System databases. What are they, what do they do?

System databases. What are they, what do they do? You may have noticed that as well as the user databases you have a container for System Databases, here you see master, model, msdb and tempdb. Sounds important but what do they actually do? The master database is well named as it contains system configuration information… Read More »

Index Maintenance

Index Maintenance. Is this the quick fix to all of your query performance issues? I have to admit that when I first found out about rebuilding indexes I expected it to instantly fix all performance related issues, especially where the server was otherwise healthy. One day after hearing the usual “this application is too slow”… Read More »

Reporting on Live Data

Reporting on Live Data. Running reports is harmless, right? After all we’re only reading data………… Attitudes towards reporting have changed significantly in the last 5 years or so. While it used to be acceptable for reports to run overnight and that same data to be used throughout the day, decision makers now want real time… Read More »

SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition

SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition. Interesting new features. We all know that Enterprise Edition has many great features but at around $7000 per processor core can smaller companies really afford to pay for extra features they may never use? Most of us are stuck with Standard Edition and it’s nice to see that Microsoft are giving us… Read More »

Backup and Recovery

Backup and Recovery Having an effective backup and recovery strategy has to be one of, if not the top responsibility of the Database Administrator (DBA,) if you don’t have a DBA then it’s probably down to you. In this week’s blog we will look at configuring backup tasks but most importantly being able to restore from the… Read More »

The Importance of Data

The Importance of Data. Data is very important. It’s used day in day out to contact customers, suppliers, track stock and review sales. People use this data to produce reports and make decisions based on what they see. How would things look if it were to disappear? It’s easy to underestimate the importance of data,… Read More »

Auto-shrink, the hidden enemy!

Auto-shrink, the hidden enemy! In this week’s blog we are looking at Auto-shrink and scheduled shrink database tasks, focusing on why they shouldn’t be used. I first discovered how bad shrinking the database can be when I was looking at a customer’s indexes, this particular customer had over 90% fragmentation on pretty much every index in… Read More »

What to do if the transaction log or disk is Full?

What to do if the transaction log or disk is Full? In this blog we look at one of the simplest ways to get the database back up and running after a full log file issue. User will most likely see an error in the application and hopefully it will acually indicate that the transaction log is… Read More »

Why does the transaction log keep filling up?

Why does the transaction log keep filling up? We’ll be looking at reasons why the log file or drive fills and what to do to avoid it. The transaction log is essential, if it hits its limit or fills the disk your application will stop. There are only 2 ways for a transaction log to… Read More »

Full or Simple Recovery Model

Full or Simple Recovery Model? People often think that simple is the best option as it requires less overhead, let’s look at some of the differences between the two: Full gives you point in time recovery. This means that in most cases you could restore up to the minute before a disaster occurred. Even if… Read More »