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Showing posts from 2013

SQL Server Training in London this Christmas

If you are thinking of upgrading to SQL Server 2012 in the near future then why not join me in London this December, Wednesday 18th to Friday  20th December at Learning Tree’s London Education Centre (LEC) which is based at Euston House on Eversholt.You can read more about the course and what we will be covering and also enrol on the course by following this link the link to enrol is on the right-hand side of the page.If you any questions for me please let me know

Superfast Broadband – can be a drawn out slow and frustrating process

I’m writing this blog post to simply to vent some frustration. I live in Wales’ third largest city, Newport and for some obscure unbelievable reason I am unable to get high speed internet. BT’s online speed check currently tells me the very best I can hope for is… I never get this, if it makes 1mb download speed I am very lucky.So back in 2012 when my BT exchange was enabled I tried to get superfast fiber broadband. The BT website said it wasn’t available to me yet. That's strange I thought to myself, I spoke with BT who said my cabinet needed to upgraded and that will be done early 2013. No worries I thought, not long now I’ll just be patient. I have no documentary evidence of this conversation, so maybe I imagined it.Then in July this year after being told by the super-fast  BT broadband checker that I still could not receive a fast broadband internet connection, I got in touch with BT again asking when I could sign up and pay them lots of money for superfast broadband. I did th…

SQL Server Training Events–November and December 2013

I’m in New York City this week delivering a SQL Server Virtualization and Consolidation 3 days course for Learning Tree. You might be a little too late to join me at that event but I have two more course scheduled this yearAt the end of November 27th-30th I’m teaching 137  - Introduction to SQL Server 2008: Hand-on Introduction for those of you starting out with SQL Server this a great introduction to the SQL Server product. You can enrol online using the enrol buttonOr if you thinking of upgrading to SQL Server 2012 in the new year, why come and spend a few days with me in London in the week before Christmas. I’ll be delivering 2105 – SQL Server 2012 Database Administration Skills Upgrade which is a three day course at the London Education Centre from the 18th to 20th December. You can pick up some last minute Christmas presents while you are there. You can enrol by choosing how you wish to attend (online or in-class) and hitting the enrol button.Alternatively if you prefer the comfo…

Job: SQL Server DBA (Permanent UK)

A client of mine are looking for a good SQL Server DBA on a permanent basis, the location is flexible with offices in the South West and South London. The role offers a competitive package with excellent benefits, they are a great company to work for. If you have some Oracle experience or prepared to learn oracle too then this would be an advantage. If you are interested please email me ( CV and covering letter in the first instance and I will pass these along to my client.

SQL Saturday #200 - Philadelphia

If you read my post from yesterday you will know I will be spending some time on the US east coast at the end of May.Last week my friend and fellow Learning Tree instructor Sharon Dooley asked me if I would like to attend SQL Saturday #200 in Philadelphia which is being organised by the Philadelphia User group. Seeing as I was in-town, well close by anyway, I was delighted to accept and registered for the eventI will be traveling from DC to Philadelphia on Friday the 31st,I’m going to have myself a bit of road trip staying in a hotel close to the venue on the Friday night and enjoying the conference on the Saturday. I might be able to take in some sights early on Sunday before I return to DC for my flight home.This will be the second SQL Saturday that I have attended and I’m very much looking forward to it. This is what the website has to say about the event “The Philadelphia SQL Server User's Group is extremely proud to be presenting SQL Saturday #200. The event w…

SQL Server Travels–May 2013

At the end of this month of May, I will be teaching Learning Tree’s 3 day SQL Server Virtualization course at Learning Tree’s Washington DC’s Rockville education centre. The course will run from Wednesday 29th May through to Friday 31st May. You can enrol for this course by following this link can attend this course either online or in-class so if you can’t get to Rockville or would rather attend from the comfort of your own home or office then you can do so.Maybe I will see you there.

