Office Hours Podcast

Listen in as we answer SQL Server questions.

Every Wednesday, we used to get together to answer your SQL Server questions. They’re on hold for 2019, but you can listen to past episodes in your podcast player or below.

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Past Episode Videos and Transcriptions

[Video] What’s New in SQL Server 2019

We must be getting pretty close to the official release of Microsoft SQL Server 2019. There are less than 80 days left in the year. (Interestingly, it’s been almost 60 days since Release Candidate 1 shipped – that’s unusually long for a delay between builds. Hmm.)

With the clock ticking down, now’s a good time to take a 40-minute look at some of my favorite new features: deferred compilation for table variables, adaptive memory grants, adaptive joins, and air_quote_actual plans:

To learn more about this stuff:

[Video] Help! SQL Server 2008 is Still Here!

Your company is ignoring the news: SQL Server 2008 and 2008R2 are officially out of support as of today, but nothing’s changing at your company. You still have SQL Server 2008 in production, and you’re a little nervous. How should you approach the conversations with management? Brent Ozar will help: he’s been there too, fighting managers who want to leave an old server hiding in the corner. We’ll role play: you be the manager, and Brent will show his techniques for convincing management to take the plunge and move to a newer SQL Server version.

Slide deck:

Using Implicit Transactions? You *Really* Need RCSI.

Implicit transactions are a hell of a bad idea in SQL Server: they require you to micromanage your transactions, staying on top of every single thing in code. If you miss just one little DELETE/UPDATE/INSERT operation and don’t commit it quickly enough, you can have a blocking firestorm.

The ideal answer is to stop using implicit transactions, and only ask for transactions when you truly need ’em. (Odds are, you don’t really need ’em.)

But if you can’t change the code, you need the delicious goodness of Read Committed Snapshot Isolation. Here’s a video demo showing why:

You can learn more about RCSI, its gotchas, and how to implement it here.

[Video] Demoing SQL Server 2019’s new Accelerated Database Recovery

Wouldn’t it be nice if rollbacks just finished instantly? Wouldn’t you love for startup times to be near-zero even when SQL Server crashed just as someone in the middle of a transaction? How much would you pay for all this? (Well, I’m a little afraid to ask that, since we don’t know yet whether this is an Enterprise-only feature, but dang, I sure hope not.)

Here’s how Accelerated Database Recovery works in SQL Server 2019:

In the video, I’m using the Stack Overflow 2013 (50GB) database with this script:

You can learn about the internals in the Azure SQL DB documentation on that same feature.

[Video] How to Capture Baselines with sp_BlitzFirst

Everybody tells you to capture baselines – but what exactly are you supposed to capture? Which Perfmon counters matter? How do you track which data files are growing, and which ones are slow? How can you track which queries are using the most resources?

All you have to do is install the free, open source sp_BlitzFirst and sp_BlitzCache from our First Responder Kit, create a database to hold your results (I like to call mine DBAtools), and then set up an Agent job to run it every 15 minutes:

I show you how to do it and query the baseline data in today’s webcast: