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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
  • Cluster Nodes as RAID Drives

    I'm unable to sleep tonight so I thought I would push this post out VERY early. When you don't sleep your mind takes interesting turns, which can be a good thing. I was watching a briefing today by a couple of friends as they were talking about various ways to arrange a Windows Server Cluster for SQL Server. I often see an ''active'' node ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 25, 2010
  • Using linked servers, OPENROWSET and OPENQUERY

    SQL Server has a few mechanisms to reach out to another server (even another server type) and query data from within a Transact-SQL statement. Among them are a set of stored credentials and information (called a Linked Server), a statement that uses a linked server called called OPENQUERY, another called OPENROWSET, and one called OPENDATASOURCE. ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 16, 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
  • Plan and Prepare or Just Do It? How about Both!

    I'm kind of a type ''A'' person. OK, I'm a VERY type ''A'' person. I even cook by setting things up ahead of time. I'm definitely more in the ''Plan and Prepare'' camp than the ''Just Do It'' camp. But I do realize that there are times when you just can't stop and prepare. Sure, it would be great to know that server is going to melt down just ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on January 7, 2010
  • SQL Server Chargeback Strategies

    It seems the more things change the more they stay the same. One of the things I used to create on the mainframe system when I started years ago was a “charge-back” system.  It tracked the time and resources used by the employees so that we could charge their department money for the time they spent on the (very expensive) mainframe. When ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on December 29, 2009
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