SQL SERVER – Database File Names and Extentions – Notes from the Field #025

[Notes from Pinal]: People believe Shakespeare’s birth date is on April 26. ” What is there in a name?” – I often hear this statement, which famously quotes from Shakespeare.  I think we developer believe in this statement as most of our various are either BAR or FOO. However, this is extremely inefficient and not convenient. There are many reasons we should have meaningful names to our objects, variables and various elements. There are times when incorrect naming convention can just get user in trouble or lead organizations to disaster. My friend Tim shares this humorous and interesting story. Read on

Linchpin People are database coaches and wellness experts for a data driven world. In this 25th episode of the Notes from the Fields series database expert Tim Radney (partner at Linchpin People) explains in a very simple words of names and extensions.


Database file naming standards are important. With Microsoft SQL Server the default naming standard is not a requirement so administrators can change from the default .mdf, .ldf and .ndf.  Recently I encountered a SQL Server instance that was having performance issues. The customer was reporting very slow response times and couldn’t figure out what the issue was.

Reluctantly the administrator reached out to the database team to get a professional opinion.  For the database team this was the first they learned of this new server so we quickly performed our standard check. Two things stood out which was high CPU utilization and the executable consuming the most CPU was antivirus as well as high disk IO.  We stopped the “on access” scan and performance of the SQL Server improved as well as disk IO dropped very low.

We reached out to our antivirus team and was assured that our standard policies were applied to this server which includes excludes for our standards for database file naming.  We continued to research deviations from our standard server build against this instance, since we did not build it and that is when we found the admin/vendor/customer (non dba) chose a different naming standard for the files.  The extensions they chose were.001 for data, .002 for logs, .003 for ndf.

Due to not having proper excludes for those files by the antivirus software, the customer created a denial of service attack against their self. The on access scan effectively created such a load that it prevented anything else from running.

This is not the first time I have encountered this type of issue and blogged about this in 2012. http://timradney.com/2012/06/18/file-extensions-for-sql-server-database-files/

If you decide that for whatever reason you would like to deviate from the default naming standard or your companies naming standard for database files, please get with the people that manage your antivirus software to make sure they create exclusions for your new naming standard.

If you want me to take a look at your server and its settings, or if your server is facing any issue we can Fix Your SQL Server.

Note: Tim has also written an excellent book on SQL Backup and Recovery, a must have for everyone.

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

Data Science: A Step Forward from Business Intelligence

Who can predict which customer is going to cancel a newspaper subscription before it actually happens? A soothsayer, right? Wrong! It’s a Data Scientist.

The New York Times recently hired a Chief Data Scientist for this very purpose in order to save the publication from its dwindling position in the industry. The new Data Science Training team in the company is working to create a data model that will predict which customer is going to cancel subscription based on insights about what makes customers stay and how to retain them. Not just New York Times, but a whole lot of companies who are looking to manage Big Data are now hunting for data scientists to rescue them from this vast ocean of information.

What is Data Science?

Data Scientists are experts who possess multifarious skills to design and develop complex algorithms,  models, and visualizations that allow enterprises to extract useful insights from large amounts of data.

Data Science is a discipline that incorporates theories and studies from various fields including:

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Probability
  • Computer Programming
  • Data Warehousing
  • Data Engineering
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Machine Learning

Also, it’s not just data crunching, this field entails deep understanding of business challenges, uncovering valuable insights and communicating these to management for appropriate action.

Hottest Career Options 2014

This career option is gaining popularity and is listed as one of the most wanted skills for 2014. According to a study, 80% of open data scientist positions created in the past two years have not yet been filled. Koenig Solutions offers a one of its kind course on this subject for those who wish to expand their professional horizons. Since it is a relatively new field, training boot camps offering a conventional curriculum are not readily available. However, Koenig has specifically designed this course to include all essential skills requisite of a seasoned data scientist.

So, get set to take up the challenge and step forward on the path of an exciting career ahead.

