Ahmad Yaseen

Database checkpoints – Enhancements in SQL Server 2016

September 21, 2016 by

When a new row is inserted or an existing one is updated in your database, the SQL Server Database Engine will keep that change in the buffer pool in the memory first, without applying each change directly to the database files for IO performance reasons. These data pages located in the buffer pool and not reflected yet to the database files are called Dirty Pages. The SQL Server Database Engine uses a special kind of processes to write these dirty pages to the data and log database files periodically. These processes are called Checkpoints. The Checkpoint creates a mark that is used by the SQL Server Database Engine to redo any transaction that is committed, written to the database transaction log file without reflecting the data changes to the data files due to an unexpected shutdown or crash. Also, this recovery point that is created by the Checkpoint will be used to roll back any data changes associated with uncommitted transaction, by reversing the operation written in the transaction log file. In this way the SQL Server Engine will guarantee the database consistency. The time that is taken by the SQL Server Database Engine to redo and undo the transactions is called the Recovery Time. All information about the Checkpoints will be written to the database boot page to identify till which point the database files are synchronized with the buffer pool when the system wakes up after crash or shutdown.

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Ed Pollack

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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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to stop a runaway SSIS package

September 13, 2016 by

There are many reasons for terminating a long running SSIS Package. Picture a scenario whereby an inexperienced DBA/developer accidentally kicks-off a monthly job instead of a daily job, inadvertently impacting SQL Server performance. Whatever the reasons, you are more than likely to encounter a situation in which you have to temporary stop a long running process.

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Miroslav Dimitrov

How to perform backup and restore operations on SQL Server stretch databases

September 7, 2016 by

The Stretch database is one of the latest and most-exciting features that has been released with SQL Server 2016. In the previous article, we examined the concept behind it, the steps to implement it, monitor it and how it can be disabled. As a natural follow-up, we will explore the backup and restore topic when it comes to those kind of databases.

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Artemakis Artemiou

Top 10 security considerations for your SQL Server instances

August 31, 2016 by

SQL Server is one of the world’s leading data platforms. It is being broadly used hosting millions of databases. These databases store data. This data are each organization’s most valuable asset. It is with this data that organizations run their everyday operations and processes. This fact makes it a necessity to efficiently secure your SQL Server instances, in order to protect your databases and consequently your data. This article suggests a list with the top 10 security considerations based on which you can efficiently secure your SQL Server instances.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Optimize NULL values storage consumption using SQL Server Sparse Columns

August 29, 2016 by

SQL Server 2008 introduces a new column attribute that is used to reduce the storage consumed by NULL values in the database tables. This feature is known as Sparse Columns. Sparse Columns work effectively in the case of the columns with high proportion of NULL values, as SQL Server will not consume any space storing the NULL values at all, which helps in optimizing the SQL storage usage.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to execute SQL Agent Jobs

August 22, 2016 by

Every production ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) solution is often intrinsically linked to a scheduling mechanism that is used to execute that ETL solution. In a SQL Server-based environment, SQL Server Agent is one of the scheduling mechanism that can be utilised to schedule an execution of ETL solutions such as SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) packages. In the organisation that I currently work for, we’ve had several instances (for various reasons) whereby as the data team we’ve been required to provide a platform for business users to execute an ETL at their own convenience (i.e. on-demand). In this article, we will demonstrate on how we went about delivering self-service ETL execution requirement.

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Minette Steynberg

10 things you need to know to become a Data Scientist

August 22, 2016 by

Introduction

If you have been browsing job ads lately, you would have noticed a huge amount of positions available for Data Scientist. The demand seems to be much larger than the supply which means that there is a huge opportunity here. However, there appears to be a catch: Most of these positions requires some experience or knowledge in the field of Data Science. So if you want midway through your career, how can you skill up to become a Data Scientist?

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