The Multifunctioning DBA

June 27, 2010  10:00 AM

New Toy

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I just purchased a Windows Home Server Device after much debate over what NAS solution would best fit my needs at home. After looking at multiple devices I found that none of them really seemed to do everything that I wanted and do it all well. After doing a lot of research I did find that a Windows Home Server met almost all of my requirments. The only thing that it does not have that I was looking for is a true RAID. I really want something that is going to keep all my data at home safe so I do not want it all on 1 disk. The Windows Home Server does do folder duplication and that should meet my needs. I would rather have a hardware raid but this should work. So I ended up getting a HP Mediasmart Home Server (Black). This comes with a single 1 TB drive and has 3 more bays for additional storage. Since I do not want all my data on a single disk I had to purchase at least one more disk in order to take advantage of the folder duplication to keep my data safe on two drives. So I went out and I bought 3 more drives. I got the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Hard Drive. This will boost my storage on the device to 4 TB and that should be plenty to hold all of my files including Media files like music and movies as well. This device will allow me to stream my media files to my Xbox 360 250GB Elite Console or my PlayStation 3. Also I will be able to access my files over the internet if I choose to set this up. This is a security concern for me so I need to look into that some more before I do it. This also has some good backup utilities that will let me backup all the computers in my house to this device so I will be able to restore files, or the entire image, if needed. I hope to get this in sometime today and I will write a better review once I have it set up.

June 26, 2010  4:00 PM

More of what I am reading

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I also picked up a more advanced Techical book and I am looking forward to dive into it, but I have not started reading it just yet. This book is Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting. While I have not opened up to page one and started reading it, I have used this book already 4 or 5 times to look things up to help me troubleshoot some issues. So far I would say that the book has already paid for itself just in the time saved looking things up in it and not sifting though hundreds of Google Hits and then looking for good information on the issue.
While I still consider myself new to SQL Server I do think that I am ready for a book of this caliber and I look forwared to getting into it and trying out many of the tips and tricks that I am sure the book holds. I think that understanding more about how SQL Server works under the flashy clicky gui pages will really help me be a better DBA and make my servers better for customers. Also I know that Brent Ozar (Blog | Twitter) is a co-author of the book and I read his site everyday and find myself disappointed when he does not have a new post. I like his wit, his writting and his knowledge level so him being one of the authors was a big selling point for me.

After I dive in I will give a full review on the book but I am sure it will be good. Most books that I have read from the Wrox publisher have been very good and I only expect more from this book.

June 26, 2010  8:00 AM

What I am Reading

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I recently picked up a few books and I thought I would mention them here and let you know what I think about them. First I picked up DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA

 I kind of fell into being a DBA after being a Windows Admin and thought this might shed some light on things that I should be doing. I have not finished the book yet, but I am more than half way through it. First let me say that it is written in a way that makes you want to keep reading. It is not dry like most Technical books, but in all fairness, it has not been terribly technical to this point. The Author does a great job lalying out what is going to be expected of you as a DBA and how to get in the job and grabbing the reigns and taking control. He talks about producing a server list and determining what servers you are and are not responsible for. This was great for me. When I started I did generate a server list of all the SQL Servers but I just assumed that I was the man for them all. Wow was that daunting!! This book lets you know that you may not need to care for all the servers and so I went to my boss with the list and he helped me weed out what I was and was not responsible for. Great tip. My boss also helped me prioritize some of the servers so I knew what to look at first.
I do not want to give out any more of the Authors secrets but the book is full of them. I had already been a DBA for a while and I had done and do many of the things that the book talks about, but I have learned many things from it as well. I recommend this book for anyone that wants to be a DBA or anyone that just wants to be a better DBA. Great book this far and I am looking forward to finishing it up.

June 25, 2010  7:00 PM

SSPI errors with SQL Server 2005

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I recently had an issue with a site that was getting some users connected to a few new SQL Server 2005 instances just fine, via ODBC connections, while other users were getting SSPI errors. SSPI usually is indicative of a problem with SPN’s and Kerberous Authentication. What was even more strange is that the Techs at the site told me that they did have a workaround. I expected them to say they had set up a generic SQL account for everyone to use but that was not it. They said that adding and entry to the host file of the local machine that pointed to the SQL Servers was a resolution. I, personally, think that this is a very very bad idea and not something that I would ever use as a solution. Since I did not think this was a good solution I continued digging and took the steps to resolve the SSPI errors. I reverted the SQL Server back to run as a local serivce account and I saw the SPN change in AD. Then I moved back to the domain service account and saw those changes reflect as well. Everything appeared to be working properly. I was pretty stumped, but then I started thinking about what a Host file entry does. It is DNS, and has nothing to do with SQL Server at all. With that in mind I started looking into our DNS and I found that NS lookup worked just fine for the servers. I pulled up DNS and I found the entries were correct for the Servers. Then I found out that this site also has two of its own domain controllers both hosting DNS as well. These servers should get Dynamic Replications of DNS brought down to them and be the same as the source DNS Server. I looked into both and found that one was not replicating properly. I worked with another team member, who fixed the DNS Replication, and now everything is working.