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

SQL SERVER – GIDS – Two Technical Sessions Today – Resources and Whereabouts

Today I will be presenting two sessions at Great Indian Developer Summit. Here is the details about where I will be during today.

If you are not going to attend this event, sign up for the newsletter over here: http://bit.ly/sqllearn. I will be sharing my code, demo, slides and all the relevant information in the newsletter.

Indexes, the Unsung Hero
April 22, 2014 – Time:13:35-14:35

Slow Running Queries are the most common problem that developers face while working with SQL Server. While it is easy to blame SQL Server for unsatisfactory performance, the issue often persists with the way queries have been written, and how Indexes has been set up. The session will focus on the ways of identifying problems that slow down SQL Server, and Indexing tricks to fix them. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session. Indexes are the most crucial objects of the database. They are the first stop for any DBA and Developer when it is about performance tuning. There is a good side as well evil side to indexes. To master the art of performance tuning one has to understand the fundamentals of indexes and the best practices associated with the same. We will cover various aspects of Indexing such as Duplicate Index, Redundant Index, Missing Index as well as best practices around Indexes.

SQL Server Performance Troubleshooting: Ancient Problems and Modern Solutions
April 22, 2014 – Time:15:55-16:55

Many believe Performance Tuning and Troubleshooting is an art which has been lost in time. However, truth is that art has evolved with time and there are more tools and techniques to overcome ancient troublesome scenarios. There are three major resources that when bottlenecked creates performance problems: CPU, IO, and Memory. In this session we will focus on High CPU scenarios detection and their resolutions. If time permits we will cover other performance related tips and tricks. At the end of this session, attendees will have a clear idea as well as action items regarding what to do when facing any of the above resource intensive scenarios. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session. To master the art of performance tuning one has to understand the fundamentals of performance, tuning and the best practices associated with the same. We will discuss about performance tuning in this session with the help of Demos.

Architecting SQL Server HA and DR Solutions on Windows Azure ~ Vinod Kumar
April 22, 2014 – Time:11:45-12:45

Architecting SQL Server HA and DR Solutions on Windows Azure  ~ Vinod Kumar
April 22, 2014 – Time:11:45-12:45

Understanding Windows Better Using SysInternals ~ Vinod Kumar
April 22, 2014 – Time:14:45-15:45

If you are looking for downloading a script for finding missing Indexes and Redundant indexes. You can find them here.

During my session I will be asked three random questions, if you get that right, you will get the copy of my book.

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

SQL SERVER – Presenting 4 Technology Sessions at Great Indian Developer 2014 – Contest

The Great Indian Developer Conference (GIDS) is one of the most popular annual event held in Bangalore. This year GIDS is scheduled on April 22, 25. I will be presenting total four sessions at this event and each session is very different from each other.

Event Location: J. N. Tata Auditorium
National Science Symposium Complex (NSSC)
Sir C.V.Raman Avenue, Bangalore, India

Event Date: April 22-25, 2014 (Tuesday-Friday)

Website: http://www.developermarch.com/developersummit/ (You can find registration information over here).

I will be presenting at total 4 sessions during this event.

Indexes, the Unsung Hero

April 22, 2014 – Time:13:35-14:35 | 60 mins | GIDS.Net | Conference

Slow Running Queries are the most common problem that developers face while working with SQL Server. While it is easy to blame SQL Server for unsatisfactory performance, the issue often persists with the way queries have been written, and how Indexes has been set up. The session will focus on the ways of identifying problems that slow down SQL Server, and Indexing tricks to fix them. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session.
Indexes are the most crucial objects of the database. They are the first stop for any DBA and Developer when it is about performance tuning. There is a good side as well evil side to indexes. To master the art of performance tuning one has to understand the fundamentals of indexes and the best practices associated with the same. We will cover various aspects of Indexing such as Duplicate Index, Redundant Index, Missing Index as well as best practices around Indexes.

