HealthySQL – A Review

How well do you know the health of your SQL Servers and databases? Ever wonder about the current health or even what the health was like a few months back? Sure, one could anecdotally say the databases and servers are healthy, but how do you quantify it?

Many have asked or pondered what to do to quantify a healthy SQL server. How do you get the hard numbers to show whether the server is or is not healthy? How do you get the numbers to show that the server is performing just as well or better than it did three months ago?

dbhealth_maintNow we have a way to answer those questions and more! Robert Pearl has finally published his book on Healthy SQL. In the book, Robert takes you on a journey from mapping out a plan, to capturing data, storing that data, and then how to report on that data. You will learn what to capture and what some of the various things actually mean (e.g. waits and indexes).

Throughout the book, you will see that Robert will introduce you to various tools. These tools can either be native to SQL Server or they could be third party tools. You will get a healthyDBgood primer on what the tool is and how to quickly use it as you become acquainted with the internals and the Health of your database and server.

As you progress through the book and learn about what makes a database healthy, you will encounter a chapter on how to store the data and make a repository to track your database health. You will want to create a repository so you can progress into the sections on reporting about your database health. Who doesn’t want to market to management how healthy the databases are?

With the tools in this book, and the repository you will create, audits and discussions will become much easier. You will be able to implement processes to help make you more aware of the environment and help keep you from getting that annoying page in the middle of the night.

Take a look at the book and enjoy.  You can get it from Amazon here.

If you are a young DBA, new to being a DBA, an accidental DBA, or just any DBA looking for a little extra help in figuring out how to check and track the health of your server, it is worth reading this book.

Top 10 Recommended Books…

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Published on: July 29, 2014

So the title says it all, right?  Well, only really partially.

Recently an article was published listing the top 10 most recommended books for SQL Server.  That’s the part the title doesn’t say.  It is really important to understand that we are talking about the top 10 recommended books for SQL Server.

The beauty of the top 10 list is that I have a book on that list.  It caught me by surprise.  That is very cool.

If you are interested in finding a book, I recommend naturally that you check out my book.  But just as importantly have a look at the list.  This was a list that was published independently by SQL Magazine.  On the list you will find books by people like Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan, and Grant Fritchey.

2012_Recipes

Check out the original list, here!

Where in the World is…

Categories: Corner, News, Professional, SSC
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Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: July 18, 2012

You may or may not have noticed that over the past several months I have been somewhat absent from my blog.  Very few articles if any have been produced.  There has been a very good reason for that.

It all started back in November of 2011.  Slowly over time, the ball started gaining momentum.  In about March, the momentum was such that I needed to start cutting back in a lot of other things (like my blog or community activity) sadly.

This project was big with deadlines that just kept approaching faster and faster.  More time needed to be given to the project so we could try and hit our goal.  Well, I have more time these days as the deadlines have all been pretty much hit.  Goal is nearly achieved and it is pretty cool.  It feels good to have accomplished this and now there are some new goals.

I didn’t make this journey by myself.  There were a few other people very involved in the entire project.  One is a good friend Wayne Sheffield.  The other is an employee of Microsoft – Andy Roberts.  Yet another is a civil servant and MVP – David Dye.  The last of the group was our editor Jonathan Gennick.

What?  Did I say editor?  Yes I did.  We wrote a book together.  The book is available for pre-order now and is due to be published on August 22nd of 2012.

This was a lot of hard work and late nights.  I think it was well worth it to this point.  And I really want to get on to another book project soon.

I do have to give thanks to the team, the editor, and to Joe Sack (Twitter) for allowing us to take this version of the book and run with it.  Joe provided great input and helped on the technical review.

There are plenty of good books coming out in the next few months (this being one of them of course).  I urge you to take a look at them.

Grant Fritchey SQL 2012 Query Performance Tuning 

Grant Fritchey, Gail Shaw, Chris Shaw, Tjay Belt, et al Pro SQL Server 2012 Practices

Itzik Ben Gan Microsoft SQL Server 2012 TSQL Fundamentals

That is just a list of a few of the books out there or that will be out there soon.

Freedom

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
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Published on: February 7, 2012

Not too long ago, I blogged about a Book called Daemon.  Freedom is the sequel to Daemon.

I enjoyed reading this book.  The story continues from Daemon, but in a largely different direction.  I like the direction the book took, for the most part.  I was hoping that there would be more tech talk and not so much of the sci-fi tek.  I liked the sci-fi tek, I just thought it would have been more down to earth to keep it closer to reality.

