Distributed Replay

Distributed Replay is a feature that was first introduced with SQL Server 2012. It allows you to play a set of recorded transactions against a SQL Server database. This can be extremely useful if you’re doing hardware or SQL Server version upgrades and want to test the performance impacts of these changes, or if they’re going to break your application.

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Windows Firewall and antivirus software configurations for SQL Server.

One of the more important duties of a DBA is to make sure that their databases and the data is secure. In this post we’ll be looking at two utilities to increase the security of your server, the Windows Firewall and an antivirus software. Like with about everything else related to servers, you can’t just switch these on (well, you could, but…) and forget about them to get the best possible experience. They need to be properly configured for servers running Microsoft SQL Server. If you’re a DBA you might not be doing the configuration yourself, but you still need to tell your Windows administrators what they need to do.

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Management Studio Query Templates

Did you know that SQL Server Management Studio comes with a number of ready made templates for writing queries? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Lot of people I’ve talked with aren’t familiar with these, even though they’re not all that well hidden secret.

Let’s take a look at where they are and how they can be used for making your life just a bit easier.

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Better PerfMon reporting with Excel

PerfMon is a great tool for collecting performance data from your servers, but it has a few shortcomings when it comes to reporting these results. One of the biggest issues that I also mention in one of my older posts here is, that the graphical presentation becomes hugely inaccurate when you collect data over a long period. While this might not bother you personally, if you’re writing that report to your manager or a customer, it makes sense to show information that is correct.

Let’s look at a simple example.

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Review: sp_WhoIsActive

This is definitely one of the most used tools in my toolkit. Besides being incredibly useful when you need to figure out issues like blocking and locking and what the transactions are doing, you should take a few long moments to look at the code. The code extensively commented making it easy to follow and to understand what different parameters do. Also Adam has some serious T-SQL skills so going through the code is a great way to improve your own skills as well!

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Tools of the Trade.

Most DBAs have their own favorite set of tools and utilities they like to use and so do I. In this blog series, I’ll be introducing you to my favorite tools of the trade. Most of these utilities are made by the members of SQL Server community and all of these have one thing in common, they are free. While people often turn to commercial solutions (if they have the budget to do so), I would consider the following free tools essential for anyone working with databases or database servers.

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