Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TSQL Tuesday! Learning new things

We are all constantly learning. It's a life long endurance race to collect knowledge, learn facts, perfect processes and build on the foundation of our early childhood education. The mountain of knowledge can become overwhelming if you try to look at it from too high up. I think about all the things I know regarding SQL Server, and then sometimes all it takes is a single conversation with a colleague to realize how much I still have yet to learn!

So what have I learned recently? Certainly plenty of technical one-offs; some great NDA stuff from the MVP Summit; and always something more about myself...but for this blog post I want to write about networking.

This year at PASS Summit I made a point to spend more time with people I don't typically have much opportunity to hang out with. I decided to let the setting or the occasion determine the people around me and it was really a lot of fun! I had the chance to make several new friends, and even bonded with a great vendor/sponsor who is going so far as to help out with the local SQL Saturday venue. It's incredible what can happen when you just say 'hi' and start a conversation. We all have our inner circle, and it's tough when we mostly see each other only once a year to give up some of that time to meet more people and make more connections. Just a few of the folks who I had time to get to know better, or meet for the first time (in no particular order and my apologizes for those left off, long list!): Jamey Johnston - love the new twitter handle!, Jim Murphy - would you like another umbrella in that drink?, Catherine Wihelmesen - we need to hang out more!, Elysia Barber - next time I'm in Texas, watch out!, and certainly Kirsten Benzel - muahahahaha. In addition to being just crazy fun people, we managed to have some great conversations along the way and I'm looking forward to seeing you all again at the next event we happen upon.

Lastly but in no way least, while my time in the Exhibitor hall was limited, I really enjoyed meeting the great teams of people at Kroll Ontrack and Solarwinds. People, you just never know who you are going to meet and what kind of impact or impression they may leave upon you. It's worth having that conversation, even giving up your email address because great, and sometimes amazing things and partnerships can come out of it.

So what did I learn? I learned that I have an amazing group of friends in #sqlfamily and PASS. I also learned that by continuing to add to my network, more things are made possible.

To those of you whom I did not get to spend our typical dinner/lunch/afters with, I did miss you but I know there will be future opportunities to meet up....and I'll bring a new friend along, too!

Thanks to Chris Yates (b|t) for hosting this edition!

And totally unrelated, some pics from Summit :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ada Lovelace Day 2014 - My Heroes - #tsql2sday

 Well here it is, Tuesday again and another installment of #TSQL2sday this time brought to you by Tracy McGibben (t|b) in honor of Ada Lovelace Day! Many bloggers today will write in honor of her accomplishments and where we are in technology today because of her work. Cool stuff :)

While Ada is certainly one of my personal Women In Tech heroes, there are many others who have paved a path more recently contributing to my career in tech. I couldn't write about heroes without a significant nod to my Mother who raised two girls on her own in a time when being a single parent was seriously frowned upon and without a higher education. Mom, you will always be the pinnacle of inspiration for me!

This year, I want to honor those wonderful women I have worked with in the past 12 or so months. Whether you realize it or not, you all have inspired me in one way or another, specifically professionally. Without further ado, my list of inspiring women:

Hope Foley (@hope_foley) - Hope's work ethic alone is enough to inspire anyone!
Kathi Kellenberger (@auntkathi) - Kathi's ability to take any technological problem and break it down into understandable pieces is something I aspire to do!
Ginger Grant (@DesertIsleSQL) - Ginger can tackle any problem put before her with finesse and polish!
Melissa Coates (@SQLChick) - Melissa loves what she does and it shows in everything she presents!
Kim Hathaway - Kim knows her stuff and she is never afraid to share her expertise!
Kathy Vick - Kathy knows more about SQL Server (the whole stack) than anyone I've met. It doesn't matter what questions I come up with, Kathy has an answer!

Thanks, ladies for being an inspiration and making me want to be a better Woman In Technology.

Monday, October 6, 2014

SQL Server in Azure : Additional Storage

When you provision a SQL Server virtual machine (VM) in Azure, by default you are given two drives:

The C:\ volume is, as you would expect, where all of the system files and system databases have been created. As a DBA, I know I don't usually want to store my database and log files on the root directory. Call it habit, but it still doesn't seem like the right thing to do, even in Azure. Plus, there is only about half the drive available anyway. That is not going to scale as my database files grow. Time to look elsewhere.

The D:\ volume looks very tempting at 192 GB of free space! To be fair, the size varies depending on the server size you choose - this example used a D4 VM allocation. Officially, MSFT states that this drive is used to save the system paging file. While you can save files here, it is at your own risk. Since this drive could and likely will be recreated on occasion, anything you save there will be lost. Remember these are VMs, and any reason for the VM to move to a different host will cause the D:\ drive to be rebuilt. Full details regarding the "Temporary Storage" can be found on the Microsoft Azure Support Team Blog.

Okay, so let's create our own, persistent storage for this server. This way, we can determine what allocation to use. It is very simple, just locate your VM, and select it. You can do this from either the Virtual Machines dashboard, or the individual VM dashboard. 

Just make sure you have the correct machine selected before you "Attach". You will be prompted to choose a size for disk, and that's all you need to go! Now, when you connect to your SQL VM, you will see the additional Data drive on E:\. You can attach multiple drives, so if you want to isolate your log files and TempDB as you would normally on-premises, you can.

So, how much is this going to cost? At the time of this writing, storage in Azure is really on the reasonable, if not downright cheap, side.

Depending on how much Azure-related redundancy you want to configure for your additional drives, you can pay as little as $0.024 per GB (up to 1 TB). Yes, that is UNDER 3 cents per GB - per month. So, let's say you need 100 GB, over a year's time, that will cost you $7.20 x 12 months = $19.20. That's it!

Full pricing on Storage and information on redundancy can be found here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/storage/

I hope to continue my SQL Server in Azure series over the next serveral months, so thanks for stopping by and check back again!