Buy vs. Build

PowerShell, SCOM
It's the classic question faced by everyone in Information Services. I know how to do this and I could build software to do it, but I'm a lazy b_____d so I'd rather just pick up a piece of software that does it for me. I love working for large companies because I can usually get them to purchase stuff so that I can loll around stuffing my face all day instead of doing actual work. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pick up Microsoft's Operations Manager or Idera's Diagnostic Manager. But you still need to monitor your servers. With buy eliminated, that leaves build. Which, is where this excellent blog post by Laerte Junior comes in. He lays out how to build a wrapper around calls to get Performan Counter…
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A Lack of Excitement

PASS, PowerShell, SCOM, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, TSQL
I usually use all the problems, crashes, and issues that I run into at work as grist for my mill, aka, material to blog about. But lately, we haven't been crashing & burning much <knock wood, turn three times, throw salt over my left shoulder, spit>. But it was suggested that may be I should mention why that is. The fact of the matter is that I've been spending a lot more time working on methods for monitoring our systems so that we avoid more of the stupid stuff, full disks, failed backups, long running agent jobs, etc.. I've blogged before about our use of Microsoft's Operations Manager for monitoring our servers and how we've built custom rules and monitors to keep an eye on things. I've also mentioned how…
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How do -You- use SQL Server

nHibernate, SCOM, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, Tools, TSQL, Visual Studio
I've been tagged by a misplaced yankee, uh, New Englander, whatever. The question is, how do I/we use SQL Server where I work. That's a tough one. It would make a much shorter, and easier, blog post to describe the things we don't use it for. However, keeping with the spirit of these tags, I'll try to lay out it. For those that don't know, I work for a rather large insurance company. This means that we have lots and lots of databases, but not much data. We also are cheap. That means we'll run an app into the ground rather than spend the money & time to replace it. We have apps still running from the 70's and 80's propped up by ancient men with pocket protectors, spit, bailing wire…
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Characters

SCOM, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, TSQL
No, I'm not talking about a Dickens novel. I'm talking about the number of characters in a string. I had a painful time recently because of the word "characters."  If you take a look at the dynamic management view sys.dm_exec_sql_text you can get the queries that have been run on your system that are still in the cache. It's a great utility. Better still, you can get specific statements from the code that are actively running through sys.dm_exec_requests or ones that have run through sys.dm_exec_query_stats. To do this is very simple. Each of these DMV's has a pair of columns, statement_start_offset and statement_end_offset. These columns, and I'm quoting directly from books online measure the "number of character" offset from the beginning of the SQL string and from the end of…
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Operations Manager Feedback

SCOM
If you're involved with maintaining Microsoft Operations Manager, you probably have a few things you'd like to tell the developers, such as, couldn't you get some sort of override manager/explorer built into the system? Well, they've built a new feedback mechanism through the updated Connect interface. Get on over there and make your voice heard. Yeah, I wasn't really tracking it either until I saw this post from the OM development team's blog.
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SQL Server Management Pack Resources

SCOM
There aren't any. That's not entirely true. There is the SQL Server Management Pack Guide from MS. It gives you the basics. After that you have to fall back generic documentation and help for the most part. If you haven't already, get a copy of System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed. It doesn't cover the SQL Server Management Pack in any detail, but it gives you a lot of what you need to understand the management pack in general. The next best source of information is the newsgroup microsoft.public.opsmgr.sql. From there, you have to go to System Center Forum. Watch for articles by Tom LaRock. He seems to know as much about it as anyone. He's presenting at the PASS Summit this year, so you might want to attend. There…
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Operations Manager 2007 SQL Collection Article

SCOM, TSQL
It took me a while to find all the little pieces to put together a custom rule that used data collected through TSQL. In fact, because it took so much work to pull all the little pieces together, I wrote an article describing how I did it. This isn't a wonderful new invention. It's just the publication of a bunch of research. If you're an Operations Manager expert, this isn't for you. If you're like I am, trying to find your way through the forest, this little bit of map will hopefully provide some assistance. Available at SQL Server Central.
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