SQLAuthority News – Interview with SQL Server MVP Glenn Berry

Glenn Berry works as a Database Architect at NewsGator Technologies in Denver, CO. He is a SQL Server MVP, and has a whole collection of Microsoft certifications, including MCITP, MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD, MCAD, and MCTS. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at University College – University of Denver, where he has been teaching since 2000. He is one wonderful blogger and often blogs at here.

1) Please tell us something about yourself.
I have been working as a Database Architect at NewsGator Technologies for about 3.5 years. Before that, I worked as a Performance Architect at a company called Mortgage Cadence for about four years. I have also been teaching SQL Server classes at night at University of Denver – University College for ten years. I have a couple of miniature Dachshunds, who are like my children.

2) We all know that you work as NewsGator, tell us something about your prime responsibility?
Well, my job title is Database Architect, but I am really the only database type person in the entire company. I pretty much have to do it all, from designing our architecture to writing stored procedures, to making sure our backup jobs are running. The good thing about that is that I get to stay hands on with SQL Server, which I really enjoy.

3) What would you like to call yourself – a Production DBA, a Database Architecture, A Database Developer or something else?
I end up doing both Database Development and Database Administration, along with the overall architecture. I call myself a Database Architect because it seems like the best overall description.

4) What is the largest size of database you have handled and what was your role with that database?
Our largest database is about 4TB (after Page Compression in SQL Server 2008). We currently have about 8TB of data between all of our production SQL Server instances.

5) NewsGator must have TB of data and millions of transactions a min. Would you please tell something about infrastructure?
We have about 8TB of data, which is really not that large by SQL Server 2008 standards. We are using pretty low-end, commodity hardware (no HP Superdomes here!). We are running completely on SQL Server 2008 in Production since February 2009. We were in the Katmai Technology Assistance Program (TAP), which was a private, external beta for SQL Server 2008, which helped us get a head start on getting SQL Server 2008 deployed very quickly. We are using Windows Server 2008 for all of our database servers, and we have had very good luck with that.

We have to run 24 x 7 x 365, with no regular maintenance windows. Because of this, we are using database mirroring on all of our mission critical databases, which works very well for us. We even used database mirroring to upgrade each of our production SQL Server 2005 databases to SQL Server 2008 with less than 30 second outages.

6) Tell us 3 most important tips for SQL Server.
It is very important to know your environment and workload (from a SQL Server perspective). That way, you will recognize when something has changed, and you will be able to make better decisions in a crisis situation. It is also important to stay current with what is going on with the latest hardware (I read tech enthusiast sites like AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware), so that you can do a good job selecting and sizing hardware. Too many DBAs just blindly trust their I.T. department to select hardware.

7) People call you the most friendliest MVP of all. Why?
I do know a lot of the other SQL MVP’s, and I guess that I have managed to avoid offending anyone so far. I was recently renewed for my third year as a SQL MVP, so I must be doing something right. I was lucky enough to be chosen to present two Community Sessions at this year’s PASS summit, so hopefully I will meet many more SQL Server people in the future.

8) Tell us something about yourself, which is not commonly known.
I like to read military history and science fiction. Long ago, I was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. I was a tank commander in an M60A1 Rise\Passive tank. I think that military experience is very useful for a DBA, since it helps teach you to be disciplined, detail-oriented, and prepared for anything.

Indian MVPs, Glenn Berry

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

10 thoughts on “SQLAuthority News – Interview with SQL Server MVP Glenn Berry

  1. Pingback: SQLAuthority News – Notes of Excellent Experience at SQL PASS 2009 Summit, Seattle « Journey to SQLAuthority

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