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Author Archives: Ayman El-Ghazali

About Ayman El-Ghazali

SQL Server DBA and Developer (www.thesqlpro.com) Email: info[at]thesqlpro.com

Only one month left! Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

Only one month left! Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

The SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando is between November 18-22, 2013. There is a discount code provided for those who register using the discount code on my website.

The Agenda includes many great topics of interest for both Developers and DBAs:

SQL Server Administration & Maintenance
SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization
SQL Server Features & Components
SQL Server Tools, Tricks, and Techniques
BI, Big Data and Data Visualization
SQL Server for the Developer
SQL Server in the Cloud

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SQL Live 360 Competition Winner and Answers!

SQL Live 360 Competition Winner and Answers!

About a month ago I started a competition (hosted by the event organizers) to give away a free pass to the SQL Live 360 Conference in Orlando. You can still get a $500 discount by registering through this link by the way.

Now it is time to announce the winner and give some feedback about the winning answers to the questions.

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Other

 

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Slides for SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter

Slides for SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter

For those of you that attended yesterday and are interested in the slides, you can download them here.

Thanks!
Topic:
SQL Server Internals Party: Storage, Memory and the Query Life-cycle

Abstract:
Come meet the Internals of SQL Server at this special get-together! In this presentation we will cover the basics of data storage and querying with SQL Server. We will cover how data is stored in pages and extents and how that translates to data reads/writes with the storage system. Additionally, we will explore how different queries are processed by SQL Server and how the query life cycle works in general. Finally we will cover disk storage and memory and tie it all together. This session is intended to be broad and to give a general overview of how a query is processed in SQL Server and how storage and memory play a part in that. Everyone is invited to this introductory level presentation and should be appealing to DBAs, DB & BI Developers and System Administrators. Party hats not included, rated G for Geeks.

 

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Social Engineering: How to prevent unauthorized access to SQL Server using SQL Logins

Social Engineering: How to prevent unauthorized access to SQL Server using SQL Logins

People are always concerned about Security when it comes to their data.  I don’t blame them, I love keeping my job and I love to protect the sensitive data we store. You also don’t want someone with little SQL skills going in and running huge queries that bring the server to a screeching halt. In all honesty though, security has a HUGE aspect that is outside the realm of anyone’s technical expertise, it’s the “social factor” of security that is tricky.

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SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter October 10, 2013

SQL Server Internals Presentation with PASS DC Chapter October 10, 2013

If you’re in the DC/Baltimore area, or just feel like coming to DC to learn about SQL Server, please join me for my presentation on SQL Server Internals. The date is Thursday October 10, 2013 at 6:30PM at the Microsoft Building in Chevy Chase. For more details please visit http://passdc.sqlpass.org/
Topic:
SQL Server Internals Party: Storage, Memory and the Query Life-cycle

Abstract:
Come meet the Internals of SQL Server at this special get-together! In this presentation we will cover the basics of data storage and querying with SQL Server. We will cover how data is stored in pages and extents and how that translates to data reads/writes with the storage system. Additionally, we will explore how different queries are processed by SQL Server and how the query life cycle works in general. Finally we will cover disk storage and memory and tie it all together. This session is intended to be broad and to give a general overview of how a query is processed in SQL Server and how storage and memory play a part in that. Everyone is invited to this introductory level presentation and should be appealing to DBAs, DB & BI Developers and System Administrators. Party hats not included, rated G for Geeks.

Date/Time: October 10, 2013 @ 6:30PM

Location:
Microsoft Technology Center
5404 Wisconsin Ave. Ste. 700
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

 

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Free Conference Pass to SQL Server Live! in Orlando

Free Conference Pass to SQL Server Live! in Orlando

Want a free pass to the SQL Server Live! conference in Orlando this year? Look no further, here is your chance to win a free pass to the conference. Of course, you first have to answer a few questions to be considered!

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Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

Register for the SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando Through TheSQLPro.com and Receive a $500 Discount

The SQL Server Live! Conference in Orlando is between November 18-22, 2013. There is a discount code provided for those who register using the discount code on my website.

The Agenda includes many great topics of interest for both Developers and DBAs:

SQL Server Administration & Maintenance
SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization
SQL Server Features & Components
SQL Server Tools, Tricks, and Techniques
BI, Big Data and Data Visualization
SQL Server for the Developer
SQL Server in the Cloud

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Spend some quality time with your Database using Database Snapshots for testing

Spend some quality time with your Database using Database Snapshots for testing

First let’s get things straight, this post is not an encouragement for anyone to spend more time with his/her Database or with Database Snapshots for that matter. If you’re married to your Database, that’s a different story all together and I don’t think I could help you. As database professionals we are always looking to improve the quality of our code and data.  This post is intended to show an easy way to use Database Snapshots in order to  test new code or change data and revert changes back quickly and easily.

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New Logo and Media Partnership with SQL Server Live! 360

New Logo and Media Partnership with SQL Server Live! 360

Just recently I signed up to be a Media Partner and help spread the word about this great conference SQL Server Live! 360. It is simple, I help spread the word on their conference, and they spread the word about my website I don’t work for them they don’t pay me 🙂 Later this month I will be posting a code to give prospective conference goers a $500 discount. In September, I will hold a small competition and one randomly selected winner will get a free pass to the conference!

So check out my logos and check out the conference and let me know what you think.  Special thanks to my work colleague and long time iPhone Enemy Michael Myrick for creating the logos.

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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Other

 

Indexing Fundamentals Presentation – Pending Questions Answered

Indexing Fundamentals Presentation – Pending Questions Answered

On July 10th 2013, I gave a presentation with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) DBA Fundamentals Virtual Chapter. The topic was Indexing Fundamentals and there were some questions that we did not have time to answer. I have combined similar questions and given one answer to cover the specific topic.

