Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts


SQL Server Enterprise is Cheaper than Standard

Free Month of Plural Site

I'm interested in seeing your responses. Any relevant response will be accepted and a free month of Plural Site will be given away. You do not have to agree with me to be relevant. I want to hear what you think.

Now this may seem a bit far-fetched, hear me out. 

This is a bit long winded for me.

First we will address the minimum requirements. We are comparing core licensing only. You must purchase at least 4 cores. Enterprise Edition costs $6,874 per core. That's a starting price of $27,496. Standard Edition costs $1,793 per core. That's a starting price of $7,172.

Now I know what you're thinking, a $20,324 difference seems pretty open and shut against this. This is where I ask that you hear me out. It gets a bit tricky here. Let's start comparing the benefits of upgrading.

Limits Standard Enterprise
64 Unlimited
Indexing Offline Online
Table Compression No Yes
Fast Recovery No Yes
Table Partitioning No Yes
Resource Governor No Yes
I know there are a lot more difference relating to BI, AS, RS and many other aspects. Let's just get enough out there to prove the point. I just told you that a $20,000 dollar cost was a savings yes? How can we save $20,000 by spending it? 

How much do you make a year? 

How about your other DBA, or the JR you're about to hire? How many Developers do you have on staff? How many of them are over worked trying to keep your old Standard server running? Look at your database closely. Let's answer some questions; we'll address this question last.

Do you have the maximum ram that your server can support in it? 

That may be 192, 384, any other number. Unless your server is older, it should support more than the 64GB of RAM that Standard does. I know I know, Windows Server Standard only supports 32GB of RAM, but that changed in Server 2012. 2TB is the RAM limit now. I know SQL 2014 allows for 128GB of RAM standard, but that still means more room to grow.

Do you have processor cores just going idle most times? 

Just because you have 12 cores doesn't mean you need to license 12. You can set SQL to use the limit of what you license it to use. Only license what you need.

Do you have SLA's to meet that have been difficult due to maintenance windows? 

Online indexing allows you to rebuild tables just about any time. You do still get a minor lock at the start and end of an online operation, but that's far better than during the whole process.

Do you have issues with archiving those massive tables?
Is their performance falling behind? Partitioning can help you swap parts of the table in and out while being minimally intrusive. You can even address fragmentation per partition instead of hitting that 10 billion row table all at once. In 2014 you can even do that operation online now!

Do you have multiple databases on the same server fighting for resources?

Well now you can split them up logically instead of having that same conversation about splitting them up physically. 

Are you fighting for more space or even considering moving to an Enterprise SAN?

Page compression is a beautiful thing. It should pose no problems on archived tables. If CPU is not a bottle neck currently, you can expand the window of what you compress. Heavily used tables may not benefit as much... but here's where partitioning can work with this. Page Compression saves quite a bit of space. This may be just enough of a space saver to allow you to request those SSDs you've been wanting.

Let's add this all together.

Yes there is a cost up front, but now you no longer need to hire a 3rd full time DBA or Developer. If you get that system on SSD's since we're using page compression to keep our sizes small and partitioning to keep our archived data on slow disks, our response time is faster. We were previously running to the edge of our RAM at all times, now we have cached static data from a month ago. These disks are only being accessed to present changes. Our DBAs are getting more sleep now that their fragmentation jobs aren't blocking all night long. Our maintenance windows are getting shorter and our SLAs have more room to breathe. 

This view will not fit all organizations. As always, the phrase "It depends" will fit in this scenario as well. Think carefully about all these issues and the time you've burned fixing them. You could be working on that next project to make your company even more money.

I mentioned Developers in this post. I'll explain now why. With compression, partitioning, more caching, faster access to those tables... you can hide a lot of "quick" codding with that much faster power. I'm not saying that we should code poorly because we can. I'm saying that we can code how we need because we can. Once it's up and working, you can then go back and fine tune. 

