Going the extra 1.6 Kms

So… Today I thought I’d share some professional wisdom.

I’ve noticed in my working life so far that you get (roughly) two kinds of contractor/consultant.  You get the one who likes money (and nothing else) and you get the one that likes money AND likes to do a super job.  I’d like to think I’m in the blue spandex suit and red cape camp.

With that in mind, here are some of the top 5 things I do when engaging with my clients: Continue reading


Steve Jobs ate my hamster.

That’s right folks.  I’ve been bad.  I’ve been sucked in.  I’ve purchased a Macbook Pro.  The only thing is… it’s a bloody brilliant machine.

It’s so good, that I’ve already gone off my Windows laptop at home (sorry Bill and Steve).

It’s got all these features that sound all a bit artsy… like gestures, bonjour technology and so forth.  It’s like a whole new world.  And this new world ROCKS! Continue reading

Project WinOraCluster: Part One

Hi everyone

Well… apologies for the delays in blogging recently… I’ve been busy pottering away on a solution for a client.  This involves running 64 bit Oracle Database 10Gr2 ( on a x64 Windows 2k3 system…also utilising Oracle’s Fail Safe software, which allows you to run your DR database/application server for 10 individual calendar days (or part of) per year without any additional license costs.

This series will cover off some interesting facts and points (hopefully) and help my fellow DBAs in looking at this as a possible solution.

First things first… Why Windows?

Well in this instance, the client is 100% Windows based.  It makes no sense to use any other technology for them. They’d have to retrain staff (extra cost), buy specific hardware, software and vendor support (extra cost) and then there’s the whole hassle of keeping it supported (extra cost). Continue reading

Brad McGehee, sickness and Windows Power Saving plans…

Hi kids.

Well it’s Friday and I made it.  For the last 48 hours I’ve been either throwing up or feeling very sorry for myself in bed.  Lovely eh?

So the other day I thought I’d spend some time with my dear chum Brad.  You know, Brad McGehee international SQL Server professional book writing presenting super dude.  Well ok, I didn’t sit down and have a cup of tea with him.  To be fair I hardly know the guy.  In fact, I only know of him due to my crazy Kiwi friend: Jono Kerr.  He introduced me to Brad a while ago when I became his boss for a period of time (Jono not Brad), the introduction was the reading of his free eBooks.  So… when I say hang out… I really mean surfing his website….Any who….Brad has the same values as myself – which I don’t think a lot of technical people do.  It’s called: Professional people skills. 

Now before you run off – I’m not insulting any one when I say, it’s an acquired skillset, in some people they’ll never have it.  I once had a boss who insisted on marching you round the building whilst he gave you a piece of his mind, purely opinion based life advice, a bit like the over zealous fathers or grandfathers – I kid you not.  This same guy liked to tell customers they were ‘stoopid’ … to their faces.  Nice.  I have also worked with people who liked to shout at customers down the phone by telling them they are wrong and that ‘As I’m the technical expert…’ for their reason in being a chauvinistic bully boy.  Talk about killing your business. Continue reading

Lies, lies, damned lies and Microsoft How-To’s.

So… this is it how it happened… the previous database administrator had setup SQL Server 2008 mirroring within the same domain using encrypted traffic and certificated endpoints.  Why? I hear you cry.  Well, I maybe a complete database zealot – but I understand the KISS principle (I’m not a cop out – oh so cynical reader).  So when the certificates expired, and the mirrored database [high safety – synchronous] quietly died like a flan in a cupboard (thanks Eddie Izzard)… I had to put the thing back together.  Being a little rusty in setting up the mirror, I headed to Google for all my answers and stumbled upon the usual gold mine – Microsoft Books Online… where a beautiful how-to professed to fix all aliments (lie #1) and allow any Tom, Dick or Database Zealot to setup super cool mirroring (lie #2).  Oh dear reader, how much it lied with it’s accurately described processes and instructions – which turned out to be missing rather large pieces of instruction (or maybe I couldn’t read properly… but let’s not let the facts stand in the way of a jolly good post now).

So… What did I discover.  I discovered that a) The Database Mirroring Wizard does all the work that the document tells you to setup manually (and incorrectly) and b) NEVER set your administration account’s default database to anything other than master. 

Yep.  I did that.  What a FAIL.

Well come on it was Tuesday and I was already suffering after my household of four kids, a stomach bug and the traffic snarl in the morning had taken most of my brain power by 8am.  That, and I even think the wind was blowing from the South.

Besides the impending odds, I eventually got the process happening by following these simple steps (on a SQL Server 2008 Enterprise install): Continue reading