Moral of the story is that SSPI is not always SPN’s in AD. It could be unable to authenticate to the server because the DNS is not set up properly.

June 25, 2010  4:57 PM

SQL Saturday #47 Postponed

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

That is correct, SQL Saturday #47 has been postponed. This is due to a low number of registered attendes and speakers. I am hopeful that it is only because of the time of year that was chosen for the event. I am hoping that if the event is rescheduled for the early part of the year when it is cooler here that we will have a better turn out for attendees as well as for speakers to come out and make the event succesfull. I think that this was a good call by the organizers. I would hate to see the event go on and be limited in attendees and content. I really want Phoenix’s first SQL Saturday to be an event that paves the way for more, bigger, and better events.

June 9, 2010  3:24 PM

SQL Saturday 47 Swag

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

The Powershell stickers have arrived.

PS Sticker

PS Sticker

If you would like to get your very own sticker then come out to SQL Saturday #47 in Phoenix on July 17th and attend my Powershell for the DBA session. I will be handing them out during the session and I have plenty. Perhaps enough for all that attend. So stop waisting time. Come out get your free training, some swag, and a free lunch. Register now.

June 4, 2010  4:37 PM

SQL Saturday #47 in Phoenix

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Hey all, Phoenix is getting closer to SQL Saturday. The event is going to be held on July 17th at the DeVry Univeristy Campus located at:

DeVRY University
2149 West Dunlap Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85021

We have some great sessions that have been submitted and it should be a great day of free training, networking, and carreer building. I have a session submitted about Powershell and how it will help the Production DBA. I am pretty sure that I will be presenting so I have been doing some of my own legwork to get some great giveaways during my session. I should have the following for sure.

Powershell Cheat Sheet Poster – Donated by the Midnight DBA’s (blog | Twitter ) – Great stuff on this site.

Powershell Stickers – Donated by /n Software

A few Licensed Copies of Powershell Plus – Donated by Idera

I can not thank all of these people and companies enough for the generous donations to the event and my session specifically. Also need to thank the current event sponsers:

Quest –

Fusion-io –

and of course PASS –

I also know that Microsoft has provided some swag for the event and I am sure that will be good. I think that the organizers are working on getting lunch provided for the event and who knows what else.

Please, if this sounds interesting to you, pass the word around and get to the website to register. Link provided Below.

The more people that show up at the event the more fun it will be and hopefully we can have more and more of these that get better and better. We need you, the Community, to show up and get involved if you can. We are just over a month away and all the help we can get the better.

May 30, 2010  7:00 AM

Happy Memorial Day

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Well it is the Holiday and I hope that if you are checking on this blog it is only because you are at home and have nothing better to do. (OUCH, I am sure that you do) I hope that you all have had a great weekend and I hope that this third day of the weekend treats you great as well. Be safe and have fun!!!

May 29, 2010  8:12 PM

Oracle OEM

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Today I needed to log into a Oracle instance using OEM to look at some users and roles. I found that when attempting to log into the instance with the sys username and password and as sysdba I was getting insuffcient privledges. Well I immediatley logged into the host machine and I was able to login via sqlplus with the same credentials. I tested OEM against other Databases and had no issues. Then I remembered that this instance had been built not to long ago. I went and looked and I did not see the password file. Once I moved that from another host to this one, I was in. Just make sure you have that password file.

May 29, 2010  7:00 AM

Andriod Update

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

So I have had my HTC Hero from Sprint since the day it was released and I love it. It is a great phone and the Andriod OS is great and HTC did a good job adding some features. My biggest complaint has been that Sprint would not allow the phone to be updated to newer versions of the OS.  Well a couple days ago Sprint finally allowed the update to happen and it was all the way from 1.5 to 2.1. The update was not allowed OTA so you have to download it and install it connected via USB. The update took about 10 minutes and now I have so much goodness. If you have a Hero that is still running version 1.5 you NEED to upgrade it. You will not be sorry I Promise. Just make sure that you back up everything you have as it will reset the phone to factory defaults with the new version and wipe out everything you have.

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: