So You’re On A Deserted Island With WiFi and you’re still on the clock at work. Okay, so not a very good situational exercise here, but let’s roll with it; we’ll call it a virtual deserted island. Perhaps what I should simply ask is if you had a month without any walk-up work, no projects due, no performance issues that require you to devote time from anything other than a wishlist of items you’ve been wanting to get accomplished at work but keep getting pulled away from I ask this question: what would be the top items that would get your attention?
Learn More About vSphere
A couple of weeks ago VMware released there next version of ESX complete with new branding. The new product is vSphere 4.0 and it has a ton of new features. I’d love to be able to spend some time learning more about the new features as well as the best way to upgrade an ESX 3.5 Cluster to vSphere 4.0. Then I would be able to upgrade our production cluster to vSphere 4.0.
Learn more about SSAS
SQL Analysis Services is a part of SQL Server that I don’t know much about. I’d love to be able to sit down and spend some time learning more about it, and how I can leverage it to find ways to make more sales.
Get more work done on my open source projects
For a while now my work has been stalled on the two open source projects that I’ve started (Standalone SQL Agent and Outside Queue to SQL Service Broker Adapter). The Standalone SQL Agent is designed for SQL Servers running SQL Express so that they can have some job scheduling options as the SQL Express engine doesn’t include the SQL Agent. The Outside Queue to SQL Service Broker Adapter allows you to route messages from one message queueing system directly into the SQL Service broker without having to write customer software to sit between the two and process the message.
I’m a little late in getting this posted, so I’m going to hold off on tagging anyone this time around.
The people at the PASS 2009 have made the ultimate mistake. They’ve decided to allow me to come and speak at the PASS 2009 Summit this November. Continued »
Knowing who has been logging into your SQL Server is one of the key things to know about your SQL Server. It lets you know quite a bit about who’s using your server, and about who’s been trying to break into your SQL Server, and most importantly if they have succeeded.
Obviously you can setup a SQL Profiler trace to capture this information but that requires the overhead of running SQL Profiler, and who wants that.
All version of SQL Server (from 2000 and up at least) provide some level of logging about who has tried to log into the SQL Server. Within Enterprise Manager or SQL Server Management Studio’s Object Explorer right click on the Server and select properties (if using Enterprise Manger select properties not connection properties).
Select the Security Tab and find the Login Auditing section. By default SQL Server only logs the failed logons which is good as it tells you who hasn’t been able to log into the server. However it doesn’t tell you it they have been successful which is why you may want to change this to both failed and successful logins.
Now changing this setting has an upside and a downside. The upside is that you know who has been successfully broken into your database using a brute force attack and when. The downside is that every client that successfully connects to the SQL Server will also log an entry, making it very hard to find the correct entry you are looking for.
Where do these entries get logged to you ask? That’s the other downside. They get logged to the SQL Server ERRORLOG file and the Windows Security log file. Which means that these files will fill up fast. And if you have a large enough client base logging into the database VERY FAST.
In a perfect world, I’d set this screen to both failed and successful logins. In reality failed is probably all I can do.
SQL Server 2000 didn’t provide a whole lot of information about what is happening as it only says that Login n has tried to connect and failed. Not exactly helpful as you don’t know who was trying to login to the SQL Server using the sa account over and over again. SQL Server 2005 and up include a little piece of helpful information, the IP Address of the person who tried to connect to the SQL Server. This will help tell you who is connecting to the SQL Server so that you can smack them around.
I am mrdenny, and I am the killer of Smurfs.
A lesson that I learned while setting up our new data center for work, is to be careful when setting up your clustered servers.
Most of our servers are VMs, including a Windows 2008 Cluster (yeah I know not supported, I’m a rebel damn it and I want a Windows 2008 cluster installed under VMware ESX). Continued »
Something that most people don’t release needs a little TLC in SQL Server is the backup history.
Every time a database is backed up records are written about it. Over time this can add up to a lot of useless data floating around the SQL Server in the msdb database.
If you like to use the UI to restore you databases, this can also lead to the UI stalling when the restore database window comes up.
Fortunately Microsoft has provided a system stored procedure which you can use to clean up this old data. This procedure is the sp_delete_backuphistory system stored procedure. The usage of this procedure is very simple. It takes a single parameter @oldest_date which is simply the oldest date of data you want to keep. As an exmple:
EXEC sp_delete_backuphistory ‘1/1/2009′ would delete backup data older than Janunary 1, 2009.
The biggest difference between encrypted data and hashed data is that encrypted data can be decrypted later. Hash algorithms such as MD5 are one way hashing algorithms which means that the value that is returned can’t be decrypted back to the original value.
It is important to know the difference between the two when designing your database encryption schema. If you don’t need to retrieve the encrypted value then only store the hash. This way you don’t have the actual data for anyone to steal.
This week ServerFault.com has transissioned from Beta to fully live. This means that you no longer need to have the beta access code to access the site.
Hopefully you find the site as useful as I have while it was in beta.
With the recent release of the ability for the Lock Pages in Memory setting to be used on SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Standard Edition I see more and more people shooting them selves in the foot with this setting when running under VMware. I see this as becoming more of an issue now that this switch is available for Standard edition as I would assume that most virtualized SQL Server installations are done using SQL Server Standard Editions.
As of Monday it’s official, that I’m now one of the two moderators over at ServerFault.com. From what I understand this means I basically go through the list of posts that people have tagged as not being relevant to he site and remove them, as well as making sure that the user base is following the rules.
I think that its a great site, and I’m thrilled that Jeff trusts enough in me to put me into this position on the site.
The site is still in public beta. If you’d like to join the beta you’ll need to use the password “alt.sysadmin.recovery” to get into the site.