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  • You Might Be a DBA

    - by BuckWoody
    With all apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, I was up late Friday night on a holiday weekend (which translated into T-SQL becomes “Maintenance Window”) and I got bored in between the two or three minutes I had between clicks. So I started a “Twitter” meme – and it just took off. I haven’t cleaned these up much, but here, in author order as of Saturday the 29th of May is the list “You might be a DBA” from around the Twitterverse: buckwoody Your two main enemies are developers and SAN admins #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody People can use Access as a cross or garlic on you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You always plan an exit strategy, even when entering a McDonald's #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You can't explain to your family what you really do for a living #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have at least one set of scripts you won't share #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have an opinion on the best code-beautifier #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have children older than the rest of your team #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You and the Oracle DBA would kill each other, but you'll happily fight off a developer together first #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've threatened to quit if they give anyone the sa password on production #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've sent a vendor suggestions on improving their database design or code (and been ignored) #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've sent a vendor suggestions on improving their database design or code (and been ignored) #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have an opinion on the best code-beautifier #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have at least one set of scripts you won't share #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You refer to co-workers as "carbon-units" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Being paranoid is on your resume at the top #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Everyone comes to your cube to find the MSDN DVD's #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You always plan an exit strategy, even when entering a McDonald's #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've worn down developers to get your way by explaining normalization levels #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You refer to clothes as "Data Abstractions" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Users pester you to be able to put data in a database, then they pester you to take it out and put it in Excel #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Others try to de-duplicate data, you try to copy it to more than three locations #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have at least one DLT tape in the trunk of your car #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You use twitter and facebook to talk with colleagues because there's no one else in your company that does what you do #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your spouse knows what "ETL" means #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've referred to yourself as the "Data Janitor" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You don't have positive connotations of the word "upgrade" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You get your coffee before you check your servers, because you know you won't get any if you don't #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You always come to work through the back door so no one hijacks you on the way to your cube #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You check your server logs before you check your e-mail in the morning so you can reply "Yeah, I already fixed that." #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have more conference badges than clean socks #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your coffee mug says "It depends" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You can convince a boss that you need 16GB of RAM in your laptop #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've used ebay to find production equipment #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You pad all project timelines by 2X, and you still miss them #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know when your company is acquiring another even before the CFO #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You pad all project timelines by 2X, and you still miss them #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You call aspirin "work vitamins" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You get the same amount of sleep even after you have a child #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You obsess about performance metrics from over one year ago #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody The first thing you buy after the database software is aftermarket tools to manage the database software #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've tried to convince someone else to become a DBA #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You use twitter and facebook to talk with colleagues because there's no one else in your company that does what you do #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You only know other DBA's by their Tweet Handle #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've explained the difference between 32 and 64-bit to more than one manager in terms they can understand, using puppets #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your two main enemies are developers and SAN admins #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've driven to the Datacenter to install SQL Server because "you don't trust those NOC admins" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You pay more for faster Internet connections than cable at home so you don't have to drive in #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You call texting a "queuing system" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know that if someone can read Perl, they manage an Oracle system #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have an e-mail rule for backup notifications #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your food pyramid includes coffee, salt and fat #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You wish everything had a graphical query plan #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You refactor your e-mails #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've gotten more help from twitter and facebook than all your years in college #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You would pay money for a license plate that has the letters S-Q-L together #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have actually considered making a RAID array from thumb drives #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Everything on your laptop is installed from your MSDN subscription #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've written blog posts on technology you've never actually implemented in production #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Everything on your laptop is installed from your MSDN subscription #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody @MidnightDBA Click the #youmightbeaDBA tag. I've had WAY too much coffee today.  buckwoody There is no other position that is 1-deep except you and the CEO #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody When you watch "The Office" you call it "OJT" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You would pay money for a license plate that has the letters S-Q-L together #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your blog would make a "best practices" or "worst practices" book #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You have actually considered making a RAID array from thumb drives #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody The first thing you install on your netbook is SSMS #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Everything on your laptop is installed from your MSDN subscription #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your watch is set to UTC because it's just easier #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You make plenty of money, but you're excited to get a $2.00 squeeze-ball from Quest and Redgate #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You make plenty of money, but you're excited to get a $2.00 squeeze-ball from Quest and Redgate #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think data can be represented as something OTHER than XML #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You tell people that you made a database query go faster, and expect them to be happy for you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You take the word "NoSQL" as a personal attack #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody People can use Access as a cross or garlic on you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody * == bad #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody * == bad #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody There are just as many females in your technical field as males #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody People can use Access as a cross or garlic on you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've gotten more help from twitter and facebook than all your years in college #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think that something OTHER than the database might be the performance bottleneck #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You refer to time as a "Clustered Index" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know why "user" refers to both business people and crack addicts #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You make plenty of money, but you're excited to get a $2.00 squeeze-ball from Quest and Redgate #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You can't explain to your family what you really do for a living #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You tell people that you made a database query go faster, and expect them to be happy for you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think a millisecond is a really long time #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You're sitting and typing #youmightbeaDBA when you could be outside #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You can't wait for a technical conference so you can wear a kilt - and you're not Scottish #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know that "DBA" stands for "Default Blame Acceptor" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody People can use Access as a cross or garlic on you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know what "the truth, thole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Codd" means #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've gotten more help from twitter and facebook than all your years in college #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You can't talk fast enough to get a concept out of your head so you tweet it instead #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You cry when someone doesn't use a WHERE clause #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think data can be represented as something OTHER than XML #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think "Set theory" is not an verb but a noun #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You try to convince random strangers to vote on your Connect item #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think 3 hours of contiguous sleep is a good thing #youmightbeaDBA or #youmightbeamother  buckwoody You don't like Oracle, and not just because of what she did to Neo #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know when to say "sequel" and "s-q-l" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know where the data is #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You refer to your children as "Fully Redundant Mirrors" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Holiday == "Maintenance Window" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your laptop is more powerful than the servers in most companies - including your own #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You capitalize SELECTed words #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You take the word "NoSQL" as a personal attack #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You know why "user" refers to both business people and crack addicts #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You cringe in public when the word "upgrade" is used in a sentence #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Holiday == "Maintenance Window" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody All Data Is MetaData means something to you #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You've never seen the driveway to your house in the daylight #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You think that something OTHER than the database might be the performance bottleneck #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Most of your bloodstream is composed of caffeine #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody Your task list is labeled "CRUD Matrix" #youmightbeaDBA  buckwoody You call your wife/husband a "Linked Server" #youmightbeaDBA  anonythemouse When someone tells you they are going to take a dump and you wonder of which database then #youmightbeaDBA  anonythemouse When it's 11pm on a holiday weekend and you are working #youmightbeaDBA  anonythemouse When you sit down at a table and look for it's primary key #youmightbeaDBA  anonythemouse When getting milk from the fridge you check the expiry date is > getdate() #youmightbeaDBA  blakmk when you wake up dreaming about sql #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver You think a @buckwoody bobblehead would be a cool thing to have on the dashboard of your car #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver Your friends don't understand why you think there's a difference between single and double quotes #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver Even the newest employees know your name from all the downtime notices you've sent out #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver You sometimes feel anxious and think "I should test restoring those backups" and then the feeling passes #youmightbeadba  CharlesGarver You know what a co-worker means when they ask "how is your squirrel server?" #youmightbeadba  CharlesGarver You can't sleep at night and you ponder the logisitcs of collecting every copy of Access for the world's biggest bonfire #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver You can't sleep at night and you ponder the logisitcs of collecting every copy of Access for the world's biggest bonfire #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver You're willing to move someone's job up in priority for a box of #voodoodonuts #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver Each person in your company seems to think you work for THEM #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver You have a Love/Hate relationship going on with #Microsoft #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver People ask you to troubleshoot their Access program #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver The first words you hear in the morning are 'your voicemail box is full' #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver The thought of disrupting 500 people's work so you can do something doesn't phase you #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver You can't sleep at night and you ponder the logisitcs of collecting every copy of Access for the world's biggest bonfire #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver Your home computer is backed up in 3 different places #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver Your wardrobe for work includes pajamas #youmightbeaDBA  CharlesGarver Someone tells you to look in the INDEX and you look puzzled before finally going to the back of the book. #youmightbeaDBA  chuckboycejr If you have ever set up a SQLAgent job to email your mobile phone to serve as an alarm clock #youmightbeaDBA  chuckboycejr If you'd rather meet Itzik than Jay Z #youmightbeaDBA  chuckboycejr If you'd rather meet Itzik than Jay Z #youmightbeaDBA  chuckboycejr If you'd wrestle a SysAdmin to the ground to implement #DPA best practices as per @aspiringgeek #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy I need to be up in 7 hours, so I'm off to bed! I'll have to read the rest of @buckwoody's #youmightbeaDBA posts in the AM. (g'night Buck!)  databaseguy When people ask you about your house, the first thing you describe is the network. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy The last thing you say at the office each day is, "is anybody else here? I'm shutting off the lights!" #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy Your blood pressure rises when you read application specs drafted by marketing. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy A good day at work is one when nobody pays you no mind. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You care about latches and wait states. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have worked over 200 hours on a performance tuning project that required no application changes at all. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy The late-night security guard knows the names of your spouse and kids. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have had vigorous debates about whether it should be pronounced "sequel" or "ess-queue-ell". #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have VPN and RDP software installed on your phone ... just in case. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have edited a data file by hand, just to see what would happen. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You decorate your office walls with database catalog posters. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You've built programs that access data just to keep other developers from asking you to run queries all the time. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy When you watch movies like The Matrix, you find yourself calculating the fasibility of storing all that data. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have tried to convince someone to spend money on an SSD storage array. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy When CPU is spiked on a server, you want to gather forensic evidence. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have to remind developers not to push code to production without checking if the database is ready. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy Nobody cares what you wear to work, as long as the thing keeps running. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy Telepathy is a job requirement when working with app dev teams. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You read database statistics for the educational value. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy And your boss freely admits this to anyone within earshot. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy Your boss cannot explain or understand what you do. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You envision ERDs when you see a GUI. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You say things like "applications come and go, but data lasts forever." #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You have memorized the names of several of the AdventureWorks employees. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You know what MAXDOP setting you can get away with for a big query based on current server load. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy And you immediately recognize the recursion in my last tweet. #youmightbeaDBA  databaseguy You find 50 simultaneous tweets from @buckwoody about #youmightbeaDBA :O)  DBAishness You have "funny stories" about the times your developers accidentally deleted the T-log in their test environment. #youmightbeaDBA  DBAishness Planning to slice and dice your MDW data with PowerPivot makes you giggle like a schoolgirl. #youmightbeaDBA  donalddotfarmer You think @buckwoody lives in the "real world." #youmightbeaDBA  jamach09 @buckwoody #youmightbeaDBA Why go outside when you can sit in the nice cool server room?  jamach09 If you refer to procreation as "Replication", #youmightbeaDBA.  jamach09 If you think ORM is a four-letter word, #youmightbeaDBA  JamesMarsh If you have ever preached the value of Source Code Control, #YouMightBeADBA  jethrocarr @venzann You store your shopping list in a ACID compliant DB #youmightbeaDBA  joe_positive @buckwoody thought it stood for "Don't Bother Asking" #youmightbeaDBA  joe_positive when you check your IT Events Calendar before making weekend plans #youmightbeaDBA  LadyRuna You cringe whenever someone calls Excel a database #youmightbeaDBA  LadyRuna When the waiter says he'll be your server today, you ask how many terabytes he is #youmightbeaDBA  LadyRuna you always call the asterisk a "Star" #youmightbeaDBA  LadyRuna You walk into a server room, say "Nice RACK!" and everyone there knows you're talking about server rack... #youmightbeaDBA  LadyRuna You receive more messages from servers than from friends #youmightbeaDBA  LadyRuna hmmm... #youmightbeaDBA if your recipe for gumbo is "SELECT * FROM Refrigerator"  markjholmes @SQLSoldier Heh. #youmightbeaDBA if you correct other DBAs' spelling of @PaulRandal  markjholmes #youmightbeaDBA if you actually test RAID5 vs RAID10 on your SAN because when it comes to configuration, "it depends."  