Meme Monday: #SQLFamily

It’s Meme Monday. This is LaRock’s (blog | @SQLRockstar) brainchild. Its idea is to spur all of us to write something, and my sister agrees that this is a good idea. So, here I am, writing about this month’s topic, which is: what #sqlfamily means to me.

So, what does #sqlfamily mean to me? I love these guys. All of them. Even the ones that don’t follow me back on Twitter and/or think I’m a total muppet (for the record, I don’t care at all if you don’t follow me on Twitter. Alternatively, if you’re not on Twitter at all, I think you’re broken, but that’s a different story). I would say that I love these guys like family, but that would be pretty obvious.

See, the deal is, I’m not a big family type of guy. I don’t know why that is. My family is just as crazy as everyone else’s; nothing special there. Maybe it’s the part about how everyone just expects you to show up for things just because it’s a family function. If that is the case, one of the reasons that #sqlfamily is better is because nobody expects that. We all have lives outside of any one particular thing that we do, so for each thing, there’s always other stuff that we could be doing. We’re all the same in just the right ways, so everyone understands.

That’s another thing—we’re all the same in just the right ways. Tammy and I basically can’t talk about what we do with our family and a lot of our friends, because they just don’t get it. We can’t be like, “yeah, so the business today wanted this report deployed with no filtering in place—all 20,000 rows of it,” because nobody will really get it. Sure, the SQL Community is pretty heavily-weighted towards the Engine side of things, and we’re mostly BI people these days, but pretty much everyone understands at least a little bit. So, what does #sqlfamily get us? People who understand.

Most everyone knows by now (well…umm…) about the wedding at PASS. Like we’ve said before, that was pretty nerdy, pretty over-the-top, and more than a little weird. That description fits us pretty well, so I thought it worked out alright. You know who else fits that description pretty well? Yeah, a lot of #sqlfamily. And guess what? These people understand.

Hopefully you’re getting the theme. That’s what SQL Family means to me: People, friends, family who understand.

There are lots of days where that’s all I am looking for. Thanks, guys <3

Meme Monday: “I got 99 problems but a disk ain’t one”

Due to Internet Spaceships (aka, Spreadsheets in Space), whenever I hear the “I got 99 problems” line, I always think of a station that we had in a solar system whose name started with “9-9.” The alliance that I flew under had a naming standard of the first 3 characters or so of the station name matched the system name to cut down on confusion and help you confirm that you knew where you were. That station was named “99 problems but <…> ain’t one.” I don’t remember what was in the gap anymore; there’s a decent chance that it wasn’t family friendly anyway.

Anyway, I’m a huge nerd.

On topic…

This time around for what is becoming Tom’s monthly writing exercise, the topic is to make a list of things that can go wrong with SQL Server that are not disk issues. This should be fairly easy for me, since we have more I/O than God, fortunately, but we’ll see how much of a trainwreck I can turn this into.

  • Cowboy Sysadmins. I know this is asking for it. I know that there are plenty of good sysadmins out there who are just as pragmatic as good DBAs are. The problem is that they’re not always the only ones working on a project or active on the support rotation. Things can get changed that shouldn’t be when they shouldn’t be. It happens. How do I know this? Well, see, I used to be a Cowboy Sysadmin. I used to be a pretty strong opponent of ITIL and things like Change Management. Then I got a clue and things were better.
  • Cowboy Developers. Self-explanatory.
  • Linked Servers. I know Tom listed this one in his original post, but it really is a disaster waiting to happen. Long story short, I wound up implementing an LS over a WAN link, and it’s a miracle that worked. There are a lot of moving parts involved in LSes, and when a cluster is involved, it’s even worse. PLUS, when name resolution isn’t working through other means, hostnames need to be added to LMHOST (LMHOSTS, not HOSTS (!)). That says to me there’s some ancient piece of code in MSDTC in use and that scares the crap out of me.
  • Crap code/Design. And by “Crap,” I mean, “Legacy.” Why is old code always the worst? Were the people here before really that dumb, or did they just not know any better? I mean… the storage engine has to do the exact same thing with 9 indexes on a table now that it had to do a decade ago… (no, I’m not kidding).
  • Letting me design your DB. I’m better at this than I was two years ago, but you should still have someone who knows what they’re doing look at it before you do anything else with it.
  • Reporting out of your OLTP system. This may be OK…but it may be very, very bad. I’ve seen some doozies, but sometimes it isn’t completely avoidable. Limit it as much as you can. You don’t even need to go full-blown data warehouse or data mart for this, either; log-shipped or a backup restored on another instance may get the scary queries off your back.
  • Flakey alerting/monitoring system. This doesn’t directly affect your company’s DBs, but if a backup job failed last night and you didn’t get an email alert about it… well, things may not be OK, would they?

Tom was hoping to get nine out of us, but I’m tired, this is due tomorrow, and the President is apparently going to drop a bomb on us in five minutes, so this is what you get.

Tom, this whole thing is kind of fun and it really does give me/us easy fodder to write about, so I appreciate it.

Meme Monday #1: Spooky Asparagus

See Thomas’s post here for what on earth is going on.

After work, distracted by asparagus, forgot scheduled duties—coworkers left hanging 🙁

Spooky Asparagus

When you’re not paying attention and don’t see this until you’re about 3 feet away from it, it scares the crap out of you.

I’m pretty sure I only have one person to tag for this, so Tammy, get crackin’!

Late edit: Credit for the “Spooky Asparagus” phase goes to @SQLCheesecake, because he’s awesome like that.