Wednesday, 16 January 2013

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 below



As 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.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

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 site.
You can still vote in that poll – Do you have auto grow turned on and do you is it to size you databases. The poll can be found on the right hand side of the home page
So this weeks top posts are
  1. Auto grow - On or Off Straw Poll
  2. Bulk Insert Permissions
  3. Configuring Database Mirroring in SQL Server
  4. db_executor role
  5. SQL Server - Dedicated Administrator Connection (DAC)
View my SQL Server Training pages to see the list Learning Tree courses that I teach and view my SQL Server Consulting pages for a list of my consulting services.
I hope you have a good weekend.

Friday, 11 January 2013

#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 before the end of January and £185 afterwards.

There are  five great sessions from five great people for you to chose from

As you can see pre-cons and the people delivering them are top-notch, and I’m sure like me you’d want attend more than one. So don’t miss out get  your place reserved today.

To reserve your place simply follow the links above which will take you to the SQL South West User Group read the pre-con abstracts  and then follow the link to reserve your place on the session you want to attend. Simple!

Register for the free Saturday conference and your Pre-Con today.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

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 13th

SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation

Attending 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 controls

Come 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.

Monday, 7 January 2013

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 question

Do 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 change file sizes manually as this will allow you to control when the files grow. File growth can have an overhead.

I prefer to leave auto grow turned on as a fail back.You won't need or want to get called out about it overnight on the weekend etc. If you turn it off the files need to grow the DB fall over until it can grow.

I prefer a fixed size in MB for the growth a % can mean it grows by different amounts. 10% of 100mb is different from 10% of 100GB etc.

Re the log growth: You need to ensure the log is sized appropriately and if auto grow is set, it grows by a reasonable size. You will need to manage the VLFs (Virtual Log Files) - this is interesting and Kimberly l Tripp over at SQL Skills  has some great stuff on  VLFs on her blog.

I have an old post on database auto growth that also argues these points

So then I’d thought this might be an interesting talking point. I have set up a poll which you can see on the right-hand side of the blog. If you are reading through a RSS reader you will need to visit  to take part.

I think David will be interested in your responses, so please take a minute to leave your thoughts

Friday, 4 January 2013

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 benefit to you then feel free to join. It is an open group and your membership will be automatically accepted once you have joined.

Of course you can always connect with me on LinkedIn you can find my profile here

I have always liked LinkedIn and the fact it is a social network site for business, you know what you are getting. If you feel that being members of the groups could be beneficial to you please do feel free to join. Membership is open so you will be accepted automatically and you may just find an opportunity that can help you

Thursday, 3 January 2013

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.

SQL Saturday #194 Exeter

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 Virtualisation

Looking 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

Learn more about SQL Server Virtualization on 2013 then enrol on one of these Learning Tree courses

London: SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation

Toronto: SQL Server Virtualization and Consolidation

New York: SQL Sever Virtualization and Consolidation

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

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.

SQL Server Services 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 our

SQL Server Consulting pages for more information on the SQL Server consultancy services that we can provide

Visit out SQL Server Training pages for details on the training courses we teach in conjunction with Learning Tree

The SQL Server Support page provides information on our on-site and remote database administration packages

And 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

Featured post

Creating a Linked Server to an Azure SQL Database

Why would you create a Linked Server to an Azure SQL Database? If you work in a hybrid environment with some databases stored on your on ...