Enterprise Edition has a higher cost. Asking for more SSD's and more RAM has an additional cost. Not having your talented knowledgeable DBAs and Developers quit due to long hours, continually fighting uphill battles and being denied tools or extra personnel will cost you a lot more in the end. Training your next DBA alone may make up this cost. Not losing your customers due to the inability to meet SLA requirements has a large cost monetarily and to your reputation. 

Let's make the world happier, one Database shop at a time.


Free Month To PluralSight!

Free Month of PluralSight!

Ok, personally this is pretty cool. is giving away a free month to pluralsight! Well, let me rephrase a bit. They're giving away a free month of PluralSight to people who run a bit of code on their SQL Server(2005 and up) for 24 hours. The code and full post is here. I understand that they're essentially paying us for a 24 hour snippet of data but look at all the rewards? We get 30 days of PluralSight and a free second opinion oh what those wait stats should mean to us. 

They have said that they only have a limited supply. I submitted my own results and I received the code within about 2 minutes of sending the E-Mail. I personally got a subscription to PluralSight during Black Friday where they had a rather large discount for a year. I have one single code that I do not need and I'd like to hear from someone learning that doesn't have a server they can use to take hold of this great offer SQLSkills is hosting. 

I'd like to donate my key to you.

I'll draw the name out of a hat before the end of the day. I'm looking for people who need a key and don't have a server to use. 

I think this is great and would like to commend all of our SQL Blog posters who give away training for free. They've gone a step further and given away access to training that has other peoples training as well for free. 


Final Giveaway And Some Stats

Today I'm honored to give the final prize in a month of free giveaways here, the book; Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting to Robert! I have been lucky enough to give away 4 months of PluralSight to Komal, Annapu Reddy Gayathri, Aadhar Joshi, and Daniel.

Things I've Learned Blogging

This is my 40th post so far. I've noticed that most of my audience is coming from India at almost a 2 to 1 ratio over America. I think that's amazing. I honestly thought it would take months or even a year for this to be read out of the states.

Most of my readers come on around 0600 Central time and again around 1400 Central time. I'm not sure if it's just that time of day or what. I normally schedule my post to show up at 0300 or 0500. I only post after that on days I'm announcing something such as a winner.

I don't think I can maintain a post a day and have anything worth reading. I Plan to do a Monday, Wednesday release with an optional Friday. I'm the sole poster on this site and that takes a tole. I know the wife is tired of hearing, "I plan on working some tonight". I'd like to get a second person who's interested in posting on here sooner or later. Maybe even guest posts. I wouldn't mind hosting a few posts for someone who wants to tell the world something interesting but doesn't want to start a blog.

Commentators and people in general are not that vicious. I was honestly nervous when this blog started getting posted to SQL Server Central. I was expecting some negative feed back such as my information was wrong, too low level, basic stuff, or even just not needed. Instead I've gotten a rather good response and helpful advice. Anyone who's considering writing... go for it.

Thank you all for your support. Next week I'll get back to more technical posts. I really appreciate the people who have come here, who have decided to start following the site and those that commented. Even if it was just to win something. ^.^


Final December Giveaway!

Today I'm giving away the book Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting. If you live outside the continental US, I'll instead send you a 25$ card to amazon to use however you wish. Congratulations to all the winners we've had so far! Do not forget to post here! If you win, I'll need to have an E-Mail address to contact you for either your address to mail the book or with what country you're in to E-Mail you the gift card. Good luck to you all and have a happy New Year!

Let's talk about some New Years resolutions? I've had a few this year.

Build a presentation and get it ready for my local SQL Users Group.

I have a presentation I plan on doing over Fill Factor and some of the Pros and Cons about it. There is a demo component, but it will stay out of the 300 level realm. This is more for generalization and concept understanding of something people far too often change hoping it fixes something it won't.

Start blogging and trying to speak in a public setting.

I will have over 40 posts this year. That's good considering I started really blogging in November. I have proven to myself that I can write. This coming year I plan on increasing the quality of what I write.

Start getting more involved in my SQL community.

