SQL Server with Mr. Denny


September 14, 2012  5:23 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for September 14, 2012

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Denny

September 12, 2012  2:00 PM

When clustering guests, host them on different LUNs

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

When building virtual clusters under any HyperVisor you need to make sure that all the nodes of the cluster are being hosted on different LUNs on the hosts. If you build the VMs on the same LUN and that LUN fails for some reason then both of the nodes of the cluster will be down, and the whole point of clustering will have been lost.

While this hopefully goes without saying, it’s just another thing that needs to be thought about when building virtual SQL Server clusters.

Denny


September 10, 2012  5:41 PM

SQL Saturday 147 Slide Decks

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

I had the pleasure of speaking at SQL Saturday 147 in Recife, Brazil about 2 weeks ago.  I just realized that I never got my slide decks for my sessions uploaded.

I gave 3 sessions that weekend.

Table indexing for the .NET Developer

Reading the SQL Server Execution Plan

Where should I be encrypting my data

If you attended one of my sessions and you wanted a copy of the slide deck, here you go.

Denny

Update 9/10/2012 11:43am (Pacific Time): It appears that GoDaddy is under attack by Anonymous which has taken many sites offline (including my mrdenny.com site which is where those links above point to).  So for now those links won’t be working.  Once GoDaddy gets this all fixed (or I get fed up and move my site to another hosting provider) the links will start working again.


September 7, 2012  5:05 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for September 07, 2012

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Denny


September 6, 2012  11:41 PM

New Podcast called People Talking Tech

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

So in all my free time (that 7 minutes a week that I wasn’t already using for something) I’ve decided that I needed to try something new.  I’ve put together a new podcast called People Talking Tech (www.peopletalkingtech.com) where myself and whoever I can sucker into joining me is kind enough to join me will talk about something technical for your education, enjoyment, disgust, or whatever.

The pod cast episodes will be coming out Tuesday mornings (Pacific Time).  Once I get the first ones out I’ll be working on getting it submitted to iTunes so that you can pick it up there on your favorite fruity device.

The topics will vary depending on who my victim guest is that week.  We could be talking about Windows, SQL Server, Xbox, Surface, .NET, etc. or pretty much anything else that comes to mind.

These are totally un-scripted and for the most part un-edited.  Some come check them out.  I promise mild entertainment at the least. :)

While the site went live today the first episode will go live on September 11th.  My first guest is Karen Lopez.  You can find out a bit more about the show over on the People Talking Tech website (www.peopletalkingtech.com).

Denny


September 5, 2012  2:00 PM

The world does not revolve around cloud computing or coding.

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

Back on August 28th another ITKE poster wrote a blog post titled “The elephant not in the room” in which they talk about how if you want to work in IT in the future you better plan on working at one of the big cloud providers or you better be a programmer.  I’ve got one simple response to this.

Bull Shit!

While it is true that a lot of companies are moving SOME services to the cloud, most companies are not looking at moving every service to the cloud.  Even if they wanted to move everything to the cloud so that Amazon, Rackspace, Microsoft (Azure), etc. could handle the managing of the servers there are some things which will simply never sit in the public cloud.  Here’s a short list to start with…

  • Medical Data (there’s this thing called HIPAA that requires you know who has accessed the data)
  • Confidential data
  • Any customer data from companies in Europe
  • Most legacy applications which contain personally identifiable information

There are also plenty of services that IT provides that simply can’t be replaced by the cloud.  This includes things like:

  • Network infrastructure at the office
  • DHCP, DNS, Authentication, etc. services at the office
  • Telecom Services
  • File Servers
  • Account provisioning in what ever applications are running in the cloud

Even when services are moved to the oh so magical cloud there are still plenty of non-code things that need to be done by someone who works for the company who’s application will be hosted by the cloud.

  • Virtual Machine Architecture (remember when Amazon’s EC2 had that little problem with some of the groups going offline?)
  • Application deployments (separation of duties is still a SOX requirement when applications are in the cloud)
  • Disaster Recovery planning (realistically how would the business have reacted during that EC2 outage?)
  • Disaster Recovery testing (if you plan for a disaster and don’t test the plan, you’ve got nothing useful.)
  • Scaling applications (not everything automatically scales like they marketing material says)
  • Moving applications from one cloud provider to another (if I can save $10 a month by moving from EC2 to Rackspace for example, why shouldn’t I)
  • Database Index Tuning
  • Server Patching

On top of all of that, there’s other risks with moving everything that runs a company into the cloud.  Now that you no longer own the servers you can’t control what the other servers are running on the physical hardware.  So if that tier 1 application that requires millisecond response time isn’t getting it, there’s basically nothing that you can do.  And what happens where there’s an internet outage at the office and your employees can’t access the software they need to do their jobs?  Suddenly the savings of moving that tier 1 application to the cloud wasn’t the greatest plan.

Now there are definitely benefits to moving SOME application and services to the cloud, but the thought that everything will move to the cloud and if you want to stay employed you better learn how to write application code, is total crap.


August 31, 2012  5:21 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for August 31, 2012

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

Hopefully you find them as useful as I did.

