June 2009 - Posts

I always like working at home with my patio door open, we had a really heavy rain shower and I got a visitor.

Anyway, this video is one of the instances of me chasing him/her out of my office.

So much for prepping for my LiveMeeting this afternoon :)



If you want to see how far along your restore or backup is then you can do this... 

select percent_complete
from sys.dm_exec_requests
where session_id = 53

This is in addition to the STATS = n option on the BACKUP/RESTORE commands.


I'm migrating one of my clients from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2008, they currently have an active/passive SQL Server 2000 cluster and we are going to keep the same architecture but on SQL Server 2008.

The licence "expert" first states that SQL Server 2008 Standard edition doesn't have clustering - so, that got corrected with a link onto the MS website; now I'm told you need two licences for a SQL Server 2008 active/passive cluster - wrong again and here are the bits from MS...


Q.  If I am doing log shipping in an active/passive failover configuration, how should I license the backup server?


In this scenario, the passive server does not require a license, unless the passive server has more processors than the active server, and the active server is licensed under the per processor model. 

Basically if you have 1 physical processor (cores doesn't matter) in your active and you have 2 physical processors in the passive then that is not legal; but, if you have 1 in the active and 1 in the passive then that is legal.

Another link: http://www.microsoft.com/Sqlserver/2005/en/us/special-considerations.aspx#passive


3 servers (all with 1 physical processor), two in a active/passive cluster and one a standalone server that I'll log ship to for DR.

Licence requirements...

2 x Windows 2008 Enterprise x64 because you need Enterprise to do clustering on Windows 2008.

1 x Windows 2008 Standard x64 - standalone box.

1 x SQL Server 2008 Standard x64 Processor licence which covers the Active node; the two failover "passive" servers are covered in the EULA as follows:

(from http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/Downloader.aspx?DocumentId=2235 available via http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/DocumentSearch.aspx?Mode=3&DocumentTypeId=1)

For SQL Server 2008 Enterprise, Standard, Web and Workgroup:Fail-over Servers.  For any operating system environment in which you run instances of the server software, you may run up to the same number of passive fail-over instances in a separate operating system environment for temporary support.  The number of processors used in that separate operating system environment must not exceed the number of processors used in the corresponding operating system environment in which the active instances are running.  You may run the passive fail-over instances on a server other than the licensed server.

I know its a rant, but these guy are suppose to know their stuff when selling products - its not that often we get a new version!


Pronounced: "Automaton-Mattick"

Meaning: Used to descibe individuals using forums who persistently post canned answers without adjusting the said answers to take into account changes in the underlying topic or technology.


We are broadcasting tonights UK SQL Server User Group meeting in Reading, for more information go to http://sqlserverfaq.com/events/168/SQL-2008-R2-and-Gemini-From-Data-Modelling-to-Information-Architecture-and-Attribute-Relationships-Aggregations-and-using-MDX-Studio-to-its-best.aspx.

 The agenda...

6.15pm – 7:00pm Andrew Fryer, Microsoft

SQL Server 2008 R2 and Gemini
SQL Server 2008 R2 will be the release with Gemini in it. Gemini is about trying to marry self service BI for end users with proper control of that data for the IT Professional. The beta program has only been recently announced and so it’s still early days but if you want to know what to expect then this is your first real opportunity in the UK. So join Andrew Fryer for an hour of peering into what 2010 BI looks like

7:00pm - 7:45pm Ruairi Prendiville, Sybase

From Data Modeling to Information Architecture
It used to be about doing the thing right: a tactical approach for data modelling was necessary, because all the data was contained within the same domain. Now it’s about doing the right thing. Management demands information that is strategic and which helps them make business decisions. This information is more complex, housed in multiple domains, created in different languages, and used by different areas of the organisation for opposing purposes. Adding to the complexity is the critical need for it to be timely, accurate and comprehensive. 
In this 45-minute session, Andrew de Rozairo and Alex Pratt of Sybase will impart the secrets of successfully building a foundation for a comprehensive and successful information architecture. You’ll learn how to take a new approach to modelling: combining the business view, information view and the technology view to achieve a strategic vision. 

7:45pm – 8pm BREAK: Light refreshments

More time to network and ask questions...

8pm - 8:15pm Vincent Rainardi

Nugget (demo) on SSAS

8:15pm – 9.00pm Ashwani Roy

Attribute Relationships, Aggregations and using MDX Studio to its best
Setting proper relationships for the attributes of a dimension is essential from a query performance point of view. It is one of the most important things while dimensional modelling.
Aggregations are pre calculated summaries of cube data that help enable Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (SSAS) to provide rapid query responses. Aggregations are like fact table data grouped and aggregated to a higher level in the Hierarchy. Building the correct aggregations can greatly enhance query performance.
MDX Studio can be used to analyze complex MDX expressions, monitor performance characteristics of MDX queries and get insight into how MDX interacts with other UDM features such as attribute relationships. MDX Studio provides unique visualization representation of MDX expression and allows the user to interact with different stages of MDX execution. It is built by Mosha Pasumansky, who is inventor of MDX and one of the Architects of Microsoft Analysis Services.



There is a job going in Bristol (see below), if you are interested and experienced enough for the role then please email me tonyrogerson@sqlserverfaq.com and I'll forward your details onto the agent - note; obviously - do so before the end of June 2009 as google will index this and the job position may filled quickly. UK folks only!