Daemon was scarily real.  The exploits were real, the danger seemed real.  In Freedom, I felt it made a big reach.  When looking at both books together though, it seems like a natural progression.

I like the plot.  The story culminates with a confrontation at a compound in Texas.  I really thought that the confrontation was a huge let-down.  I really expected more conflict at that point.  Everything was mounting to that, but the ultimate goal was to demonstrate that the group of people from the darknet still could think for themselves.

In the end, it was a good story.  I would like to have some of the technology.  I must also admit that Freedom was harder to put down than Daemon for me.  I found myself rooting in favor of the Daemon.  I started rooting for the Daemon at the end of the first book.

Daemon

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: January 4, 2012

At the recommendation of Jorge Segarra (Blog | Twitter),  I got the book Daemon.  Well, I actually got that about a year ago as a gift – but it was on my list of books to read because Jorge recommended it.

I have finally finished reading it and will be starting Freedom very shortly.  I am glad I bought Freedom prior to finishing Daemon since the ending leaves to many open story lines.  I really hate to finish a book on a cliff hanger and then have to wait for the next book.

While reading the book, you sit there and wonder if your servers are patched.  You also wonder if the network has been properly secured against intrusion.  But in the end, you accept that it doesn’t matter how secure the network is because the most successful way to hack a network is via social engineering.

Reading the book from an IT perspective, you understand that much of it is plausible.  You also find yourself slobbering over some of the tech that is described.  I really want some of those security systems, at least two AutoM8s, and an omnipresence stereo system (for lack of a better term).  A Razorback would be interesting to own too. 😉

I really enjoyed the book.  There was plenty of talk of databases, data security, and data breaches.  There was also a nice mix of espionage, treason, and mystery.  The plot seems to continue to twist and turn – which kept me involved.  At many points, you are also greeted with cold hard reality with some of the decisions that must be made and with regards to how politics work.

Go get this book and read it.  I’m off to read Freedom now.  I find myself expecting a myriad of possible conclusions while hoping for a better conclusion.

SQL Deep Dives 2 on the Kindle

Categories: News, Professional, SSC
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Published on: November 23, 2011

Since Deep Dives 2 came out, I had been putting off getting my copy of the e-book until I wanted the book for travel purposes.  I decided I really needed to have it loaded on the kindle and quickly started running into a few roadblocks.

First roadblock was easy to overcome.  That required an email to Manning to get the beta link for the ebooks.  If you purchased through Manning, I’d recommend checking the beta site for any e-book purchases.

The second roadblock was determining which file to use on the kindle.  E-book formats are .mobi, .pdf and another that escapes me right now.  I didn’t see one for kindle.  In my journeys though I learned that mobi is essentially the same format as the azw format used by Amazon for the Kindle.  That is very good to know.

The next roadblock was how to get the file onto the kindle.  Getting it into my PC Kindle was pretty easy.  Find the \Documents\My Kindle Content folder in your user profile directory.  Then copy the mobi file to that directory.  But despite that, syncing did not put that book onto the rest of my kindle apps.  I soon found two ways of getting that done.

The first method for getting those mobi files onto the kindle was to plug my kindle into the usb port and copy the mobi file onto it.  Still, it didn’t sync to the rest of my devices.  Flip side is that it was pretty fast.

The second method for getting those mobi files onto the kindles is to email your kindle email account.  Amazon will eventually make those files available for you.  This will make it so you can sync all of your kindle devices with the same files.  The drawback is that it is considerably slower.

The same process can be done for any of those SQL books you have that you want to port around with you.  Now, the book is updated on several devices for me (laptop, phones, kindle) and I can reference it much faster than lugging the book around everywhere I go.

Try it and enjoy!

Throne of Fire

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
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Published on: November 22, 2011

Finally, I have completed another book.  I took the opportunity while traveling to catch up on some reading.  Better yet, I was able to do this while testing out my Kindle.

The book I just finished is “Throne of Fire” by Rick Riordan.  This is the second book in the Kane Chronicles series and is very similar to the popular series about Percy Jackson (by the same author).

Sadly, some of my dislikes about the Percy Jackson books are present in this series as well.  I can get past some of that because the story is good (grammar and spelling mistakes throughout).