SQL Server Training in the Summer Time

Its been a long winter so far this weekend has seen the first signs of spring here in South Wales, the Sun has been out nearly all weekend. The temperatures have been in double figures most of the time and I even got to cut the grass and fix so drain pipes.So with the weather getting warmer and the hope that summer is on its way I wanted to let you know about some up and coming events that I will be delivering that you might be interested in.If you planning on upgrading to SQL Server 2012 this year then you might like to come on my 2105 SQL Server 2012 Upgrade course where you will learn about all the useful new features included in SQL Server 2012. The course is running at Learning Tree’s Education Centre (LEC) this August from 14th – 16th. Come and join me three days of great training on SQL Server 2012. You can enrol online using this enrolment page.You might be planning on running your new SQL Servers on virtual platform (VMware or Hyper-V) if so come along and join me this Septem…

Friday Fun – Football Derbies

This is an off-topic post for a Friday. With Cardiff City reaching the premier league this week and all the joy that had brought Cardiff City fans throughout South Wales this week I thought this might make a nice change of topic and a bit of fan on a Friday. Apologies if you are not a football fan but please do humor me, just for today.Its an interactive post on football trivia, so you will be expected to leave a comment below, you can remain anonymous if you want but I can’t give you a shout out if you get right. Remember no searching the internet for the answer either…That is cheating.So here is my football trivia question this Friday“In The English Football league including the Premier League, but excluding London and Birmingham, there are six other cities/towns with a football derby. Can you name the towns/cities?”

TSQL Tuesday #41–Presenting and Loving it?

Well sort of…it took a while. I’d done some plays and singing at school but my mother made me practice and practice and practice and she  was always in the crowd to cheer me on so it was never that bad, if ever I forgot my lines my mother who would now my lines better than I did would be there to mouth them to me from her seat so I was never that bothered. i didn’t like it but I was with my friends and it was OKMy first ‘real’ presentation was  a group presentation that I was involved with at university and I’ve even forgotten the topic we were presenting on.  I was studying for BSc in business so it would have had business related theme. This was part of the course work for the course so the result went towards final grades etc. Did I enjoy that experience? Simply No. I was nervous I dreaded the thought of it. So my group and I got together when we knew the topic and who is our group, we prepared and practiced and it went OK. We got good grade but I never stood there and enjoyed it.A…

@LearningTree: SQL Server High Availability

Learning Tree are offering their 3 day SQL Server High Availability course this April in London. Running between 17th and 19th of April and taught by Chris Radcliffe come and learn all about SQL Server high availability and get your hands dirty withSQL Server ClusteringDatabase MirroringAvailability GroupsLog ShippingIf you would like to attend you can enrol here, you either come to London and attend in class or if you prefer you can attend online from the comfort of your own home or office.

Slide Deck–SQL Saturday Exeter

In my session (An Introduction to SQL Server Virtualisation) at SQL Saturday Exeter I told the attendees that I would be making my slide deck available after the event. In my blog post early this week where I reviewed my day at SQL Saturday Exeter I also mentioned that I was going to make my slide deck  available for download. Well it is now available on the SQL Saturday website you can download it from there and the link is below

SQL Saturday Exeter - I'm speaking

Just  short post for a Friday. This Saturday (tomorrow) I will be speaking at SQL Saturday 194 which is being held in Exeter.If you have already registered then feel free to pop along to my session - I'm the first session in the Babbage starting at 8am. If that's a little early for you not to worry - there are many great sessions going on throughout the day.I'm not sure if its too late to register but this was the registration link I'll see you there do feel free to stop by and say hello.

SQL Saturday - Exeter

This time tomorrow morning I will be on my feet starting to  deliver a 50 minute session at SQL Saturday in Exeter. My session is titled "An Introduction to SQL Server Virtualisation"

If you are attending SQL Saturday #194 in Exeter, plan on making the first session, interested and new to the concept of SQL Server virtualisation then feel free to come along.

Here are some of the things my session will cover:

Consolidation and how virtualisation fits into it
DBAs and why some have been reluctant to embrace virtualisation
Discuss some of the benefits virtualisation offers the DBA
Why you might not virtualise SQL Server
How to migrate to virtual machines
Settings to 'tweak' that can help your SQL Server performance on a virtual platform
A demo of how hypervisor HA features can give you some nice benefits without trying too hard

That's quite a lot to cover in 50 minutes and hopefully I'll get through everything before I get evicted for the key note.

