Production Database Administration

“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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Urgent AlwaysOn Availability Groups Bug

If you’re using AGs, don’t apply these patches: SQL 2012 SP2 CU3 SQL 2012 SP2 CU4 SQL 2014 CU5 until you read this Microsoft post about a breaking bug. Your AG may stop synchronizing due to blocking between user queries and a system session. The fix is to disable automatic failover, restart the primary, and…
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How to Pick a Monitoring Tool

Step 1: Make a list of 5 problems you’ve faced in the last couple of months that you needed alerting on. If you’ve got a help desk ticket system, look at the ticket types that occur most frequently and cause the most outage times. For me as a DBA, that might be: SQL Server service…
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Statistics Matter on Temp Tables, Too

Temp tables are like real tables, just a little tricker. When you’re starting out writing TSQL, it’s easy to want to do all your work in a single query. You learn about derived sub-queries, CROSS APPLY statements, and common table expressions. Suddenly, each of your queries is so complex that you hardly know what you’re…
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Frequently Asked Questions About TempDB

The questions came fast and furious in one of my recent TempDB webcasts, so here’s the ones I wasn’t able to answer during the live session: Q: Virtualized OS, SAN, no dedicated LUNs, most likely scenario with no gotchas, theoretically: dump TempDB with everything else all on one virtual volume, including logs — or split…
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