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The Last SQL Server Service Pack

Voice of the DBA

Release Date: 10/07/2021

Worse Before Better show art Worse Before Better

Voice of the DBA

There was inside an organization. IT notes that often there is a problem and someone is assigned or hired to fix them. Often when someone starts to dig in, they can fix some things and reduce the pain.  That's good, as things get better. However, as you gain more knowledge of the issue, sometimes you realize there are more fundamental problems. If you try to fix them, you might make things worse. This could result in a repeat of the process of worsening and bettering of the problems over time. You might not make much progress if new people are constantly assigned when things get worse....

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Getting Beyond Passwords show art Getting Beyond Passwords

Voice of the DBA

Most of us that work with SQL Server likely use either the Windows authentication or a user name and password when connecting to an instance in SSMS or ADS. It's how we've operated for years, and likely will for some time to come. If you connect to Azure cloud resources, perhaps you use some multi-factor authentication (MFA), but that's a minority of us. If is a picture of the real world, far too few people are using authentication beyond passwords for many services. While plenty are using fingerprints, patterns, or face recognition on a mobile device, that's usually the extent to which they...

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When to Use a Database show art When to Use a Database

Voice of the DBA

One of the trends of the last ten years has been for many developers to try and avoid using a relational database where possible. Some look to NoSQL data stores, and others even consider flat file type stores of JSON or other formats that allow developers to work with speed and agility. Quite often it seems that applications grow to require some sort of relational store, often as an additional data store. I ran across that is often performing work in R or Python on datasets. At some point, the post notes that when your dataset(s) become larger than memory, you might want to consider using a...

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Taking Stock of Your Career show art Taking Stock of Your Career

Voice of the DBA

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the US, a day where families typically celebrate together and many people give thanks for what is going well in their lives. It's also one of the days when more businesses and services are closed than any other day of the year. This is the time of year when most businesses look forward and plan the future. It's also a time when lots of individuals may do the same thing, getting ready to make resolutions or attempt to change their lives in the new year. Read the rest of

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A Strange AI Achievement show art A Strange AI Achievement

Voice of the DBA

We are seeing AI and ML becoming used in more and more industries, but one that seems to be a place where it is embraced with some success. From speech recognition and transcription to analyzing imaging, computers have helped medical professionals improve the care they give to patients. Just as CAD has helped manufacturers, AI systems are being used in medical research, trying to model and screen medications to try and determine which ones are potentially useful in treating various diseases. We also have used them to better tailor treatments for certain diseases, like some cancers. It seems...

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The Complexity of Modern Systems show art The Complexity of Modern Systems

Voice of the DBA

I am a big advocate of version control and testing for your software. The main reason is that modern systems are incredibly complex, and capturing what has been done (and what is happening), along with looking for potential issues, is important. It might be critical for ensuring you have success in building software. Part of the reason is . Now I don't think the complexity is killing software developers. I do think it adds to developers' stress, and in poorly managed environments, the complexity makes for a poor job experience for many.  While I do think most people are smart, and they...

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Where is the Puck Going? show art Where is the Puck Going?

Voice of the DBA

During the PASS Data Community Summit last week, , and it was great. I really enjoyed the format and topic, and I look forward to how someone else might be creative next year with the time. I'd certainly love to do the keynote, though not sure I'd be eligible. I'm hoping a few others get interested and compete for the slot in 2022. One of the things Brent mentioned was about looking for skills to focus on, primarily for "builder," or those that develop new applications. He used : "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." The reference is to pick things that will be...

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The API Bottleneck show art The API Bottleneck

Voice of the DBA

While talking with a client recently about their performance challenges, I was relieved to find that the database wasn't the problem. Instead, their API server was overloaded by the number of calls taking place in their application. While the database did provide the backing for the API calls, there was a fair amount of caching. However, as they'd moved to microservices, more and more of the interaction between modules was taking place as a network call to a single server, which became overloaded.Certainly, they could add more API servers, or break out different types of API servers, but each...

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Summit Reflections show art Summit Reflections

Voice of the DBA

This is the second year that the annual PASS Data Community Summit has been virtual. Last year, as a pandemic gripped the world, I thought we might never see another one. I'm glad we have one this year, and I look forward to going back to . That being said, this year's event has been better than I expected in many ways, mostly because of . I can remember walking through the hallway of the Washington State Convention center and seeing coming the other way. We stepped to the side of the hallway and had a chat among hundreds of people walking by. I thought about that in the Community Zone when...

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Is the Database a Series of Microservices? show art Is the Database a Series of Microservices?

Voice of the DBA

Not too long ago I was explaining to a group of developers a few reasons why database development and deployment is more challenging than application work. As I was talking about the different objects and the dependencies between them, an analogy occurred to me. The database is like a series of micro-services. Read the rest of

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More Episodes

I wrote The Last Service Pack a few years ago, thinking that SQL Server 2016 SP2 might end all large updates. At the time, Microsoft was moving to a Cumulative Update process, with the aim of releasing small patches for each version every couple of months. They've done a good job of that, and SQL Server 2017 now has CU 26 with more coming.

With little fanfare, we got Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 2016 recently, with a long list of fixes.  Even Pedro Lopes notes this is the final service pack for any version. That means I expect that in the next few years, I'll start to encounter people working with technology who have no idea what a service pack is or what those are used for.

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