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  • SQL File Layout Viewer 1.2

    Just ahead of presenting it at SQL Saturday in my home town of Minneapolis / Saint Paul, I’m happy to release an updated version of the SQL Server File Layout Viewer. This is a utility I released back in March for inspecting the arrangement of data pages in SQL Server files. If you will be in Minneapolis this Saturday (space permitting), please ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on October 9, 2013
  • File Layout Viewer vs. Drop Clustered Index

    I had a very educational exchange the other day on Twitter (also known as “getting schooled”) by my SQL compatriots Argenis Fernandez (@DBArgenis) and Hugo Kornelis (@Hugo_Kornelis). A guy called Chris Switalski (@crswit) asked a really interesting question on #sqlhelp, which I proceeded to answer incorrectly, which led to a correction by my ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on June 3, 2013
  • Public Release, SQL Server File Layout Viewer

    Version 1.0 is Now Available! Edit 9 October 2013: A new version is out! Please download 1.2 from here.  I’ve been working off and on, as my real job permits, on this visualization tool for SQL Server data files. This is an educational or exploratory tool where you can more readily see how the individual data pages in MDF/NDF files are ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on March 1, 2013
  • Visualizing Data File Layout III

    This is part three of a blog series illustrating a method to render the file structure of a SQL Server database into a graphic visualization. Previous Installments: Part 1 Part 2 Those that have been reading this series might be be thinking, “Is he going to go there?” Well, the answer is “Yes.” This is the GUID clustered index post that had to ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on January 29, 2013
  • Visualizing Data File Layout II

    Part 2 of a blog series visually demonstrating the layout of objects on data pages in SQL Server Part 1 In Part 1 of this series, I introduced a little demo app that renders the layout of pages in SQL Server files by object. Today I’ll put that app through its paces to show, in vivid color (well, teal, anyway) the destructive power of the famous ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on January 23, 2013
  • Visualizing Data File Layout I

    Part 1 of a blog series visually demonstrating the layout of objects on data pages in SQL Server Some years ago a gentleman called Danny Gould created a free tool called Internals Viewer for SQL Server. I’m a visual sort of guy, and I always thought it would be fun and educational to make a simple visualizer, like the one he created, in order to ...
    Posted to Merrill Aldrich (Weblog) by merrillaldrich on January 22, 2013
  • Geek City: More About Nonclustered Index Keys

    I thought I had said almost all that could be said about nonclustered index keys in a post made almost exactly two years ago, on March 16, 2008.  But there's more. To get all the benefit from today's post, you'll really have to read that one, but I'll synthesize the crucial details here. Every index needs to be unique, in some way or ...
    Posted to Kalen Delaney (Weblog) by Kalen Delaney on March 7, 2010
  • Geek City: Space Used By Worktables

    Today, a reader asked me the following: ''How can I find the amount of space occupied by a worktable?. Using SET STATISTICS IO ON, I can only see the number of reads using the worktable, not the amount of space taken.'' What is a worktable? I always like to think of it as a temp table that SQL Server builds without being asked. While ...
    Posted to Kalen Delaney (Weblog) by Kalen Delaney on November 26, 2008
  • Brains still matter - silly SSD notions

    Everytime a good product comes out, people seem to contrive bad ideas for what can be replaced, usually brains, or people with brains, or that people lacking brains can accomplish something on their own. Let me put it simply. Suppose one had a query that uses a nonclustered index, and required a key lookup, and the key lookup required a disk ...
    Posted to Joe Chang (Weblog) by jchang on September 8, 2008
  • IO Cost Structure – Anticipating SSD arrays

    An observant person has probably noticed that SQL queries requiring disk reads not only have longer duration but also higher CPU times. It is not hard then to deduce that disk access (for both HDD and SSD), which involves the OS performing an IO call, the SQL Server process finding a place in the buffer cache for the data pages, and possibly ...
    Posted to Joe Chang (Weblog) by jchang on September 4, 2008
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