The Multifunctioning DBA

March 23, 2011  7:30 PM

Free Android Paid Apps

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Check out the new Amazon App Store for Android… I got set up with it yesterday and I have gotten two free normally paid apps. Cant beat that. I do not know how long they will keep this up but you should get on now so you can take full advantage of the kindness.

March 23, 2011  3:26 PM

PASS Summit 2011

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

This is the last week to get 40% off your registration to the PASS Summit. I was able to attend the summit in 2010 and it was fantastic. The community really comes out and does a lot of knowledge sharing and that is in the sessions and out of the sessions. Even at the after events and things like that everyone is talking SQL Server and learning is occurring. It was one of the best weeks of my life as far as my work life is concerned. I met some great people and I would love to go back every year. Unfortunately I doubt that I will be attending this year. I opted to attend a SQLSkills Emersion training event instead and I am looking forward to that. I am going to attempt to get to the Summit but I know that it will not be funded by work this year. I have to find a different manner of funding to attend and I will keep you posted if I can make it.

March 23, 2011  7:00 AM

Twitter #sqlhelp

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I do not know if you are on twitter or not but if not you need to be. I am not really a big fan of all of the social networking on the web but I found that twitter really helps you when you need it most. I can not tell you the number of times I have run into an issue, like why does a third party SQL backup tool need sysadmin role, and I have turned to #sqlhelp for the answer. I do not think I have ever been let down by the community when I have an issue. I also use it for Powershell by following the #powershell hashtag. So much good info and great people willing to help and share knowledge. So if you are like me you might not care what @smithco had for dinner but you might want to ask a question and get help, or answer and help someone else. Anyway get on it and use it. And I must say thanks to all who are out there tweeting on #sqlhelp and #powershell all the time. Even if I do not ask a question I sometimes find answers I never knew I was looking for.

March 22, 2011  8:45 PM

SQL Saturday #73

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

SQL Saturday #73 looks like it is shaping up to be another great event. I only wish I could be there all day. I will be arriving in the morning, presenting, and then leaving. I am hoping to be able to see a couple other sessions but am getting excited about presenting again. it is the same Powershell for the DBA that i did in Phoenix but I think it went well so I thought I would try it again. I am working on getting another Powershell Plus License or two to hand out like i did in Phoenix so I hope to have that for you if you attend.

Also, if you are going then why not speak. It really is a lot of fun and once you do it you will want to do it again. Just be sure that you practice. I practiced so much that I did not even need my slides and i could have talked about everything that I wanted. So give it a shot. Here is a link to the Event so you can register and submit a session.

Hope to see you there….

March 22, 2011  4:53 PM

Double Check Your Windows Team

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Recently I had to do some SQL Server installs and before the servers were handed over to me I had to define what storage we wanted for SQL Server. So we all agreed on the partitions and the Windows team would have those set up for me before we installed the SQL Server. Well I got the servers and one of them had the correct space allocated to the correct number of partitions but the drives were labeled incorrectly. Had I not noticed that I would have installed things on drives that would have run out of space quickly. Just a reminder to always double check things before you click next.

March 18, 2011  5:14 PM

Doing the Impossible

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I ran into a situation that I do not know that I have ever had before but it really turned out to be a lot of fun and I thought I would share.

So I know a company that uses a third party utility to handle backing up and restoring databases. They asked me to come in and look at the way things were running and make some recommendations about what should change, and what we can do to make things better. I came in and took a look. first I asked for a list of all SQL Server instances in the company and they could not provide. I asked for network segments and asked if I could run a discovery. After that I had a pretty good list. So I asked the person in charge of the backups if they could provide me a list of all the instances that the third party utility was backing up. They told me that was impossible!!!

While I was in discussions with them I was also running a script that touched all the instances that I found and checked the last backup date. I found a number that had not ever been backed up. I mentioned this to the person in charge of backups and he told me that he was 100% sure that ALL databases were being backed up.

Since my data and his assertions did not match up, and he told me it was not possible to get the list of instances I took that as a challenge. I accepted the challenge and after about 5 minutes of research and 30 minutes of scripting in powershell I was able to gather a list of instances that the tool was backing up. I found that over 50 instances in my discovered list are not in the tools list.

This just shows that just because a GUI does not give you a button to push to get information does not mean that you can not get it. Think outside of the box and you can almost always get what you need.

February 25, 2011  6:02 PM

SQL Saturday #73

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

After having so much fun at SQL Saturday #47 in Phoenix I decided to try it out again in Orange County. On April 9th I will be speaking at the Orange County SQL Saturday. I will be doing the same presentation that I did in Phoenix. “Powershell for the DBA”, it was so much fun the first time that I had to do it again. I am trying to get some giveaways to have at this one as well. The only down side to this is that I am not able to be at the event all day. I will not fly in until the event is already underway and I have to fly back home that same day. But I hope to catch a few other sessions while I am there. I see some on the list that I would love to check out.