markjholmes #youmightbeaDBA if you have at least 3 definitions of the word "cluster"  MarlonRibunal 3 Words: @BrentO, snicker, & Access #youmightbeaDBA  MarlonRibunal @onpnt @mikeSQL my appeal was a couple of mins late. Enjoying #youmightbeaDBA  MarlonRibunal @mikeSQL @onpnt pls, don't mention bacon #youmightbeaDBA  merv @buckwoody You HATE 3-way joins #youmightbeaDBA  MidnightDBA If you're up at midnight Tweeting about SQL #youmightbeaDBA  MidnightDBA @buckwoody I'd noticed that. :) #youmightbeaDBA  mikeSQL when people talk about "their type" you're thinking varchar, bigint, binary, etc #youmightbeadba  mikeSQL people ask you to go to lunch , but you can't go because you're attending #SQLlunch #youmightbeadba  mikeSQL you laugh for hours at all of the #sqlmoviequotes ....things in which a normal individual would scratch their head at. #youmightbeadba  mikeSQL you laugh for hours at all of the #sqlmoviequotes ....things in which a normal individual would scratch their head at. #youmightbeadba  mrdenny If you think that @buckwoody's demo using PowerPivot to analyze index usage data from DMVs is awesome then #youmightbeaDBA  mrdenny You wish @PaulRandal still worked at Microsoft so that they would make a bobble head of him #youmightbeadba  mrdenny When it's 11pm on a holiday weekend, and your posting stupid jokes on Twitter then #youmightbeadba  mrdenny If you go out with friends and wonder why no one's wearing a kilt then #YouMightBeADBA  mrdenny You can't do basic math, but you know off the top of your head how many CALs $14,412 can buy you. #YoumightbeaDBA  mrdenny If you've ever setup a SQL Job to email you to get you out of a regularly scheduled meeting #YouMightBeADBA.  mrdenny You throw up in your mouth a little when ever you here the word "Access". Even if it doesn't relate to a MS product. #YouMightBeADBA  msdtjones You spend more time listening to @buckwoody than your wife #youmightbeaDBA  NFDotCom You perform "hail deltas" on a regular basis. #YouMightBeADBA  NoelMcKinney If you tell your wife you want to go to Columbus Ohio for your wedding anniversary so you can attend #sqlsat42 then #youmightbeaDBA  NoelMcKinney You read a union is on strike and wonder if it's a UNION ALL #youmightbeaDBA  NoelMcKinney You read a union is on strike and wonder if it's a UNION ALL #youmightbeaDBA  NoelMcKinney Someone asks you to throw another log on the fire and you tell them not to worry about it because Autogrowth is turned on #youmightbeaDBA  Nuurdygirl Even if you have a girlfriend...its possible #youmightbeadba. Yeah-i said its possible!  Nuurdygirl When your girlfriend has to lean around the laptop to kiss you goodnight #youmightbeadba  Old_Man_Fish If you worry about how big your package is and how long it takes to finish #youmightbeaDBA  Old_Man_Fish If you no longer wonder if someone is in trouble or died if you are getting calls at 2AM #youmightbeaDBA  Old_Man_Fish If, when you hear the word ACCESS with no connotation you blood pressure jumps 50 points, #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt When you hear the word inject you immediately get concerned if your databases are OK #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt Your servers haven't been rebooted in a year #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You know why it's funny when @PaulRandal has the word, "Sheep" in a tweet #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You have read BOL without actually having a problem to figure out #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You can type "SELECT columns FROM tables" without typos but tipen ni Banglish ares a messis #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt DR strategies doesn't include the word, RAID in them #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt you can move a SQL Server instance to a new server without the users ever knowing #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You have made an SSIS package that is more than one step #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You have the balls to say no to your boss when they ask for the sa password #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt you google to trouble shoot a problem and end up at your own blog (and it fixes it) #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You talk your wife into moving the family vacation a week earlier so you can attend the areas local SSUG meeting #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt you can explain to a nontechnical person what a deadlock is #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You hope a girl asks you what your collation is #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt you make jokes that include the words shrink, truncate and 1205. And you are the only one that laughs at them #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You rate your ability to stay awake to work longer on blogs, twitter, forums and your day to day job with the 5 9's goal #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt you have major surgery and beg the doctor to release you back to work 5 days later because you miss your servers #youmightbeaDBA #TrueStory  onpnt You do have backups and you know how to use them #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt It's the network #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt When the developers get to work your mood changes rapidly #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt When someone says, "PASS", you first think of karaoke #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt Recruiters try to get you to call them *just* because they think you'll give them @BrentO contact info #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You chuckle every time you go to grab the "CLR" Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover to clean something #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt @MarlonRibunal @mikeSQL Sorry man, it was already in motion ;-) #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt When you have an "I love bacon" sticker on your laptop. #youmightbeaDBA http://twitpic.com/1ry671  onpnt You sing SELECT statements in the shower #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt When you see a chicken it doesn't remind you of food. It reminds you of a guy named Jorge #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt At time, SQL is your mistress #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt Your wife wonders if SQL is the code name of your mistress at times #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt it's Friday and you are on twitter thinking really hard about what would be funny for hash tag #youmightbeaDBA  onpnt You organize your wife's "decorative"pillows on the bed in a B-Tree structure #youmightbeaDBA  PaulWhiteNZ If you: SELECT TOP (1) milk FROM fridge WHERE use_by_date >= GET_DATE() ORDER BY use_by_date ASC #YouMightBeaDBA  RonDBA #youmightbeaDBA if you read @buckwoody's and @BrentO's blogs.  ryaneastabrook @buckwoody omg, you have to stand up a website with these on them, they are awesome #youmightbeaDBA  soulvy @StrateSQL @LadyRuna Or a "Splat" #youmightbeaDBA  speedracer You can still fall asleep after three cups of coffee #youmightbeaDBA  speedracer You retweet @buckwoody on a Friday night #youmightbeaDBA  speedracer You can still fall asleep after three cups of coffee #youmightbeaDBA  speedracer Developers make you twitch #youmightbeaDBA  sqlagentman You know what X/1024*8 is. #YouMightBeADBA  SqlAsylum Your still in the office at 5:00 on memorial day weekend. #youmightbeadba :)  SQLBob Whenever someone you know gets pregnant you bring up INNER JOINs or SQL Injection attacks... #youmightbeaDBA  SQLChicken You know one or more SQL folks in the community with an animal in their username #youmightbeaDBA  SQLChicken You've used one or more car analogies to explain how a database works #youmightbeaDBA  SQLChicken “@sqljoe: #youmightbeaDBA if you applied to attend #sqlu and requested @SQLChicken to pull strings for you” lmao nice!  SQLChicken When talking about SSIS your discussions break down into various jokes about packages #youmightbeaDBA  SQLChicken Just SEEING the code for cursors makes you break out in hives #youmightbeaDBA  SQLChicken Just SEEING the code for cursors makes you break out in hives #youmightbeaDBA  SQLCraftsman You coined the phrase "Magic SAN Dust" because calling a vendor's marketing claims BS is not acceptable in a meeting. #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman If you hear about a new feature with the acronym "DAC" and wonder what disaster of a feature it is attached to this time. #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman You really own a "Stick of Much Developer Whacking" #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman You coined the phrase "Magic SAN Dust" because calling a vendor's marketing claims BS is not acceptable in a meeting. #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman Default Blame Acceptor #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman If you hear about a new feature with the acronym "DAC" and wonder what disaster of a feature it is attached to this time. #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman Default Blame Acceptor #YouMightBeADBA  SQLCraftsman If you hear about a new feature with the acronym "DAC" and wonder what disaster of a feature it is attached to this time. #YouMightBeADBA  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you wished your wife knew T-sql. USE ShoppingList SELECT NecessaryItems from Supermarket WHERE Category<> ("junk food")  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if the first thing you kiss when you wake up is your mobile for not waking you up in the middle of the night  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if your wife has a "Do Not Fly" family vacation list of her own including your laptop and mobile  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you have researched for DBA Anonymous groups and attended a #SSUG willing to drop your database (vice)  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if your only maintenance windows are staff meetings  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you think of yourself as "The One" in The Matrix "balancing the equation" from The Architect's (developers) poor coding  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you think @PaulRandal should have played the Oracle in The Matrix  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if home CD & Movie collection is stored in secured containers,in logical order & naming convention,and with a backup copy  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you applied to attend #sqlu and requested @SQLChicken to pull strings for you  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you have tried to TiVo @MidnightDBA broadcasts  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if your #sql user group feels like #AA meetings  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you thought of bringing your #sql books to #sqlsaturday and #sqlpass for autographs  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if #sqlpass feels like the #oscars  sqljoe #youmightbeaDBA if you are proud of your small package  SQLLawman #youmightbeaDBA when you hear MDX and Acura is not first thought that comes to mind.  sqlrunner If your wife double checks that there isn't a SQLSat within 200 miles of your vacation destination #youmightbeaDBA  sqlrunner When you're on a conference call and your wife thinks your speaking in a foreign language #youmightbeaDBA  sqlrunner When you're on a conference call and your wife thinks your speaking in a foreign language #youmightbeaDBA  sqlrunner You treat the word 'access' as a verb, not a noun #youmightbeaDBA  sqlrunner If you are happy with sub-second performance #youmightbeaDBA  sqlrunner When you know the names of the NOC people AND their families #youmightbeadba  sqlrunner When you know the names of the NOC people AND their families #youmightbeadba  sqlrunner Your company set's up international phone coverage for your cruise #youmightbeaDBA  sqlsamson @buckwoody if your manager asks you for data and you respond with "there's a script for that" #youmightbeadba  sqlsamson @buckwoody If you receive more messages from your server then your spouse #youmightbeadba  SQLSoldier You've spent all night Valentines Day upgrading the SQL Servers and forgot to tell your wife you'd be working late. #youmightbeadba  SQLSoldier You're flattered when someone calls you a geek. #youmightbeadba  SQLSoldier @llangit @mrdenny it's 11pm on a holiday weekend, & your reading stupid jokes on Twitter then #youmightbeadba  SQLSoldier Your manager borrows lunch money from you because your salary is 30% higher than his. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You think "intellisense" is a double negative because it's not intelligent nor makes sense. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier 75% of the emails you receive at home have the phrase "now following you on Twitter!" in the subject line. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You petition Ken Burns to remake Office Space because it should have been 18 hours long. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You select a candidate for a Jr DBA position because his resume said he's willing to get your coffee. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Somebody misquotes @PaulRandall and you call him on your cell to verify. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You wish the elevator in your building was slower because it's the last time you'll be left alone all day. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier The developers sacrifice small animals before giving you their code for review. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Developers bring you coffee and a BLT when you review their code. #youmightbeaDBA #IWish  SQLSoldier You can get out of any family get-together by saying you have to work and nobody questions it. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You've requested a HP Superdome for you "test" box. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your leave work early because your internet connection to the data center is better at home #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier The new CEO asks you to justify your salary, so you go on vacation for 2 weeks. And he never questions you again. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You cheer when Milton burns down the company in Office Space #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier A dev. asks if you've heard about some great new feature in SQL and you show the 16 blog posts you wrote on it ... last year #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your dev team is still testing SQL 2008 and you're already planning for SQL 11. #youmightbeaDBA #TrueStory  SQLSoldier The new CEO asks you to justify your salary, so you go on vacation for 2 weeks. And he never questions you again. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your dev team is still testing SQL 2008 and you're already planning for SQL 11. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You use a cell phone service coverage map to plan your next vacation. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You come in to work at 7 AM because it gives you at least 3 hours without any developers around. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You figure out a way to make take your wife on a cruise and deduct it as a business expense. #youmightbeaDBA #sqlcruise  SQLSoldier You name your cat SQLDog because the name @SQLCat was already taken. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You rate your blog posts based on the number of retweets you get. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You disable random logins just to mess with people. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You fall for the pickup line, "Hey baby, what's your collation?" #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You can blame an outage on anyone in the company because you're the only one that knows how to find out what really happened #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You can blame an outage on anyone in the company because you're the only one that knows how to find out what really happened #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You cheer when Milton burns down the company in Office Space #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your leave work early because your internet connection to the data center is better at home #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You cheer when Milton burns down the company in Office Space #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your think the 4 food groups are coffee, bacon, fast food, and Mountain Dew. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You tell someone your job title and they ask "What?" You describe it and they ask "What?". So you say "computer geek". #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier The #1 referrer to your blog is Twitter.com. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your idea of a good time on a Saturday involves free training. #youmightbeaDBA #sqlsat43  SQLSoldier You write a book that all of your co-workers have and none have read it. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You write a book that sells a couple thousand copies and is heralded a best seller. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier No matter how sick you are, you go to work if it's time to pass the pager on to the next guy. #youmightbeaDBA #TrueStory  SQLSoldier You go out on the town, and strangers walk up to you and say, "Hey you're that SQL guy" #youmightbeaDBA #TrueStory  SQLSoldier Your wife asks you to fix something, and you request a downtime window. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your wife asks when you'll be home, and you tell her that you wish you knew. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your best pickup line, "Hey baby, what's your collation?" #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your wife asks when you'll be home, and you tell her that you wish you knew. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You know that @BuckWoody is not someone's porno name. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You list TSQL as your native language on the 2010 census. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Starbucks' stock price drops every time you go on vacation. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You're happy when the web master says that the website is down. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You know that @BuckWoody is not someone's porno name. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You get mad when someone calls your car a "heap" because you've always considered it to be a "clustered index". #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier Your blog has more hits than your company's website. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You systematically remove the asterisk key from all keyboards in the company except yours. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier When asked if you recycle, you reply that you run sp_cycle_errorlog every night at midnight #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You wouldn't allow someone named @AdamMachanic to work on your car. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You switch offices every 3 days to avoid developers #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier PSS has your number on speed dial. #youmightbeaDBA  SQLSoldier You frown when you they tell Neo that he's going to the Oracle #youmightbeaDBA  swhaley you regretted saying "This shouldn't effect production" #youmightbeaDBA  swhaley you regretted saying "This shouldn't effect production" #youmightbeaDBA  Tarwn A pleasurable saturday means spending the day learning more about what you already do the rest of the week #youmightbeaDBA ...oh, wait...  thelostforum For great justice; all our base are belong to YOU !! #youmightbeadba  thelostforum @SQLSoldier: You need a witness to use a mirror #youmightbeaDBA ;)  TimCost you capitalize key words. always. everywhere. you can't help it, usually don't even notice. #youmightbeaDBA  Toshana Your the only one in your company not impressed with the developers new application. #youmightbeaDBA  venzann Coming soon from a (respected) book publisher - @buckwoody's #youmightbeaDBA  venzann He's on a role tonight. @buckwoody is summing up my life with his #youmightbeaDBA tweets...  venzann I love the #youmightbeaDBA tag. Found at least 6 new DBAs to follow..  venzann He's on a role tonight. @buckwoody is summing up my life with his #youmightbeaDBA tweets...  venzann You use #sqlhelp as a primary resource during troubleshooting #youmightbeaDBA  venzann You insist on stricter password security for your sql servers than you implement on your own laptop #youmightbeaDBA  WesBrownSQL @buckwoody you are up so late the only tweets you see are from @buckwoody #youmightbeaDBA  WesBrownSQL @SQLSoldier you are upgrading all your 2005 prod servers to 2008 R2 on a three day weekend... #youmightbeaDBA  zippy1981 #youmightbeaDBA if everytime you do something with #mongodb you think of the Vulcan proverb "only Nixon could go to China."  Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: Hybrid Applications

