April 2009 - Posts

I'm interested in speaking skills as it as part of what I do. I remember some of the speeches Obama gave last year that made hairs stand on the back of your neck and wondered what it takes to get to that level.

I saw a few weeks ago something on the BBC which was about finding The Speaker. Whilst most reality programs involve adults this focuses on children. I was sceptical when I watched the first series thinking I wouldn't be able to relate. However I've just watched the final and to say I was blown away is an understatement.

The final speech by Duncan made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The words, the sentiment and the delivery were just fantastic.

You can find out about the series here http://www.bbc.co.uk/speaker/ If you are able to watch the series then do so. There are lots of lessons that you can learn about delivery, content, persona and everything about speaking.

Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

I just noticed that SQL Server 2008 SP1 is now on windows update.

Its not a mandatory update but it is available

Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

I've changed the agenda slightly for Thursday night. (http://sqlserverfaq.com/default.aspx?item=eventedit&itemid=157) I will be doing 30 minutes on SQL Server Myths.

Do you know if these statements are true or false?

DDL can't be rolled back.
Data stored sorted by clustered key.
Inserts aren't logged in simple recovery mode.
Table variables are only stored in memory.
Common Table Expressions are materialised.
Only dirty pages are written to the data files.

Come along and find out the answers. (http://sqlserverfaq.com/default.aspx?item=eventedit&itemid=157

In addition Colin (http://sqlblogcasts.com/blogs/grumpyolddba/) will be doing a session on the ins and outs of storage.

He will be exploring the relationship between SQL Server and the physical storage tier.

1.       All the world's an acronym.

2.       You wait for a bus, and then three come at once.

3.       Bandwidth, how does it affect me?

4.       Disks - big isn't always beautiful.

5.       What's IOPS then guv?

6.       DAS,NAS,SAN what's in it for me.

7.       Raid - there can only be one.

8.       Scaling up - scaling out, decisions decisions.

9.       Is the future SSD?

10.    Operational aspects, fragmentation, virtualisation, sharing, latency, raid rebuilds.

11.    what storage vendors can do for you

Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

I was amused when I came across a KB article for an issue I am facing. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961638

It states that

"However it is advised that client tools like SQL Server Management Studio 2005 and SQL Server Management Studio 2008 be installed on separate systems. "

Nice, so are MS going to buy me a seperate machine to run Management Studio for SQL 2005. I thought the reason they changed SSMS.exe was partly to enable side by side installs.

Given I'm getting all sorts of versioning issues with other tools it does seem that all things are not good when 2005 and 2008 are installed side by side.


To fix this I tried all things and in the end I un installed SQL 2008 tools and reinstalled them. That seemed to fix the issue. Just need to apply SP1 now.

[Update 28/4/2008]

I've been told that if you have SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 installed side by side then one of the project systems won't.This is a known bug, I wonder if it will be fixed?

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

Thanks to Susan Bradley for pointing out a new Knowledge base article.


Video performance may decrease when a Windows Server 2008-based computer has the Hyper-V role enabled and an accelerated display adapter installed:


I had this when runing Hyper-V on my laptop. Any video in media player was unwatchable. Disabling the Hyper-V role and everything now runs very smoothly.

Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

Getting this error message is a symptom of the SQL Servers team trend towards having different applications with the same name. I was quite pleased when SQL 2005 came along because I new to launch sql 2005 profiler I needed to specify profiler90.exe, however with SQL Server 2008 I find no such joy.

Profiler in SQL2008 is called just that Profiler.exe. What this means is that if you are running Vista, Windows server 2008 or Windows 7 and use the search box to select your app by typing in profiler, you have pot luck whether you get profiler90.exe or profiler.exe (2008) (or even 2000 if you have that installed).

If you do launch SQL 2005 profiler by accident and find when you connect to your 2008 server you don't have any templates available, this is because you have run the wrong profiler.

So this has annoyed me for a while and the same issue raised its head today when I wanted to run DTUtil.

You've guessed it, it ran the 2005 version and not the 2008 version, because the 2005 directory is before the 2008 directory in the PATH variable. The error occurs because they renamed everything to SSIS in 2008 (well most things) why, I don't know, they just did.

So what I've now done to rectify this is to make a copy of dtutil in the SQL2008 folder and called it dtutil100. I can now run this and be guaranteed I will get that one and no other.

Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

Recently I was installing SQL Server 2008 and the preinstall checks kept failing on the RebootRequiredCheck step. Even after restarting a few times.

I found the answer go into regedit and find the following key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager and delete the value named PendingFileRenameOperations

Once that was done I could rerun the checks and install SQL 2008.

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

We will be presenting tomorrows meetings via live meeting  

To connect go to https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usergroups/join?id=S74F7R&role=attend

So if you are have some spare time tomorrow afternoon or evening then tune in.

Posted by simonsabin | with no comments

Its far to say Solid State Storage will have a fundamental impact on database systems. Whilst they don't offer the GBs that hard drives offer they do provide very very high IOPS (IOs per second), and to be honest most databases need the IOs rather than the GBs.

The SSD market is getting a huge amount of investment and so I expect prices to tumble and functionality to increase. If you want to jump on the SSD wagon then you need to decide if you want to take the plunge now or in 12 months when prices are lilely to fall be half what they are now, if not less.

There are some big players like FusionIO that I now Greg Linwod has used but there is a new player in the game, SandForce. It appears that SandForce will provide better write speed that existing products but using cheaper nand (well thats my take on it). For more details read this register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/13/sandforce_launches/

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)

Very interesting idea brought up by Jamie (http://blogs.conchango.com/jamiethomson/archive/2009/04/08/programmable-in-memory-aggregations.aspx) and one that i've been thinking about a few months ago after using LINQ to do aggregations.

Before LINQ writing code that aggregated data up was ugly, you had to write a lot of plumbing code to store the key buckets and the aggregates. Now with LINQ its very easy to do aggregate queries to get things like sum of sales by year and count of sales by year into one list.

The downside is that whilst the code is simple there is no magic under the hood making this perform any better than if I did the code myself. In fact it will likely be slower as the LINQ stuff is generics based and so can't use some of the optimisations you could use if you did the code your self. Whats key is that its currently not parallel (although I'm not sure what PLINQ brings to the table)

Gemini, as John's comment on Jamies post mentions, is an in memory Analysis Services object. So the question has to be whether one would be able to embed that into your own application? Any comments Donald?

Posted by simonsabin | 3 comment(s)
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