A Dose of Knowledge from Pinal Dave in the Monthly Mentor Series

With the pressures they face every day, database administrators and developers sometimes need a friendly voice of encouragement – someone who understands their struggles and can speak their language. That voice, in a beautifully-lilted accent, comes from Pinal Dave from SQL Authority. Pinal brings both knowledge and empathy to his interactive sessions, and we’re pleased to have three chats with Pinal as part of our Monthly Mentor webcast series.

These webcasts are now available on-demand and are sure to increase your understanding of database DevOps, SQL Server performance monitoring and SQL performance tuning.

Solving Database Challenges Around DevOps & Open Source

In this conversational session, Pinal engaged with the audience and answered questions about DevOps – from basic to more advanced. He described DevOps as a philosophy that organizations can adopt and make their own when it comes to building, testing and releasing code, and continuously monitoring performance. Audience members peppered him with questions, such as:

  • Does DevOps apply to SQL Server?
  • What are the tools that can be used for DevOps?
  • How is DevOps different than Agile?
  • Do I really need to learn about DevOps?

In his rapid-fire and humorous responses, Pinal laid it all out when it comes to DevOps and the role it plays in organizations.

Secrets to Keep your Database Running at Optimal Speed

In this “heart-to-heart” talk, Pinal was joined by Peter O’Connell of Quest as they fielded questions about the challenges associated with tuning SQL Server database performance.

Attendees asked what was on their minds and commented on what they dealt with daily, such as:

  • Where do you start when SQL Server is running slow?
  • What are the major components of performance diagnostics?
  • How have smart phones changed the way we respond to alerts and notifications? (There was a great exchange about pagers – anyone remember those?)
  • How can we overcome the complexity of root cause analysis?
  • How can proactive performance management be done via health checks, and how frequently should it occur?

Pinal and Peter provided insight and expertise, along with some fond reminiscences about pagers!

SQL Server Performance Tuning & Troubleshooting

In this session, Pinal gave a detailed demo on troubleshooting and tuning, particularly when upgrading SQL Server to a new version and experiencing slow performance. He talked about the ins and outs of three settings that should be adjusted when an upgrade occurs, but are commonly overlooked:

  • Auto-create statistics
  • Compatibility level
  • Cardinality estimation

Using a simple query, Pinal showed how variations in these settings can dramatically affect database performance, and in most cases, can be fixed in under 60 seconds.

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