I was made a Vice President at my local User Group recently. I've either been involved as a volunteer or helped setup the last 3 years of SQL Saturdays here in OKC. Each year we find new things that are troublesome, but I've yet had an experience bad enough to ever compare to all the good we get from the event.

Try and give something back.

With the help of Pluralsight, I've been able to give away 4 months of free training. The best part was, I didn't ask them for that. I asked to purchase the cards to give away. I think that's a good sign for our community.

Better my T-SQL skills.

I'm rather happy of how far my coding has come... that is until I look at my normal blog posts of the day. I have a lot to work on here still, but It's nice to see improvement anyways.

Get back into training more.

I broke down and got the year subscription to PluralSight during the black Friday sale they had. I am buying the pass 2013 summit videos as well soon. Now if only I had more time to actually watch them.

What are some of your New Years resolutions? What ones did you complete?


Christmas Day Winner and RDC Clients: Day 13

Finally we'll see who won the final training prize! The winner is Komal! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! The free book post is going up Dec 30th and the free book winner will be announced New Years day! As always, I will need an E-Mail to do the drawing and you will need to give me your shipping address if you win. For anyone who lives outside of continental US, you're welcome to keep your name in the hat for the final prize this month. I will be sending a 25$ Amazon gift card in place of the book due to high shipping costs.

Server Access Anywhere!

There was a post recently about remote connections from phones. That got me thinking. I tend to keep a stronger set of RDC type tools than most people do. I like toys, I think that's the simple answer. The long one is that I like the convenience of being at my Sisters watching a movie with all our families and fixing the server without driving in. This will be a short list today.

Remote connections

You can get these a couple of ways. The free ways is to be aware of the fast food places around. Other places have internet for free... but we all know where the McDonald's is. The places I've seen around here that have free internet would be as follows; Denny's, IHoP, Starbucks, McDonald's, Library, Panera Bread, Steak n' Shake, Taco Bell, A & W, and a number of other places.

The one's I'm familiar with that are more portable but not free would be Wireless Hot Spots and just getting a wireless tether app on your phone.

Remote Programs

What to use to get in? The main two I'm familiar with are LogMeIn and Splashtop. There's also the normal Remote Desktop Connection, but most of those require a VPN for work and I haven't found a good VPN for a phone yet. I normally log in to my home desktop through splashtop and remote my server if it's just starting a job. If I need to do a bit more work, I tend to lean towards LogMeIn and break out the tablet.

This is just a small list of what I use to make my life easier. I hope it makes your life easier as well.


Can Your Database Survive A Bus? Final Training Giveaway!: Day 11

This is the final training give away  for a free month of Pluralsight! A comment on this post gets your name in the hat. The only rule is that you have an E-Mail address for me to mail the winner. Next week is the final giveaway this month in the form of this awesome book. I'll ship it for free to anywhere in the continental US. If you live outside of the US, I'll send you a code for 25$ at Amazon instead. Good luck to the winner!

Can You Survive A Bus?

Odd Title I know. Let's talk about the bus theory. You my good Sir (and Ma'am) hold the keys to the kingdom. You have a locked down fist protecting the companies data and helped keep everyone gainfully employed. That's right, stand back and give yourself a round of applause!

Now let's take the bus theory for a ride. You're out and about and BAM! Cross town 2:30 nails you.  With you gone, who keeps the kingdom afloat? Do you have a Jr in place with good documentation to fix that job that breaks every third Friday when the moon is full? Do you have a break the glass password stored somewhere in case of such an emergency? How are you contingency plans looking?

Let's address the cheapest ones first.

Break-The-Glass Passwords

This one is good for protection as well as showing the company you're rational and responsible. You need to get a small envelope and put an account name and password in it sealed. Give it to your CIO or anyone with a safe in their office you trust. For your own sanity, put a trigger on that login name that sends you an email if it's ever used. Now if you get hit by a bus, the world for your company doesn't end. If someone opens it and logs in, you know who to point at for something breaking.


