Ed Pollack

Ed Pollack

Ed Pollack

Ed has 15 years of experience in database and systems administration, developing a passion for performance optimization, database design, and making things go faster.He has spoken at many SQL Saturdays, 24 Hours of PASS, and PASS Summit.This lead him to organize SQL Saturday Albany, which has become an annual event for New York’s Capital Region.

In his free time, Ed enjoys video games, sci-fi & fantasy, traveling, and being as big of a geek as his friends will tolerate.

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Ed Pollack

Implementing and Using Calendar Tables

March 24, 2017 by

Introduction

There is a common need in reporting to aggregate or return data that is crunched based on date attributes. These may include weekdays, holidays, quarters, or time of year. While any of this information can be calculated on the fly, a calendar table can save time, improve performance, and increase the consistency of data returned by our important reporting processes. In my previous article, you could learn about designing of a calendar table.

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Designing a Calendar Table

March 22, 2017 by

Introduction

There is a common need in reporting to aggregate or return data that is crunched based on date attributes. These may include weekdays, holidays, quarters, or time of year. While any of this information can be calculated on the fly, a calendar table can save time, improve performance, and increase the consistency of data returned by our important reporting processes.

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SQL Server Job Performance – Reporting

January 19, 2017 by

Description

Once collected, job performance metrics can be used for a variety of reporting needs, from locating jobs that are not performing well to finding optimal release windows, scheduling maintenance, or trending over time. These techniques allow us to maintain insight into parts of SQL Server that are often not monitored enough and prevent job-related emergencies before they become emergencies.

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SQL Server Job Performance – Tracking

January 19, 2017 by

Description

Keeping track of our SQL Server Agent jobs is a very effective way to control scheduling, failures, and understand when undesired conditions may be manifesting themselves. This is a brief journey towards a solution that provides us far greater insight into our jobs, schedules, and executions than we can glean from SQL Server by default.

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Planning a SQL Server conference – Diving into the details

September 19, 2016 by

Many of us have been given the opportunity to run or help plan a SQL Saturday or another SQL Server event. This conclusion will dig much deeper into the nitty-gritty, such as planning food and budgeting. No two events are the same, and as such, not everything here will be the same for you. Consider these experiences a tool and list of ideas to pull from when deciding how to structure, divide, and conquer your conference!

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Creating the perfect schema documentation script

May 27, 2016 by

Description

System views allow us to gain access to information about any objects within SQL Server, from tables to extended properties to check constraints. This information can be collected and used for many purposes, one being the need to document our objects without the need to click endlessly in the GUI or to incur an immense amount of manual work.

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Insight into the SQL Server buffer cache

February 18, 2016 by

When we talk about memory usage in SQL Server, we are often referring to the buffer cache. This is an important part of SQL Server’s architecture, and is responsible for the ability to query frequently accessed data extremely fast. Knowing how the buffer cache works will allow us to properly allocate memory in SQL Server, gauge accurately how databases are accessing data, and ensure that there are not inefficiencies in our code that cause excessive data to be cached.

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Searching the SQL Server query plan cache

February 8, 2016 by

Whenever a query is executed in SQL Server, its execution plan, as well as some useful execution data are placed into the plan cache for future use. This information is a treasure trove of metrics that can allow some very useful insight into your server’s performance and resource consumption. Much of this information would be difficult or impossible to acquire otherwise.

Understanding how to access and use the metadata about query execution will provide us the tools we need to answer questions about our server and gain fascinating performance data. I’ve found myself spending more and more time writing, tweaking, and using queries against the plan cache lately and look forward to sharing these adventures with you!

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Removing the risk from important maintenance tasks in SQL Server

January 18, 2016 by

As database professionals, we are often in very close proximity to important processes, data, and applications. While we adopt the mantra of “Do no harm”, many maintenance or reporting tasks that we create carry unseen risks associated with them.

What happens when a drive fills up during daily differential backups? What if an index rebuild job runs abnormally long and interferes with morning processing? How about if a data load process causes extensive resource contention, bringing normal operations to their knees? All of these are planned events, yet can cause considerable disruption to the very processes we are trying to safeguard.

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Data boundaries: Finding gaps, islands, and more

January 6, 2016 by

One of the more difficult challenges we face when analyzing data is to effectively identify and report on boundaries. Data sets can contain any number of significant starting and stopping points that may indicate significant events, such as missing data, important business events, or actionable changes in usage. Regardless of the use case, knowing how to quickly locate and manage data boundaries is extremely useful. Knowing how to design solutions that can effectively avoid these scenarios can also be helpful in the long run.

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Filtered indexes: Performance analysis and hidden costs

December 11, 2015 by

Introduction

Filtered indexes are well documented, as they have been around in SQL Server for almost six years now. Despite their longevity and usefulness, discussions of them tend to be very simple overviews using simple queries and not digging too deeply into more precise costs and benefits. This article is inspired by a production problem that cropped up recently involving a filtered index that illustrated that general knowledge of their function was not as complete as it should have been.

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