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  • Backup those keys, citizen

    Periodically I back up the keys within my servers and databases, and when I do, I blog a reminder here. This should be part of your standard backup rotation – the keys should be backed up often enough to have at hand and again when they change. The first key you need to back up is the Service Master Key, which each Instance already has built-in. ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on April 20, 2010
  • PowerShell PowerPack Download

    I read Jeffery Hicks’ article in this month’s Redmond Magazine on a new add-in for Windows PowerShell 2.0. It’s called the PowerShell Pack and it has a some great new features that I plan to put into place on my production systems as soon as I finished learning and testing them. You can download the pack here if you have PowerShell 2.0. I’m ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on April 7, 2010
  • Process Improvement and the Data Professional

    Don’t be afraid of that title – I’m not talking about Six Sigma or anything super-formal here. In many organizations, there are more folks in other IT roles than in the Data Professional area. In other words, there are more developers, system administrators and so on than there are the “DBA” role. That means we often have more to do than the ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on April 6, 2010
  • Backup Meta-Data

    I'm working on a PowerShell script to show me the trending durations of my backup activities. The first thing I need is the data, so I looked at the Standard Reports in SQL Server Management Studio, and found a report that suited my needs, so I pulled out the script that it runs and modified it to this T-SQL Script. A few words here - you need ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 30, 2010
  • Open the SQL Server Error Log with PowerShell

    Using the Server Management Objects (SMO) library, you don’t even need to have the SQL Server 2008 PowerShell Provider to read the SQL Server Error Logs – in fact, you can use regular old everyday PowerShell. Keep in mind you will need the SMO libraries – which can be installed separately or by installing the Client Tools from the SQL Server ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 29, 2010
  • What to leave when you're leaving

    There's already a post on this topic - sort of. I read this entry, where the author did a good job on a few steps, but I found that a few other tips might be useful, so if you want to check that one out and then this post, you might be able to put together your own plan for when you leave your job.  I once took over the system ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 15, 2010
  • System Variables, Stored Procedures or Functions for Meta Data

    Whenever you want to know something about SQL Server’s configuration, whether that’s the Instance itself or a database, you have a few options. If you want to know “dynamic” data, such as how much memory or CPU is consumed or what a particular query is doing, you should be using the Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) that you can read about here: ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 11, 2010
  • Have you backed up your keys lately?

    Did you know that you already have a Server Master Key (SMK) generated for your system? That’s right – while a Database Master Key (DMK) is generated when you encrypt a certificate or Asymmetric Key with code, the Server Master Key is generated automatically when you start the Instance. So you should back all of those keys up periodically, and ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 1, 2010
  • Lessons from Volunteering

    Saturday I volunteered at a work-day at our church. Our building is one of the first buildings built in this area of Washington, so it’s a beautiful old structure, which of course means there’s lots of maintenance. I’m fairly decent with tools, I’ve done some woodworking in my day, and I’ve even rebuilt a car or two. But working on a structure ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on February 23, 2010
  • How Does Microsoft Do IT?

    Microsoft is a big company – and of course we have a lot of IT infrastructure that we have to manage. It might surprise you to learn that we have an IT group, just like at your company. We have a networking team, a server hardware team, software teams, DBA’s, the whole bit. In fact, we have more Mac computers than just about anyone (other than ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on February 3, 2010
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