Help Me, Help You, Deliver DevOps

I believe in DevOps. Actually, that's a pretty horrible way to put it. It's not about belief, like keeping Tinkerbell alive. I have successfully worked within an environment that implemented a DevOps approach to development, deployment and maintenance. I also provide classes and consulting on how to approach DevOps from the Ops perspective as well as writing books on the topic. Because I've seen the DevOps approach work, and work well, despite the fact that my principal job description is in the Ops side of DevOps, I am a very strong and passionate advocate for DevOps. But! DevOps Despite the fact that I absolutely support the concepts of DevOps, moving development & deployment into the production space, and moving operations into better support of the development space, I frequently find…
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Restoring a Database in Azure

One of the many small things you don't have to worry about any more when working with Azure SQL Database are those pesky backups... Ha-ha-ha! Yeah, I can't keep a straight face when I type it. Microsoft takes on the role of DBA and creates backups and log backups for you when you're working in the Platform as a Service offering of Azure SQL Database. If that doesn't scare you, I'm not sure what will. However, there's good news. There are still ways for you to create your own backup (through the bacpac, I outlined it here, years ago). More good news is, Microsoft's backups actually work. Testing it out is easy. Let's walk through it once. I'm going to assume you have an Azure account on which you already…
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Database Backups: Things You Need To Do Now

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, TSQL
I want to say a few things about database backups that you need to know. Wait a minute, haven’t you written about backups before? Why, yes. Yes I have. Aaand… you’re doing it again because? Have you noticed the shocking number of questions that come up on SQL Server Central and #sqlhelp regarding backups? Have you noticed the incredibly huge number of people who don’t have backups at all? That’s why. To get the word out. Oh, good point. Carry on. Because backups are so easy, people tend to discount them. That is, until they need them. Then, suddenly, they become extremely important. Here’s a suggestion: Make databases important now. Learn how SQL Server backup works. Make sure you have backups on your systems. Make sure you have the appropriate…
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DBA 101: Why Don’t People Run Backups

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, TSQL
It happened multiple times this week. It happens multiple times every week. Some poor soul is posting on a message board, usually with the heading “URGENT” (why that one word so frequently, I just don’t know), that they deleted production data/dropped a production table/updated production data/dropped a database/received a data corruption error/whatever. Now, they need to get the data back. “URGENT, What do I do now?” And so you ask, as you should, what kind of backups do you have? Over and over the answer is: “Backups? What’s a backup” or “Oh, the system guys backup of the MDF files every night” or “We don’t really need those” or “We don’t have room to back up our databases” or some other excuse that simple comes down to, we didn’t set…
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Practice Your Restores

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication
Steven Jones posted an excellent editorial today all about how your backups are only good if you know that you can restore from them. He couldn't be more correct. I posted the following thoughts in the comments, but I know not everyone reads the comments in articles & editorials. Although, if it's a good article, you should read the comments, especially on SQL Server Central. Frequently the discussion about the article can be as enlightening as the article itself. But I digress. Steve's point, pretty clearly stated but I'll repeat it, backups don't matter, restores do. I'm going to pile on to this point just a bit, because it can't be emphasized enough. Nothing is more important than verifying backups, except, verifying that you know how to run a restore. You're…
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Debuting: Beginning SQL Server 2008 Administration

SQL Server 2008
The new book is up on Amazon. I only worked on three chapters of Rob Walter's new book and that was after begging to only work on two, so I can't take much credit for the effort that went into this book. However, thanks to our editor Jonathan Gennick, I was privileged to work with Rob & Carmen, if pretty indirectly. I know I mentioned the book before when it was put up on the Apress web site, but this is Amazon. Once it's up on Amazon, it's real.
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Disabling Database Encryption

SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, TSQL
SQL Server 2008 introduced TDE (either Total Database Encryption or Transparent Database Encryption, I've seen both) which is a way to get a passive encryption in place on the database to prevent people from stealing backups or detaching files & stealing them. It works with a Certificate in the server, and there are mechanisms around password protection of the Certificates, management etc. Setting it up & turning it on are very easy. This example is from a chapter on a book I'm working on: USE master; GO CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'Chapter8Backup'; GO CREATE CERTIFICATE Chapter8Certificate WITH SUBJECT = 'Chapter 8 Certificate' GO USE AdventureWorksLT GO CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY WITH ALGORITHM = AES_128 ENCRYPTION BY SERVER CERTIFICATE Chapter8Certificate GO ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorksLT SET ENCRYPTION ON GO…
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