SQL Server Performance Troubleshooting: Ancient Problems and Modern Solutions

April 22, 2014 – Time:15:55-16:55 | 60 mins | GIDS.Net | Conference

Many believe Performance Tuning and Troubleshooting is an art which has been lost in time. However, truth is that art has evolved with time and there are more tools and techniques to overcome ancient troublesome scenarios. There are three major resources that when bottlenecked creates performance problems: CPU, IO, and Memory. In this session we will focus on High CPU scenarios detection and their resolutions. If time permits we will cover other performance related tips and tricks.
At the end of this session, attendees will have a clear idea as well as action items regarding what to do when facing any of the above resource intensive scenarios. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session. To master the art of performance tuning one has to understand the fundamentals of performance, tuning and the best practices associated with the same. We will discuss about performance tuning in this session with the help of Demos.

MySQL Performance Tuning – Unexplored Territory

April 25, 2014 – Time:10:45-11:30 |45 mins | GIDS.Data | Conference

Performance is one of the most essential aspects of any application. Everyone wants their server to perform optimally and at the best efficiency. However, not many people talk about MySQL and Performance Tuning as it is an extremely unexplored territory. In this session, we will talk about how we can tune MySQL Performance. We will also try and cover other performance related tips and tricks. At the end of this session, attendees will not only have a clear idea, but also carry home action items regarding what to do when facing any of the above resource intensive scenarios. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session. To master the art of performance tuning one has to understand the fundamentals of performance, tuning and the best practices associated with the same. You will also witness some impressive performance tuning demos in this session.

Hidden Secrets and Gems of SQL Server We Bet You Never Knew

April 25, 2014 – Time:15:00-17:45 | 150 mins | GIDS.Tutorials | Conference

It really amazes us every time when someone says SQL Server is an easy tool to handle and work with. Microsoft has done an amazing work in making working with complex relational database a breeze for developers and administrators alike. Though it looks like child’s play for some, the realities are far away from this notion. The basics and fundamentals though are simple and uniform across databases, the behavior and understanding the nuts and bolts of SQL Server is something we need to master over a period of time.

With a collective experience of more than 30+ years amongst the speakers on databases, we will try to take a unique tour of various aspects of SQL Server and bring to you life lessons learnt from working with SQL Server. We will share some of the trade secrets of performance, configuration, new features, tuning, behaviors, T-SQL practices, common pitfalls, productivity tips on tools and more.

This is a highly demo filled session for practical use if you are a SQL Server developer or an Administrator. The speakers will be able to stump you and give you answers on almost everything inside the Relational database called SQL Server.

Surprise Gift

If you attend my session, I will be asking one question at the end of the each of my sessions. If you get it right, you can win something surprise gift from me.

Must Attend Sessions

Besides above four sessions of mine, I will be attending the following sessions while I am at GIDS. Read the blog post of Vinod Kumar for additional information about his session.

April 22, 2014 – Time:10:35-11:35
SQL Server Management Studio – Tips and Tricks ~ Vinod Kumar

April 22, 2014 – Time:11:45-12:45
Architecting SQL Server HA and DR Solutions on Windows Azure  ~ Vinod Kumar

April 22, 2014 – Time:14:45-15:45
Understanding Windows Better Using SysInternals ~ Vinod Kumar

April 25, 2014 – Time:14:05-14:50
Introduction to Microsoft Power BI ~ Vinod Kumar

April 25, 2014 – Time:14:05-14:50
Lazy Commit Like NoSQL with SQL Server ~ Balmukund Lakhani

April 25, 2014 – Time:15:00-17:45
Hidden Secrets and Gems of SQL Server We Bet You Never Knew ~ Balmukund Lakhani, Pinal Dave, Vinod Kumar

NOTE: If you are not going to attend this event, sign up for the newsletter over here: http://bit.ly/sqllearn. I will be sharing my code, demo, slides and all the relevant information in the newsletter.

