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Andrew Kelly

  • SQL Server Backup Simulator

    The SQL Server support team just announced the release of a backup simulator. Many 3rd party utilities that do backup like IBM Tivoli, Symantec BackupExec, Quest Litespeed, Redgate SQL Backup etc. use the sqlvdi.dll to communicate to SQL Server and this allows you to simulate that activity. So if you want to test how your system reacts or more importantly need to troubleshoot issues associated with this activity or dll this is the answer. Have a look:  Backup Simulator

    Andrew J. Kelly

    Solid Quality Mentors

  • Speaking at SQL Saturday #48


    The schedule for SQL Saturday #48 is now up at .  There will be a bunch of good speakers and sessions in Columbia, SC. on October 2nd 2010 so check it out.

  • Speaking in Raleigh NC for SQL Saturday #46


    I hope to see a bunch of you in Raleigh on the 18th of September for SQL Saturday #46. I will be giving a presentation on Query Plan Reuse but there will be tons of good sessions from lots of great speakers. Check it out here:


  • MySQL Migration Assistant Now Available


    Microsoft just announced the availability of a utility to allow you to migrate from MySQL to SQL Server. I know I have been asked about this for some time so there should be some happy people out there :). More details can be found here:

                                          MySQL Utility

    Happy migrations.

    Andrew J. Kelly

  • Clustering Utility Made Available by Microsoft


    The CSS team just made me aware of a new utility for cluster’s called the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. I don’t want to just repeat what has already been said so go ahead and have a look here for the details:

  • Updates for Some 2008 Tools

    There have been a few releases over the last few days for some SQL Server 2008 tools that you may be interested in. The first one is the 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer found here:

    And the second one is the 2008 R2 update for the developers training kit found here:

    Have fun,

    Andrew J. Kelly

  • Speaking in Raleigh NC June 15th

    Just a heads up to those in the area that I will be speaking at the (TriPASS) Raleigh SQL Server user group on the 15th of June 2010. The topic is Storage & I/O Best Practices. The abstract is listed below:

    SQL Server relies heavily on a well configured storage sub-system to perform at its peak but unfortunately this is one of the most neglected or mis-configured areas of a SQL Server instance. Here we will focus on the best practices related to how SQL Server works with the underlying storage subsystem and what you can do to maximize the relationship between the two.  The core topics will include discussions on SANs vs. Direct Attached storage, Raid Groups, Caching, Types of I/O, Number of Files & their placement and more. 

    I am looking forward to seeing you there.

    Andrew J. Kelly

  • Free Online Performance Tuning Event

    On June 29th 2010 I will be showing several sessions related to performance tuning for SQL Server and they are the best kind because they are free :).  So mark your calendars. Here is the event info and URL:

    June 29, 2010 - 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Eastern

    SQL Server is the platform for business. In this day-long free virtual event, well-known SQL Server performance expert Andrew Kelly will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to stay on top of three key areas related to peak performance in SQL Server. You'll gain a better understanding of which bottlenecks might be affecting your system, along with the knowledge of how to address them once you find them. Together, these three sessions will give you a solid basis from which to start tackling the performance bottlenecks in SQL Server.

    Register Here

    Hope to see you all there.

    Andrew J. Kelly

    Solid Quality Mentors

  • Also Speaking at SQL Saturday #33


    It appears that the SQL Saturday in Charlotte NC on March 6th will be a real whopper of an event. There are going to be a ton of speakers with many of them MVP’s from all over the country. I have two sessions with one on File & Wait stats and another on Plan reuse. If you are in the area that day I highly recommend you register and stop by. The below link has details of the event.

    Hope to see you there.

  • What 3 events Brought Me Here


    I am a few weeks late getting to this but here we go. Paul Randal tagged a few people including me with this challenge to state what 3 events got us to where we are today. Here is my story:

    Event 1

    I suppose the first event was when I decided to join the United States Marine Corps almost a full year before I graduated high school. I wanted to get into electronics and I wasn’t properly prepared for college so I decided to get my education in the military. I graduated top in my all my classes and was able to choose my final school which was one of the only component level technical tracks in the Marines. This is where I got my initial interest in so called personal computers. The first one I owned was a TI-99 which had a whopping 4K of memory and used a cassette recorder for the hard drive. I slowly migrated to newer, faster, better computers etc. over the years since then but this was my start in my technical and professional career.