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx  Description: Organizations see the need for computing infrastructures that they can “rent” or pay for only when they need them. They also understand the benefits of distributed computing, but do not want to create this infrastructure themselves. However, they may have considerations that prevent them from moving all of their current IT investment to a distributed environment: Private data (do not want to send or store sensitive data off-site) High dollar investment in current infrastructure Applications currently running well, but may need additional periodic capacity Current applications not designed in a stateless fashion In these situations, a “hybrid” approach works best. In fact, with Windows Azure, a hybrid approach is an optimal way to implement distributed computing even when the stipulations above do not apply. Keeping a majority of the computing function in an organization local while exploring and expanding that footprint into Windows and SQL Azure is a good migration or expansion strategy. A “hybrid” architecture merely means that part of a computing cycle is shared between two architectures. For instance, some level of computing might be done in a Windows Azure web-based application, while the data is stored locally at the organization. Implementation: There are multiple methods for implementing a hybrid architecture, in a spectrum from very little interaction from the local infrastructure to Windows or SQL Azure. The patterns fall into two broad schemas, and even these can be mixed. 1. Client-Centric Hybrid Patterns In this pattern, programs are coded such that the client system sends queries or compute requests to multiple systems. The “client” in this case might be a web-based codeset actually stored on another system (which acts as a client, the user’s device serving as the presentation layer) or a compiled program. In either case, the code on the client requestor carries the burden of defining the layout of the requests. While this pattern is often the easiest to code, it’s the most brittle. Any change in the architecture must be reflected on each client, but this can be mitigated by using a centralized system as the client such as in the web scenario. 2. System-Centric Hybrid Patterns Another approach is to create a distributed architecture by turning on-site systems into “services” that can be called from Windows Azure using the service Bus or the Access Control Services (ACS) capabilities. Code calls from a series of in-process client application. In this pattern you move the “client” interface into the server application logic. If you do not wish to change the application itself, you can “layer” the results of the code return using a product (such as Microsoft BizTalk) that exposes a Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) endpoint to Windows Azure using the Application Fabric. In effect, this is similar to creating a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) environment, and has the advantage of de-coupling your computing architecture. If each system offers a “service” of the results of some software processing, the operating system or platform becomes immaterial, assuming it adheres to a service contract. There are important considerations when you federate a system, whether to Windows or SQL Azure or any other distributed architecture. While these considerations are consistent with coding any application for distributed computing, they are especially important for a hybrid application. Connection resiliency - Applications on-premise normally have low-latency and good connection properties, something you’re not always guaranteed in a distributed and hybrid application. Whether a centralized client or a distributed one, the code should be able to handle extended retry logic. Authorization and Access - In a single authorization environment like a Active Directory domain, security is handled at a user-password level. In a distributed computing environment, you have more options. You can mitigate this with  using The Windows Azure Application Fabric feature of ACS to make the Azure application aware of the App Fabric as an ADFS provider. However, a claims-based authentication structure is often a superior choice.  Consistency and Concurrency - When you have a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), Consistency and Concurrency are part of the design. In a Service Architecture, you need to plan for sequential message handling and lifecycle. Resources: How to Build a Hybrid On-Premise/In Cloud Application: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ignitionshowcase/archive/2010/11/09/how-to-build-a-hybrid-on-premise-in-cloud-application.aspx  General Architecture guidance: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2010/12/21/windows-azure-learning-plan-architecture.aspx   

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  • Where is the SQL Azure Development Environment

    - by BuckWoody
    Recently I posted an entry explaining that you can develop in Windows Azure without having to connect to the main service on the Internet, using the Software Development Kit (SDK) which installs two emulators - one for compute and the other for storage. That brought up the question of the same kind of thing for SQL Azure. The short answer is that there isn’t one. While we’ll make the development experience for all versions of SQL Server, including SQL Azure more easy to write against, you can simply treat it as another edition of SQL Server. For instance, many of us use the SQL Server Developer Edition - which in versions up to 2008 is actually the Enterprise Edition - to develop our code. We might write that code against all kinds of environments, from SQL Express through Enterprise Edition. We know which features work on a certain edition, what T-SQL it supports and so on, and develop accordingly. We then test on the actual platform to ensure the code runs as expected. You can simply fold SQL Azure into that same development process. When you’re ready to deploy, if you’re using SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 or higher, you can script out the database when you’re done as a SQL Azure script (with change notifications where needed) by selecting the right “Engine Type” on the scripting panel: (Thanks to David Robinson for pointing this out and my co-worker Rick Shahid for the screen-shot - saved me firing up a VM this morning!) Will all this change? Will SSMS, “Data Dude” and other tools change to include SQL Azure? Well, I don’t have a specific roadmap for those tools, but we’re making big investments on Windows Azure and SQL Azure, so I can say that as time goes on, it will get easier. For now, make sure you know what features are and are not included in SQL Azure, and what T-SQL is supported. Here are a couple of references to help: General Guidelines and Limitations: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336245.aspx Transact-SQL Supported by SQL Azure: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336250.aspx SQL Azure Learning Plan: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2010/12/13/windows-azure-learning-plan-sql-azure.aspx

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  • Windows Azure Learning Plan - Compute

