Breaking News: Using TDE on 2016? Doing Backups? Time to Patch.

Normally, when you use Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) to secure your database at rest, you can’t get backup compression. Encrypted data basically looks like random data, and random data doesn’t compress well. SQL Server 2016 introduced the ability to compress your TDE databases. Yay! Unfortunately, it has bugs that can leave you unable to restore…
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Availability Groups: More Planned Downtime for Less Unplanned Downtime

I often hear companies say, “We can never ever go down, so we’d like to implement Always On Availability Groups.” Let’s say on January 1, 2016, you rolled out a new Availability Group on SQL Server 2014. It’s the most current version available at the time, and you deploy Service Pack 1, Cumulative Update 4 (released…
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Breaking News: 2016 Query Store cleanup doesn’t work on Standard or Express Editions

If you’re using SQL Server 2016’s awesome new feature, Query Store, there’s a new bug with automatic cleanup. Books Online explains: Automatic data cleanup fails on editions other than Enterprise and Developer. Consequently, space used by the Query Store will grow over time until configured limit is reached, if data is not purged manually. If…
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Breaking News, Literally: SQL CLR Support Removed from Azure SQL DB

Breaking News, Microsoft Azure
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In the on-premises, boxed-product version of SQL Server, you can build your own CLR assemblies and call them from your T-SQL code. For years, this feature was missing from Azure SQL DB – Microsoft’s platform-as-a-service database offering – and users voted that they wanted it. In December 2014, Microsoft brought SQL CLR code to Azure SQL…
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“Breaking” News: Don’t Install SQL Server 2014 SP1

Yesterday, Microsoft announced availability of Service Pack 1, saying: As part of our continued commitment to software excellence for our customers, this upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2014 deployments via the download links below. Yeah, about that commitment to software excellence. This morning, the download is gone: Notice: The SQL SSIS…
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The Hard Truth About Patching SQL Server Availability Groups (Hotfixes, Cumulative Updates, and Service Packs)

Whoa, be careful with that fix As a DBA, you’re responsible for identifying necessary updates to keep your SQL Servers healthy. Your business may have some mandates about the frequency of patches, but even if they don’t, you have a duty to look out for Cumulative Updates, Service Packs, and out of band hotfixes that can prevent…
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