If you missed the presentation, you can click HERE to see the recording.

Abstract:
Indexing is an integral part of SQL Performance and Architecture. In this presentation we will cover the basics of Clustered and Non-Clustered Index structure and function. Additionally, we will discuss the B-Tree structure, index density (fill factor), page splits, and performance considerations. Finally, there will be a brief discussion of index maintenance.

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Indexing Fundamentals Presentation

Indexing Fundamentals Presentation

**This Session has been rescheduled for July 10th @ Noon EST (16:00 UTC)**

On July 10th 2013 @ Noon EST (16:00 UTC) I will be giving a presentation with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) DBA Fundamentals Virtual Chapter. Entrance is free as always and details can be found at http://fundamentals.sqlpass.org.

Code, Slides, and other information about the presentation will be under the Presentations section of this site afterward. Hope to see you there!

Abstract: Indexing is an integral part of SQL Performance and Architecture. In this presentation we will cover the basics of Clustered and Non-Clustered Index structure and function. Additionally, we will discuss the B-Tree structure, index density (fill factor), page splits, and performance considerations. Finally, there will be a brief discussion of index maintenance.

 

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SQL Server Management Studio Rainbow Edition

SQL Server Management Studio Rainbow Edition

Ever wanted to know the reason behind the Database color scheme in SQL Server Management Studio?

I have always wondered why all the Databases in management studio were Yellow (Online), Grey (Read-Only), Lighter Yellow with text next to it (something like Restoring), or Yellow with a Red Icon (Offline). Have you ever wondered why there aren’t any more useful colors like Red for when a Transaction Log is Full or Purple when your Statistics are Outdated. I have a theory on this that I have entitled “The Theory that you have to actually work to call yourself a DBA.”

colorful databases

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How to Avoid a Database “Heart Attack”

How to Avoid a Database “Heart Attack”

For the past couple of months I have been working with Ben Weiss a Digital Marketing Strategist at Infusive Solutions (http://www.infusivesolutions.com/). Our partnership was based on a mutual understanding that there is much needed career growth and guidance among IT Professionals. Since my background is primarily with Database Management Systems I have been helping him with writing articles, guides, and even interview questions for top professionals in the field, all for the purpose of furthering the careers of IT professionals.

Our latest project is a Lessons Learned pamphlet based on several articles I wrote about a year ago after attending open heart surgery (as an observer, not a patient). Here is the link to the final product, I hope you enjoy and benefit from it.

Here is a link to a summary of the project
http://www.infusivesolutions.com/blog/bid/98928/3-Ways-Business-Observation-Catalyzes-SQL-Server-DBA-Job-Growth

 

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Email Response: SQL Server 2012 Planning and Architecture

Email Response: SQL Server 2012 Planning and Architecture

I received an email from a connection on LinkedIn seeking some advice for architecture on a new reporting system. Although I don’t know the gentleman personally, he is a SQL Server professional and I felt obliged to help out a fellow colleague in the field. The email is included below and my suggested solutions following it.

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Estimate Table Size based on the Metadata from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS

Estimate Table Size based on the Metadata from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS

A problem I face often is not knowing the size of a new table that I’m creating. I put some basic code together that pulls the column information from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS and with some basic math gets the approximate size of the table based on the estimated number of rows.

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Free SQL Server 2012 Installation Guide

Free SQL Server 2012 Installation Guide

Everyone’s favorite four letter word is back, FREE! Yes, it is time I gave back to the community since I’ve been mooching off them them for so long. I’ve put together a short Installation Guide for those interested in getting their feet wet with SQL Server. I’m trying to encourage those that have no experience to get a little curious and try to install SQL Server and play with it.  Maybe afterward you can even try to set up your own Clustered SQL Server Virtual Lab with Hyper-V. Just trying to rub off some of the enthusiasm and passion, did it work?

Anyway you can view the guide Here on Google Docs or Download it Here as PDF. It is just a first draft, so please feel free to add your suggestions or point out mistakes and I will try to fix it ASAP.

You can also read it right off of this page… check it out by clicking “Read the rest of this entry”

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SQL Server 2012 Virtual Lab with Clustering using Hyper-V

SQL Server 2012 Virtual Lab with Clustering using Hyper-V

After having a great opportunity to attend a Beta course for Hyper-V with Windows 2012 at Learning Tree, I decided to finally do what I have been planning to do for a while; build a fully working SQL Server Clustered Virtual Lab.

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SQL Agent and the case of the missing job owner…

SQL Agent and the case of the missing job owner…

One fine morning as I’m sitting at my desk doing my work I review some emails about cleaning out some old data from a table that stored webpage session information. I’m given hints about first checking out a job that supposedly purges the data automatically. With my first clue, the wheels were turning on this investigation. To my astonishment, I would fine something terrifying… almost unspeakable…

It was a SQL Server job with no owner!

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Database Administration

 

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SQL Server Backup and Recovery Fundamentals Presentation

SQL Server Backup and Recovery Fundamentals Presentation

SQL Server Backup and Recovery Fundamentals – February 5th, 2013

A copy of the recording is available here. Code and slides are under the Presentations section of this website.

Correction:Compression on Backups is available on the Standard Edition of SQL 2008R2 and SQL 2012 but not SQL 2008. Thanks to Mark Harrison for pointing that out to me.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/datacenter/configure-compressed-backups-with-sql-server-2008-r2-standard-edition/2788

 

 

 

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Show Off Your SQL Server Spirit With Community Badges

Show Off Your SQL Server Spirit With Community Badges

Microsoft’s official SQL Server blog put out some cool SQL Server badges. Check them out, put them on your blog, facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter or whatever. Warning, identifying yourself as a geek might have negative consequences… you have been warned!!

Click here to see site

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Other

 
 
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