SQL Server with Mr. Denny

September 9, 2010  11:00 AM

I’ll be talking about SQL Clusteres to some .NET developers

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

Later this month (September 15th to be specific) I’ll be speaking at the San Gabriel Valley .NET Users Group.  They’ve requested that I come in and talk about SQL Server Clustering, which I just happen to have a slide deck about.

If you happen to be in the area feel free to come on over.  The group meets over at 605 E Huntington Dr, Monrovia, CA 91016.

As usual I’ll be at a near by Starbucks before the meeting starts.  I’ll tweet my location thanks to 4Square when I get there.


UPDATE: Turns out that I’ll actually be speaking about indexes today instead.

September 7, 2010  11:00 AM

I’m looking for your auditing check lists.

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

As many people may already know I’m working on a SQL Server security book which is due out Q1 of next year.  One thing which I’m including in the book are check lists that people can follow to help them pass the various audits which we as IT professionals now have to pass.  If you’ve got a checklist that you use at work, that you are able to share I would really appreciate it if you could send those over to me.  The reason that I’m putting out this call is that every auditor looks for different information, so I’m trying to put together a sort of master list of items to look at.

I’m going to collect the various checklists and combine them into a sort of master check for each type of external audit.  I’m sure that there are more audits than what I’m listing here, so if you know of a type of audit that you’ve had to deal with feel free to send them over as well.  I know of PCI, SOX (Sarbanes–Oxley), and HIPAA audits.

If you don’t have a checklist but you have an audit you’d like to share (please be sure not to get yourself fired for sending it to me) I can take that and turn them into a checklist.  If you send an audit I’ll be sure to not publish any confidential information about your company.

Anything that you can find and send between now and the end of September 2010 would be great as that will give me a couple of weeks to put everything together for my editor.  Anything you can send please send to mrdenny AT mrdenny DOT com.



September 6, 2010  11:00 AM

I’ll be the September 23rd presentor for the Virtualization Virtual Chapter

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

On September 23rd I’ll be presenting for the SQL PASS Virtualization Virtual Chapter.  I’ll be doing part of the pre-con that I’ll be doing at the PASS Summit.  So in addition to getting some great info (at least I think its great info) you’ll get a nice teaser for what you’ll be able to see at the pre-con in November.


September 3, 2010  11:00 AM

So where will those SQL PASS parties be?

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

So if you caught my blog post yesterday, I talked about finding some of the after parties to get some “social networking” done.  Because the overall Microsoft MVP community is totally awesome Joseph Guadagno (Blog | Twitter), the MVP who put together mvpsummitevents.com and techedevents.info has put together passsummitevents.info for we SQL Server peps.

The site has a flikr feed as well, so any pictures which are uploaded to flikr.com with the tag SQLPass10 will automatically be shown on the site.  (All you photo walk people be sure to tag everything when you upload them.)

I’ve got The Tap House entered in there for each night since people will always land there.  We’ll get Bush Garden entered in as well.  Events have to be approved before they show up so SPAM doesn’t end up there.

Many thanks for Joseph for setting this up for us, it’ll be a huge help getting people together and getting people to meet new people.

So if you are going to go to an official event, or a tweet up, or a drink up, or a bar fight get it posted in there so that we can spread the word about the party.  Vendors, if you are going to throw something there’s a sign-up link that you can put in when the event is submitted so have at it.


September 2, 2010  11:00 AM

So you want to go to a conference, but you are afraid that you don’t know anyone there.

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

Odds are that you know someone at the conference, its just a matter of finding them.  Of every conference that I’ve attended I can’t think of a single conference where I haven’t found someone that I know from somewhere that I’ve worked.

Some of these conferences can be quite large, shows like TechEd or PDC can easily have over 10,000 attendees, so finding friends may be hard to find.