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on a Windows Azure Learning Plan. You can find the main post here. This one deals with the "compute" function of Windows Azure, which includes Configuration Files, the Web Role, the Worker Role, and the VM Role. There is a general programming guide for Windows Azure that you can find here to help with the overall process.   Configuration Files Configuration Files define the environment for a Windows Azure application, similar to an ASP.NET application. This section explains how to work with these. General Introduction and Overview http://blogs.itmentors.com/bill/2009/11/04/configuration-files-and-windows-azure/ Service Definition File Schema http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee758711.aspx Service Configuration File Schema http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee758710.aspx  Windows Azure Web Role The Web Role runs code (such as ASP pages) that require a User Interface. Web Role "Boot Camp" Video  https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032470854&CountryCode=US Web Role Deployment Checklist http://blogs.infragistics.com/blogs/anton_staykov/archive/2010/06/30/windows-azure-web-role-deployment-checklist.aspx  Using a Web Role as a Worker Role for Small Applications http://www.31a2ba2a-b718-11dc-8314-0800200c9a66.com/2010/12/how-to-combine-worker-and-web-role-in.html Windows Azure Worker Role  The Worker Role is used for code that does not require a direct User Interface. Worker Role "Boot Camp" Video https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032470871&CountryCode=US Worker Role versus Web Roles http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg433012.aspx Deploying other applications (like Java) in a Windows Azure Worker Role http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mariok/archive/2011/01/05/deploying-java-applications-in-azure.aspx Windows Azure VM Role The Windows Azure VM Role is an Operating System-level mechanism for code deployment. VM Role Overview and Details  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg465398.aspx  The proper use of the VM Role http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2010/12/28/the-proper-use-of-the-vm-role-in-windows-azure.aspx

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  • Where is the SQL Azure Development Environment

    - by BuckWoody
    Recently I posted an entry explaining that you can develop in Windows Azure without having to connect to the main service on the Internet, using the Software Development Kit (SDK) which installs two emulators - one for compute and the other for storage. That brought up the question of the same kind of thing for SQL Azure. The short answer is that there isn’t one. While we’ll make the development experience for all versions of SQL Server, including SQL Azure more easy to write against, you can simply treat it as another edition of SQL Server. For instance, many of us use the SQL Server Developer Edition - which in versions up to 2008 is actually the Enterprise Edition - to develop our code. We might write that code against all kinds of environments, from SQL Express through Enterprise Edition. We know which features work on a certain edition, what T-SQL it supports and so on, and develop accordingly. We then test on the actual platform to ensure the code runs as expected. You can simply fold SQL Azure into that same development process. When you’re ready to deploy, if you’re using SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 or higher, you can script out the database when you’re done as a SQL Azure script (with change notifications where needed) by selecting the right “Engine Type” on the scripting panel: (Thanks to David Robinson for pointing this out and my co-worker Rick Shahid for the screen-shot - saved me firing up a VM this morning!) Will all this change? Will SSMS, “Data Dude” and other tools change to include SQL Azure? Well, I don’t have a specific roadmap for those tools, but we’re making big investments on Windows Azure and SQL Azure, so I can say that as time goes on, it will get easier. For now, make sure you know what features are and are not included in SQL Azure, and what T-SQL is supported. Here are a couple of references to help: General Guidelines and Limitations: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336245.aspx Transact-SQL Supported by SQL Azure: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336250.aspx SQL Azure Learning Plan: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2010/12/13/windows-azure-learning-plan-sql-azure.aspx

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: Infrastructure Limits

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx  Description: Physical hardware components take up room, use electricity, create heat and therefore need cooling, and require wiring and special storage units. all of these requirements cost money to rent at a data-center or to build out at a local facility. In some cases, this can be a catalyst for evaluating options to remove this infrastructure requirement entirely by moving to a distributed computing environment. Implementation: There are three main options for moving to a distributed computing environment. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) The first option is simply to virtualize the current hardware and move the VM’s to a provider. You can do this with Microsoft’s Hyper-V product or other software, build the systems and host them locally on fewer physical machines. This is a good option for canned-applications (where you have to type setup.exe) but not as useful for custom applications, as you still have to license and patch those servers, and there are hard limits on the VM sizes. Software as a Service (SaaS) If there is already software available that does what you need, it may make sense to simply purchase not only the software license but the use of it on the vendor’s servers. Microsoft’s Exchange Online is an example of simply using an offering from a vendor on their servers. If you do not need a great deal of customization, have no interest in owning or extending the source code, and need to implement a solution quickly, this is a good choice. Platform as a Service (PaaS) If you do need to write software for your environment, your next choice is a Platform as a Service such as Windows Azure. In this case you no longer manager physical or even virtual servers. You start at the code and data level of control and responsibility, and your focus is more on the design and maintenance of the application itself. In this case you own the source code and can extend or change it as you see fit. An interesting side-benefit to using Windows Azure as a PaaS is that the Application Fabric component allows a hybrid approach, which gives you a basis to allow on-premise applications to leverage distributed computing paradigms. No one solution fits every situation. It’s common to see organizations pick a mixture of on-premise, IaaS, SaaS and PaaS components. In fact, that’s a great advantage to this form of computing - choice. References: 5 Enterprise steps for adopting a Platform as a Service: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/davidmcg/archive/2010/12/02/5-enterprise-steps-for-adopting-a-platform-as-a-service.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0  Application Patterns for the Cloud: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kashif/archive/2010/08/07/application-patterns-for-the-cloud.aspx

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: High-Performance Computing (HPC)

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx  Description: High-Performance Computing (also called Technical Computing) at its most simplistic is a layout of computer workloads where a “head node” accepts work requests, and parses them out to “worker nodes'”. This is useful in cases such as scientific simulations, drug research, MatLab work and where other large compute loads are required. It’s not the immediate-result type computing many are used to; instead, a “job” or group of work requests is sent to a cluster of computers and the worker nodes work on individual parts of the calculations and return the work to the scheduler or head node for the requestor in a batch-request fashion. This is typical to the way that many mainframe computing use-cases work. You can use commodity-based computers to create an HPC Cluster, such as the Linux application called Beowulf, and Microsoft has a server product for HPC using standard computers, called the Windows Compute Cluster that you can read more about here. The issue with HPC (from any vendor) that some organization have is the amount of compute nodes they need. Having too many results in excess infrastructure, including computers, buildings, storage, heat and so on. Having too few means that the work is slower, and takes longer to return a result to the calling application. Unless there is a consistent level of work requested, predicting the number of nodes is problematic. Implementation: Recently, Microsoft announced an internal partnership between the HPC group (Now called the Technical Computing Group) and Windows Azure. You now have two options for implementing an HPC environment using Windows. You can extend the current infrastructure you have for HPC by adding in Compute Nodes in Windows Azure, using a “Broker Node”.  You can then purchase time for adding machines, and then stop paying for them when the work is completed. This is a common pattern in groups that have a constant need for HPC, but need to “burst” that load count under certain conditions. The second option is to install only a Head Node and a Broker Node onsite, and host all Compute Nodes in Windows Azure. This is often the pattern for organizations that need HPC on a scheduled and periodic basis, such as financial analysis or actuarial table calculations. References: Blog entry on Hybrid HPC with Windows Azure: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ignitionshowcase/archive/2010/12/13/high-performance-computing-on-premise-and-in-the-windows-azure-cloud.aspx  Links for further research on HPC, includes Windows Azure information: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ncdevguy/archive/2011/02/16/handy-links-for-hpc-and-azure.aspx 

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: Fast Acquisitions

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx  Description: Many organizations absorb, take over or merge with other organizations. In these cases, one of the most difficult parts of the process is the merging or changing of the IT systems that the employees use to do their work, process payments, and even get paid. Normally this means that the two companies have disparate systems, and several approaches can be used to have the two organizations use technology between them. An organization may choose to retain both systems, and manage them separately. The advantage here is speed, and keeping the profit/loss sheets separate. Another choice is to slowly “sunset” or stop using one organization’s system, and cutting to the other system immediately or at a later date. Although a popular choice, one of the most difficult methods is to extract data and processes from one system and import it into the other. Employees at the transitioning system have to be trained on the new one, the data must be examined and cleansed, and there is inevitable disruption when this happens. Still another option is to integrate the systems. This may prove to be as much work as a transitional strategy, but may have less impact on the users or the balance sheet. Implementation: A distributed computing paradigm can be a good strategic solution to most of these strategies. Retaining both systems is made more simple by allowing the users at the second organization immediate access to the new system, because security accounts can be created quickly inside an application. There is no need to set up a VPN or any other connections than just to the Internet. Having the users stop using one system and start with the other is also simple in Windows Azure for the same reason. Extracting data to Azure holds the same limitations as an on-premise system, and may even be more problematic because of the large data transfers that might be required. In a distributed environment, you pay for the data transfer, so a mixed migration strategy is not recommended. However, if the data is slowly migrated over time with a defined cutover, this can be an effective strategy. If done properly, an integration strategy works very well for a distributed computing environment like Windows Azure. If the Azure code is architected as a series of services, then endpoints can expose the service into and out of not only the Azure platform, but internally as well. This is a form of the Hybrid Application use-case documented here. References: Designing for Cloud Optimized Architecture: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dachou/archive/2011/01/23/designing-for-cloud-optimized-architecture.aspx 5 Enterprise steps for adopting a Platform as a Service: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/davidmcg/archive/2010/12/02/5-enterprise-steps-for-adopting-a-platform-as-a-service.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: Web Applications

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx  Description: Many applications have a requirement to be located outside of the organization’s internal infrastructure control. For instance, the company website for a brick-and-mortar retail company may want to post not only static but interactive content to be available to their external customers, and not want the customers to have access inside the organization’s firewall. There are also cases of pure web applications used for a great many of the internal functions of the business. This allows for remote workers, shared customer/employee workloads and data and other advantages. Some firms choose to host these web servers internally, others choose to contract out the infrastructure to an “ASP” (Application Service Provider) or an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) company. In any case, the design of these applications often resembles the following: In this design, a server (or perhaps more than one) hosts the presentation function (http or https) access to the application, and this same system may hold the computational aspects of the program. Authorization and Access is controlled programmatically, or is more open if this is a customer-facing application. Storage is either placed on the same or other servers, hosted within an RDBMS or NoSQL database, or a combination of the options, all coded into the application. High-Availability within this scenario is often the responsibility of the architects of the application, and by purchasing more hosting resources which must be built, licensed and configured, and manually added as demand requires, although some IaaS providers have a partially automatic method to add nodes for scale-out, if the architecture of the application supports it. Disaster Recovery is the responsibility of the system architect as well. Implementation: In a Windows Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment, many of these architectural considerations are designed into the system. The Azure “Fabric” (not to be confused with the Azure implementation of Application Fabric - more on that in a moment) is designed to provide scalability. Compute resources can be added and removed programmatically based on any number of factors. Balancers at the request-level of the Fabric automatically route http and https requests. The fabric also provides High-Availability for storage and other components. Disaster recovery is a shared responsibility between the facilities (which have the ability to restore in case of catastrophic failure) and your code, which should build in recovery. In a Windows Azure-based web application, you have the ability to separate out the various functions and components. Presentation can be coded for multiple platforms like smart phones, tablets and PC’s, while the computation can be a single entity shared between them. This makes the applications more resilient and more object-oriented, and lends itself to a SOA or Distributed Computing architecture. It is true that you could code up a similar set of functionality in a traditional web-farm, but the difference here is that the components are built into the very design of the architecture. The API’s and DLL’s you call in a Windows Azure code base contains components as first-class citizens. For instance, if you need storage, it is simply called within the application as an object.  Computation has multiple options and the ability to scale linearly. You also gain another component that you would either have to write or bolt-in to a typical web-farm: the Application Fabric. This Windows Azure component provides communication between applications or even to on-premise systems. It provides authorization in either person-based or claims-based perspectives. SQL Azure provides relational storage as another option, and can also be used or accessed from on-premise systems. It should be noted that you can use all or some of these components individually. Resources: Design Strategies for Scalable Active Server Applications - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms972349.aspx  Physical Tiers and Deployment  - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee658120.aspx

