Nominations are Open for the Fourth Annual Exceptional DBA Awards

image, along with Red Gate Software, are glad to announce that nominations for the fourth annual Exceptional DBA Awards are now open. Four years ago, the award was established to help bring about more awareness regarding the importance of the DBA role among the IT community. So far, three DBAs have won the award, and you or a co-worker could be the winner this year if you enter.

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Introducing Kalen Delaney’s SQL Server Stairways Tutorial Series

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a new link on for a new series of tutorial articles called Kalen Delaney’s SQL Server Stairways. This series, edited by Kalen Delaney, brings together a large number of top SQL Server writers to introduce a wide variety of SQL Server topics. Some of the current Stairway Tutorials include:

  • Stairway to Database Design by Joe Celko
  • Stairway to Integration Services by Andy Leonard
  • Stairway to MDX by Bill Pearson
  • Stairway to Server-Side Tracing by Dan Guzman
  • Stairway to SQL Server Agent by Richard Waymire
  • Stairway to SQL Server Indexes by David Durant
  • Stairway to SQL Server Replication by Sebastian Meine
  • Stairway to SQL Server Reporting Services by Jessica Moss
  • Stairway to StreamInsight by Johan Ahlen

Each Stairway Tutorial is a series of articles that help you build the necessary skills you need to be an exceptional DBA. This is an on-going project, and expect to see additional Stairway Tutorials in the near future.

DBA Tracy Hamlin Wins the 2010 Exceptional DBA of the Year Award

Tracy Hamlin Tracy Hamlin (Twitter) has been voted as the 2010 Exceptional DBA of the Year by the SQL Server community. The annual awards program, hosted by SQL Server Central and sponsored by Red Gate Software, drew the largest number of community votes in its three-year history.

Tracy receives a trophy, full conference registration for the PASS Community Summit 2010 in Seattle, four nights’ accommodations, and $300 in travel expenses. Along with this year’s other finalists – John Burnette of Fidelity Information Services, Jonathan Kehayias of Tampa General Hospital, Ted Krueger of Pharmedium Services, Kevan Riley of Destinology, and Jorge Segarra of University Community Hospital – she receives a copy of Red Gate’s SQL Toolbelt.

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PAL 2.0 Beta Released

Back in 2008, I wrote a blog post about version 1 of the Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) tool. This free tool, available from, has been enhanced, and Version 2.0, Beta 1.1, is currently available for download. I have just downloaded and installed it myself, although I haven’t had much chance to use it yet. When I have time, I will write a review of the new version. In the meantime, I recommend you download it and give it a try. It’s a great tool for analyzing Performance Monitor Logs, and it is also a great source for determining which Performance Monitor counters, and thresholds, should be used when analyzing SQL Server’s performance.

Vote for the Exceptional DBA of the Year

Starting today, you can vote for the 2010 Exceptional DBA of the Year. All of the nominations have been reviewed by a panel of judges, and six have been selected to be voted on by the SQL Server community. The winner will not only receive the recognition of being the 2010 Exceptional DBA of the Year, but will receive a full conference pass for the 2010 PASS Community Summit, most hotel and travel expenses, and a license of SQL Toolbelt.

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