Archive for year 2010

Im a Winner!

And no, I dont mean in my mothers eyes, thats a given.

I won the Ipad/SQL Monitor Contest that Redgate was sponsoring over on Grant Fritcheys Blog

Im thrilled to have won!! Ive been eyeing Ipads for quite some time but, the novelty & cost has kept me at arms length.

Im always in the market for DBA tools that can make my teams (or my) job easier, thats where redgate’s Sql Monitor comes in, shortly I expect to be running it through the paces.  We already use most of the other redgate tools and love them so I have high expectations for SQLMonitor!

Christmas definetly came early for me this year, Its like Grant, Steve, Brent and most importantly Redgate were my very own elves!

Thanks again to Regdate for their outstanding support of our SQL Community.

PS: I expect to have some aweome pics of remote monitoring SQL Servers shortly!

We are the people our parents warned us about — T-SQL Tuesday

Its TSQL Tuesday time again, and this month the topic is being hosted by Steve Jones ( Blog | @Twitter )  The topic at hand is related to interacting with business users or more Specifically, “What issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done”


We are the people, they couldnt figure out!

We are the people our parents warned us about — Jimmy Buffett

 

A Different Twist

What If you were the business user who had the business “issues”?  I’ve been the business user that is the subject of every technogeek stereotype.  You know, the one who doesnt really know what they want until they see it.  Yeah, I was/am that guy.  As a matter of fact, Ive been that guy recently.  You see, I have two jobs that put me in that sort of position relatively often.  In my day job I manage a team of Database Professionals (Excellent ones I’d add! )   In my “night” job, I volunteer for PASS.  In both of these roles I often see the need to have something built and anytime something gets built by IT there can be issues. 

Change

In order to succeed at completing your job/project/task its often easiest to go ahead and plan on change.  Change is in my estimation at the root of 95% of all issues when dealing with business needs.  Things change often and no matter how many times you think things are static on both sides of the project equation (requirements vs development) they will surely change again.  Ive found that no matter how thourough I have been in coming up with a decent set of requirements before asking for work to be done, in the end something always changes.  Often I will have no control over those changes but, many times something comes up that changes things and this always causes the “issues” between both sides of a project.  Change is actually a good thing, If every project Ive been involved with were implimented exactly as first envisioned (no changes) I suspect things would be considerably different, and not in a good way!!

Communicaton

After sitting at both sides of the desk, you begin to realize the easiest way to eliminate issues between the people who have needs and wants and those IT Guru’s trying to make them a reality is a very open line of communication and trust.  Once you succeed at opening that communication line, all tasks become easier.  With open communication change becomes less of an issue and dare I say it: a bit more acceptable to everyone.  This is the first line of defense in solving  issues before they even become issues!

We’re not crazy

Despite rumors to the contrary the people who need work done AKA “business users” arent totally crazy and intentionally trying to make everyones lives difficult with constant changes.  Often times we are just as frustrated that our needs (or requirements) are changing as the IT Gurus are for having to accomidate those changes.  Once the communication lines are open between all parties, things get considerably easier and the impact of those changing needs can be efficiently weighed against the timelines, costs, etc of the task/project

PASS Community Choice Session Change

Ive been too busy lately mashing out the final details of the PASS Summit 2010 to spend as much time blogging as I intend too…  But, thought Id take a few minutes to alert the 3 of you that read this slop about a change in the Community Choice sessions  in the PASS Summit lineup

Unfortunately, 1 of the community choice speakers had to bow out of presenting.

 

Joe Kuemerle couldnt make the sumit this year so, we had to swap his encryption session with the second place session in the App Dev category.  Luckily for us, the decision was easier because appdev race was the closest in the voting with only 2 votes seperating first and second place.  The replacement session,  Flush With Cache: What Really Happens Before That Query Runs by Chris Leonard, should prove to be very popular and is currently scheduled on Thursday from 4-5:15 in room 613-614.  Because of this session replacement there was a cascade of 3 additional schedule moves that had to occur because Chris was already scheduled to present another session in the existing time slot.  You can see the complete current schedule in xls here

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Summit next week!!