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: Agility

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx  Description: Agility in this context is defined as the ability to quickly develop and deploy an application. In theory, the speed at which your organization can develop and deploy an application on available hardware is identical to what you could deploy in a distributed environment. But in practice, this is not always the case. Having an option to use a distributed environment can be much faster for the deployment and even the development process. Implementation: When an organization designs code, they are essentially becoming a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider to their own organization. To do that, the IT operations team becomes the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to the development teams. From there, the software is developed and deployed using an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) process. A simplified view of an ALM process is as follows: Requirements Analysis Design and Development Implementation Testing Deployment to Production Maintenance In an on-premise environment, this often equates to the following process map: Requirements Business requirements formed by Business Analysts, Developers and Data Professionals. Analysis Feasibility studies, including physical plant, security, manpower and other resources. Request is placed on the work task list if approved. Design and Development Code written according to organization’s chosen methodology, either on-premise or to multiple development teams on and off premise. Implementation Code checked into main branch. Code forked as needed. Testing Code deployed to on-premise Testing servers. If no server capacity available, more resources procured through standard budgeting and ordering processes. Manual and automated functional, load, security, etc. performed. Deployment to Production Server team involved to select platform and environments with available capacity. If no server capacity available, standard budgeting and procurement process followed. If no server capacity available, systems built, configured and put under standard organizational IT control. Systems configured for proper operating systems, patches, security and virus scans. System maintenance, HA/DR, backups and recovery plans configured and put into place. Maintenance Code changes evaluated and altered according to need. In a distributed computing environment like Windows Azure, the process maps a bit differently: Requirements Business requirements formed by Business Analysts, Developers and Data Professionals. Analysis Feasibility studies, including budget, security, manpower and other resources. Request is placed on the work task list if approved. Design and Development Code written according to organization’s chosen methodology, either on-premise or to multiple development teams on and off premise. Implementation Code checked into main branch. Code forked as needed. Testing Code deployed to Azure. Manual and automated functional, load, security, etc. performed. Deployment to Production Code deployed to Azure. Point in time backup and recovery plans configured and put into place.(HA/DR and automated backups already present in Azure fabric) Maintenance Code changes evaluated and altered according to need. This means that several steps can be removed or expedited. It also means that the business function requesting the application can be held directly responsible for the funding of that request, speeding the process further since the IT budgeting process may not be involved in the Azure scenario. An additional benefit is the “Azure Marketplace”, In effect this becomes an app store for Enterprises to select pre-defined code and data applications to mesh or bolt-in to their current code, possibly saving development time. Resources: Whitepaper download- What is ALM?  http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9743693  Whitepaper download - ALM and Business Strategy: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9743690  LiveMeeting Recording on ALM and Windows Azure (registration required, but free): http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/visualstudio/contact-us.aspx?sbj=Developing with Windows Azure (ALM perspective) - 10:00-11:00 - 19th Jan 2011

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: New Development

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx Description: Computing platforms evolve over time. Originally computers were directed by hardware wiring - that, the “code” was the path of the wiring that directed an electrical signal from one component to another, or in some cases a physical switch controlled the path. From there software was developed, first in a very low machine language, then when compilers were created, computer languages could more closely mimic written statements. These language statements can be compiled into the lower-level machine language still used by computers today. Microprocessors replaced logic circuits, sometimes with fewer instructions (Reduced Instruction Set Computing, RISC) and sometimes with more instructions (Complex Instruction Set Computing, CISC). The reason this history is important is that along each technology advancement, computer code has adapted. Writing software for a RISC architecture is significantly different than developing for a CISC architecture. And moving to a Distributed Architecture like Windows Azure also has specific implementation details that our code must follow. But why make a change? As I’ve described, we need to make the change to our code to follow advances in technology. There’s no point in change for its own sake, but as a new paradigm offers benefits to our users, it’s important for us to leverage those benefits where it makes sense. That’s most often done in new development projects. It’s a far simpler task to take a new project and adapt it to Windows Azure than to try and retrofit older code designed in a previous computing environment. We can still use the same coding languages (.NET, Java, C++) to write code for Windows Azure, but we need to think about the architecture of that code on a new project so that it runs in the most efficient, cost-effective way in a Distributed Architecture. As we receive new requests from the organization for new projects, a distributed architecture paradigm belongs in the decision matrix for the platform target. Implementation: When you are designing new applications for Windows Azure (or any distributed architecture) there are many important details to consider. But at the risk of over-simplification, there are three main concepts to learn and architect within the new code: Stateless Programming - Stateless program is a prime concept within distributed architectures. Rather than each server owning the complete processing cycle, the information from an operation that needs to be retained (the “state”) should be persisted to another location c(like storage) common to all machines involved in the process.  An interesting learning process for Stateless Programming (although not unique to this language type) is to learn Functional Programming. Server-Side Processing - Along with developing using a Stateless Design, the closer you can locate the code processing to the data, the less expensive and faster the code will run. When you control the network layer, this is less important, since you can send vast amounts of data between the server and client, allowing the client to perform processing. In a distributed architecture, you don’t always own the network, so it’s performance is unpredictable. Also, you may not be able to control the platform the user is on (such as a smartphone, PC or tablet), so it’s imperative to deliver only results and graphical elements where possible.  Token-Based Authentication - Also called “Claims-Based Authorization”, this code practice means instead of allowing a user to log on once and then running code in that context, a more granular level of security is used. A “token” or “claim”, often represented as a Certificate, is sent along for a series or even one request. In other words, every call to the code is authenticated against the token, rather than allowing a user free reign within the code call. While this is more work initially, it can bring a greater level of security, and it is far more resilient to disconnections. Resources: See the references of “Nondistributed Deployment” and “Distributed Deployment” at the top of this article for more information with graphics:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee658120.aspx  Stack Overflow has a good thread on functional programming: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/844536/advantages-of-stateless-programming  Another good discussion on Stack Overflow on server-side processing is here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3064018/client-side-or-server-side-processing Claims Based Authorization is described here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee335707.aspx

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  • Windows Azure Use Case: New Development

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on when and where to use a distributed architecture design in your organization's computing needs. You can find the main post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx Description: Computing platforms evolve over time. Originally computers were directed by hardware wiring - that, the “code” was the path of the wiring that directed an electrical signal from one component to another, or in some cases a physical switch controlled the path. From there software was developed, first in a very low machine language, then when compilers were created, computer languages could more closely mimic written statements. These language statements can be compiled into the lower-level machine language still used by computers today. Microprocessors replaced logic circuits, sometimes with fewer instructions (Reduced Instruction Set Computing, RISC) and sometimes with more instructions (Complex Instruction Set Computing, CISC). The reason this history is important is that along each technology advancement, computer code has adapted. Writing software for a RISC architecture is significantly different than developing for a CISC architecture. And moving to a Distributed Architecture like Windows Azure also has specific implementation details that our code must follow. But why make a change? As I’ve described, we need to make the change to our code to follow advances in technology. There’s no point in change for its own sake, but as a new paradigm offers benefits to our users, it’s important for us to leverage those benefits where it makes sense. That’s most often done in new development projects. It’s a far simpler task to take a new project and adapt it to Windows Azure than to try and retrofit older code designed in a previous computing environment. We can still use the same coding languages (.NET, Java, C++) to write code for Windows Azure, but we need to think about the architecture of that code on a new project so that it runs in the most efficient, cost-effective way in a Distributed Architecture. As we receive new requests from the organization for new projects, a distributed architecture paradigm belongs in the decision matrix for the platform target. Implementation: When you are designing new applications for Windows Azure (or any distributed architecture) there are many important details to consider. But at the risk of over-simplification, there are three main concepts to learn and architect within the new code: Stateless Programming - Stateless program is a prime concept within distributed architectures. Rather than each server owning the complete processing cycle, the information from an operation that needs to be retained (the “state”) should be persisted to another location c(like storage) common to all machines involved in the process.  An interesting learning process for Stateless Programming (although not unique to this language type) is to learn Functional Programming. Server-Side Processing - Along with developing using a Stateless Design, the closer you can locate the code processing to the data, the less expensive and faster the code will run. When you control the network layer, this is less important, since you can send vast amounts of data between the server and client, allowing the client to perform processing. In a distributed architecture, you don’t always own the network, so it’s performance is unpredictable. Also, you may not be able to control the platform the user is on (such as a smartphone, PC or tablet), so it’s imperative to deliver only results and graphical elements where possible.  Token-Based Authentication - Also called “Claims-Based Authorization”, this code practice means instead of allowing a user to log on once and then running code in that context, a more granular level of security is used. A “token” or “claim”, often represented as a Certificate, is sent along for a series or even one request. In other words, every call to the code is authenticated against the token, rather than allowing a user free reign within the code call. While this is more work initially, it can bring a greater level of security, and it is far more resilient to disconnections. Resources: See the references of “Nondistributed Deployment” and “Distributed Deployment” at the top of this article for more information with graphics:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee658120.aspx  Stack Overflow has a good thread on functional programming: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/844536/advantages-of-stateless-programming  Another good discussion on Stack Overflow on server-side processing is here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3064018/client-side-or-server-side-processing Claims Based Authorization is described here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee335707.aspx

