SQL Server Magazine UPDATE—brought to you by SQL Server Magazine
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THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY

Real Time Monitoring of SQL Server
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Need To Keep Your Servers Running 24/7??
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(Below COMMENTARY)

XML Web Services One Conference in Boston
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(below NEWS AND VIEWS)


SPONSOR: REAL TIME MONITORING OF SQL SERVER

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August 1, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Designing Databases for Extreme Performance

2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Buffer Overrun in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Utilities
  • Multiple Vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL Server 2000
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server Development Environment
  • New Instant Poll: DTS Expertise

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Get Kudos & a Free Trip to SQL Server Magazine LIVE! in Orlando!
  • Got Digital?

4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT

  • Microsoft ASP.NET Connections

5. RESOURCES

  • What's New in SQL Server Magazine: .NET's Seismic Shift
  • Hot Thread: Importing Tables from Informix
  • Tip: Transferring Data Over a Dial-Up Connection

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Learn About Performance Optimization
  • Prevent Vulnerability to SQL Snake

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY

  • DESIGNING DATABASES FOR EXTREME PERFORMANCE

  • (contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, brianm@sqlmag.com)

    "Extreme performance" is a term that a colleague and I coined 2 years ago to define the SQL Server performance-tuning approach that we take with our consulting customers. I'd like to explain the essence of our philosophy, which might help you avoid performance-tuning mistakes down the road.

    Extreme performance means two things to me. First, it means that everything you do today with an application needs to anticipate the fact that someone will eventually push your code well beyond what you intended it to do. You can more easily design an efficient application than do triage on a poorly performing application after deployment. You need to test your application with reasonably sized data sets and take adequate steps to ensure that your application can expand as needed. Everyone knows that you should design systems with performance and scalability in mind.

    My principles of extreme performance include another important aspect. Two basic approaches to scalability exist: scale up or scale out. To scale up, you beef up a single SMP box. To scale out, you increase horsepower by adding new boxes to the system. Scaling out is easier than scaling up because it doesn't require you to anticipate your power needs. You simply buy another box when the time comes, or at least that's the theory. It's infinitely easier to scale out your Web farm than to scale out the database layer. I'm not going to defend that position now, but it's true.

    What does scalability mean when you're designing a system for extreme performance to meet unpredictable future demands? It means that sometimes you should deploy a component on the middle tier of a Web farm rather than as a stored procedure, even if the throughput is better when you deploy the component as a stored procedure. That approach might seem counterintuitive. But here's why it makes sense. You can easily add another box to your Web farm if you hit the edge of your scalability envelope. However, scaling out the database layer can be difficult and expensive, especially when you didn't design the application with scaling out in mind.

    I've seen customers encounter substantial back-end database performance decreases that require substantial code rewriting--a difficult and painful process. They could have solved the problem by adding a commodity-priced Web server to the farm if they had designed certain expensive stored procedures as middle-tier components. Sure, initial throughput might be better if they had deployed the component as a procedure, but sometimes you need to sacrifice a small short-range performance gain for long-range performance and scalability requirements.


    NEED TO KEEP YOUR SERVERS RUNNING 24/7??

    Minimizing downtime requires a holistic approach to planning and management. Learn the methods for achieving high availability, detail evaluation criteria and determine which options are best suited to your tolerance for risk and budgetary constraints. Join Morris Lewis for the next SQL Server Magazine Web Seminar on August 27th:
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMtP0E3SUn0BRZ03VF0A2


    2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS

  • BUFFER OVERRUN IN MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2000 UTILITIES
  • Cesar Cerrudo discovered two vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) 2000. The vulnerabilities are related to a buffer overrun and SQL injection. Microsoft released Security Bulletin MS02-038 (Unchecked Buffer in SQL Server 2000 Utilities Could Allow Code Execution) to address these vulnerabilities and recommends that affected users download and apply the appropriate patch mentioned in the bulletin.
    http://www.secadministrator.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26074

  • MULTIPLE VULNERABILITIES IN MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2000

  • Cesar Cerrudo discovered three new vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) 2000. The vulnerabilities are buffer overruns with a potential for Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Microsoft has released Security Bulletin MS02039 (Buffer Overruns in SQL Server 2000 Resolution Service Could Enable Code Execution) to address this vulnerability and recommends that affected users download and apply the appropriate patch mentioned in the bulletin.
    http://www.secadministrator.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26075

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS INSTANT POLL: SQL SERVER DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT

  • Sponsored by MicroStrategy
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMtP0E3SUn0BRZ03VB0Ax

    The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What is your development environment for SQL Server?" Here are the results (+/1 percent) from the 436 votes:

    41% Visual Studio 6.0
       20% Visual Studio .NET
       26% Server-side tools such as T-SQL stored procedures
       6% A third-party environment
       6% Other

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: DTS EXPERTISE

  • Sponsored by Oracle
    Oracle9i Database for Windows: Spend less, do more in IT.
    http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;4421561;7359773;p?http://www.oracle.com/go/?&Src=1268211&Act=21

    The next Instant Poll question is, "How would you describe your level of expertise with Data Transformation Services (DTS)?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and submit your vote for 1) Expert, 2) Advanced, 3) Intermediate, or 4) Novice.
    http://www.sqlmag.com


    SPONSOR: XML WEB SERVICES ONE CONFERENCE IN BOSTON

    Developers' Ultimate Web Services & XML Learning Experience! Conference tracks have been designed and developed by track chairs who have the real world experience and connections to deliver the best courses and instructors in the business. Tracks include: XML Standards in Practice, Web Services—the Future, Web Services Standards & Tools, Programming for the Front End, .NET Programming, Java Programming, Enterprise Architectures, Component Integration, and Tactics & Strategies—Management Imperatives.
    Register online today!
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMtP0E3SUn0BRZ03HU0A3


    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS


    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine and its partners)

  • GET KUDOS & A FREE TRIP TO SQL SERVER MAGAZINE LIVE! IN ORLANDO!

