Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rites of Passage

Today my youngest daughter will take her driving test. She is the third one in the house to take the exam and you’d think at this point I would be a pro at this but I’m a nervous wreck. I think I’m more nervous than she is. This rite of passage moves a child along on the journey to adulthood and while I wait here in the office for the results I’m faced with dealing with them growing up. Parenting is a tough job but worth every minute of it. Hug your children and enjoy every minute of them!



This week marks the beginning of the end resulting in my daughter’s high school graduation.  The commencement.  In school, I knew the meaning of the word and was confused as to the usage since the ceremony was the end of an era.  Things were never the same after that point for me.  Friends drifted apart and out of my life.  My adult life commence and my childhood ended.

This is our third child out of four to soon leave the nest and it does not get any easier.  We have already become grandparents.  This is an amazing stage in our lives as our children become adults and begin their own careers and families.  What an adventure!  This is the commencement ceremony for the rest of their lives!  Enjoy!

Boyhood Field of Dreams

Father and Son at Turner Field

Baseball is a family game where fathers teach their children the beauty of the Gentleman’s game.  We share memories, we share moments, we share stories and and we share statistics, but most importantly we share our passion for the game of baseball.  My son and I have a shared love of Atlanta Braves baseball.  There are teams in Florida now, but when I was growing up, the Atlanta Braves were the team of the South, they were America’s team.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Tampa Rays because they are our hometown team, but my real passion is the Braves.  Growing up, I would come home from school and watch the Braves on the SuperStation TBS at 7:35 PM each night from Fulton County Stadium.  Then, I shared that love with my son as he was growing up.  I coached him for years and he ultimately played high school baseball before a broken leg ended his playing career.

With his baseball and football schedules, there was always something that got in the way preventing us from making a trip to Turner Field.  This weekend the opportunity arose as we travelled to Tennessee for him to begin a summer internship following his freshman year of college.  However, we could not catch a game as the Braves were in Tampa to play the Rays.  There has to be some irony there.

We did the next best thing, we took a tour of the Stadium, and it was amazing watching my son walk upon his field of dreams.  Moments like these are priceless for a parent.  Enjoy!

Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones Stands Right Here

The Braves Locker Room

The Braves Locker Room


Cody and his Field of Dreams

SQL Nexus, Delayed with Error

I was hoping to continue our series today but I am running into an error while loading the trace files. I have spent the day with other production issues and have been unable to track down this error with ReadTrace. I hope to be able to blog about it next week. Stay tuned and enjoy your weekend.

SQL Nexus, Data Collection

Monday we started our SQL Nexus journey together in order for me to refresh my knowledge of how to use this awesome tool.  On Tuesday, we installed some essential pieces in order to get the SQL Nexus tool installed and ready to use.  We detoured on Wednesday to attend the SQL Server 2012 Technology Days at Microsoft in Tampa.  Today we return to the fun, so let’s jump right back in!

I realized this morning that I left out another download, the SQL Server 2005/2008 Performance Statistics collection scripts.  This has the XML configurations needed to run SQLDiag in order to load performance data into SQL Nexus.  Well let me qualify that, these XML files are pre-configured and they can be modified if necessary.  These configurations will capture DMVs and also blocking information that can help you troubleshoot performance problems.  It will also collect machine information from Perfmon, msinfo32, various event logs, and the profiler trace (unless you run the NoTrace command script).  There is more detailed information on customization available on the CodePlex download page (make sure you read the fine print about the download location as it is not the big download button on the right).

SQL Nexus Import

Once you run one of the scripts, such as StartSQLDiagDetailed_Trace2008R2.cmd, you will see several lines of preparatory messages followed by “SQLDIAG Collection started.  Press Ctrl+C to stop.”  At this point you can reproduce your issue, if possible.  If not possible, then collect data for a few minutes and then press Ctrl+C to finish the collection and generate the output necessary for SQL Nexus.  Be vigilant of running this as the output can grow very large very quickly especially if you running this against a production server.  Be careful!  Once the dialog closes, then the output is ready to load into SQL Nexus.

Now open SQL Nexus and we can import the data that is output from SQLDiag from the output folder that is generated underneath the folder where you ran the script from, by default.   From there we can run some of the reports located on the upper left corner of the interface.  Not all of them will apply depending upon what data you collected and which script ran.  Below is a sample of the Blocking and Wait Statistics report.  This was just a sample ran for this blog, so unfortunately I did not having any blocking issues to show you.  I hope this helps your understanding of SQL Nexus.  Enjoy!

SQL Nexus Blocking

Technology Days, SQL Server 2012

We interrupt my learning series on SQL Nexus to bring you my blog live from SQL Server 2012 Technology Days here at Microsoft Tampa with David Pless, Sr Premier Field Engineer.

If you are reading my blog regularly then you know all about my love for SQL Server learning, so obviously I had to attend this event. So far I have learned a few things to make this outing worth the drive for me. Oh who am I kidding, this is SQL Server training that in itself was worth the drive and a day out of the office.

Here are some things that I have learned today:

1. Server Core for 2012 is amazing and I am ready to deploy it when I return to the office!
2. PowerShell for 2012 will add functionality that makes it more attractive than the current GUI tools.
3. PowerShell is not the horrible tool that I thought it was….there is no reason for me not to use it more to be more efficient.

The day is not over yet so maybe there is still more awesomeness to come! Enjoy!

SQL Nexus, Getting Started

Yesterday, we started a journey of knowledge refresh with the SQL Nexus tool available from CodePlex.  Before we begin, it should be noted that this tool has not yet been updated to include SQL 2012, sorry, but it does cover databases from 2000 through 2008 R2.  For clarification purposes, it does require at least the SQL Server 2005 database engine but will analyze SQL Server 2000 databases (at least it says that it does, but I do not have any to run it against so I cannot comment on the validity).

You will also need a few other items such as the Microsoft Report Viewer, (2008 or 2010 versions will work), you will need to update the Report Viewer (2008 or 2010 versions), install the Relay Markup Language Utilities (RML Utiltities), and then you will be able to install SQL Nexus.  That almost felt like a Linux distribution with all of the required pieces.

The RML Utilities are pretty neat as they can help simulate application testing by replaying a production user load in a testing environment.  This can be helpful in testing an upgrade to SQL Server or in applying patches and service packs.  Tomorrow we will continue this journey.  Enjoy!

SQL Nexus, an Introduction

Have you tried SQL Nexus yet?  SQL Nexus allows you to import data from SQLDiag/PSSDiag, PerfMon, and PerfStats into a special database where you can then generate reports detailing performance issues based upon the imported data.   Over the next couple of days, I will blog about using this tool as well as the SQLDiag/PSSDiag Manager tool.  I have used these tools only a couple of times and need to refresh my knowledge, so feel free to come along for the journey.  Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Get off the computer and go spend the day with your Mother or Wife!  Enjoy and thanks again Mom for everything you do!

SQL Schoolhouse

With a busy weekend, I thought I would pass on an excellent resource for your learning:  SQL Server Pro – Your database authority.  This is the magazine formerly known as SQL Server Magazine, with a new name.  There is a ton of great content for you to peruse with excellent monthly articles by big SQL names.  Enjoy!

[Editing note:  this should have published May 12th but I inadvertently set the publish date to the thirteenth.  My apologies.]

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