So if you are going to be in the area come out and check it out and get a free day of great training.

SQL Saturday #73 page.

February 23, 2011  4:14 PM

SQL Saturday #47 Phoenix Review

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Again as I have said the first SQL Saturday in Phoenix was held this past weekend on the 19th of February.This was also my first SQL Saturday that I have attended so keep that in mind when reading this. I have been to one PASS Summit so that is really my only point of reference when talking about these types of events. With that in mind lets get started.

First off the speakers dinner. Since I had the honor of speaking at the event I was able to attend the speakers dinner on Friday night before the event. The event was held at a Pizza and Pasta Place that was not too far from the campus that the event was at. The food was good and we had a private room and that made it very nice. We had a good turnout and we had a great time. Free food and drinks for us all and just a great environment for us to meet each other and have some good discussions.

Now to the actual event. I arrived a bit early in order to offer some help if needed, but not much was needed. I helped lay out some food, of which we had plenty, and I took a look at the presentation rooms and I was very happy with the facilities. We had a nice set of rooms that were all located together so the fifteen minutes between sessions was more than enough time to get one speaker out and thee next in. In fact, I did not miss any sessions even though I had to get ready for my own.

In the registration room things were organized nicely as well. We had a nice area for the vendor booths as well as the registration area and all the food that I mentioned before. The organizers also did a good job getting plenty of swag for us to give out during the presentations. We had a nice schedule listing the sessions and what rooms they would be in and at what times. We did have a minor issue with those as they had a couple typos with the room assignments but it was resolved without much of a thought. Great job by the organizers.

Once the sessions got started I did not see any hitches. For me, as an attendee and a speaker, I really thought that everything went very smooth with really no issues at all that I noticed.We even had some rooms that were not being used so if we had a need to use another room for discussion or more questions after a session that was available to us. Excellent idea and again great planning.

Lunch was next and it was done very well as well. The food was plentiful and good. The lunch was provided by the same resturaunt that provided the speakers dinner. Lunch was served in the same room as the Vendor booths and registration but the room was large enough to handle it, especially since we also had a WIT panel in a room next to the main room. We really had it all. After everyone was done with lunch the vendors had a chance to speak to the mass and do the giveaways that they had. It was a lot of fun overall.

The afternoon sessions was more of the same that we saw in the morning. Just good presentations going off without any hitches at all, at least none that I saw. Everything flowed very well and all the sessions that I attended had a full room.

Even when things did come up, like speakers not showing up all for valid reasons, the show went on and some speakers stepped up and did a second presentation. I really have to take my hat off to Samson Loo (Twitter) and Chris Coneybeer (Twitter). They really did an Awesome job with everything and I just want to let them know how much I appreciate all the work that they did and I am looking forward to the next one.

Also I forgot to mention that they also did an after party. I was unable to attend the party but what I have heard is that all had a great time.

Also want to say that the community really came out and made this event a huge success. We had speakers from all over the country east coast and west as well as some great local Phoenix speakers as well. So thanks to all for coming out and showing what a great community we have here in Phoenix as well as just how AWESOME the SQL Server community really is. I am proud and honored to be a part of the community.

This event was so much fun and such a personal success as it was my first time speaking, that I want to get more involved and I am now thinking I will also be speaking at SQL Saturday #73 in Huntington Beach CA. So please come out and join me and support the community even more.

February 23, 2011  8:00 AM

SQL Saturday Slides and Scripts

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Since I still have not heard about uploading the SQL Saturday content up to the SQL Saturday site. I figured I would get them up somewhere so you can go get them and start using them if you like. Please remember that all Scripts are provided as is with no warranty or Guarantee. Please test all scripts in non-production environments!!!! I will not be responsible for anything that may happen due to you running the scripts. So please Test Test Test before running them in a production environment. That being said here is the link to the download so I hope that you enjoy.

Powershell for the DBA

Also if you attended the session please please go out to and let me know how I did. This was my first time and any and all feedback will be helpful to me. I would like to continue to do this and I would like to get better.

February 22, 2011  3:44 PM

Do you Attend SQL Saturday Events

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Since we just had our first local SQL Saturday event in Phoenix, I thought I would try a survey and see if you are all attending these great events. Depending on the answers I get I am sure I will do more. So the Question is ‘Have you ever attended a SQL Saturday Event’. I am curious to see the answers as I would love to see involvement in the events grow. So please let me know.

Instant Survey: Have you attended a SQL Saturday Event?

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