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  • Windows Azure Myths

    - by BuckWoody
    Windows Azure is part of the Microsoft "stack" - the suite of software and services we offer. Because we have so many products in almost every part of technology, it's hard to know everything about all parts of what we do - even for those of us who work here. So it's no surprise that some folks are not as familiar with Windows and SQL Azure as they are, say Windows Server or XBox. As I chat with folks about a solution for a business or organization need, I put Windows Azure into the mix. I always start off with "What do you already know about Windows Azure?" so that I don't bore folks with information they already have. I some cases they've checked out the product ahead of time and have specific questions, in others they aren't as familiar, and in still others there is a fair amount of mis-information. Sometimes that's because of a marketing failure, sometimes it's hearsay, and somtetimes it's active misinformation. I thought I might lay out a few of these misconceptions. As always - do your fact-checking! Never take anyone's word alone (including mine) as gospel. Make sure you educate yourself on your options. Your company or your clients depend on you to have the right information on IT, so make sure you live up to that. Myth 1: Nobody uses Windows Azure It's true that we don't give out numbers on the amount of clients on Windows and SQL Azure. But lots of folks are here - companies you may have heard of like Boeing, NASA, Fujitsu, The City of London, Nuedesic, and many others. I deal with firms small and large that use Windows Azure for mission-critical applications, sometimes totally on Windows and/or SQL Azure, sometimes in conjunction with an on-premises system, sometimes for only a specific component in Windows Azure like storage. The interesting thing is that many sites you visit have a Windows Azure component, or are running on Windows Azure. They just don't announce it. Just like the other cloud providers, the companies have asked to be completely branded themselves - they don't want you to be aware or care that they are on Windows Azure. Sometimes that's for security, other times it's for different reasons. It's just like the web sites you visit. For the most part, they don't advertise which OS or Web Server they use. It really just shouldn't matter. The point is that they just use what works to solve a given problem. Check out a few public case studies here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/case-studies/ Myth 2: It's only for Microsoft stuff - can't use Open Source This is the one I face the most, and am the most dismayed by. We work just fine with many open source products, including Java, NodeJS, PHP, Ruby, Python, Hadoop, and many other languages and applications. You can quickly deploy a Wordpress, Umbraco and other "kits". We have software development kits (SDK's) for iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows phones and more. We have an SDK to work with FaceBook and other social networks. In short, we play well with others. More on the languages and runtimes we support here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/ More on the SDK's here: http://www.wadewegner.com/2011/05/windows-azure-toolkit-for-ios/, http://www.wadewegner.com/2011/08/windows-azure-toolkits-for-devices-now-with-android/, http://azuretoolkit.codeplex.com/ Myth 3: Microsoft expects me to switch everything to "the cloud" No, we don't. That would be disasterous, unless the only things you run in your company uses works perfectly in Azure. Use Windows Azure  - or any cloud for that matter - where it works. Whenever I talk to companies, I focus on two things: Something that is broken and needs to be re-architected Something you want to do that is new If something is broken, and you need new tools to scale, extend, add capacity dynamically and so on, then you can consider using Windows or SQL Azure. It can help solve problems that you have, or it may include a component you don't want to write or architect yourself. Sometimes you want to do something new, like extend your company's offerings to mobile phones, to the web, or to a social network. More info on where it works here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx Myth 4: I have to write code to use Windows and SQL Azure If Windows Azure is a PaaS - a Platform as a Service - then don't you have to write code to use it? Nope. Windows and SQL Azure are made up of various components. Some of those components allow you to write and deploy code (like Compute) and others don't. We have lots of customers using Windows Azure storage as a backup, to securely share files instead of using DropBox, to distribute videos or code or firmware, and more. Others use our High Performance Computing (HPC) offering to rent a supercomputer when they need one. You can even throw workloads at that using Excel! In addition there are lots of other components in Windows Azure you can use, from the Windows Azure Media Services to others. More here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/scenarios/saas/ Myth 5: Windows Azure is just another form of "vendor lock-in" Windows Azure uses .NET, OSS languages and standard interfaces for the code. Sure, you're not going to take the code line-for-line and run it on a mainframe, but it's standard code that you write, and can port to something else. And the data is yours - you can bring it back whever you want. It's either in text or binary form, that you have complete control over. There are no licenses - you can "pay as you go", and when you're done, you can leave the service and take all your code, data and IP with you.   So go out there, read up, try it. Use it where it works. And don't believe everything you hear - sometimes the Internet doesn't get it all correct. :)

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  • Windows Azure Myths

    - by BuckWoody
    Windows Azure is part of the Microsoft "stack" - the suite of software and services we offer. Because we have so many products in almost every part of technology, it's hard to know everything about all parts of what we do - even for those of us who work here. So it's no surprise that some folks are not as familiar with Windows and SQL Azure as they are, say Windows Server or XBox. As I chat with folks about a solution for a business or organization need, I put Windows Azure into the mix. I always start off with "What do you already know about Windows Azure?" so that I don't bore folks with information they already have. I some cases they've checked out the product ahead of time and have specific questions, in others they aren't as familiar, and in still others there is a fair amount of mis-information. Sometimes that's because of a marketing failure, sometimes it's hearsay, and somtetimes it's active misinformation. I thought I might lay out a few of these misconceptions. As always - do your fact-checking! Never take anyone's word alone (including mine) as gospel. Make sure you educate yourself on your options. Your company or your clients depend on you to have the right information on IT, so make sure you live up to that. Myth 1: Nobody uses Windows Azure It's true that we don't give out numbers on the amount of clients on Windows and SQL Azure. But lots of folks are here - companies you may have heard of like Boeing, NASA, Fujitsu, The City of London, Nuedesic, and many others. I deal with firms small and large that use Windows Azure for mission-critical applications, sometimes totally on Windows and/or SQL Azure, sometimes in conjunction with an on-premises system, sometimes for only a specific component in Windows Azure like storage. The interesting thing is that many sites you visit have a Windows Azure component, or are running on Windows Azure. They just don't announce it. Just like the other cloud providers, the companies have asked to be completely branded themselves - they don't want you to be aware or care that they are on Windows Azure. Sometimes that's for security, other times it's for different reasons. It's just like the web sites you visit. For the most part, they don't advertise which OS or Web Server they use. It really just shouldn't matter. The point is that they just use what works to solve a given problem. Check out a few public case studies here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/case-studies/ Myth 2: It's only for Microsoft stuff - can't use Open Source This is the one I face the most, and am the most dismayed by. We work just fine with many open source products, including Java, NodeJS, PHP, Ruby, Python, Hadoop, and many other languages and applications. You can quickly deploy a Wordpress, Umbraco and other "kits". We have software development kits (SDK's) for iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows phones and more. We have an SDK to work with FaceBook and other social networks. In short, we play well with others. More on the languages and runtimes we support here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/ More on the SDK's here: http://www.wadewegner.com/2011/05/windows-azure-toolkit-for-ios/, http://www.wadewegner.com/2011/08/windows-azure-toolkits-for-devices-now-with-android/, http://azuretoolkit.codeplex.com/ Myth 3: Microsoft expects me to switch everything to "the cloud" No, we don't. That would be disasterous, unless the only things you run in your company uses works perfectly in Azure. Use Windows Azure  - or any cloud for that matter - where it works. Whenever I talk to companies, I focus on two things: Something that is broken and needs to be re-architected Something you want to do that is new If something is broken, and you need new tools to scale, extend, add capacity dynamically and so on, then you can consider using Windows or SQL Azure. It can help solve problems that you have, or it may include a component you don't want to write or architect yourself. Sometimes you want to do something new, like extend your company's offerings to mobile phones, to the web, or to a social network. More info on where it works here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/18/windows-azure-and-sql-azure-use-cases.aspx Myth 4: I have to write code to use Windows and SQL Azure If Windows Azure is a PaaS - a Platform as a Service - then don't you have to write code to use it? Nope. Windows and SQL Azure are made up of various components. Some of those components allow you to write and deploy code (like Compute) and others don't. We have lots of customers using Windows Azure storage as a backup, to securely share files instead of using DropBox, to distribute videos or code or firmware, and more. Others use our High Performance Computing (HPC) offering to rent a supercomputer when they need one. You can even throw workloads at that using Excel! In addition there are lots of other components in Windows Azure you can use, from the Windows Azure Media Services to others. More here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/scenarios/saas/ Myth 5: Windows Azure is just another form of "vendor lock-in" Windows Azure uses .NET, OSS languages and standard interfaces for the code. Sure, you're not going to take the code line-for-line and run it on a mainframe, but it's standard code that you write, and can port to something else. And the data is yours - you can bring it back whever you want. It's either in text or binary form, that you have complete control over. There are no licenses - you can "pay as you go", and when you're done, you can leave the service and take all your code, data and IP with you.   So go out there, read up, try it. Use it where it works. And don't believe everything you hear - sometimes the Internet doesn't get it all correct. :)

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  • Book Review - Programming Windows Azure by Siriram Krishnan

    - by BuckWoody
    As part of my professional development, I’ve created a list of books to read throughout the year, starting in June of 2011. This a review of the first one, called Programming Windows Azure by Siriram Krishnan. You can find my entire list of books I’m reading for my career here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/06/07/head-in-the-clouds-eyes-on-the-books.aspx  Why I Chose This Book: As part of my learning style, I try to read multiple books about a single subject. I’ve found that at least 3 books are necessary to get the right amount of information to me. This is a “technical” work, meaning that it deals with technology and not business, writing or other facets of my career. I’ll have a mix of all of those as I read along. I chose this work in addition to others I’ve read since it covers everything from an introduction to more advanced topics in a single book. It also has some practical examples of actually working with the product, particularly on storage. Although it’s dated, many examples normally translate. I also saw that it had pretty good reviews. What I learned: I learned a great deal about storage, and many useful code snippets. I do think that there could have been more of a focus on the application fabric - but of course that wasn’t as mature a feature when this book was written. I learned some great architecture examples, and in one section I learned more about encryption. In that example, however, I would rather have seen the examples go the other way - the book focused on moving data from on-premise to Azure storage in an encrypted fashion. Using the Application Fabric I would rather see sensitive data left in a hybrid fashion on premise, and connect to for the Azure application. Even so, the examples were very useful. If you’re looking for a good “starter” Azure book, this is a good choice. I also recommend the last chapter as a quick read for a DBA, or Database Administrator. It’s not very long, but useful. Note that the limits described are incorrect - which is one of the dangers of reading a book about any cloud offering. The services offered are updated so quickly that the information is in constant danger of being “stale”. Even so, I found this a useful book, which I believe will help me work with Azure better. Raw Notes: I take notes as I read, calling that process “reading with a pencil”. I find that when I do that I pay attention better, and record some things that I need to know later. I’ll take these notes, categorize them into a OneNote notebook that I synchronize in my Live.com account, and that way I can search them from anywhere. I can even read them on the web, since the Live.com has a OneNote program built in. Note that these are the raw notes, so they might not make a lot of sense out of context - I include them here so you can watch my though process. Programming Windows Azure by Siriram Krishnan: Learning about how to select applications suitable for Distributed Technology. Application Fabric gets the least attention; probably because it was newer at the time. Very clear (Chapter One) Good foundation Background and history, but not too much I normally arrange my descriptions differently, starting with the use-cases and moving to physicality, but this difference helps me. Interesting that I am reading this using Safari Books Online, which uses many of these concepts. Taught me some new aspects of a Hypervisor – very low-level information about the Azure Fabric (not to be confused with the Application Fabric feature) (Chapter Two) Good detail of what is included in the SDK. Even more is available now. CS = Cloud Service (Chapter 3) Place Storage info in the configuration file, since it can be streamed in-line with a running app. Ditto for logging, and keep separated configs for staging and testing. Easy-switch in and switch out.  (Chapter 4) There are two Runtime API’s, one of external and one for internal. Realizing how powerful this paradigm really is. Some places seem light, and to drop off but perhaps that’s best. Managing API is not charged, which is nice. I don’t often think about the price, until it comes to an actual deployment (Chapter 5) Csmanage is something I want to dig into deeper. API requires package moves to Blob storage first, so it needs a URL. Csmanage equivalent can be written in Unix scripting using openssl. Upgrades are possible, and you use the upgradeDomainCount attribute in the Service-Definition.csdef file  Always use a low-privileged account to test on the dev fabric, since Windows Azure runs in partial trust. Full trust is available, but can be dangerous and must be well-thought out. (Chapter 6) Learned how to run full CMD commands in a web window – not that you would ever do that, but it was an interesting view into those links. This leads to a discussion on hosting other runtimes (such as Java or PHP) in Windows Azure. I got an expanded view on this process, although this is where the book shows its age a little. Books can be a problem for Cloud Computing for this reason – things just change too quickly. Windows Azure storage is not eventually consistent – it is instantly consistent with multi-phase commit. Plumbing for this is internal, not required to code that. (Chapter 7) REST API makes the service interoperable, hybrid, and consistent across code architectures. Nicely done. Use affinity groups to keep data and code together. Side note: e-book readers need a common “notes” feature. There’s a decent quick description of REST in this chapter. Learned about CloudDrive code – PowerShell sample that mounts Blob storage as a local provider. Works against Dev fabric by default, can be switched to Account. Good treatment in the storage chapters on the differences between using Dev storage and Azure storage. These can be mitigated. No, blobs are not of any size or number. Not a good statement (Chapter 8) Blob storage is probably Azure’s closest play to Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas). Blob change operations must be authenticated, even when public. Chapters on storage are pretty in-depth. Queue Messages are base-64 encoded (Chapter 9) The visibility timeout ensures processing of message in a disconnected system. Order is not guaranteed for a message, so if you need that set an increasing number in the queue mechanism. While Queues are accessible via REST, they are not public and are secured by default. Interesting – the header for a queue request includes an estimated count. This can be useful to create more worker roles in a dynamic system. Each Entity (row) in the Azure Table service is atomic – all or nothing. (Chapter 10) An entity can have up to 255 Properties  Use “ID” for the class to indicate the key value, or use the [DataServiceKey] Attribute.  LINQ makes working with the Azure Table Service much easier, although Interop is certainly possible. Good description on the process of selecting the Partition and Row Key.  When checking for continuation tokens for pagination, include logic that falls out of the check in case you are at the last page.  On deleting a storage object, it is instantly unavailable, however a background process is dispatched to perform the physical deletion. So if you want to re-create a storage object with the same name, add retry logic into the code. Interesting approach to deleting an index entity without having to read it first – create a local entity with the same keys and apply it to the Azure system regardless of change-state.  Although the “Indexes” description is a little vague, it’s interesting to see a Folding and Stemming discussion a-la the Porter Stemming Algorithm. (Chapter 11)  Presents a better discussion of indexes (at least inverted indexes) later in the chapter. Great treatment for DBA’s in Chapter 11. We need to work on getting secondary indexes in Table storage. There is a limited form of transactions called “Entity Group Transactions” that, although they have conditions, makes a transactional system more possible. Concurrency also becomes an issue, but is handled well if you’re using Data Services in .NET. It watches the Etag and allows you to take action appropriately. I do not recommend using Azure as a location for secure backups. In fact, I would rather have seen the examples in (Chapter 12) go the other way, showing how data could be brought back to a local store as a DR or HA strategy. Good information on cryptography and so on even so. Chapter seems out of place, and should be combined with the Blob chapter.  (Chapter 13) on SQL Azure is dated, although the base concepts are OK.  Nice example of simple ADO.NET access to a SQL Azure (or any SQL Server Really) database.  

