Cloud Nirvana

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Published on: November 12, 2013

TSQL2sDay150x150T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that is started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject.

This month the subject is “Cloud Atlas”. If you want to read the invite, please click the image below to go to the party-starter: Jorge Segarra (Blog | @SQLChicken).

For me, this will be a quick entry on my part to participate.  I have a mixed bag of feelings about the Cloud and the buzz-wordiness that implies.

mushroomDisaster Struck

One of my biggest concerns with the cloud is the gloom and doom that has been felt by a client after a bout of corruption struck their database.  The person on staff responsible for backups did a fantastic job of ensuring the database was backed up on a daily basis.  That is not the doom and gloom sadly.

This particular case turned sour after corruption hit the database.  The web application no longer connected to the database.  The data was corrupt.  The database was inaccessible.  The client was distraught and sweating bullets.  The client and the employee new not what to do so they sought me out to get some help.

After an assessment, we determined that the database needed to restored from backup.  All of the backups were done fastidiously – to the cloud.  The backups were only accessible through a specific application and the process required copying the backup from the cloud down to the server via the application.  The process is pretty easy, right?

The recovery of the database took an entire week!  The copy down through the application from the cloud was destructive to the business to say the least.  The company had little to no chance of surviving being out of business for the outage caused by this scenario.


On the more positive side, there may be a silver lining to the cloud for many people.  I have done more than my share of successful Cloud migrations.  I have also seen many applications work very well from the Cloud.

One benefit to me personally about the Cloud is the ability to quickly spin up resources or even servers.  Much like a VM farm, I can request more resources for a Server during specific workload times.  And I can also dial down the gauges a bit when the workload is less intense.

I really like the idea of spinning up a machine in a matter of a few clicks and minutes.  When SQL 2014 released CTP2, this was fantastic.  I know several people took advantage of this ability and began playing with CTP2 almost immediately after the announcement of the CTP2 release.

Is the cloud right for you?  I can’t say.  I have had success and failure related specifically to the cloud that might not have happened in a less “nimble” environment.  The decision to move to the Cloud is frequently the decision made by somebody other than the technologist that must support the technology and the decision.  If you are moving to the Cloud, you may succeed and enjoy it or you may fail and hate it.  Your mileage will vary.

Murder They Wrote

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Published on: November 5, 2013

sqlsat233_webI am about to set sail on a new venture with my next official whistle stop.  This year has been plenty full of whistle stops and I plan on continuing.  You can read (in full) about previous whistle stops and why they are called whistle stops here.

Suffice it to say at this point that it all started with a comment about a sailing train a few months back.

loco_stoppedsailingTime to sink or sail, so to speak.  SQL Saturday 233 in Washington DC will mark the premier of what I hope to be a repeat performance – many times.  I will be tag-teaming with Wayne Sheffield in our first all day pre-con event.  The session is one of three all day sessions for the event in Chevy Chase, MD.

If you are a DBA or a database developer, this session is for you.  If you are managing a database and are experiencing performance issues, this session is a must.  We will chat with attendees about a horde of performance killers and other critical issues we have seen in our years working with SQL Server.  In short, some of these issues are pure murder on your database, DBA, developer and team in general.  We will work through many of these things and show some methods to achieve a higher state of database Zen.


Join Microsoft Certified Masters, Wayne Sheffield and Jason Brimhall, as they examine numerous crazy implementations they have seen over the years, and how these implementations can be murder on SQL Server.  No topic is off limits as they cover the effects of these crazy implementations from performance to security, and how the “Default Blame Acceptors” (DBAs) can use alternatives to keep the developers, DBAs, bosses and even the end-users happy.

Presented by:

wayneWayne Sheffield, a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server, started working with xBase databases in the late 80’s. With over 20 years in IT, he has worked with SQL Server (since 6.5 in the late 90’s) in various dev/admin roles, with an emphasis in performance tuning. He is the author of several articles, a co-author of SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes, and enjoys sharing his knowledge by presenting at SQL PASS events and blogging at





Jason Brimhall has 10+ yrs experience and has worked with SQL Server from 6.5 through SQL 2012. He has experience in performance tuning, high transaction environments, as well as large environments.  Jason also has 18 years experience in IT working with the hardware, OS, network and even the plunger (ask him sometime about that). He is currently a Consultant and a Microsoft Certified Master(MCM). Jason is the VP of the Las Vegas User Group (SSSOLV).





Course Objectives

  1. Recognize practices that are performance pitfalls
  2. Learn how to Remedy the performance pitfalls
  3. Recognize practices that are security pitfalls
  4. Learn how to Remedy the security pitfalls
  5. Demos Demos Demos – scripts to demonstrate pitfalls and their remedies will be provided
  6. Have fun and discuss
  7. We might blow up a database



There will be a nice mix of real world examples and some painfully contrived examples. All will have a good and useful point.

If you will be in the area, and you are looking for high quality content with a good mix of enjoyment, come and join us by registering at this eventbrite site event site is removed).  There are only 30 seats available for this murder mystery theater.  Reserve yours now.

Between now and November 8th, the registration is discounted to $99 (plus transaction fees).  Use this code for the discount: SQLSATDC.

Shameless plug time

I present regularly at SQL Saturdays.  Wayne also presents regularly at SQL Saturdays.  If you are organizing an event and would like to fill some pre-con sessions, please contact either Wayne, myself or both of us for this session.

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