Now some IT Professionals find it hard to make friends and meet new people at conferences (shocking I know, people who tend to be introverts have problems making friends).  If you find yourself being one of these people I have a few tricks that can help you find friends and make sure that you have a good time at the conference.

In the morning

Skip the hotel breakfast.  Every conference that I’ve gone to provides you with breakfast.  Yes I’m well aware that the hotel breakfast it better than the conference breakfast, but the other attendees are at the conference breakfast.  When you have gotten your crappy conference breakfast, not all of them suck but most seem to. I half think that its so that people have something to talk about over breakfast.  So after you’ve gotten your breakfast from the buffet, its time to find somewhere to sit.  Any table which is empty isn’t suitable for you to sit at either, there must be something wrong with the table that’s why no one else is there.  Find a table that’s got a few people sitting at it, preferably that are already chatting.

When you get to the table, don’t just plop down and start eating.  This won’t get you into the conversation, a quick “Hey is this seat taken?” will get you a moment of face time, and probably a quick “help yourself” or something similar.  As you eat, follow the conversation and interject something useful if you can.  When the conversation lags a little bit, if you the people at the table haven’t become your best friends yet its time to speak up.  I’ve got a couple of questions here to get you started.

“Hey I’m {Your Name}, where are you folks from?”

“I’m planning on catching {Some Session you plan to attend}, what are you looking forward to seeing?”

These should at least get the conversation started.  When talking with people at the conference, keep in mind these people do the same thing for a living that you do so you’ve got something in common right there to talk about.

Lunch Time

Again, you’ll want to head to the conference food hall as this is where almost all the conference attendees are going to be.  The same questions to start the conversation from above apply here.

If this is a day which doesn’t have a planned event that night, I’ve got another important question for you to ask.

“Did you folks have any plans for tonight?”

If they say yes, and it doesn’t sound like a private event ask it anyone can come.  The worst that they’ll say is that it’s a private event.  Odds are you’ll get a yeah sure, it’s at {Some Bar} there are going to be a bunch of us there.

Dinner Time

Now the trick with dinner is that most conference don’t provide dinner, that’s usually up to you.  The best way to find people to have dinner with is to put away your wallet and talk to the vendors.  Someone is going to be throwing a party of some sort, you just need to find it.  These official parties usually don’t last all that late, but they will be full of people to talk to and they will have free food and a couple of free drinks.

The people that you have met at the vendor party will hopefully lead you to the next section.

The after party

There is pretty much always going to be something going on after the official parties.  You can call it a night at any time from dinner, until what ever time the local bars close.

When it comes to SQL PASS the default place to go after the official parties are done is the Tap House on 6th Street in Seattle.  They’ve got a good menu of beers and other drinks, a couple of pool tables and lots of tables.

It has started to become a little more common for the official and even the unofficial parties to be listed on a website somewhere.  For the MVP Summit this year someone put together the mvpsummitevents.com website.  For TechEd they put together the techedevents.info website.  When the SQL PASS summit comes around this year, I’m not sure if they will have a website for us or not.  Hopefully PASS will have a sign board or something by the PASS HQ booth where people can post official and unofficial parties that are open to everyone.

If you still aren’t sure how to find a party, look for the speakers.  They’ll have some sort of different badge on, or a flag hanging from their badge.  They should pretty much all know a lot of people, as they’ve probably been coming to the conference for years and they will either know where the after parties will be, because they will be there themselves or they will know who you need to talk to to find out where the parties are.

When you get to your next conference, work on having a good time. You won’t be disappointed if you do.


August 30, 2010  11:00 AM

What does a user group meeting have for me?

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

If you’ve never been to a user group before you should definitely find your local one (in what ever it is you do for a living) and check out a meeting or two.  They are a great way to network with other IT professionals that work in the same field that you do.  Each user group meeting has at least one speaker who will be presenting on some sort of relevant technology.  It may be something that you use on a regular basis, or something that you’ve heard of but haven’t been able to use, or maybe even something that you’ve never heard of.

