Training

Prashanth Jayaram

Backup Linux SQL Server databases using PowerShell and Windows task scheduler

May 22, 2018 by

This article is an in-depth guide on how PowerShell can be used to maintain and manage SQL backup on Linux and Windows machines.

Here’s an outline of what this article is all about:

  • Introduction
  • Technical specifications
  • How to load SQL Server modules on Windows machine
  • Security – Credential Management
  • The objectives of Backup and Restore
  • Library Linkage
  • How SQL Server 2017 backup feature is used on Linux
  • And more …
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Ahmad Yaseen

Tracing and tuning queries using SQL Server indexes

May 18, 2018 by

In the previous articles of this series (see the full article TOC at bottom), we discussed the internal structure of the SQL Server tables and indexes, the best practices to follow when designing a proper index, the group of operations that you can perform on the SQL Server indexes, how to design effective Clustered and Non-clustered indexes and finally the different types of SQL Server indexes, above and beyond Clustered and Non-clustered indexes classification. In this article, we will discuss how to tune the performance of the bad queries using SQL Server Indexes.

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Prashanth Jayaram

How to perform a page level restore in SQL Server

May 18, 2018 by

In this article in our stairway series on SQL Server backup and restore, we shall discuss the importance of understanding the internals of the page restoration for a database administrator. Most of the time, performing a page-level restore suffices for database availability. A good backup strategy is a key to recovery or restoration, and SQL Server provides us with an option to fix database pages at a granular level. Performing a page level restore in SQL Server is a clever option wherein the restoration of the entire VLDB database backup is not required.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Smart database backups in SQL Server 2017

May 14, 2018 by

So far, we’ve discussed several phases of backup that starts with planning, creating, strategizing and implementing. In this article, we are going to see how database administrators can define the strategy to improve backup performance and efficiently manage backups in SQL Server 2017. The following are the topics of discussion:

  1. Discuss checkpoints
  2. Discuss the enhancements made in the Dynamic Management View (DMV) sys.dm_db_file_space_usage for smart differential backups
  3. Discuss the enhancements made for the Dynamic Management function (DMF) sys.dm_db_log_stats  for smart transactional log backup
  4. Understand the functioning of smart differential backup and its internals
  5. Understand the Smart transaction log backup process and its internals
  6. T-SQL scripts
  7. And more…
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Ahmad Yaseen

Working with different SQL Server indexes types

May 8, 2018 by

In the previous articles of this series (see the full article TOC at bottom), we discussed the internal structure of both SQL Server tables and indexes, the main guidelines that you can follow to design a proper index, the list of operations that can be performed on the SQL Server indexes, and finally how to design effective Clustered and Non-clustered indexes that the SQL Server Query Optimizer will always take benefits from, in speeding up the data retrieval process, which is the main goal of creating an index. In this article, we will go through the different types of SQL Server indexes, above and beyond Clustered and Non-clustered indexes classification, and when to use them.

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Prashanth Jayaram

SqlPackage.exe – Automate SQL Server Database Restoration using bacpac with PowerShell or Batch techniques

May 7, 2018 by

Data is the key to your organization’s future, but if it’s outdated, irrelevant, or hidden then it’s no good. Maintenance and administration of databases takes a lot of work. As database administrators, we often tend to automate most of these repetitive tasks. A database refresh is one of the most common tasks performed by most of the administrators as part of their daily routine.

Today, database refreshes are quite frequent because of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD). In most of the cases, testing requires a separate but current production dataset to ensure the validity of the desired result.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Designing effective SQL Server non-clustered indexes

May 7, 2018 by

In the previous articles of this series (see below for the full index of articles), we went through the internal structure of SQL Server tables and indexes, listed a number of guidelines that help in designing a proper index, discussed the operations that can be performed on SQL Server indexes and finally showed how to design and create a SQL Server Clustered index to speed up data retrieval operations. In this article, we will see how to design an effective Non-clustered index that will improve the performance of frequently used queries that are not covered with a Clustered index and, in doing so, enhance the overall system performance.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding Database snapshots vs Database backups in SQL Server

May 4, 2018 by

In the article, we’ll walk through the concepts to understand database snapshots, and their benefits and limitations. This article will help you decide when to use a database snapshot, and when to use a backup. In some cases, the database relying on database backup and restoration operation is not a viable option. Let’s dig into the concepts of database snapshots and see how it differs from a database backup.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Discussing Backup and Restore Automation using SQLCMD and SQL Server agent

May 3, 2018 by

Database administrators are often requested to refresh a database, mostly to create a live copy of the production database to the test or development environment. This is done so that the development or the test environment closely resembles the production environment; this way, we prevent many undesirable issues when running the application in the production environment.