    Event 2

    While electronics was my bill paying career I started to learn various forms of programming languages on both Unix and Windows platforms and mostly related to databases. It was mostly a hobby and pretty much everything I learned about programming to that point was self taught with non paying or personal projects but the fascination grew more each day.  When MS released Visual FoxPro 3.0 I started to really get into that tool. I was actually hooked on it and got pretty proficient at it as well. I was becoming less and less satisfied with my current job and the fact that I had to constantly atone to customers for features promised to customers that we had yet to develop. I saw this as an opportunity to venture into consulting doing something I loved such as programming and still have some control over which projects I worked on and promises made. Eventually the projects required a more enterprise level database and that led me to SQL Server.

    Event 3

    The final event that really shaped my career was when I became a Microsoft SQL Server MVP back in 2001. The direct access to the SQL development team and the inside access surrounding the next versions of the product was simply invaluable in my growth of the knowledge related to SQL Server. With this insight I was able to perform my duties as a SQL Server performance and scalability consultant with confidence and skills that may not have been gained as quickly without it. Sometimes we just need to take advantage of breaks such as these to get the most out of your situation. I believe this was instrumental in getting me to where I am today.

  • SQL 2008 R2 Enhancement


    The additions or changes in SQL Server 2008 R2 are mostly BI related but there is one I just became aware of that serves a more general purpose but at the same time is fundamental in how the storage engine works related to locking.  I won’t rehash (pun intended) what Sunil Agarwal wrote in the below listed blog but in a nut shell they rewrote how the hashing algorithm for calculating lock values and got rid of almost all the potential collisions. While this is one of those features that most people will never hear about we should give Kudos to the team for improving such a fundamental part of the engine.

  • Speaking at the Columbia SC Code Camp


    Just an FYI that I will be presenting at the Columbia South Carolina code camp this Saturday the 30th of January along with several other MVP’s and featured speakers. I will have two sessions:

    Maximizing Plan Re-use in SQL Server

    Storage and I/O Best Practices for SQL

    I hope if you are in the area you take advantage of the free training and the networking. It all starts at 8:00AM so hope to see you there.

  • My Greatest Weakness


    I was just called out (see here) to blog about this topic by a good friend Mike Walsh who’s twitter name is @mike_walsh and it has been a long time since I blogged so here goes. First off lets be realistic and recognize that we as humans all have flaws and weaknesses and each of us places them into higher of lower categories if you will based on our own priorities in life. Since this is essentially a technical blog I will stick to that category and spare all of you the other boring details:). 

    Technically I think my greatest weakness is part of what I am doing at this moment and that is documentation in some fashion or another whether that is a blog entry or a formal report for a client. It’s the act of transferring my thoughts to paper (or digital form) that gives me the most trouble. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t want to do this or even that i don’t know what to say. In reality I think that is part of the problem. I have all these thoughts and ideas in my head but when I attempt to put them in writing they don’t always come out like I envision in my head. I feel there are two parts to why this is. One is that I always seem to be thinking too steps ahead of where I am in the writing process and it is hard for me to stay on track. The other is that I am a bit of a perfectionist and it seldom seems good enough for me. 

    OK I know this will sound a bit egotistical but the fact is I know I am good at what I do and that I have a lot of knowledge locked up inside my head. I just can’t seem to transfer it the way I would like in writing all the time. If I could simply have the luxury of speaking what is on my mind direct to the recipients I would be all set. And as a close friend of mine says that a Vulcan Mind Meld would go a long way:).  I don’t think most people can comprehend how excruciating of a process this is and even limiting in some ways for me. For instance this very fact is what has kept me from writing my own book or even chapters in others. Many of you probably have seen my somewhat regular articles in SQL Server Magazine over the last few years and say well there is proof this isn’t the case. Well let me tell you, each article is a slow and painful process for me. But I have used them as a stepping stone towards working out this weakness in my life. Maybe this isn’t a weakness that I should be pointing out as a consultant but I always strive to be honest and straight forward when I write my reports to the clients so why stop here. I want to thank Mike and all the fellow Tweeters that have recently encouraged me to open up on this and to let them know that they will all get theirs in due time :).

  • [OT] – Cool Spider

    I was out cutting the grass this morning and almost ran right into this web with this Banana spider in it. As I was taking some pictures a small grasshopper got stuck in the web and the spider immediately jumped into action wrapping it up and I assume biting it as well. It then went right back to where it was before hand and waited for its meal to ripen. I thought it was pretty cool and hopefully you will as well.


            Spider at rest


      Pouncing on prey

  • Speaking in Columbia South Carolina

    I know this is late notice but I will speaking at the PASS chapter in Columbia South Carolina tomorrow night (August 11th) on Maximizing Plan Reuse. So if you are in the area please stop by and say hello.  More details and directions found here:

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