I will be making my slid…

Upgrading to SQL Server 2012?

Do you have any plans in place to upgrade to SQL Sever 2012 this year. We are now well into 2013 and its been almost a year since the RTM of SQL Server 2012  which happened 1st April 2012. Service pack 1 (SP1) has been released too (, which I know for a lot of you is still contributing factor to your SQL Server upgrade decisions. “We always wait for the first service pack” is a phrase I hear frequently. I am expecting that many people will be upgrading to SQL Server 2012 in the near future.If you need training on the new features of SQL Server 2012 for the DBA then maybe Learning Tree's 2105 SQL Server 2012 DBA skills upgrade course will be for you.If you are upgrading soon and need the training quickly then the next scheduled run is Rockville Maryland starting 26th March. Remember even if you are based in the UK and Europe (Or anywhere else is the world for that matter) you can still attend the course in Rockville by u…

Virtualising your SQL Server?

Having just completed the latest revision of Learning Tree's SQL Server Virtualisation and consolidation course I thought I'd share with you where and when it will be running and give you some links so you can enrol

The next run is scheduled for Stockholm starting May 22nd - may 24th as yet I don't know who will be delivering this course. There is a chance it will be me but I will confirm here when I get confirmation. If you would like to attend this course you can enrol here

Following that on 29th - 31st May I will be delivering 2109 at the Learning Tree Education Centre, Rockville Maryland in the USA. If you would like to join me you can use this enrolment form.

I'll then be delivering the course again in London starting between the 12th and 14th June. If London suits you best then you can enrol here.

I hope you can make one of these events. Follow the links to enrol on the event that suits you best.


LinkedIn sent me an email on Monday that said my profile was in the top 5% of viewed profiles in 2012!Check me out yeah I’m a social media mogul. Then I realised I have no idea what that number means so I did a few calculations. It seems  LinkedIn have surpassed 200 Million users and they are having a party.  I couldn’t find any stats on how many of the 200 million are active. It looks like they don’t make that information available but no doubt there are at least some duplicates in that figure and no doubt that at least some of those users are not active on LinkedIn.So I managed to quickly burst my social media mogul bubble  by doing some calculationsLets assume that all 200 Million users are active, Being in the top 5% means that my profile view numbers are in the top 10 Million users. Suddenly I don’t feel so special any more.If we assume that 100 Million or 50% of the 200 Million members are active then my profile is in the top 5 Million active users. Slightly better but still not…

SQL Server Auto grow

I had a great response to my blog post and poll last week about how DBAs use auto grow. In the main it seems people use auto grow like I do. As a backup but it does not replace proper monitoring or capacity planning.You can see the results belowAs you can see although most of the respondents use it as a backup there is still a fair few that use it as their database sizing tool. I think some of the comments in the original Auto-grow -  on or off straw poll post l put the argument for using auto grow as a backup perfectly and I urge you to check those out.Thanks for everyone who took part in the poll and took the time to leave a comment, your feedback is much appreciated.

SQL Server Consulting: Weekly Round-up

The first full week in 2013 has been a a busy week for me with lots of SQL Server consulting and SQL Server writing work on. I haven’t written many blog posts so we have eaten into the scheduled posts a little bit. I like to schedule my posts a week or maybe two in advance so there is always some new material about be to published.
I have got a short series on contracting in the UK lined up which will start to be published towards the end of January. I have about eight of the series completed thus far and ideally I’d like to have ten in the bank before I start publishing the series. This has the potential to be many posts but we’ll see how it goes. I hope for the series to start at the end of January.