Denny


August 29, 2012  9:00 AM

Creating PDF Files From Any Application

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

These days creating PDF files is getting easier and easier, especially when you are using a Microsoft Office application like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. to create the initial document.  However all too often you want to create a PDF file from another application like Firefox, Chrome, IE, Notepad, etc. This isn’t the easiest thing to do without paying for something expensive like Adobe Acrobat Writer.

There however is a much easier way, which is actually free to use, and this is called CutePDF Writer.  This isn’t some file converter that reads the input file and makes a PDF or anything complex like that.  It is simply a printer driver that takes the output which would be sent to a printer and instead creates a PDF file out of it then asking you where you want to save the file.

There is no configuration needed, just download and install the driver and application.  When you need to make a PDF there’s no application to run, simply print your file like normal and the PDF will be created.  That’s all there is to it.

Denny


August 24, 2012  5:01 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for August 24, 2012

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

Hopefully you find them as useful as I did.

Denny


August 22, 2012  3:00 PM

My First Days With Windows 8 RTM

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

As I’m as MSDN subscriber I was able to download Windows 8 from the MSDN website on August 15th and get it installed.  At this point I’ve upgraded all three of my machines so I wanted to give you a review of what I like and don’t about the new OS.  Before I go on I’m not going to bitch and moan about the new start menu (or lack of a start menu).  I’ve been using Windows 8 as a beta or test version on at least one machine for months now, and I’ve been using only the Windows 8 beta versions for about 6 weeks so I’m used to the new start menu.  Once you get all the useless icons that you’ll never use off of the start menu (by right clicking on them and then clicking the “unpin from start” button at the bottom) it makes things a lot easier.

Do keep in mind as you read this, I’m not a PC gamer, so I’m not pushing my systems to 100% all the time.  I’m a normal IT worker so I’ve got a bunch of pretty random apps installed but I don’t push the systems to their limits at all.  Also I’ve got SSD drives in all the machines so the disk speed isn’t a bottleneck.

 

The first thing that you’ll notice with Windows 8 when you log in is that the interface has changed a bit from the beta versions and Windows 7.  The default theme is more “metro styled” with white borders around all the applications instead of the more translucent borders that there were in the Windows 8 beta and preview releases.

From a day to day usability perspective I haven’t really had any problems with Windows 8. I got really lucky on the driver side of things as both my laptops and my desktop were fully supported.  I’m still waiting for HP to get around to getting updated drivers but that isn’t suppressing.  As Hyper-V is now a feature of Windows 8 you can simply create a Windows XP Virtual Machine (you’ll need a Windows XP license and install media for this) to install the HP scanner software (for example) so that things like your HP scanner work.  Windows 8 did a great job of finding my network printer and installing and configuring it automatically for me.

All of the things that I need to do on the machine I can do easily.  There’s a few annoying things to get used to, like you can’t hit the Windows key on the keyboard then control panel as it isn’t there any more.  The easiest thing to do to get into the control panel is to open My Computer then click the computer tab at the top, then click the “Open Control Panel” icon.

Most of the old keyboard shortcuts from Windows 7 and earlier still exist.  In fact there’s a list of keyboard short cuts available here.

So far I haven’t really had any major application compatibility issues to speak of.  The big annoying one was the Cisco VPN installer (big shock I know) which would either crash, or crash the machine (usually the machine).  The fix was pretty easy, just run the installer in Windows 7 compatibility mode.  After that there’s a registry key that needs to be changed manually to get it to work (talked about here).  The key that needs to be fixed can be found at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\CVirtA.  Change the DisplayName key to either “Cisco Systems VPN Adapter” or “Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows” (depending if you have a 32bit install or a 64bit install).

The only other issue that I’ve run into so far is that the VMware vSphere management tool doesn’t allow me to view the desktop of the virtual machines as there’s some conflict probably with Visual Studio (which is a requirement of the full SQL Server 2012 tools).  So far I haven’t been able to find any solution to this problem in the long term.  Some have reported that reinstalling vSphere fixes it, but that hasn’t worked for me yet.

The other applications which I use on a daily basis have been working pretty smoothly.  Things like the Windows VPN, IE, FireFox, SQL Server Management Studio, Office 2010 and 2013 beta, QuickBooks, Skype and VMware Workstation all appear to be working together without an issue at all.

One thing that I have noticed is that when copying files between machines is much faster when doing Windows 8 to Windows 8.  So doing things like backing up my VMs from one machine to another is very quick.

When it comes to battery life I’ve had a pretty good experience.  It seems like Windows 8 is less CPU intensive than Windows 7 was so my battery lasts a little bit longer than it did with Windows 7.

Windows 8 has a really nice file transfer dialog box (shown below) which makes it a lot easier to figure out what’s going on with file transfers.  If you start up multiple transfers they will all be stacked into one window, instead of having lots of different windows one for each transfer.

Over all I’ve been pretty happy with Windows 8 (I must be as I upgraded to it on day 1).  Give it a try.  I admit that the start menu and other changes will take a little getting used to, but there’s no way around them as I’m guessing that they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

Denny

 


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