SQL Data Partners – SQL Server Podcast

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I am excited to announce that I have joined Carlos Chacon to become the co-host of the SQL Data Partners – SQL Server podcast. The weekly show has just reached 50 episodes, and Carlos has asked me to join him as co-host on the podcast.

SQL Data Partners Podcast

In episode 50 Carlos introduces me as the co-host, the Corruption Compañero or the West Coast Compañero. I think I like the Corruption Compañero best. If you are a listener of the podcast you will recognize the word Compañero as companion, as in SQL Compañero or SQL companion. It’s a catchy term, and I am excited to be the Corruption Compañero on the podcast.

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Posted in SQL Server Podcast, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Database Health Monitor Version 2.4.2 Released Today

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Today I released the latest update to Database Health Monitor.  Version 2.4.2. It has been about a two weeks since version 2.4.1 release and version 2.4.2 has a few new features, and a couple bug fixes.

Here is a preview of the new logins report. First the logins panel on the Server overview report.


When you click the overview panel, you then drilldown into the logins report. The logins report is filtered by clicking the type of login show at the top of the page.



New Features in 2.4.2

  • New report available on SSRS Report Server databases showing the distribution of reports run over the last 24 hours, along with a detailed drilldown with a list of all reports run in the last 24 hours.
  • Updated the Stored Procedures by Logical Writes to use Seconds rather than Microseconds in the durations. Makes much more sense, and is clearly labeled now.
  • Added a Logins by Instance report.
  • Added 3 new report panels for SSRS reporting databases.
    • Recent SSRS report usage.
    • Reports Run over the last 24 hours with chart.
    • Report Users over the last 7 days with chart.
  • Quick Scan Report
    • Added an option to the QuickScan report to right click to turn off AUTO_CLOSE for all databases on the instance.

Fixes in 2.4.2

  • Fixed a problem that has been there for a while with connecting to a monitoring database on another server than the current instance. This was introduced about 8 months ago, where you could only use the current instance for monitoring. The problem has been fixed. Thanks for the customer feedback that lead me to finding and fixing this problem.
  • Improved startup performance. Caching some values that were previously querying the database multiple times.
  • Fix a problem with the tab order on the Connect to Database dialog. The username and password were not in the correct sequence. More of an annoyance than anything, but this has finally be fixed.


Posted in Database Health Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Database Health Monitor Version 2.4.1 Released

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Just one day after releasing Database Health Monitor version 2.4, today I released version 2.4.1.

Version 2.4.1 includes a bug fix and 2 new feature that were added after the release of version 2.4.

  • Feature: Support for SQL Server 2016. Since SQL Server 2016 officially released yesterday, Database Health Monitor now supports SQL Server 2016.
  • Bug: The check for the latest version of SQL Server 2014 CU6 was updated. Microsoft released a patch to their original CU6 release. The check now accounts for this.
  • The QuickScan report now has an option to ignore specific check items. This was a customer request that I received today. To ignore, or un-ignore items right click on the quick scan report.
  • Star_of_life

Download Database Health Monitor Today!

Posted in Database Health Tagged with: , ,

Database Health Monitor Version 2.4 Released

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If you haven’t tried Database Health Monitor Version 2.4 might be a good time to try it out. Five and a half years of my development time has gone into Database Health monitor, and hopefully the features will show it.


Here is what people have to say about Database Health Monitor.

Excellent – It’s the first tool I open every morning to see what is going on in my production environment! Thanks for the great work!

I personally used Database Health Monitor to manage over 100 instances of SQL Server, and it speeds up many of the daily maintenance checks.

Version 2.4 Release Notes

Over the last several months I have added several new features, and many bug fixes. Here are some of the features and fixes included in this update.

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Posted in Database Health Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Drop a trigger after a specific date

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The question of how to delete a trigger after a specific date came up.  Here is what could be done.

If you want to trigger to disappear after a specific date or time, you can just drop the trigger from inside the trigger itself. Something like this.

ON Table1
    -- do something

    -- drop the trigger after a given date
    IF (GETDATE() > '2016/05/10')
        DROP TRIGGER Table1_Updated;

If instead of dropping the trigger you just want to disable it, you could use DISABLE TRIGGER instead of DROP TRIGGER.