SQL Server 2008 & IPV6 vs Symantec

Had a strange error on a SQL 2008 cluster the other day,

The OS was Windows 2008 R2

We kept getting messages that the cluster node was offline because the Quorum was unavailable.   This made little sense as both nodes in this cluster were online and the Quorum disk was available.  We could ping across the heartbeat, everything looked fine except for these errors. 

After a little research we determined that a new version of Symantec Endpoint Security had been pushed to these servers.  Even with the new version of endpoint security, we could establish communication across all networks between the 2 nodes so we were a little stumped.  Eventually we ran across a policy that was being enforced from the Symantec central management server/policy/whatever its called!

As it turns out, Symantec endpoint security by default blocks all IPV6 traffic.  If you’re like me, I didn’t even realize that a windows 2008 cluster would use IPV6 for the heartbeat communication.  After disabling the rules that were preventing IPV6 traffic everything returned to normal.

So, the moral of all this is nothing new… NEVER trust anything new getting pushed to your servers..

Please PASS the Awesomesauce

Recently, the 3 of you that read this stream of (un)consciousness may have noticed a lot of posts about PASS and the Board of Directors elections.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the news last Friday that I had indeed been elected to a 2 year term on the PASS board. 

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who voted, even if you chose not to vote for me.  We need more community involvement in all things PASS, and voting is a very important part of that! 

This election was not without its fair share of controversy and while overall it was a difficult process for the community to go through, I think a lot of good can result from it.  I hope that everyone who had an opinion about the “process” stays involved.  Staying involved & interested is the easiest way the community can shape the future of the organization. 

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to serve the SQL Server Community in a larger role than in the past.  As always, if you’ve got ideas feel free to send em to me.  I cant make any promises except that I will read and respond but, Im a fan of stealing borrowing others ideas for PASS and making them happen.

Other recent PASS info

Weve had a literal whirlwind of activity in the program committee leadership in the last month+  So, I thought I’d list some of the stuff thats been happening

Some highlights
  • We gathered a large group of volunteers to proofread abstracts before publishing in the program guide
  • Also, we hammered out all the details for 3 new session types for the Summit : Chalk talk sessions, Best of sessions, and lightning sessions
  • Published a Session preferencing tool to help us build a good schedule (awesome data gathered here!!)
  • We built the summit schedule – this is always fun, if you have any complaints, its on me
  • We gathered a team of volunteers  to review session powerpoints so I wont be doing them alone on the last day (YAY!) in doing this we updated the review guidelines to be more relevant/current
  • I had hoped we would nail down the Microsoft speakers & sessions a little better (earlier) this year but, it seems like we’ve been getting more changes & cancellations than Id have liked.
  • We worked on Coordinated with VC’s & pre/postconference speakers to try and setup livemeeting previews of their  sessions —  Marketing & free community education  –thats like Bacon wrapped Bacon Win-Win!
  • Lots of discussions with our Summit software vendor about availability of ppt updates, demos, etc during the summit.  Updates soon

 

Upcoming releases
  • The Summit Schedule builder *should* go live on Monday the 27th  Also,  realize this is an expected date but things occasionally happen so dont scream too much if its a lil late (or someone will let me know their displeasure with my tipping of the due dates)
  • Community experts summit session lists – we’ve asked some experts for their opinions about which sessions to attend, I cant wait to see what these lists look like!

 

Other Interesting Discussions happening
  • Whether we’re going to record/stream a session room at the Summit and what we’d do with those recordings
  • Whether we should switch back to 2 days of Preconference sessions or stick with 1 day pre and 1 day post
  •  Whether we should be providing desktops in the session rooms for speakers (most don’t seem to use them)
  •  PASSion award & expanding PASS’s recognition of outstanding volunteers at all levels
Go to Top