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

SQL SERVER – Download SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition at USD 59.59

Since the release of the SQL Server 2014 earlier this year, lots of people have been asking if people can download the full version of SQL Server 2014. SQL Server 2014 full version is not available for FREE. You have to either get standard version or enterprise version. You can download SQL Server 2014 trial version and use it till it expire.

If you want SQL Server 2014 for development purpose or for test system, you do not have to buy standard or enterprise version. You can just download it the development version. The development version costs USD 59.95 and it is available on DVD and immediate download.

Here is the link to the product.

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

SQL Authority News – Microsoft Whitepaper – SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure Blob Storage Service: Better Together

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2014 earlier this month and now have released very long but interesting white paper on Windows Azure Blog Storage Services. SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure feature is available in all editions of SQL Server 2014. This feature is enabled by default and at free of cost. This feature makes SQL Server 2014 hybrid cloud database as it provides native support for database files stored as Windows Azure Blobs. If you notice this is a big leap forward where data stored locally as well as on a cloud are accessed by SQL Server 2014 at the same time. You can also host SQL Server Instance in Azure cloud and it can also use the Windows Azure Blobs just like on-premises SQL Server.

Let me give you another example, if you have a situation that you have stored your database files in the cloud as well as backup on Windows Azure Cloud. Now if you want to restore your backup you do not have to bring that back to on-premises before restoring it. You can just restore your data directly from Windows Azure Storage to your SQL Server 2014 instance in a Virtual Machine. It will remove the necessity to do lots of data movement between cloud and on-premises servers.

This white paper discusses exactly the same feature very much in detailed. This white paper has over 116 pages and the size of the word file is 2.5 MB. However, after a long time I have found a Whitepaper which explains concepts from the beginning and walks users step by step with the examples. The appendix file to this Whitepaper contains all the necessary code as well as very interesting reference material. I think I am going to spend my entire weekend reading and learning from this Whitepaper.

Image included in this blog post is courtesy to the same white paper and it explains the story of entire white paper in just one image. Brilliant.

Download the white paper SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure Blob Storage Service: Better Together.

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

Developers – Drive by Daniel Pink – Book Review

I have been an avid reader of books. I read pretty much one or two books every week. I believe reading helps me a lot in my day job as well as well writing blog post. I am an evangelist and my primary responsibility is to spread the love for the technology. When I read more, I learn more and that effectively leads me to communicate better with my audience. Here is one of the recent book which I read and I loved it. This book is about what motivates us and what is the best job for us. I have read this book a second time and I think finally I have digested the meaning of this book. I love every bit of it and if you do not have it, you should get it.

I am going to give 10 Drive physical books to 10 people who register for my newsletter over here.

If you want to own the book, you can get it from Amazon |Flipkart.


Here are essential few quotes from the book.

The joy of the task was its own reward.

When money is used as an external reward for some activity, the subjects lose intrinsic interest for the activity.

Rewards can deliver a short-term boost – just as a  jolt of caffeine can keep you cranking for a few more hours. But the effects wears off – and, worse, can reduce a person’s longer term motivation to continue the project.

Enjoyment-based intrinsic motivation, namely how creative a person feels when working on the project, is the strongest and most pervasive driver.

Intrinsic motivation is of great importance for all economic activities. It is inconceivable that people are motivated solely or even mainly by external incentives.

Intrinsic motivation is conductive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity.

It is those who are least motivated to pursue extrinsic rewards who eventually receive them.

Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.

Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and offered only after the task is complete.

Type Intrisic behavior emerges when people have autonomy over the four T’s: their task, their time, their technique, and their team.

If you want to work with more type Intresic’s the strategy is to become one yourself. Automony, it turns out, can be contagious.

There is complexity, autonomy, and a relationship between effort and reward in doing creative work, and that’s worth more to most of us than money.

Carrots & sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose.

This new approach has three essential elements: (1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters; and (3) Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

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