PASS DBA Virtual Chapter Talk

Azure, PASS
I almost forgot to tell you about the Database Administration Virtual Chapter meeting next week, March 26th, 2014. I'll be doing a talk about query tuning in Windows Azure SQL Database. It's a talk I've given before (it was in the top 10 at the PASS Summit last year). Come find out why you'll need to tune queries in WASD, the tools you get, and the glorious fact that you'll actually be actively saving your business money by tuning queries! Click here now to register.
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More Azure Goodies

Azure
Microsoft keeps sneaking little things under the door for Windows Azure SQL Database. This time it's a couple of new views, a system view and a Dynamic Management View (DMV); sys.resource_stats and sys.dm_operation_stats. But, I also learned another fun fact, not all this stuff rolls out at the same speed. For example, if I run sys.resource_stats on a database on a server located in the North Central US data center, the output looks like this: But, if I run the same query against the same view with a database in a data center in East Asia (I experiment with where I put things), it looks like this (click on it to expand it, probably want to do that into a second tab or window so you can refer to it…
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Premium Database on Azure

Azure
One of the things that can make Windows Azure SQL Databases (WASD) attractive is the fact that they run inside of a managed environment. But, that does mean that you're sharing resources with other databases. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if people are extremely worried about performance, yet, still want to take advantage of all the cool stuff in WASD, there is a way to do this; Premium Databases. I requested access to the early access program and was able to get it. You can request it by clicking on this link and scrolling down to Premium Database. Once you get access you should see this in your list of servers: To create a Premium Database you just create a  database any way you would normally (T-SQL through…
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Check Your Azure Account Usage

Azure
It is absolutely not cool or fun to pay money to learn new technology. One of the main complaints people had for learning Azure (and AWS for that matter) is that they had to register with a credit card and actually put their own money on the line to try stuff out. One could argue that maybe a cost to learning isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, there were a number of horror stories of people inadvertently being charged hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars because they didn't track their usage. If you register your Azure account through MSDN, that problem is completely eliminated.  No credit card at all, and a free account that can never cost you money. But, there is a budget, a cost limit, that you have…
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24 Hours of PASS Streaming Available

Azure, PASS
If you missed the 24 Hours of PASS Summit 2013 Preview, you missed some excellent sessions. I watched a few, but not all. But now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can go back and catch the ones I missed. You can too. I'd like to call out my session, Be a Successful DBA in the World of Cloud and On-Premises Data. I know that my fellow DBAs and database developers are largely dismissive of Azure. I get it. But I really think you're missing out on this. It's another excellent tool in your toolbox that you need to start taking advantage of. Little things like getting a quick and easy installation of SQL Server 2014 or Windows Server 2012 R2 up and running. Helpful things like the…
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I Don’t Care

Azure
It's funny how certain sentences can both accurately reflect a situation and communicate entirely the wrong message. When thinking about cloud-based data management, things come down to a simple, if misleading, statement; I don't care. I don't care about operating systems or servers or disks. I need to have a database and it needs to be available and I need a reasonable assurance of performance. Within those parameters, I just don't care if the OS is patched or not, if the SAN is configured perfectly. I could care less if there are appropriate alerts on the internal network switches. None of that matters to me a whit. I just don't care about any of that because I'm focused on building a database and writing code and getting an app online. The infrastructure just needs to…
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Azure First

Azure
Microsoft has been pretty clear about their commitment to the entire Azure infrastructure. The updates to Azure come out on a massively accelerated schedule. Because of this, they're doing lots of code on lots of things that may, one day, end up in your full blown SQL Server instance, but are currently only available in Windows Azure SQL Database. This is because of that accelerated schedule. It frees Microsoft developers up to experiment a little. I saw some evidence of it the other day. I had been working on a series of queries for the pre-conference seminar that I helped put on at TechEd (and one that I'm doing for the PASS Summit). When I write queries, I use SQL Prompt. Sorry to be plugging Red Gate products on the…
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SMO vs Invoke-Sqlcmd in Azure

Azure, PowerShell
I'm working on a series of Powershell scripts for the pre-conference seminars on Windows Azure SQL Database that I'm going to be giving at TechEd and the PASS Summit. One of the things I want to do is script out a full backup process (one that's consistent with transactions) which means I need to create a database copy. There's a nice neat T-SQL command that does this: [crayon-5a6cf580abd9a956468069/] So, being the lazy Powershell freak that I am, I figured I'd just pass it in with Invoke-sqlcmd as a single line like this: [crayon-5a6cf580abda5061209463/] Which resulted in an unexpected error: Invoke-Sqlcmd : The CREATE DATABASE statement must be the only statement in the batch. Well, now I'm curious. I'm passing in a single command. It's not part of any other commands or statements or…
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PASS Summit 2013 is Looking Cloudy

Azure, PASS
No, this isn't some complaint about PASS or the Summit. This is an announcement that not only will I be speaking at the PASS Summit, but I'm speaking about Azure... a lot. First up, I'm going to be doing an all-day pre-conference seminar specifically aimed at getting you into Azure. No, I don't want you to drop your on-premise databases and infrastructure. Are you nuts? No, wait, you think I am. OK, fair point. But what I actually want you to realize is that some pieces of your work are better done in the cloud. There are all kinds of terribly fun and cool things you can get done there, as an addition to your existing infrastructure. There are way, way too many things that are better done locally to ever think you'd move…
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Azure does Powershell too

Azure, PowerShell
Or, I guess it might be more appropriate to say that Powershell does Azure. Regardless, there are a set of commandlets for Azure and Azure SQL Database. Here's the link to get you started and the basic documentation. After that, it's a little tricky to know for sure what's required. Follow the instructions on the link to get the basic set up done, and then I'll show you just a little bit about how you can manage your Windows Azure SQL Database through PowerShell. First up, you need to set up a context, which is basically a connection to your Azure server. This requires very specific objects. The code below outlines what you need: [crayon-5a6cf580b934d715060804/] Nothing to it really. You create the PSCredential, your WASD SQL login, proving your user…
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