Many developers, at times, are required to write and debug code on the production copy of the database, so it makes more sense to refresh the database on regular basis.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Designing effective SQL Server clustered indexes

May 3, 2018 by

In the previous articles of this series (see bottom for a full index), we described, in detail, the structure of SQL Server tables and indexes, the basics and guidelines that help us in designing a proper index and finally the list of operations that can be performed on the SQL Server indexes. In this article, we will see how we could design an effective clustered index that the SQL Server Query Optimizer will always take benefits from, in speeding up the data retrieval process, which is the main goal of building an index.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Backup and Restore (or Recovery) strategies for SQL Server database

April 26, 2018 by

One of the most important roles of a database administrator is to constantly protect the integrity of the databases and maintain the ability to recover quickly in case of a failure. In light of this, it’s critically important to have a backup-and-recovery strategy in place in order to be ready for an emergency.

A key responsibility of a database administrator is to ensure that a database is available whenever it’s needed, and prepare for various scenarios wherein the availability or the performance is impacted. Therefore, if a database, for whatever reason, gets corrupted, gets dropped, gets accidentally deleted, or goes into an unusable state, it is a database administrator’s responsibility to bring the database back up in a working state with little to no loss as per the defined service level agreements or government policies.

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Shawn Melton

Learning PowerShell and SQL Server – Introduction

April 23, 2018 by

Introduction

This article is the first step among many that I hope will help give you a foundation of knowledge to get started utilizing PowerShell. The focus in these steps will be specific to using PowerShell with SQL Server, but I have to cover some of the basic things. Which once you grasp the basics of PowerShell and using it, in a general sense, you set yourself up for easily learning how to use it with other products.

In this article I’m going to touch on the following items:

  • History Lesson (short reference for a timeline on releases)
  • Windows PowerShell vs PowerShell Core
  • SQL Server and PowerShell (as it is today)
  • Terminology (some terms that help to understand)
  • PowerShell Editors

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server index operations

April 19, 2018 by

In the previous articles of this series, we described the structure of the SQL Server tables and indexes, the main concepts that are used to describe the index and the basics and guidelines that are used to design the proper index. In this article, we will go through the operations that can be performed on the SQL Server indexes.

Creating Indexes

Before creating an index, it is better to follow the index design guidelines and best practices that are described in the previous article, to determine the columns that will participate in the index, the type of the created index, the suitable index options, such as the FillFactor or Sort in TempDB, and the storage location of that index.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding SQL Server Backup Types

April 19, 2018 by

SQL Server backups, in itself, is a vast subject; so vast, there are multiple books written about them. In this article, however, we are going to focus on the types of backups that are available to us, and understand how to pick what we need, and what aspects we base that decision on. This understanding would, in turn, help us decide our backup-and-restore strategy.

Following are the most common types of backups available in SQL Server:

  1. Full
  2. Differential
  3. Transaction log
  4. Tail Log backup
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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding SQL Server database recovery models

April 10, 2018 by

A recovery model is a database configuration option that determines the type of backup that one could perform, and provides the ability to restore the data or recover it from a failure.

The recovery model decides how the transaction log of a database should be maintained and protects the data changes in a specific sequence, which may later be used for a database restore operation.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Understanding the SQL Server Data Management Life Cycle

March 21, 2018 by

This is the second article in the “Backup and Restore (or Recovery) in SQL Server” stairway series (see the full TOC below). This article deals with the different phases of data management life cycle and it encompasses the following topics:

  1. Introduction to data corruption
  2. Defining data corruption and its causes
  3. Discussion on the impact of data corruption
  4. Explaining data prevention mechanisms
  5. Data protection
  6. And more…
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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server index structure and concepts

March 19, 2018 by

In my previous article, SQL Server Table Structure Overview, we described, in detail, the difference between Heap table structure, in which the data pages are not sorted in any ordering criteria and the pages itself are not sorted or linked between each other, and Clustered tables, in which the data is sorted within the data pages and the pages will be also linked in a double linked list, based on the index key. In this article, we will go through the structure of the SQL Server index, itself.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server table structure overview

March 7, 2018 by

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management systems (RDBMS) that, at its fundamental level, stores the data in tables. The tables are the database objects that behave as containers for the data, in which the data will be logically organized in rows and columns format. Each row is considered as an entity that is described by the columns that hold the attributes of the entity. For example, the customers table contains one row for each customer, and each customer is described by the table columns that hold the customer information, such as the CustomerName and CustomerAddress. The table rows have no predefined order, so that, to display the data in a specific order, you would need to specify the order that the rows will be returned in. Tables can be also used as a security boundary/mechanism, where database users can be granted permissions at the table level.

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