Most Recent Blog Posts

Dec 07, 2011

Is it possible to run out of bigint values?2

You can run out of bigints but it’s not practical that you will....More
Dec 01, 2011

Vendor-mandated regular database shrinking12

Shrinking databases causes index fragmentation, consumes CPU and IO resources, and generates a lot of transaction log (which can cause problems for....More
Nov 17, 2011

What's a good use for a UNIQUE filtered index?3

Learn more about SQL Server UNIQUE filtered indexes and a minor limitation you'll need to know about....More
Nov 11, 2011

How many steps should the histogram have?

During the final phase of statistics creation (called Histogram consolidation), SQL Server goes through and looks at neighboring steps....More
Nov 06, 2011

Why can't SQL Server update statistics on the fly?5

SQL Server stores statistics in 3 parts: the statistics header, the density vector and the histogram. The statistics header has basic (but very....More
Oct 20, 2011

Does using WITH CHECKSUM ensure a successful backup?

When the WITH CHECKSUM option is used for a backup, the backup process will test the page checksums that exist on the data file pages being backed up....More
Oct 13, 2011

Viewing the Last Updated Date for Statistics1

In SQL Server 2005, they separated the IDs for column-level statistics from nonclustered index IDs and created a catalog view to see them: sys.stats....More
Oct 07, 2011

STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE – When would anyone want to use it?

STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE stops the database-wide auto-updating (auto update statistics) from updating the specific statistics for an index (or column-....More
Sep 29, 2011

Efficient index maintenance using database mirroring3

This is a common problem that people encounter when moving a production database to be mirrored. Although many people conduct testing of workload....More
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Sep 22, 2011

How are single-page allocations tracked?

Question: I’ve been reading some information on how SQL Server keeps track of which parts of a data file are used by a particular object – IAM pages....More
Sep 14, 2011

Increase fan-out to reduce index depth

Generally speaking, to find a particular record at the leaf level of the index, the Storage Engine starts at the root of the index and navigates down....More
Sep 08, 2011

Inconsistent analysis with clustered indexes?2

Question: I know that SQL Server is prone to inconsistent analysis using the read committed isolation level, but I thought I could prevent that by....More
Aug 29, 2011

Reasons not to configure automatic failover for database mirroring

There are a few reasons why you may choose not to configure automatic failover....More
Aug 25, 2011

Why does a data backup include transaction log?

When a database backup is restored, the result must be a transactionally consistent database (i.e. with no uncommitted transactions or structural....More
Aug 19, 2011

How to prevent enormous SQL Server error log files

The number of error logs is set to 6 by default, and a new one is created each time the server restarts. Old ones are renamed when a new one is....More

Paul S. Randal

Paul Randal worked on Microsoft's SQL Server team for nine years in development and management roles, writing many of the DBCC commands. Randal was ultimately responsible for SQL Server 2008'...

Kimberly L. Tripp

Kimberly L. Tripp has been working with SQL Server since 1990, and she’s worked as a consultant, trainer, speaker, and writer specializing in core SQL Server performance tuning and availability...
What's SQL Server Questions Answered?

Practical tips and answers to many of your questions about SQL Server including database management and performance issues.

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