Friday, September 19, 2014

MagicPASS September meeting

I spoke at the MagicPASS September User Group meeting in Celebration, FL.

Kendal Van Dyke (b|t) does a great job running this group.

Home-cooked meals for attendees! Need I say more? But, I will. 

The Disney Vacation Club provides an excellent facility.

I liked the MagicPASS meeting format. They have a pre-meeting and a main meeting. I spoke during the main meeting at 7:30 PM. The meal is served between the two meetings. Baked ziti and salad. Nom, nom, nom.

During the pre-meeting, the presentation was a recording from the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter. This is a great idea because it makes attendees aware that virtual chapters exist and they get a chance to see a presentation that maybe they didn't get to see. I had seen this one. Oh, well.

Another informative agenda item in the pre-meeting is "Industry News".  Kendal talked about upcoming service packs, cumulative updates, and critical patches. He asked if anyone was using Ola Hallengren's scripts. (YES!) Then, he described an issue he had with the scripts caused by a memory leak in one of the SQL Server components that is fixed by a recent CU. Kendal also shared his experience on a recent trip to VMWare. I learned DBAs should have READ access to vSphere ( I do.) and that if you turn the correct "nerd knobs", SQL Server runs pretty well on VMWare. This is WHY I go to user group meetings! I always learn something I didn't know.

My take-away from this meeting is that I need to have a clear view of my notes in Presenter view. My laptop was on a table instead of on a podium and I think this caused too many hesitations in my talk at the beginning because I would pause to bend over and check my notes.  I like to stand when presenting instead of sitting. I'll need to expand the font size of the notes or commit more to memory.

The next day, I figured out how to increase the font size of the notes in Presenter View. 

It takes just over an hour to drive to the MagicPASS meeting location from my house so I'd be willing to do it again for the "Happiest SQL User Group on Earth". 
Thank you Kendal and MagicPASS for having me! 

I'll be there the next time you have tacos. ;-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My upcoming speaking calendar

If you work in an organization that is finding it increasingly difficult to allow SQL Server database administrators unfettered sysadmin access to your Production servers, then you have four opportunities to hear me speak about how to control this type of access.

PASS Healthcare Virtual Chapter
August 21, 2014
http://healthcare.sqlpass.org/

MagicPASS 
September 17, 2014
http://magicpass.sqlpass.org/

SQL Saturday #318 in Orlando, FL 
September 27, 2014
http://www.sqlsaturday.com/viewsession.aspx?sat=318&sessionid=21152

Training on the T's
October 7, 2014
http://www.pragmaticworks.com/LearningCenter/FreeTrainingWebinars/FutureWebinars.aspx?ResourceId=692


Sunday, August 3, 2014

How do I get started with PowerShell?

My co-workers recently asked me how to get started with PowerShell.  
Many of them are still writing VBScript and I am VERY willing to help them stop writing VBScript.

So, I sent the following to them. Most of which is FREE.

Windows PowerShell Scripting


FREE E-books:


The VBScript-to-Windows PowerShell Conversion Guide

Don Jones’ "Learn 'Something' in a Month of Lunches" books are very good. 
I have this one.

For real world examples, I recommended:
Finally, The Stairway to SQL PowerShell looks like one of the easiest ways to start.
This is not meant to be a complete list because I didn't want to overwhelm them. You can always find more with your favorite search engine.
I'm hoping this post will help someone else get started with PowerShell. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Checking for SQL Server AlwaysOn patches for Windows Server 2008R2...

Time moves slower in a big company's data centers.

Meaning, you might not get to run SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability groups on Windows Server 2012. If not, you'll have to check several patches are applied for it to work correctly on Windows Server 2008 R2.

This excellent resource provides a list of the needed patches in the FREE AlwaysOn Setup Checklist PDF.

I think the easiest way to determine if all the required patches are installed is by using the PowerShell cmdlet get-hotfix with the -computername and -id parameters.

Beware, the example below is a single line.

get-hotfix -computername YourServerNameHere -id KB2494036, KB2494162, KB2520235, KB2524478, KB2531907, KB2550886, KB2552040, KB2578103, KB2578113, KB2582281, KB2616514, KB2654347, KB2687741, KB976097, KB980915


If any of the patches are found, a five column result set is returned. 

If all the patches are found, you'll see fifteen rows. 

If none of the patches are found, the command throws an error and you'll see red.
White beats red any day.
While writing this post, Windows Server 2012 was approved for PRODUCTION deployment at my big company. 

Does that mean time moves faster when you blog? ;-D


Thursday, July 3, 2014

My PASS Summit 2014 Abstract Feedback

I've just received my feedback from the review committee for the 2014 PASS Summit.  

I'm thrilled with this feedback even though my session was not accepted. 



This is the kind of feedback all potential speakers need going forward.

Thank you to the PASS leadership and the #sqlpass community for making this happen.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Tell me more...

I submitted one session for the 2014 PASS Summit.
I knew it was a long shot because...

It was a "Security" topic. 
I am not an MVP.
I am not a Consultant.
I am not an MCM.
I don't travel to SQL Saturdays outside of Florida. 

The only feedback I got was...

Session not accepted - allocated number for track filled based on session rating and topic coverage

Do I need to stay at a Holiday Inn Express to get accepted?

I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express when I spoke at SQL Saturday #298 in Jacksonville, FL.

Seriously, I've spoken at THIRTEEN SQL Saturdays so far and to my local user group a handful of times.

I have a regular job as a Lead DBA at an insurance company. Insurance companies don't get to the latest stuff as fast as other companies. I've talked about my own real world experience regarding automation and security hoping that it can help people in similar situations.

It's a good feeling to say you've submitted for PASS Summit.

The response when you are not accepted needs to provide more information. 

How did I score? 
Where did I rank among the other abstracts? 
Did I just miss?

I've played sports all my life. Sometimes, I've tried out for teams and didn't make the cut. It's a character building experience when you don't make the team but without additional feedback I've got nothing to build on.

I simply want to know how I scored and what the cutoff was.

Congratulations to all of you who did get accepted!








Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SQL Saturday #298 - I'm speaking!

I'll be speaking at SQL Saturday #298 in Jacksonville, FL on May 10, 2014.

If you work in an organization that is finding it increasingly difficult to allow SQL Server DBAs 24x7x365 sysadmin access to your Production servers, then I think you will find my session "SQL Server Security Easy Button" very interesting.

Attendees will learn how to define a permission set with a single script that allows database administrators to do routine work without sysadmin permission and how to elevate permissions quickly to respond to production emergencies. 

Attendees will leave this session with a complete script that provides the minimum necessary access database administrators require to maintain the database server without granting access to business data. 
In addition, I’ll talk about our real world experience with reduced permissions.

Hope to see you there!