If something breaks out of the normal google searches... Help yourself out by writing down what to do. Document odd hot fixes or code changes. If you ever get the funds to hire a second DBA or bring that SA over who's been interested... Documentation may make training easier as well. If you have a big red button you don't want pushed, it's best to hang a sign on it.

Contingency Plans

If the world comes crashing down now, can you fix it? Of course you can. Can your network admin? Maybe... but let's improve those odds.This ties in with a Break-The-Glass password as well as good documentation. If we have this all in place we can rest easy and maybe even take a vacation! If the server crashes and they need to reboot the IIS box before they bring up the database... having that information is a lifesaver. Consider it free insurance for your time off.

Hire A Jr. DBA

Now if you're really lucky... you can prove you need a second DBA. This may be a direct hire Sr., A Jr. being brought in, or even Ted from the SA shop. You now have at your disposal an emergency password, full documentation on how to fix the most common issues and a step by step plan. I love sleeping at night, I'm sure you do as well. With a second hand to answer that on-call phone, maybe we can make this dream a reality.


Popular DBCC's And Our Third Winner Of The Month!: Day 8

Winner Announcement!

The third winner of this month is Annapu Reddy Gayathri! I've seen a nice increase of participants so far. I have one more month of Pluralsight to give away then it's on to the book! Dec 30th I will be mailing a book to one lucky winner. Something that just came to my mind... Mailing the book will be for continental US only. I don't want to stop anyone out of country from joining.... If you win and you're from another country I will instead send you a code for 25$ to amazon to purchase what ever you wish.

Popular DBCC Commands!

These are the DBCC commands I catch myself using the most. I'm including the reasons I use them. Do you have any suggestions to throw in here?

DBCC CheckDB - I mainly use it to check for any consistency issues. I prefer to have this running daily, or when  I do my weekly restores to test my backups, I run DBCC CHECKDB on that database. It can let you know of problems that you can fix prior to losing data.

DBCC INPUTBUFFER - Basic use is to show what the last command sent from a specific spid did.Good for tracking down what a blocking query is doing.

DBCC OPENTRAN - This shows what the oldest active transaction is. You can use this to see if you have active transactions or even to see what may be holding replication up between servers.

DBCC FREEPROCCACHE - This removes your plan cache. It's not something I'd advise unless you're isolating a specific issue, but it's good to test query times when you don't want the whole thing reliant on ram. Best on a test box though.

DBCC FREESESSIONCACHE - This flushes the distributed query connection cache.This is another one that I'd advise against using unless you're isolating a specific issue. I use this for testing queries as well.

DBCC FREESYSTEMCACHE - This removes all unused cache entries. SQL does this automatically, but this is the manual version. I like to use this when I'm testing queries. It's nice to at least think I have a clean slate.

DBCC SHRINKFILE - This allows you to shrink database files one by one to either specified sizes or to as much as it will allow. Now now, let me defend myself first. Shrinks are not all bad. They have a good use occasionally! I wouldn't use them daily... but if you're moving a lot of data around and building out partitions, you have a use to shrink the old files. Maybe you ran out of disk space by accident and your logs are huge since the database in full recovery didn't have a place to backup? These are good uses.

DBCC SHRINKDATABASE - This shrinks a database as a whole. Again like with shrink file... there are uses. If you're moving the database to a small test box, you may need the space before you can fit that restore there.

DBCC UPDATEUSAGE - This helps report accurate row counts. My understanding is that this was most useful coming from 2000 to any higher version. It still catches some that aren't listed else where.


User Groups and Winners!: Day 3

Today's winner is! Aadhar Joshi!
Congratulations for winning a free month of PluralSight. I'm E-Mailing you the code right now.

We still have two free months to give away and a great book on the 30th!

Update: Everyone is eligible for the book drawing on the 30th. You can enter your name every Monday for the Pluralsight give away as long as you have not already won one. There are two more Pluralsight codes to give away and the book at the end of the month. Good luck to all who try! Week 1 only had one person competing. Week 2 had six people.

User Groups

There are multiple user groups around the country online and offline. I'm mostly going to concern myself with the offline user groups for a moment. A great place to find them is to go to the SQLPass site.It's a great place for a few reasons.


Who doesn't love free training!? Well... some people I'm sure. But seriously, user groups are fantastic ways to get free training. Depending on what's going on, you can get very involved in the discussions. User group meetings don't have to be boring presentations only. The OKC SQL user group even hosted a Jeopardy style presentation with prizes. Even with the ice on the ground, the turnout was amazing.


I know, you love your job. I've heard you talking about how much you love your boss and all your co-workers. Have they stopped reading? Good. Not all jobs are permanent. I'm not saying quit... I'm saying it's good to know what's around and who's looking. Maybe they need a DBA, but after talking to them you find out they just have a simple problem you can fix over the weekend. Who doesn't like a bit of quick consulting money? If nothing else, building a network will help you when you decide to start looking.

First Time Presentation

So you think you can dance? Well let's not jump to the big stage right away. Here's where you can shine and get some good pier review before you end up on YouTube. These are people who have presented before or just starting out who need to learn. It's a great place to open up some 101 information. You do not need to present internals and talk about MCM level items just to get some light. Let's keep the community strong and get our friends trained. You may know something they don't.

Preparation for SQL Saturdays

Do you want to start becoming a national or even international speaker? User groups are a great way to prepare to speak at a SQL Saturday. They're great to debut a new presentation you want to get out into the world. Do you know who you need to talk to about SQL Saturday? I'm guessing your local user group has some information for you. ^.~


We all love prizes. Most user groups at least have some prizes to give away. Why not go for a free PluralSight card or some books. If they have no prizes... at least you win free training!

Don't have a user group? 

Contact someone in the community to help you set one up! If you're really interested, getting sponsorship is easier than you think. If you need help setting one up, I can try and get you in contact with some good people.


Backups and Giveaways! Day 1

We have 16 days until Christmas. Since I started this blog, I've posted every day Monday through Friday. I am going to make it my goal to post a new update every workday from now until the 25th regarding day to day operations and what's made my life easier. I plan to follow that up with a post every weekday from the 26th to the end of the year regarding things I would like to see done more often either in myself or the community as a whole. I'm going to start off with something more general.

First, contest giveaway!

I have 3 more 1-Month memberships to PluralSight to give away. Any comments on the Monday's post will be reviewed Wednesday night and a winner will be drawn out of a hat all the way until Christmas week. only caveat is that I have to be able to get an E-Mail address from the post. How else can I give you this prize?

On the 30th I'll be giving away a wonderful book called Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting.

I decided to start a blog to help how I could. I figure I can help out a little bit more with some special prizes. Good luck to all!


We all like a little peace of mind. If your database goes down at 2 am and your job is dependent on keeping downtime minimal, how soundly are you sleeping? Personally.. I looove sleep. It's a simple thing to ensure your back up is running. Please do it for your own sake.

Recovery plan

Do you have one written up? I'd get one in line just in case something horrible happens like a squirrel crawling in and chewing on the power lines. I'd get one on the books and if nothing else, you've proven intent. Don't be the guy remembered for killing his whole business just because one server didn't get backups for a month.

Test, Test, Test

I can't express this enough. When's the last time you've tested your backup? Have you tried failing over recently? If so, you'll remember that you had a few bugs. Maybe it was only permissions that didn't come across, maybe the other server didn't power up. What ever the case was, I'd suggest yearly testing of your whole plan, weekly for your backups. If you have a staging server, Test more often if you're bored. It's never a bad idea.


Ideal Working Conditions and Free Training Winner!

Contest Winner!

So last Monday I announced a giveaway that I think is a great gift to give away. Every Monday for the rest of this month prior to Christmas, I'm giving away a 1 Month Plural Sight code.

Congratulations Daniel U! You win the month code. I will E-Mail it to you shortly. If anyone wants to try and win next Monday's code, feel free to join in! I'd like to actually need the hat to decide.

Originally I only had a single 1-Week code and asked Plural Sight for a price to buy 3 more... They decided to hop on the Christmas spirit and give me 4 1 Month codes for free. Because of this, I'm giving away the book 'Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting' by Christian Bolton, Rob Farley, Glenn Berry, Justin Langford, Gavin Payne and Amit Banerjee. This is a book I've been personally wanting, but I decided to give you all a copy before I purchase my own. Since the codes were free, I've used that money for this book.

This time, the list of people to choose from is shallow. You don't have to leave a useful comment, just a comment that can link to an E-Mail! Ok, that horse is dead... Moving on!

Ideal Working Conditions

What do you consider an ideal work environment? Are you a single monitor closed environment... or do you thrive with fires and screaming in a cube farm with TV style displays?

My personal preference at home is 3 monitors, 1 for websites/blog, 1 for either other websites or my Virtual labs, and the other for some YouTube / Pandora / Training videos. A little Capella never hurt anyone. Well, that's what some say.

At work it's a completely different story. I prefer having 2 monitors.... Email/websites/BIDS on one, SSMS/Remote Desktop/any IM apps on the other. Oh and a cell phone with some Pandora. I think I'm addicted.

I doubt everyone feels this way... but having some music helps me work a lot easier. 

Now we're past the work place setup some.... how about schedules? nine to fives don't really exist any more. I'm really lucky where I am to have an 830-1700 M/F with swapping on-calls... but what if you could have any schedule you want? Let's do a bit of dreaming.

I think four tens are perfect for any multiple DBA shop. Think about it. I'm sure most people would even consider trading this for their next raise. Three days off every week!? Epic.

1) You save money on driving  and going out to eat. (we all do it, even you.)
2) You save wear and tear on the car.
3) You get more time with your family! (This can go either way ^.~)
4) I'd call in sick less
5) Take less time off for appointments
5.5) Even a bad week is only 4 days long. 
6) Retention would be so much easier, who quits a job you work 4 days a week at!?

I'll even meet in the middle. Let's compromise. I'll telework one day and you get the same hours from me... and we're all happier.

Now for a little disclaimer. I love my job. I love what I do. This is easily the best job I've ever had and I get to work with some smart people. I love going to work and not hating the drive there thinking of who I get to deal with next. Even our management is easy to talk too. We're only talking about what we'd consider 'ideal'.



Index Rebuild Status Update And Giveaway!: Quick Tips

I have a Free 1-Month code to PluralSight. There's no catch or gimmick, If your comment is in this post, I'll write your name down and draw it out of a hat and E-Mail you the code. If I can get my hands on a few more, my goal is to give one away every week until the new year. I will give the code away on the Wednesday of each week. (Or at least the first week if I cannot get my hands on any other codes)

Update: PluralSight has decided to give me four 1-Month PluralSight codes! Thank you Plural Sight! I am giving away one each Monday until Christmas! To bring in the new year, I'll be giving away Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting by Christian Bolton thanks to PluralSight giving these codes out for free.

A quick note, this only works with Online index rebuilds and if you are only rebuilding one index at a time. If you run this script, you will see a percent as long as you run it in the database that you're reindexing. The reason I put this together is that I wanted some way of knowing how far along I was when I was rebuilding a large table. I know there are bigger databases around, but if you're rebuilding a 1.4TB table, It's nice to know if you are 2% done or 97% done before going out for dinner.

I have a second script that has the same requirements but will give an estimate of the time of completion. As noted by a few other people that have looked at it... This one is a bit more experimental.

I'm asking for your help to give me some feed back on it. (This will help get your comment in for the free training too!) Please test this script and let me know if it's within 10-15% of it's estimate. I'm going to go ahead and state that it may be closer to Microsoft Minutes. I've found it to be within 10% accurate on my system... but it needs testing.

Thanks for all your help so far!

Note: The first one is accurate, but the second one may vary. Let me know what you find related to these estimates.

Note 2: This is not a product placement or sale. This is purely something I wanted to organize because of the sheer kindness and help I received first stepping in to the DBA world.