Category Archives: SQL Server

MCM SQL Server 2008 Achieved

Another step in my career as I have passed the Lab Exam and have become an MCM in SQL Server 2008.  I believed I could achieve it after passing my knowledge exam the first time.

The first attempt at the lab was back in October and it was disappointing to find out that I did not pass the first time. I thought about what I could have done better and determined that I let time get away from me.  I had the experience I thought I needed to do well on the lab exam, but could not get to the point of finishing all the objectives and then there were those that I had not had experience with.  I found myself rehashing my experience to find that important part of getting prepared.  I did not think that study would help enough, so I started with my own lab environment (VM with SQL Server on it) and I ensured that I knew how to work with most of the engine features in BOL and thought of my strategy for the second attempt.

As I reflect on my attempt and prior to that day, I am grateful for the time I took to teach the concepts I was learning in my lab environment, to others. I also love the User Groups in Utah for allowing me to solidify some concepts I felt were important to know and be very familiar with by presenting at the Group meetings.  I may have taken it sooner had I had a study buddy to bounce things off of, but I found that the post from Rob Farley I got a new lease on life for the test.  I was confident in what I knew, but I am not as great in managing my time in scenarios of stress.  It helped to have the test administered via Lync at my house, which was much better than where I took it last time.

The day of the test, the proctors were awesome and took good care of me and explained the process.  They were very understanding and that set my day off to a good start. During the test, I employed some techniques that I learned in preparing, that were all about time management to allow me to get through the Lab and demonstrate what I knew how to do. I think that my time management really helped me the most as I already had the experience I believed I needed to pass the test.

Thanks to all the other MCMs that shared their expertise in presentations, emails and all those that were totally encouraging me to attempt my MCM experience.  But most of all to a supportive manager and employer (www.healthequity.com) that stood by me in the expense and time to take this exam. I am honored to be among the MCMs in SQL Server and looking forward to the road ahead.

Log Shipping encounters corrupt log backup

I ran into an issue the other day and wanted to ensure that I shared it out there.  In a Log Shipping scenario, you can occasionally run into a corrupt transaction log backup. This causes the database to stay in restoring mode (as mine was previously in a standby/read-only state for reporting), but requires theContinue Reading

Powershell, SMO and Database Files

In response to some questions about renaming a physical file for a database, I have 2 versions of Powershell scripts that do this for you, including taking the database offline and then online to make the physical change match the meta-data. First, there is an article about this at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms345483.aspx.  This explains that you startContinue Reading

The Best Thing I Learned at PASS

Being that I have never missed a PASS Summit yet (in the US), I thought I would share my experience about last PASS and previous PASS conferences. I attended a Pre-Con with Kalen Delaney on Query Tuning and Plan Guides. I also remember sessions last PASS that were very relevant to my job. Each yearContinue Reading

SQL PASS 2007 has concluded

I went to the SQL PASS 2007 Summit this past week, and I have to say that this was one of the best ones I have been to. I went to a pre-conference session with Kalen Delaney on Managing and the Reuse of Query Plans. Everything that I learned, I could use in my currentContinue Reading

Working with SSIS in SQL Server 2005

I thought I would document my exploits in SQL Server SSIS 2005 conversion of DTS packages and the scheduling. I had a DTS package that used the ProtectionLevel “Encrypt Sensitive Data with User Key” that I did not design or create. When I migrated them from SQL 2000 to SQL 2005, I used BI studioContinue Reading