Depending on who’s at the meeting, and who’s presenting you may get to meet some excellent contacts like your local Microsoft evangelist, or your local vendor evangelist.  For example at a .NET user group meeting I was at in July, our local Microsoft MSDN evangelist was there, as well as evangelist from three .NET software vendors.  All of which are fantastic contacts for the .NET programmers that were there. Continued »

August 26, 2010  11:00 AM

Be careful were you place that Windows 2003 page file

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

If you are building a Windows 2003 cluster (yes I know it’s out of support, but so is SQL Server 2000 and lots of people are still using that) you need to be very careful where you put the page file.  If you put the page file on local disk there won’t be any problem, but if you put the page file on the SAN for increased performance then any other disks on that same storage bus won’t be able to be clustered. Continued »

August 23, 2010  11:00 AM

Make sure you restart vCenter after upgrading to Update 2

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

So I recently upgraded by VMware vCenter server from 4.0 U1 to 4.0 U2 and ran across a little problem. After I upgraded I couldn’t attach any hosts to the vCenter server.  It kept telling me that vCenter couldn’t talk to the host even though it could.

After digging into the logs we saw that there was a problem with the SSL handshake.  It turns out that another restart of the vCenter services was all that was needed to clear up the problem.

So if you are having problems attaching hosts to vCenter after your upgrade just restart the vCenter services on the vCenter server and you should be fine.


August 20, 2010  7:55 PM

SQL Saturday 55 is coming up soon (#sqlsaturday, #sqlsat55, #sqlpass)

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

Southern California’s second SQL Saturday is coming up soon, and is looking for more speakers and more attendees.  If you’ve wanted to try your hand at presenting this is a great chance.  The event is September 18th, 2010 down in San Diego, CA. Continued »

August 20, 2010  11:00 AM

Lessons Learned from reinstalling EMC’s Replication Manager

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry

EMC has a very nice, and very expensive piece of software called Replication Manager.  Replication Manager is basically a giant scheduler that helps you create storage clone and snapshots on a regular schedule.  Pretty much everything that it does, can be handled via batch files if you have the time to get everything written the way you want.  Replication Manager simply gives you an easy interface to set this stuff up in, and it’ll email you on failures, that sort of stuff.

Now the product works very well (as well it should for what it costs), but I recently had to reinstall it.  The reason for the reinstall is that the machine that it was installed on was a Windows 2003 x86 machine, and the reason for keeping it as Windows 2003 was gone, so I decided to upgrade it to Windows 2008 x64.  Because I was moving from x86 to x64 a full format was needed taking upgrading out of the picture.  I also wanted to increase the size of the C drive from 20 Gigs to 50 Gigs, so a format was going to be needed anyway.

So being a DBA I backed up the data folder under c:\Program Files\EMC\rm\serverdb\ and wiped the machine and got the new OS up and running.  I reinstalled Replication Manager and dropped the data folder back where I got it from.  But this time the services failed to fire up.  It basically told me that files were missing.  So I put the old files back and started the services.  They started up this time.  Apparently the folder c:\Program Files\EMC\rm\serverdb\log is also important as those appear to be the transaction log for the database, not just the normal log files. (I opened the file in notepad and it was in binary.)  To safely backup all of everything, I’d recommend grabbing everything just to be safe.

Now the next problem I ran across was when my job ran which mounts the clone to another server.  Since there was already a LUN there with that drive letter Replication Manager failed the job because it didn’t know what to do as it wasn’t in control of the drive that was mounted.  Even though the LUN was mounted by the old RM server, because the new RM server didn’t know about the old job it didn’t know that it could safely remove the LUN from the server and present the new clone.

So I guess the big piece of this to remember is that if you have to rebuild your Replication Manager server, you’ll need to go to all your machines which you have presented the clone or snapshots to, and manually remove them from those servers so that Replication Manager can post those LUNs to the destinations correctly.


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