Articles

Take a look at articles I’ve written on a range of SQL Server database administration and career topics. Clicking each article will usually take you to a page outside of bradmcgehee.com.

Articles categories:
SQL Server | Database Maintenance | Indexing | Performance Tuning | Reviews & Whitepapers

Articles about SQL Server

How to Document and Configure SQL Server Instance Settings

Occasionally, when you install identical databases on two different SQL Server instances, they will behave in surprisingly different ways. Why? Most likely, it is down to different configuration settings. There are around seventy of these settings and the DBA needs to be aware of the effect that many of them have. Brad McGehee explains them all in enough detail to help with most common configuration problems, and suggests some best practices. Read more…

Database Properties Health Check

Within an instance of SQL Server, the database settings can have a direct effect on the database’s behavior, performance and availability. Sometimes, it is difficult to tie a symptom to a cause, so it is wise to routinely check and record these settings. Before you change the current setting, it pays to understand exactly what it means and the implications of any change. Read more…

Introduction to Policy-Based Management in SQL Server 2008

If SQL Servers are treated as ‘islands’, each with their own subtly different configurations, managing multiple instances of them can be a frustrating experience for the DBA. SQL Server 2008’s policy-based management aims to help us enforce policies for SQL Server instances throughout an organization. In this article, I look at what policy-based management is, how to implement it, and how to check it is running. Read more…

Articles about Database Maintenance

Rebuilding Indexes Using the SSMS Database Maintenance Wizard

This article describes how to use the Rebuild Index task in the Database Maintenance Wizard to maintain the health of your database indexes, which in turn, can boost the performance of your queries. Read more…

Automate and Improve Your Database Maintenance Using Ola Hallengren’s Free Script

We take a look at a Transact-SQL database maintenance script written by Ola Hallengren, which not only offers great flexibility to meet the needs of most any database, it is easy to implement, even by inexperienced DBAs. Read more…

Database Maintenance Plans in SSMS: An Overview

SQL Server provides two tools, built into SSMS, which make the process of creating database maintenance plans much easier and faster: the Maintenance Plan Wizard and the Maintenance Plan Designer. In this article, I’ll examine what these critical tasks are, and discuss the pros and cons of using the Wizard and Designer to implement them, in contrast to using of T-SQL or PowerShell scripting. Read more…

Brad’s Sure DBA Checklist

We DBAs are busy people. Sometimes all we need (and want!) is a handy reminder of best practices, dos and don’ts for our SQL Servers. So I’ve put together a comprehensive checklist that covers a wide range of best practices, including those for the general DBA, high availability, performance tuning and application design. Read more…

Articles about Indexing

Brad’s Sure Guide to Indexes

There are many different types of index that exist in SQL Server. In this guide, I look at what a table and index are, before exploring how SQL Server 2005 and 2008 indexes work, including those that are filtered, special and compressed. Read more…

Don’t Forget to Maintain Your Indexes

So long as data is inserted, updated and deleted from tables, indexes will become fragmented over time, and performance will suffer. Index maintenance is vital to keeping databases and their users happy. In this article, I go through the key index maintenance tasks and identify more essential areas that are a DBA’s duty to maintain. Read more…

Articles about Performance Tuning

SQL Server 2008: Performance Data Collector

SQL Server 2008’s Performance Data Collector lets us create a central repository to store performance data and includes three built-in Data Collection sets that can be used to collect and store this data. Three built-in reports can then be used to access the stored data, so we can identify and troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems. Want to find out how the Performance Data Collector works and how it can help you? Read more…

Software Reviews and White Papers

Brad’s Sure Guide to SQL Virtual Restore

Brad investigates a new software application called SQL Virtual Restore. What does it aim to do? How does it achieve it? Why is it safe to use? What are the benefits? Brad aims to answer a range of questions fairly and squarely. Read more…

Brad’s Sure Guide to SQL HyperBac 5.0

In the second of a series of in-depth software reviews, Brad investigates SQL HyperBac 5.0. This has always been the choice of the gurus for backup software, but Brad now blows away the mystery and explains how it works; for it uses a simple but very clever idea to give all the benefits without forcing you to scrap your existing scripts. Read more…

Brad’s Sure Guide to SQL Storage Compress

In the third of a series of in-depth software reviews, Brad investigates SQL Storage Compress. SQL Storage Compress compresses live SQL Server databases, and can encrypt them as well, allowing the files associated with a live database to take much less file-space, and securing them from unauthorized access. Why would this be useful, and is it really a free lunch? Brad puts it to the test to find out. Read more…

Brad’s Sure Guide to SQL Monitor 3.0

In this article, Brad takes you through everything you need to know to get the very most out of SQL Monitor 3.0. Using practical examples, he talks you through configuring and reporting to show how to get the most out of the software. Read more…

Checking Out SQL Backup Pro 7’s New Automatic Backup Verification

Wouldn’t it be great to offload the daily chore of checking the integrity of your production databases, and checking that your backups can successfully be restored. It can be done, and managed automatically too, in one process; as Brad explains. Read more…

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