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More on Partitioning

Partitioning for manageability…Having to deal with large tables and expecting performance to be optimal can be a pretty tough task. I was supporting a client that kind of had this scenario where they had a ton of data and no delay when asking for it. It was actually one of my peers on this blog that introduced me to data partitioning. What ended up happening is that the data was partitioned off by date – Jan 1, 2010 – March 31, 2010 on one partition, etc… you get the picture. It helped tremendously by not bogging down the system and kept data access optimal (there was a lot of other “tweaks” which I will not get into).

This next chapter by Dan Guzman does an excellent job of explaining how to manage a large amount of data with partitioning. He goes through execution plans to show the differences with partitioned and non-partitioned data and the costs of each. Of course there are examples that you can try out yourselves. He also writes about some “gotchas” and offers tips so that you can “achieve a successful partitioning implementation”.

This is a great read just like all the others. Don’t forget to try the examples. Thank you for reading this week. Have a good one.


Reusing space

Reusing space in a table…While reading this chapter, I kept thinking about the TRIM functionality for SSDs (sold state drives). Where a file is written to the drive and if it is deleted, the OS will recognize that and then release the space so that it can be used again (really a high-level overview, it does a little more than that but that is the basic function). SQL Server has a similar function when is comes to releasing previously used space. It is automatic when it comes to reusing space but in certain cases, you will have to “force” SQL Server to free up that used space. Joe Webb is the author of this chapter titled “Reusing space in a table”. This is another great informative read because when it comes to data and releasing the space that was being used, I really never gave it any thought. When it comes to SQL Server not releasing the space, the author writes about the function that can be used to release the space. Read this chapter and try the examples that are provided, it is a great way to see what can be going on with your databases and the space that it is using.

Thank you for reading and staying with us. Have a great week.


Practical Auditing

Practical auditing in SQL Server 2008…Capturing audit items in your system is, I think, absolutely necessary. This is necessary in my case because I sometimes get sidetracked (either by drive-bys or hot issues) and have to remember if I ran this or that against a database. So, if I need to, I will query the ddl log to check myself.  This next chapter by Jasper Smith talks about SQL Server 2008 and how to setup auditing within it. He steps through in how to setup and capture server audits, from the Windows Security to the File targets. Also setting up auditing items on the database level is written out in this chapter. Not to mention how to look up the data that you just captured. It’s like being “big brother” on your systems which I really don’t mind. There is nothing wrong with spot-checking once in a while to see who or what is accessing your systems.

On a side note, in the summary of the chapter, the author’s website is provided I went over to check it out (as with the others that have provided their website info in this book) and I found some really cool items in there. Spend a few minutes to take a look at the site.

I must apologize for missing last week. I was vacationing in Las Vegas and California and was having a grand ole’ time.

Thank you for reading this week. Have a good one.


Powershell in SQL Server

Powershell in SQL Server…I attended a speaking session where the topic was around using Powershell in SQL. Prior to that I have not used Powershell, I have heard of it but never used it. So while I sat in the session and I learned more about Powershell, I started to think about “what can this be used for in the environment I am currently supporting?” Much to my surprise, I was able to come up with quite a few things. I never knew that Powershell was a powerful little program. Needless to say, I started trying out Powershell after that session but unfortunately didn’t spend as much time on it as I had hoped.

This next chapter really renewed my interest in Powershell. Why did it renew my interest? Well, it would really work well here in my current job and I really like working with cmd line interface. The author, Richard Siddaway, writes about a few of the common features in Powershell that you would use. He also provides a list of issues that beginners usually run into and, of course, scripts to try. My favorite is there is a section on how to access SQL data with Powershell and he explains every line and what that particular line is doing or what data it is calling. If you are a developer, you could probably decipher the code but to a non-developer, it’s all just code that is supposed to do something.

If you are interested in Powershell, this is great chapter to read to get you started.

Thank you for reading this week. Have a great one.


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