updates in SSMS without releasing a separate service pack.

But more interestingly – to me at least – is that this means SQL Server Management Studio is now considered The Way to Manage Azure SQL Database. There isn’t a separate tool coming, nor will designer/developer tools like Visual Studio become a management tool.

SSMS is finally getting some much-needed love. Rejoice, dear readers.

Announcing the Dell DBA Days: August 25-28

If you want to work on the cutting edge, you can’t just read best practices – you have to go create them. Somebody’s gotta teach you how to use SQL Server 2016, right?

We asked Dell if we could fly out to their headquarters in Round Rock, Texas and borrow a bunch of hardware and storage gear for a week. Doug, Erik, Jeremiah, Kendra, and I will set up shop to do lab tests, experiments, and learning with the latest hardware, shared storage gear, and SQL Server 2016.

And we bet you wanna watch online.

So we’re bringing you Dell DBA Days. Twice a day, we’ll take a break from our work to do a one-hour webcast with you, talking about how we’re testing and what we’re learning.

Here’s the webcast lineup:

  • Tuesday morning – How Do You Fix a Slow TempDB?
  • Tuesday afternoon – TempDB Load Testing with SQL 2012, 2014, 2016, and SSDs
  • Wednesday morning – Introducing This Week’s Lab
  • Wednesday afternoon –  Advanced Shared Storage Features
  • Thursday morning – Find Your Slow SQL Server’s Bottlenecks Fast
  • Thursday afternoon – How to Prove Hardware is a Problem
  • Friday morning – SQL Server High Availability Options Explained
  • Friday afternoon – Watch SQL Server Break and Explode

Register now to watch us live.

New sp_AskBrent® Reports on Waits, Files, Perfmon Since Startup

When your SQL Server is slow right now, you can run sp_AskBrent® to find out what’s going on. It checks for things like long-running queries, backups, blocking, files growing, and will tell you the top wait stats right now.

You can use the @Seconds parameter to control the sample length – by default, it samples for 5 seconds.

In the newest version, you can use @Seconds = 0 to skip the sampling altogether, and turn on @ExpertMode = 1 to see all the dirty details:

sp_AskBrent with @Seconds = 0 - click to enlarge

sp_AskBrent with @Seconds = 0 – click to enlarge

The top result set is about urgent warnings, and you can skip those if you’re doing over-time analysis. The wait stats and physical reads/writes are useful, though – these show you the top files by reads and writes for your instance.

Also in the news, when you fill out our EULA to download it (along with all of our goodies), there’s a checkbox to get alerted whenever we update our First Responder Kit. If you check that, we now send you a direct link to the zip file so you don’t have to hassle with the EULA again.

Enjoy, and hope this helps make your life easier.

Join Us at SQLSaturday Pittsburgh for a Pre-Con

Brent & Jeremiah are coming to Pittsburgh on October 2-3, 2015. We’re doing a one-day pre-con, and then sticking around to present at SQLSaturday Pittsburgh too.

Developer’s Guide to SQL Server Performance – Live!

Make SQL Server Apps Go Faster - Live at PASS Summit 2013

Developer’s Guide to SQL Server Performance – Live at PASS Summit 2013

You’re stuck with a database server that’s not going fast enough. You’ve got a hunch that the biggest bottleneck is inside the database server somewhere, but where? In this one-day class, you’ll learn how to use powerful scripts to identify which queries are killing your server, what parts of the database server are holding you back, how to tackle indexing improvements, and how to identify query anti-patterns.

In one day of training with Brent Ozar and Jeremiah Peschka, you’ll learn:

  • How wait stats tell you where to focus your tuning
  • How the plan cache shows you which queries are the worst
  • How to make fast improvements by picking the right indexes
  • How to identify and fix the most common query anti-patterns

This is a pre-con before SQLSaturday Pittsburgh. If you haven’t attended a pre-con before, there’s a few things to be aware of. The session will be held at:

Pittsburgh Technical Institute
111 McKee Road
Oakdale, PA 15071

Lunch is included with your admission, but it will not include hands-on lab exercises or copies of the slides. This is how we keep SQLSaturday pre-con costs low – these SQLSaturday pre-cons are the most cost-effective way to get a day of training from us.

Upcoming Webcast: Faster Virtual SQL Servers

You want your SQL Server VM to go as fast as possible, but you don’t have a lot of time or budget money, and you’re not allowed to reinstall it or upgrade. Good news – we’ve got a webcast for you.

In part 1, my demo-focused session will explain the VM-friendly performance features of SQL Server 2012, 2014, and even the next version, 2016.

Webcast sponsored by Veeam

Webcast sponsored by Veeam

You’ll learn how to measure a running application’s performance, and then simply by turning a few knobs and switches, you’ll see how performance improves. Microsoft Certified Master Brent Ozar will explain which features are right for your workloads, plus give you resources you can use when you get back to the office to go faster and learn more.

In part 2, Veeam will explain how to get fast transaction-level recovery of SQL databases, including agentless transaction log backup and replay, so you can restore your SQL databases to a precise point in time and achieve low recovery time and point objectives (RTPO™). Learn more at Veeam Explorers™.

This session is for sysadmins and DBAs running production workloads in VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen, whose end users are unhappy with performance.

Register now.