  • Get the recognition you deserve for your cutting-edge SQL Server solution and take home the SQL Server Innovator's Cup. If you work with SQL Server and have created a technical solution to a problem or enhanced a program or system feature to improve performance or return on investment, you qualify to enter this awards program sponsored by Microsoft. Enter today at:
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMtP0E3SUn0BRZ02hN0AS

  • GOT DIGITAL?

  • Have you downloaded your FREE digital issue of SQL Server Magazine yet? Our new digital delivery option gives you fast, uninterrupted access to the latest SQL Server info. Delivered monthly and stored right on your desktop, this new format is keyword searchable and allows for easy archive access. Try it today!
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMtP0E3SUn0BRZ03kW0Af

    4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • MICROSOFT ASP.NET CONNECTIONS

  • Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and VS.NET Connections will colocate with SQL Server Magazine LIVE! this October. Early Bird discount expires soon, register today to save $2,990 and access all three events for the price of one!
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMtP0E3SUn0BRZ03kX0Ag

    5. RESOURCES

  • WHAT'S NEW IN SQL SERVER MAGAZINE: .NET'S SEISMIC SHIFT

  • The Microsoft .NET Framework's collection of programming interfaces and tools will bring a change in how you develop applications. Russ Whitney outlines a step-by-step process for retooling your application development process to prepare for .NET in ".NET's Seismic Shift," which appears in the August issue of SQL Server Magazine and is available online at
    http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25493

  • HOT THREAD: IMPORTING TABLES FROM INFORMIX

  • Bob wants to import tables from Informix and wants to know what drivers he'll need. Offer your advice and read other users' suggestions on the SQL Server Magazine forums at the following URL:
    http://www.sqlmag.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=7630

  • TIP: TRANSFERRING DATA OVER A DIAL-UP CONNECTION

  • (contributed by the Microsoft SQL Server development team)

    Q. Our company has three servers. One server is situated at the head office, and the other two servers are 150 miles away. These servers communicate only through a dial-up connection. I want to use Data Transformation Services (DTS) to update data in one of the remote servers while the main server is in replication mode. Under these conditions, can I use DTS to enter approximately 10,000 records, one by one, by using customized software?

    A. Technically, you can use DTS to update your data through a dial-up connection. However, the amount of network bandwidth available compared with the amount of data you want to transfer might limit your efforts. If you have the required bandwidth (or time to transfer the data), you can push the data in a compressed file to the remote servers by using FTP or a Copy command in a batch file. Next, you can decompress, then load the data by using BULK INSERT or DTS. If you need a more data-aware solution, and if you need to be able to make regular updates at any one of the three nodes, you should look into setting up merge replication. You would designate one of the servers as the publisher and the other two as subscribers. You could then insert rows at any one of the nodes and configure the replication to propagate the inserts to the other two nodes. Because you perform this merge replication over a dial-up connection whose bandwidth might cause a bottleneck, we advise you to test this configuration for performance and connection reliability.

    Send your technical questions to questions@sqlmag.com.

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED


    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@sqlmag.com)

  • LEARN ABOUT PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION

  • Realtimepublishers.com and Precise Software Solutions announced "The Definitive Guide to SQL Server Performance Optimization," an e-book by Don Jones that features real-world examples of SQL Server performance optimization tactics. Jones is writing the e-book in realtime, so you can read chapter-by-chapter as he writes. Registered readers receive an email message when a new chapter is ready or modifications are posted. Chapter topics include understanding performance components and scaling concepts and SQL Server performance audit methodology. For more information, contact Realtimepublishers.com at 707-539-5280 or Precise Software Solutions at 800-310-4777.
    http://www.polyvista.comhttp://www.realtimepublishers.com
    http://www.precise.com

  • PREVENT VULNERABILITY TO SQL SNAKE

  • PentaSafe Security Technologies announced the PentaSafe Snake Bite Kit, a free downloadable tool that can identify SQL Server machines that are vulnerable to the SQL Snake virus. The Snake Bite Kit's Snake Virus Scanner can detect SQL Server instances that use mixed-mode authentication and don't have a password for the systems administrator account—two conditions that make machines more susceptible to attack. Contact PentaSafe Security Technologies at 713-523-1992.
    http://www.pentasafe.com/products/sqlscanner.asp

    7. CONTACT US


    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — brianm@sqlmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — mcrockett@winnetmag.com
      (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.sqlmag.com/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@sqlmag.com
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      Customer Support — sqlupdate@sqlmag.com
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