Job Title - MS SQL DBA OLAP developer
Position - Permanent
Location - Bristol

XXX is a leading distributor of digital media with clients throughout the world.  We are responsible for the complete hosting and distribution process of digital media from receipt from copyright holder to distribution to end users, revenue collection, royalty payments and a multitude of steps in between. We are currently undertaking a number of cutting edge development projects within the areas of PC, mobile and services; and are therefore looking to expand our already impressive development team.  We are looking for a MS SQL DBA OLAP developer to help us grow and develop our MS SQL Server Data Warehouse to support the predicted volumes and proposed new business models. Required technical experience:

  • Extensive experience with SQL Server as a database developer
  • Ability to produce technical documentation to support solutions implemented
  • Commercial experience with
    • MS Business Intelligence studio
    • MS SQL 2005 Analysis Services as a cube designer (including working knowledge of MDX)
    • MS SQL 2005 Reporting Services
    • MS SQL 2005 Integration Services
    • Visual Studio Team Edition 2005 for Database Professionals
    • Designing, testing, developing and delivering Kimball-style star schema data warehouses – including good dimensional modelling experience.
    • Financial reporting systems
    • Management information systems
    • Team Foundation Server
    • Multi-terabyte SQL databases
 Required key skills and experience:
  • Developing reporting and business intelligence solutions using the MS SQL 2005 Business Intelligence product stack
  • Ability to analyse and maintain existing solutions
  • Strong working knowledge and understanding of software development lifecycles

Personal traits:

·         Self motivation and drive
·         Strong team working skills
·         Be able to deliver technology solutions within a dynamic environment
·         An excellent level of attention to detail
·         A strong sense of ownership
·         Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written 
Beneficial experience / skills;
  • .NET development (C#, VB etc)
  • SQL2008 server
  • Distributed architecture (hardware and software)
  • Test driven development techniques
  • Working within cross functional agile project teams
  • Development of the data warehouse solutions using MS SQL 2005 business intelligence platform
  • Delivering appropriate technical solutions to meet business needs
  • Providing accurate technical documentation and estimates
  • Working in collaboration with other colleagues to deliver solutions that bring business value

Don't forget tonight's online meeting presented by Allan Mitchell, SQL Server MVP.

The LiveMeeting URL to join the meeting is: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/mvp/join?id=JJRMN6&role=attend&pw=b%27q%2F-s8D8; please join at least 10 minutes before the meeting so you have time to download the LiveMeeting control. We are recording the LiveMeeting and it will be available next week.

4 Jun 2009
Integrating Data Mining into your BI Solution
LIVE MEETING @ 7.30pm - 8pm
Allan Mitchell, SQL Server MVP

If you find these LiveMeetings useful then please let us know, we also need to know topics of interest and mostly importantly - tell a friend! The more popular these are the more people I'll get doing them. Anyway, enjoy the meeting.

Any problems just call me, Tony Rogerson 0796 816 0362.

Tony Rogerson
SQL Server MVP

Good catch Satya! There is a new MS press ebook out on "Introducing SQL Server 2008", this is particularly apt as I'm doing a number of LiveMeetings targetted at introducing the product.



We have weekly LiveMeetings on every Thursday in June, plus a range of physical events, also don't forget tomorrow (Wed) is the Leeds user group meeting (http://sqlserverfaq.com?eid=182) and they will be covering Performance Troubleshooting Techniques end-to-end as well as replaying Profiler files, if you've already registered then see you there - Martin Bell is your host for the evening.

Thursday evening (7.30pm) Allan Mitchell SQL Server MVP is doing a Live Meeting (http://sqlserverfaq.com?eid=177) on Integrating Data Mining into your BI Solution.

Coming up next Wed in Reading we have Andrew Fryer (Microsoft) on SQL 2008 R2 and Gemini; Ruairi Prendiville (Sybase) on From Data Modelling to Information Architecture and Ashwani Roy (IMGROUP) on Attribute Relationships, Aggregations and using MDX Studio to its best - see http://sqlserverfaq.com?eid=168 for more information.

I'm formulating the list of ongoing Live Meetings and it will be published on sqlserverfaq.com soon - if you fancy doing 30 minutes then let me know (any level, beginner - advanced).

The LiveMeeting from my SQL Server Basics Tools Part 1 is here: http://sqlblogcasts.com/blogs/tonyrogerson/archive/2009/05/28/livemeeting-recording-for-my-sql-server-toolset-intro-part-1-is-now-available.aspx

3 Jun 2009
SQL Server Troubleshooting Techniques
LEEDS [also possibly via LiveMeeting]
Sponsor: Quest (http://www.quest-software.co.uk/sql-server)

4 Jun 2009
Integrating Data Mining into your BI Solution
LIVE MEETING @ 7.30pm - 8pm
Allan Mitchell, SQL Server MVP

10 Jun 2009
SQL 2008 R2 and Gemini; From Data Modelling to Information Architecture and Attribute Relationships, Aggregations and using MDX Studio to its best.


11 Jun 2009
SQL Server Basics (Part 2 : An introduction to using the product - "What is SQL Server? The component parts: cache, databases, files, logs.");
LIVE MEETING @ 3pm - 3.30pm
Tony Rogerson, SQL Server MVP

18 Jun 2009
Creating a star schema and OLAP cube
LIVE MEETING @ time to be confirmed
Trevor Dwyer, Avanade

18 Jun 2009
End-to-End SQL Server Performance Troubleshooting

25 Jun 2009
Backing up and Restoring Databases - 30 minutes on how to, why to and building an effective Disaster Recovery strategy
LIVE MEETING @ 3pm - 3.30pm
Tony Rogerson, SQL Server MVP

Any problems just call me, Tony Rogerson 0796 816 0362.

Tony Rogerson
SQL Server MVP