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  • Consolidation Strategy References

    - by BuckWoody
    I have a presentation that I give on SQL Server Consolidation Strategies, and in that presentation I talk about a few links that are useful. Here are some that I’ve found – feel free to comment on more, or if these links go stale:   Consolidation using SQL Server: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee692366.aspx SQL Server Consolidation Guidance:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee819082.aspx   More references for SQL Server and Hyper-V: http://www.sqlskills.com/BLOGS/KIMBERLY/post/Virtualization-with-SQL-Server.aspx Quick overview of Virtual Server licensing implications: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/licensing/morethan250/learn/virtualisation.mspx SQL Server and Hyper-V best practices: http://sqlcat.com/whitepapers/archive/2008/10/03/running-sql-server-2008-in-a-hyper-v-environment-best-practices-and-performance-recommendations.aspx High-Availability and Hyper-V: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2008.10.higha.aspx Virtualization Calculator: http://www.microsoft.com/Windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-calculators.aspx   May not be current, but here’s a whitepaper from VMWare for SQL Server: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/SQLServerWorkloads.pdf More information on SQL Server and VMWare: http://blogs.msdn.com/cindygross/archive/2009/10/23/considerations-for-installing-sql-server-on-vmware.aspx   Server Virtualization Validation Program: http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp.aspx?svvppage=svvp.htm Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Windows Azure Learning Plan - Security

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on a Windows Azure Learning Plan. You can find the main post here. This one deals with Security for  Windows Azure.   General Security Information Overview and general  information about Windows Azure Security - what it is, how it works, and where you can learn more. General Security Whitepaper – answers most questions http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usisvde/archive/2010/08/10/security-white-paper-on-windows-azure-answers-many-faq.aspx Windows Azure Security Notes from the Patterns and Practices site http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jmeier/archive/2010/08/03/now-available-azure-security-notes-pdf.aspx Overview of Azure Security http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Microsoft-Azure-Security-Cloud.html Azure Security Resources http://reddevnews.com/articles/2010/08/19/microsoft-releases-windows-azure-security-resources.aspx Cloud Computing Security Considerations http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=68fedf9c-1c27-4642-aa5b-0a34472303ea&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MicrosoftDownloadCenter+%28Microsoft+Download+Center Security in Cloud Computing – a Microsoft Perspective http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=7c8507e8-50ca-4693-aa5a-34b7c24f4579&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MicrosoftDownloadCenter+%28Microsoft+Download+Center Physical Security for Microsoft’s Online Computing Information on the Infrastructure and Locations for Azure Physical Security. The Global Foundation Services Group at Microsoft handles physical security http://www.globalfoundationservices.com/security/index.html Microsoft’s Security Response Center http://www.microsoft.com/security/msrc/ Software Security for Microsoft’s Online Computing Steps we take as a company to develop secure software Windows Azure is developed using the Trustworthy Computing Initiative http://www.microsoft.com/about/twc/en/us/default.aspx and  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms995349.aspx Identity and Access in the Cloud http://blogs.msdn.com/b/technology_titbits_by_rajesh_makhija/archive/2010/10/29/identity-and-access-in-the-cloud.aspx Security Steps you should take While Microsoft takes great pains to secure the infrastructure, platform and code for Windows Azure, you have a responsibility to write secure code. These pointers can help you do that. Securing your cloud architecture, step-by-step http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg296364.aspx Security Guidelines for Windows Azure http://redmondmag.com/articles/2010/06/15/microsoft-issues-security-guidelines-for-windows-azure.aspx  Best Practices for Windows Azure Security http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vbertocci/archive/2010/06/14/security-best-practices-for-developing-windows-azure-applications.aspx Active Directory and Windows Azure http://blogs.msdn.com/b/plankytronixx/archive/2010/10/22/projecting-your-active-directory-identity-to-the-azure-cloud.aspx Understanding Encryption (great overview and tutorial) http://blogs.msdn.com/b/plankytronixx/archive/2010/10/23/crypto-primer-understanding-encryption-public-private-key-signatures-and-certificates.aspx Securing your Connection Strings (SQL Azure) http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlazure/archive/2010/09/07/10058942.aspx Getting started with Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) quickly http://blogs.msdn.com/b/alikl/archive/2010/10/26/windows-identity-foundation-wif-fast-track.aspx

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  • Using linked servers, OPENROWSET and OPENQUERY

    - by BuckWoody
    SQL Server has a few mechanisms to reach out to another server (even another server type) and query data from within a Transact-SQL statement. Among them are a set of stored credentials and information (called a Linked Server), a statement that uses a linked server called called OPENQUERY, another called OPENROWSET, and one called OPENDATASOURCE. This post isn’t about those particular functions or statements – hit the links for more if you’re new to those topics. I’m actually more concerned about where I see these used than the particular method. In many cases, a Linked server isn’t another Relational Database Management System (RDMBS) like Oracle or DB2 (which is possible with a linked server), but another SQL Server. My concern is that linked servers are the new Data Transformation Services (DTS) from SQL Server 2000 – something that was designed for one purpose but which is being morphed into something much more. In the case of DTS, most of us turned that feature into a full-fledged job system. What was designed as a simple data import and export system has been pressed into service doing logic, routing and timing. And of course we all know how painful it was to move off of a complex DTS system onto SQL Server Integration Services. In the case of linked servers, what should be used as a method of running a simple query or two on another server where you have occasional connection or need a quick import of a small data set is morphing into a full federation strategy. In some cases I’ve seen a complex web of linked servers, and when credentials, names or anything else changes there are huge problems. Now don’t get me wrong – linked servers and other forms of distributing queries is a fantastic set of tools that we have to move data around. I’m just saying that when you start having lots of workarounds and when things get really complicated, you might want to step back a little and ask if there’s a better way. Are you able to tolerate some latency? Perhaps you’re able to use Service Broker. Would you like to be platform-independent on the data source? Perhaps a middle-tier might make more sense, abstracting the queries there and sending them to the proper server. Designed properly, I’ve seen these systems scale further and be more resilient than loading up on linked servers. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Windows Azure Learning Plan - SQL Azure

    - by BuckWoody
    This is one in a series of posts on a Windows Azure Learning Plan. You can find the main post here. This one deals with Security for  Windows Azure.   Overview and Training Overview and general  information about SQL Azure - what it is, how it works, and where you can learn more. General Overview (sign-in required, but free) http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/inside-sql-azure.aspx General Guidelines and Limitations http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336245.aspx Microsoft SQL Azure Documentation http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsazure/sqlazure/default.aspx Samples and Learning Sources for online and other SQL Azure Training Free Online Training http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlazure/archive/2010/05/06/10007449.aspx 60-minute Overview (webcast) https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032458620&CountryCode=US Architecture SQL Azure Internals and Architectures for Scale Out and other use-cases. SQL Azure Architecture http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/inside-sql-azure.aspx Scale-out Architectures http://tinyurl.com/247zm33 Federation Concepts http://tinyurl.com/34eew2w Use-Cases http://blogical.se/blogs/jahlen/archive/2010/11/23/sql-azure-why-use-it-and-what-makes-it-different-from-sql-server.aspx SQL Azure Security Model (video) http://www.msdev.com/Directory/Description.aspx?EventId=1491 Administration Standard Administrative Tasks and Tools Tools Options http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/overview-of-tools-to-use-with-sql-azure.aspx SQL Azure Migration Wizard http://sqlazuremw.codeplex.com/ Managing Databases and Login Security http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336235.aspx General Security for SQL Azure http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff394108.aspx Backup and Recovery http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/sql-azure-backup-and-restore-strategy.aspx More Backup and Recovery Options http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/current-options-for-backing-up-data-with-sql-azure.aspx Syncing Large Databases to SQL Azure http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sync/archive/2010/09/24/how-to-sync-large-sql-server-databases-to-sql-azure.aspx Programming Programming Patterns and Architectures for SQL Azure systems. How to Build and Manage a Business Database on SQL Azure http://tinyurl.com/25q5v6g Connection Management http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/sql-azure-connection-management-in-sql-azure.aspx Transact-SQL Supported by SQL Azure http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336250.aspx

