Author: Adam Machanic

When Your Hard Drive Comes Knocking… A Cautionary Tale

magine yourself, happily computing when all of a sudden you hear a rather alien sound eminating from your hard drive. Something that sounds, perhaps, like some combination of a roofer banging in a nail, and a miner’s pick as he works on releasing a stubborn piece of ore from a cave wall. Certainly not a good sound to hear coming from the general region of your hard drive on a nice, sunny day. Especially when you have not taken a backup in over two years…Please, learn from my mistake, and next time you hear an odd clicking sound, don’t try to outsmart your already-broken hardware.

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SQLTeach Toronto: Almost Here

Toronto SQLTeach conference is now only a few weeks away. This conference includes quite a few interesting SQL Server-related sessions, on topics ranging from best practices, to performance, to some of the new SQL Server 2008 features.

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SQL Server Procedure Cache: More Relief on the Way

SQL Server 2005 brought some relief in the form of the Forced Parameterization database option, and SP2 took things one step further with better throttling of the cache… but it’s still not enough. We want a knob! The bad news: We’re not getting quite the knob I was hoping for. The good news: SQL Server 2008 will include an sp_configure option called “optimize for ad hoc workloads”

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SQL Server Query Processing Puzzle: LIKE vs ?

How creative are you with manipulating your queries to produce more efficient plans? Try the following puzzle and e-mail your solution to me at [ @ pythian.com]. Make sure to include an explanation of why it works, as well as your mailing address. The best two solutions/explanations win a free copy of Expert SQL Server 2005 Development, a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, plus eternal fame and glory when I reveal your solutions here on the blog.

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Minimal Logging Basics and SQL Server 2008 Enhancements

After spending a long time on a project for a client that does a huge amount of data movement using SELECT INTO, I posted a Connect item asking for an enhancement where a minimally-logged insert would be available from a SELECT doing an INSERT into an existing table. One day the item was updated with a comment: “This is targetted to be available in SQL Server 2008.” I wasn’t sure exactly what this meant until the last few days, when Sunil Agarwal posted a series of three posts describing the enhancements to minimal logging in SQL Server 2008 — including the ability to do a minimally logged insert via a SELECT, to an existing table!

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