Archive for June, 2011

T-SQL Tuesday #19 Wrapup

Huge Thanks go out to everyone who participated in this months T-SQL Tuesday

I apologize for the tardiness of this post, its been a busy week with PASS finalizing the Summit Sessions.

As always, there were some awesome posts this month!  If youve ever wondered why you need to prepare to recover your databases, or your life for that matter I suggest reading through the huge amount of content below.

The good stuff

Rob Farley (B | T) Writes us a two part post with half being technical about migrations, downtime and high availability and the other half being personal with regards to dealing with and controlling life’s disasters.  Hats off to Rob for pouring it all out there.  (sometimes it just feels better to write it all down and put it in perspective)

Noel McKinney (B | T) recounts a bad situation where he played the part of message queue during a human disaster where a developers spouse unplugged the telephone in the middle of the night (surprising this didnt cost someone a job)

John Pertell (B | T) tells us about times where he learned lessons the hard way about backups and restores.  His stories hit home for me and im sure they will for most other seasoned DBAs.  Ive lost more SAN arrays over the years to firmware flashes than I care to think about, so much so that I cringe when the SAN admin calls and even utters the word firmware.

Robert Davis (B | T) writes about backing up system configurations in the case of a complete server failure.  Good info in one place here about what you would loose if you lost one of the system databases.

Ricardo Leka (B | T) turns in his post letting us know that its important to have a backup plan but even more important to have a recovery plan! (his post was in portugese so if I’m way off I blame google translate!  Thanks for the post Ricardo)

Merrill Aldrich (B | T) reminds us to be aware of blind spots in the recovery scenario of our companies.  He shares some great info about cultures that can cause disasters to be unrecoverable.

Jack Vamvas (B) Shows us how he uses powershell to gather an inventory of SQL Server info that may be needed in the case of a disaster.

Mark Broadbent (B | T) Writes a post about how others mistakes can often become your problem when corruption lands in your lap.

Muthukkumaran Kaliyamoorthy (B) Goes over the various ways that you can build HA/DR system including Clusters, Mirroring, Replication, etc

Jason E Bacani (B | T) shows once again that backing up a database is important but making sure you are backing up what you think you are backing up is even more important

Bob Pusateri (B | T) recounts a story of a former employer and the resulting problems from having a “if it isn’t broken dont fix it attitude”

Chad Miller (B | T) writes about using powershell and CMS to inventory your SQL Servers

Ryan Adams (B | T) Writes some tips about using and configuring mirroring to prevent disasters

Gail Shaw (B | T) does her best to remind us that disasters arent just huge events in the world but rather most of them involve smaller more isolated events.  Id agree with her analysis and I live in the bullseye of hurricane country!

Nic Cain (B | T) writes about a full scale disaster at a former place of employment.  I see a running joke in these posts about san firmware upgrades being the cause of most DBA disasters.

Robert Pearl (B | T) shares his story of 9/11 and recovering from that disaster.  Things have certainly changed in the years since then.

Amit Banerjee (B | T) gives us 10 key points to keep in mind when thinking about disasters and how to best deal with them

Pinal Dave (B | T) recounts his early days as a DBA and 4 pieces of wisdom that he learned early on

Steve Jones (B | T) Writes about small disasters that arent natural disasters.  He’s right, these types disasters are considerably more likely than a massive natural disaster.

Thomas Rushton (B | T) Shared not one but two posts for this months edition of TSQLTuesda.  He reminds us to test our DR plans and recounts a story of what was likely someone updating every record in a database with the same value.  Which is a common disaster indeed.

Jason Brimhall (B | T) Shared a story of three personal disasters. included is a good tip about recovering the registered servers in ssms after a reinstall

Nick Haslam (B | T) wrote about an experience at a retail organization where a loss of power took out all of the systems.  Seems its often the small things that get overlooked (not that power is small but, often taken for granted)

John Samson (BT) shared links to his prior posts about DBA responsibilities in planning for recoveries

Nancy Hidy Wilson (B | T) who lives just up the road from me in Houston recounts her own personal story from Hurricane Ike.  I learned I need a chainsaw and a tractor to recover from a hurricane.  Also I was reminded just how far our modern jobs have come in that we can personally experience disaster and move a few hundred miles away and continue to work our day jobs since their systems *should* be designed for uptime!