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  • It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice

    - by BuckWoody
    I’ve been a little “preachy” lately, telling you that you should let people finish their sentences, and always check a problem out before you tell a user that their issue is “impossible”. Well, I’ll round that out with one more tip today. Keep in mind that all of these things are actions I’ve been guilty of, hopefully in the past. I’m kind of a “work in progress”. And yes, I know these tips are coming from someone who picks on people in presentations, but that is of course done in fun, and (hopefully) with the audience’s knowledge.   (No, this isn’t aimed at any one person or event in particular – I just see it happen a lot)   I’ve seen, unfortunately over and over, someone in authority react badly to someone who is incorrect, or at least perceived to be incorrect. This might manifest itself in a comment, post, question or whatever, but the point is that I’ve seen really intelligent people literally attack someone they view as getting something wrong. Don’t misunderstand me; if someone posts that you should always drop a production database in the middle of the day I think you should certainly speak up and mention that this might be a bad idea!  No, I’m talking about generalizations or even incorrect statements done in good faith. Let me explain with an example.   Suppose someone makes the statement: “If you don’t have enough space on your system, you can just use a DBCC command to shrink the database”. Let’s take two responses to this statement.   Response One: “That’s insane. Everyone knows that shrinking a database is a stupid idea, you’re just going to fragment your indexes all over the place.” Response Two: “That’s an interesting take – in my experience and from what I’ve read here (someurl.com) I think this might not be a universal best practice.”   Of course, both responses let the person making the statement and those reading it know that you don’t agree, and that it’s probably wrong. But the person you responded to and the general audience hearing you (or reading your response) might form two different opinions of you.   The first response says to me “this person really needs to be right, and takes arguments personally. They aren’t thinking of the other person at all, or the folks reading or hearing the exchange. They turned an incorrect technical statement into a personal attack. They haven’t left the other party any room to ‘save face’, and they have potentially turned what could be a positive learning experience for everyone into a negative. Also, they sound more than just a little arrogant.”   The second response says to me “this person has left room for everyone to save face, has presented evidence to the contrary and is thinking about moving the ball forward and getting it right rather than attacking someone for getting it wrong.” It’s the idea of questioning a statement rather than attacking a person.   Perhaps you have a different take. Maybe you think the “direct” approach is best – and maybe that’s worked for you. Something to consider is what you’ve really accomplished while using that first method. Sure, the info you provide is correct, and perhaps someone out there won’t shrink a database because of your response – but perhaps you’ve turned a lot more people off, and now they won’t listen to your other valuable information. You’ll be an expert, but another one of the nameless, arrogant jerks in technology. And I don’t think anyone likes to be thought of that way.   OK, I’ll get down off of the high-horse now. And I’ll keep the title of this entry (said to me by my grandmother when I was a little kid) in mind when I dismount. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Geek it Up

    - by BuckWoody
    I’ve run into a couple of kinds of folks in IT. Some really like technology a lot – a whole lot –and others treat it more as a job. For those of you in the second camp, you can go back to your drab, meaningless jobs – this post is for the first group. I’m a geek. Not a little bit of a geek, a really big one. I love technology, I get excited about science and electronics in general, and I read math books when I don’t have to. Yes, I have a Star Trek item or two around the house. My daughter is fluent in both Monty Python AND Serenity. I totally admit it. So if you’re like me (OK, maybe a little less geeky than that), then go for it. Put those toys in your cubicle, wear your fan shirt, but most of all, geek up your tools. No, this isn’t an April Fool’s post – I really mean it. I’ve noticed that when I get the larger monitor, better mouse, cooler keyboard, I LIKE coming to work. It’s a way to reward yourself – I’ve even found that it makes work easier if I have the kind of things I enjoy around to work with. So buy that old “clicky” IBM keyboard, get three monitors, and buy a nice headset so that you can set all of your sounds to Monty Python WAV’s. And get to work. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Windows and SQL Azure Best Practices: Affinity Groups

    - by BuckWoody
    When you create a Windows Azure application, you’ll pick a subscription to put it under. This is a billing container - underneath that, you’ll deploy a Hosted Service. That holds the Web and Worker Roles that you’ll deploy for your applications. along side that, you use the Storage Account to create storage for the application. (In some cases, you might choose to use only storage or Roles - the info here applies anyway) As you are setting up your environment, you’re asked to pick a “region” where your application will run. If you choose a Region, you’ll be asked where to put the Roles. You’re given choices like Asia, North America and so on. This is where the hardware that physically runs your code lives. We have lots of fault domains, power considerations and so on to keep that set of datacenters running, but keep in mind that this is where the application lives. You also get this selection for Storage Accounts. When you make new storage, it’s a best practice to put it where your computing is. This makes the shortest path from the code to the data, and then back out to the user. One of the selections for the location is “Anywhere U.S.”. This selection might be interpreted to mean that we will bias towards keeping the data and the code together, but that may not be the case. There is a specific abstraction we created for just that purpose: Affinity Groups. An Affinity Group is simply a name you can use to tie together resources. You can do this in two places - when you’re creating the Hosted Service (shown above) and on it’s own tree item on the left, called “Affinity Groups”. When you select either of those actions, You’re presented with a dialog box that allows you to specify a name, and then the Region that  names ties the resources to. Now you can select that Affinity Group just as if it were a Region, and your code and data will stay together. That helps with keeping the performance high. Official Documentation: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh531560.aspx

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  • Agile isn’t always Agile

    - by BuckWoody
    I want to make a disclaimer before I dive into this topic – At Microsoft we use all kinds of development methodologies, and I’ve worked in lots of other shops using lots of methodologies. This is one of those “religious” topics like which programming language or database is best, and is bound to generate some heat. But this isn’t pointed towards one particular event or company. But I really don’t like Agile. In particular, I really don’t like Scrum. Let me explain. Agile is a methodology for developing software that emphasizes adapting to change more so than the traditional “waterfall” method of developing software. Within Agile is a process called a “scrum” meeting. The pitch goes that in this quick, stand-up meeting the people involved in the development project (which should include the DBA, but very often doesn’t) go around the room stating what they are working on, when that will be finished and what is keeping them from getting finished (“blockers”, these are called). Sounds all very non-threatening – we’re just “enabling” the developers to work more efficiently. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it? Except it doesn’t work. In my experience (and yours might be VERY different) this just turns into a micro-management environment, where devs have to defend their daily work. Of all the work environments I hate the most, micro-management environments are THE worst. I don’t like workign in them, and I don’t like creating them. The other issue I have with Scrum is that it makes your whole team task-focused. Everyone wants to make sure that they are not the “long pole” in the meeting (meaning that they aren’t the one that gets all the attention) so they only focus on safe, quick tasks. And although you have all of the boxes checked, the project does not go well at all – even when it does finish. Before you comment (and please do comment) I fully realize that Agile <> Scrum. But in my experience, it sometimes turns into that. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Backup Meta-Data

    - by BuckWoody
    I'm working on a PowerShell script to show me the trending durations of my backup activities. The first thing I need is the data, so I looked at the Standard Reports in SQL Server Management Studio, and found a report that suited my needs, so I pulled out the script that it runs and modified it to this T-SQL Script. A few words here - you need to be in the MSDB database for this to run, and you can add a WHERE clause to limit to a database, timeframe, type of backup, whatever. For that matter, I won't use all of the data in this query in my PowerShell script, but it gives me lots of avenues to graph: SELECT distinct t1.name AS 'DatabaseName' ,(datediff( ss,  t3.backup_start_date, t3.backup_finish_date)) AS 'DurationInSeconds' ,t3.user_name AS 'UserResponsible' ,t3.name AS backup_name ,t3.description ,t3.backup_start_date ,t3.backup_finish_date ,CASE WHEN t3.type = 'D' THEN 'Database' WHEN t3.type = 'L' THEN 'Log' WHEN t3.type = 'F' THEN 'FileOrFilegroup' WHEN t3.type = 'G' THEN 'DifferentialFile' WHEN t3.type = 'P' THEN 'Partial' WHEN t3.type = 'Q' THEN 'DifferentialPartial' END AS 'BackupType' ,t3.backup_size AS 'BackupSizeKB' ,t6.physical_device_name ,CASE WHEN t6.device_type = 2 THEN 'Disk' WHEN t6.device_type = 102 THEN 'Disk' WHEN t6.device_type = 5 THEN 'Tape' WHEN t6.device_type = 105 THEN 'Tape' END AS 'DeviceType' ,t3.recovery_model  FROM sys.databases t1 INNER JOIN backupset t3 ON (t3.database_name = t1.name )  LEFT OUTER JOIN backupmediaset t5 ON ( t3.media_set_id = t5.media_set_id ) LEFT OUTER JOIN backupmediafamily t6 ON ( t6.media_set_id = t5.media_set_id ) ORDER BY backup_start_date DESC I'll munge this into my Excel PowerShell chart script tomorrow. Script Disclaimer, for people who need to be told this sort of thing: Never trust any script, including those that you find here, until you understand exactly what it does and how it will act on your systems. Always check the script on a test system or Virtual Machine, not a production system. Yes, there are always multiple ways to do things, and this script may not work in every situation, for everything. It’s just a script, people. All scripts on this site are performed by a professional stunt driver on a closed course. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited. Offer good for a limited time only. Keep out of reach of small children. Do not operate heavy machinery while using this script. If you experience blurry vision, indigestion or diarrhea during the operation of this script, see a physician immediately. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • PowerShell PowerPack Download

    - by BuckWoody
    I read Jeffery Hicks’ article in this month’s Redmond Magazine on a new add-in for Windows PowerShell 2.0. It’s called the PowerShell Pack and it has a some great new features that I plan to put into place on my production systems as soon as I finished learning and testing them. You can download the pack here if you have PowerShell 2.0. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I’ll blog about what I’m learning here in the near future, but you should check it out. The only issue I have with it right now is that you have to load a module and then use get-help to find out what it does, because I haven’t found a lot of other documentation so far. The most interesting modules for me are the ones that can run a command elevated (in PSUserTools), the task scheduling commands (in TaskScheduler) and the file system checks and tools (in FileSystem). There’s also a way to create simple Graphical User Interface panels (in ). I plan to string all these together to install a management set of tools on my SQL Server Express Instances, giving the user “task buttons” to backup or restore a database, add or delete users and so on. Yes, I’ll be careful, and yes, I’ll make sure the user is allowed to do that. For now, I’m testing the download, but I thought I would share what I’m up to. If you have PowerShell 2.0 and you download the pack, let me know how you use it. Script Disclaimer, for people who need to be told this sort of thing: Never trust any script, including those that you find here, until you understand exactly what it does and how it will act on your systems. Always check the script on a test system or Virtual Machine, not a production system. Yes, there are always multiple ways to do things, and this script may not work in every situation, for everything. It’s just a script, people. All scripts on this site are performed by a professional stunt driver on a closed course. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited. Offer good for a limited time only. Keep out of reach of small children. Do not operate heavy machinery while using this script. If you experience blurry vision, indigestion or diarrhea during the operation of this script, see a physician immediately. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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