-Steve Stedman

Posted in TSQL Tagged with: , , ,

How Many VLFs is Too Many?

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Here is an error that popped up in the SQL Server error log today:

5/6/2016 10:10:10 AM spid22s Database [DatabaseName] has more than 10000 virtual log files which is excessive. Too many virtual log files can cause long startup and backup times. Consider shrinking the log and using a different growth increment to reduce the number of virtual log files.

Virtual Log Files (VLFs) are part of the SQL Server log file. When space is allocated in the log due to growth, that new chunk of log is broken up into Virtual Log Files

After looking further into this server, the VLF count turned out to be around 163,000. That is certainly the highest VLF that I have ever seen.

My personal threshold for too many VLFs is usually around 200 with my preference to be less than 100 VLF files. Others may have their preferences, they will all be far less than 10,000, and certainly less than the 163,000 that I had the opportunity to see today.

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Posted in Performance Tuning Tagged with:

Updating SQL Server Statistics

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Updating SQL Server statistics may not be as obvious as it may sound.

IUpdating SQL Server Statisticsmagine this scenario. I invite you over for dinner and a game of Scrabble. After dinner, I start to do the dishes, while you set up the game. Rather than just doing the dishes that are dirty from our dinner, I decide to take all the dishes from the shelves, and drawers in my kitchen. I create a gigantic pile of all of the dishes, both clean and dirty on the kitchen counter. You get the game setup, and we start playing the game. Between turns, I jump back into the kitchen, and wash a few dishes, then on my turn, I jump back into the game and play my turn, then back to the kitchen again. During the game you are constantly waiting for me to jump back into the game to make my move. You could see how long this would draw out the game with me washing all the dishes, even the ones that were already clean. 4 hours later, I finally finish the dishes, and shortly thereafter we finish the game. It is unlikely, even if you love to play Scrabble that you would ever return to my house for dinner and a game again. Tomorrow night, when I have dinner with my family, I do the same thing, and every night after dinner I wash all the dishes in the kitchen, even the clean ones. You can see how wasteful this sounds, and perhaps some people would even label me as OCD or something worse in this scenario.

Although this is obviously the wrong way to do things, often times we end up doing the equivalent of this in our SQL Server maintenance tasks.

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Posted in Performance Tuning Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Is enabling xp_cmdshell a security risk?

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After listening to a podcast from Carlos L Chacon (twitter) at SQL Data Partners interviewing Sean McCown (twitter) and some lively discussion on xp_cmdshell, I decided it would be a worthy enough discussion to create a blog post. At a minimum it might stir up some opinions.

So before you read the rest of the post, please vote on this survey.

Is enabling xp_cmdshell a security risk?

There are many varying opinions out there, including some really good opinions that applied to SQL Server 2000, but don’t really apply any more.

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Posted in SQL Server Tagged with: ,

Database Corruption Webcast – May 3rd

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Please join Carlos L Chacon and I for our first Database Corruption webcast on May 3rd. I have teamed up with Carlos and we will be presenting some thoughts on database corruption with an extended Q&A session. Carlos is with SqlDataPartners, and has a weekly webcast with varying SQL Server topics.

You can find more details about the webcast and register on the website here, http://sqldatapartners.com/databasecorruptionwebcast/

One important detail is we will be taking questions and answering them live on the webcast so this will be a great way to engage and ask a follow up if needed. I think you will love this format–way better than soaking up 50 minutes of boring and then calling it quits.

The webcast will cover these major topics.
1) Preparing for database corruption and taking the right steps to ensure you can recover
2) A few lessons learned about our experience with database corruption

This weeks session will cover:


Corruption Prevention is Different Than Disaster Recovery

The best DR plan still needs to account for corruption.



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Posted in Corruption Tagged with: , , ,

SQL Server Performance Tuning

Need help with SQL Server Performance Tuning, contact Steve at Stedman Solutions, LLC for help, or take a look at the performance tuning page at the SteveStedman.com blog. We can help with tuning a single query or with figuring out why your SQL Server is running slow. Free 30 minute consultation.

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