The two Kanes (Carter and Sadie) embark in this book to awaken the sleeping crazy Zeus.   The meet new friends and new challenges.  There are bumps and twists throughout the book.  And the one thing that kinda bugs me is that the climax is at the end of the book – creating a cliffhanger.  Now I am stuck waiting for the next book to be published – arghhh.

I liked the story.  I thought it was entertaining.  I would certainly let me children read the book.  It is a nice adventure and a good escape from the daily stresses.

Check it out sometime.

Beyonders

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
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Published on: September 16, 2011

It has been a looooong time since I wrote a little book review.  It’s nice to take time out with a little fantasy to ease and please the brain.

Just because I haven’t written a review in a long time doesn’t mean that I stopped reading books.  I actually have a queue of books finished that could have a review written.  For now, I’ll just write a review on the latest book completed and probably never get around to the others – though they would be worthwhile.

Beyonders is the name of the book I recently completed.  This is a fantasy novel that is the first in a three book series.  For now, I am somewhat stuck waiting for book two.  Knowing that the book is part 1 of 3 can help you assume that this book ends in a cliff hanger.  That is somewhat frustrating – I was into the book and really wanted to reach the finale much sooner than the anticipated two years for the remaining tomes.

In Beyonders, two earth children get “warped” to an alternate dimension.  The are transported to a place that is void of heroes.  In this world, magic reigns supreme.  These two children must solve an enigma and become heroes in order to be able to return to earth.

These kids meet interesting people along the way, make several friends, and make even more enemies.  There is plenty of peril along the way.  The kids must solve the puzzle by gaining pieces to a word along their quest.  This word can defeat the wizard and restore peace to the world.  By the end of the first book, the kids have retrieved all the syllables to this word.  Shortly after completing the word the book ends and you must wait until the next book to continue the quest.

The plot had plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested.  It also portrayed these youth quite well as longing to return to their families and friends  Neither of them knew each other prior to being sucked into this new world.  Both show a lot of concern for the other as the book progresses and their friendship forms.

I would recommend reading this – especially if you have teenagers into these types of stories.

The Lost Hero – A review

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Published on: January 25, 2011

With what looks to be five books planned in a new series by Rick Riordan, people have some good fantasy ahead of them.

I just finished the first installment in this new series and must say that I am pleased with the story line.  New characters, new aspects of mythology and a third series revolving around those principles.  Rick Riordan has got a really hot topic and something working for him with all three of his series.

In this series we are introduced to the Roman versions of the mythological gods.  With the Roman aspects of these gods, we also get a new class of “evil god.”  Book one takes off from the final prophecy in the Percy Jackson series and brings three new demigods as the central focus.  I like the powers of these new demigods.  I also like the personalities of each.  Rick has done a great job of illustrating their characteristics without making them sound too much like heroes from prior books.

I did not like the grammatical problems constantly repeated throughout this book.  The same thing happened in the Percy Jackson series and got better with each book.  This is not an issue with the dialog but more to do with editing.  An example would be “Jason sat to next to the tree.”  Stuff like that is easily skipped by many people but sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

Overall, I highly recommend the book if you enjoy mythology and fantasy.

MockingJay – a review

Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: January 4, 2011

After a long wait, I have finally read the final installment in the “Hunger Games” trilogy.  I read the other two books earlier in the year in 2010 and then had to wait for the third book to come out.   Once the book came out (September 2010) I had to find some time to read the book.  Actually, I had to make time to read it.  Reading helps to de-stress and I just needed to do it.  you can read my reviews of the other books here and here (d’oh didn’t write one for the first book).

Up front – this was the third best book in the series.  I was mildly disappointed in this book.  The story was good but was just not as good as the first two.  It seemed to me that the author was trying to develop the story as the story unfolded.  The twists and turns in the plot were minor and mostly the plot was about the Mockingjay recovering from this or that.  It just wasn’t in true hunger games fashion.

It also seemed obvious to me that Plutarch (games master) was busy trying to orchestrate yet another Hunger Games.  That became painfully evident early on but was blaringly obvious when they are in the command center going over the map for Capitol City.  And if there was any doubt in the final chapters as to who did what in regards to a certain bombing event – you weren’t paying attention while reading.

I still liked the book and i still liked the series – I expected more and for it to be better.  If the book was to be another Hunger Games – then play that up a bit more.  It is the how the first two books were written and the description of the games that got people intrigued.

I would still say to go read the book and the entire series though.

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