This week has been a busy week in terms of traffic. This has much to do with Monday’s post titled Auto Grow – On or Off making to the front page of SQL Server Central on Thursday, so a big thanks to Steve Jones and the SQL Server Central for putting my syndicated post on the front of the…

#SQLSaturdayExeter–Superb SQL Server Event

#SQLSaturday194 is coming to Exeter on the 8th – 9th March. What is SQL Saturday?  The brain child of Steve Jones, Brain Knight and  Andy Warren, the founders of  the first event took places in the US in back October 2007 and since then has grown into a series of global events. Best described as a 1-day SQL Server conference held on a Saturday that is free or almost free to attend.The good people at the SQL South West User Group have put a lot of time and effort time into planning and organising #SQLSaturdayExeter which I’m very much looking forward too and I’m sure it will be a huge success.Saturday 9th March will be the free 1-day conference  but there is also a pre-conference training  day, known as a pre-con day where you can get a full day’s training from some of the leading SQL Server professional from around the globe! This is taking place on Friday 8th March.This training day is great value too. You can get a full day’s training for £150 if you register be…

SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation

Come and join me in London this March for a 3 day course on SQL Server virtualisation and consolidation.The course will start on Wednesday March 13thAttending this SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation course you will learn how to: Implement SQL Server in a virtual environment Select the appropriate consolidation method for your enterprise Migrate to Virtual Machines  to maximise uptime and performance Monitor your virtual SQL Server and optimise performance through resource controlsCome and join me in London this spring time.If you’d like more information or would like to enrol then visit the SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation enrolment page.The SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation course is also scheduled to run in Toronto at the end of March and New York in early April. So if you would like to attend feel free to use the enrolment form on the Learning Tree website.

Auto grow–On or Off Straw Poll

David Postlethwaite who contributes to this blog regularly sent me an email this morning asking about Database Auto grow. This was his questionDo you set the database and logs to grow on demand.
Advantage:       Only using expensive shared disk space as required
Disadvantage:   Causes slow database response when the files have to expand. If auto growth size  is set too low then too many small virtual logs are created leading to poor performance

If you set it what sort of growth sizes do you use (%tage or fixed size)
How many people have changed the auto growth settings from the default of 1MB and 10%?

Do you manually size the database and logs and disk for expected growth for the year and then turn off auto growth
Advantage: No slow response caused by auto growth during busy periods
Disadvantage: Lots of expensive shared disk is used up with empty space
I replied with the following:“I set the file sizes to decent amount to allow for say 12-18 months growth and monitor it regularly.I prefer to…

SQL Server Contracting and Business Network Wales - LinkedIn Groups Updates

I have been doing some work on some LinkedIn groups that I manage and look after over the holidays. There have been two in particular that I have been working on.SQL Server Contracts – I set this group up in 2009. Its purpose was connect SQL Server Professional and contractors who were looking for their next contractor role with agents and clients who looking for a SQL Server professional from contract assignments. This group now has nearly 600 members, so if you are looking for a SQL Server Contract role or you looking for a SQL Server contractor then this could be the group for you. Feel free to become a member Business Network Wales – This group was also set up in 2009 but with a different objective. The purpose of this group was allow businesses and people based in Wales or wanting to do business with Welsh based businesses to connect and network online. Again this group has been relatively successful and is fast approaching 500 members. If you feel that this group could be of ben…

SQL Saturday #194 Exeter

I have read much about SQL Saturday’s but I have yet to attend one, that is about to change. I have read much about them but until recently these events were US based and my schedule just never allowed me to make one. With SQL Saturday #194 taking place in Exeter in March (8th and 9th March) I decided to register and I have also submitted a couple of sessions. An Introduction to AlwaysOn Availability Groups An Introduction to SQL Server VirtualisationLooking at the list of submitted sessions I’m not holding out much hope of being selected to speak, there are some really great sessions that have been submitted but either way it will be great event. So if you haven’t registered yet do so now more about SQL Server Virtualization on 2013 then enrol on one of these Learning Tree courses London: SQL Server Virtualisation and ConsolidationToronto: SQL Server Virtualization and ConsolidationNew York: SQL Sever Virtualization and Consolidation

SQL Server Consulting–New for 2013

Today is the first full work day for me in 2013 and I though I’d use it to write a short post about the consultancy and support offerings that you get from in 2013.We have a range of consultancy, training and and support services that you and your business can make use of in 2013. Feel free to check out ourSQL Server Consulting pages for more information on the SQL Server consultancy services that we can provideVisit out SQL Server Training pages for details on the training courses we teach in conjunction with Learning TreeThe SQL Server Support page provides information on our on-site and remote database administration packagesAnd if you are a small business and need some help getting started with IT in general then we can help you with our IT Support for SMEs