Thanks again to everyone who participated this month! 

Be on the watch for next months host and consider participating if you havent before!

Invitation for T-SQL Tuesday #19 – Disasters & Recovery


Its the first week of June and for those of us living along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the US, that brings the beginning of hurricane season.  It also means its time for this months installment of T-SQL Tuesday.

This Months Topic

Hurricane Ike dead ahead

There goes your weekend/month

Disaster Recovery.  This topic is very near and dear to me based on the fact that I live on a barrier island that was the site to the deadliest natural disaster in US history and more recently destroyed by the third costliest hurricane in history.  Needless to say preparing for disasters is nearly instinctive to me which might explain why I’m a DBA but I digress.  Anything you’d like to blog about related to preparing for or recovering from a disaster would be fair game, have a great tip you use to keep backups and recovers running smoothly, a horrific story of recovery gone wrong? or anything else related to keeping your systems online during calamity.  We want to hear it!

My street a month after Hurricane Ike

My street a month after Hurricane Ike

T-SQL Tuesday info

Originally an idea dreamed up by Adam Machanic (Blog|Twitter), it has become a monthly blog party where the host picks a topic and encourages anyone to write a post on that topic then a day or 3 later produces a roundup post of all the different perspectives from the community.


  • Your post must be published between 00:00 GMT Tuesday June 14, 2011, and 00:00 GMT Wednesday June 15, 2011
  • Your post must contain the T-SQL Tuesday logo from above and the image should link back to this blog post.
  • Trackbacks should work, but if you don’t see one please link to your post in the comments section below so everyone can see your work

Nice to haves!

  • include a reference to T-SQL Tuesday in the title of your post
  • tweet about your post using the hash tag #TSQL2sDay
  • consider hosting T-SQL Tuesday yourself. Adam Machanic keeps the list, if he let me do it you’re bound to qualify!

Check back in a few days to see the roundup post of all the great stories your peers shared

Stepping out and stepping up

Changes are coming

Stepping out

For as long as I can remember Ive been involved in one way or another with the PASS Summit.. This simply means I have a short memory because I think I first started with the summit in 2006 or maybe it was 2005.  Either way its been a long run at making the premiere event for SQL Professionals a success. During the last PASS Board meeting I let it be known to the other directors that I would like to move on to other things within PASS.  I have spent a huge amount of energy over the last few years attempting to remake the processes around the summit education program.  Ive worked with a great set of volunteers over the years and together we have had some great success in making the processes better and more “translucent” as my favorite volunteer would say.  However, I think its time for a new challenge and Id like to put the same effort into one of the other PASS portfolios.  This will also give someone else with a renewed energy and vision a chance to make their mark on the Summit program.  This is where I’d like to start the handoff, unfortunately there isnt exactly a line at my door of people wanting to take it from me.  So, if you ever wanted to give up your life free time for the good of the SQL community feel free to drop me a line!

Stepping up

At the same board meeting, I stepped up and decided to put my name on the ballot for the PASS executive board.  There are lots of rules and regulations in the bylaws about who can run and when, I wont bore you with all the details but, the end result is out of those eligible to run: Myself, Tom LaRock, Rick Heiges and Douglas McDowell are running for the 2 vice president seats while Bill Graziano is running unopposed for President.  I admittedly didnt start that week thinking I was going to run for the executive board of PASS but, as it turns out it fits nicely with what I want to do for PASS going forward so I decided give it a shot and run.  Hopefully enough of the board will see that I have the right kind of energy to do good in one of the positions.

I appreciate the challenges and opportunity that have been given to me over the years in this community and hope this is merely the next logical step in my service to our community.

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