How do you setup Disaster Recovery for people?

Published On: 2018-10-08By:

Normally large companies invest in Business Continuity (BC) sites, hardware, and people to keep companies up and running in the event of a disaster. But what happens when your working with a small company and the CEO is suddenly unavailable for 2-3 months because of a medical emergency or other disaster? Small companies don’t have BC plans. In some cases the CEO has to be available to do lots of tasks that would regularly be done by HR department might deal with such as running payroll, setting up new employees, health insurance, etc.  Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting had this exact issue in October 2017.

With about three days notice towards the middle of October (right before a trip to a client, two conferences and a SQL Saturday) I had emergency surgery. DCAC had a new member of the team who would be starting of November 1st, 2017 (John) during the PASS summit and suddenly the guy who had to do all the setup (not to mention run payroll) wasn’t going to be availabile for an unknown amount of time.

Thankfully there were a few days between finding out I need surgery and the actual surgery, so I was able to work John and the insurance broker to get John setup with health insurance, and get payroll setup for John as well.

All this happened just after I had already run payroll and the regular checks came out on the 15th of October as expected. After my surgery, there was a new problem. Kris (my wife and business partner) only had a couple of hours a day that I was useful because of the medication I was on directly after surgery. As the end of the month approached, processing payroll became an issue. What ended up happening in that I walked Kris through the process. She already had a login that could get to the payroll site, but she hadn’t ever had to process the payroll before, so this would be a first for her. I was able to walk her through the process then I was done for the day.

After recovery was on the way, this process (or lack of process as it were) brought up a good point; Kris didn’t know everything that I had to deal with to keep everything running. If I (or any person that runs a company) had had a more immediate emergency then payroll might not have happened on time (which can lead to lots of other problems both legal and for everyone the works for the company), the company might not have been ready for our new team member to start.

All of this goes to show DR (or BC as it’s known for people) isn’t just something that large companies need to setup and plan for. Even smaller companies need to have a plan so that if something critical happens, the company can keep functioning. Some of the conversations around this aren’t pleasant, and they can be downright scary, but they need to happen.

Larger companies need to plan for this as well, and not just if the call center has to close for three months. What happens with the HR person, or the buyer, or the person who handles payroll, or the CEO is out of 2-3 months?  Can the company keep running and doing all the internal and external things that it need to do in order to meet it’s obligations to the team?

Thankfully we were able to meet all our obligations to the team, and everyone kept going what they needed to do in order to keep everything goes. We found some flaws in our process, but they were things that everyone could work around and we did. Now we just need to make sure that everyone knows how to handle things if there is another problem (and stay healthy so that hopefully this doesn’t happen again).


The post How do you setup Disaster Recovery for people? appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

PASS Summit 2018 PreCon Session is Selling Fast

Published On: 2018-10-01By:

My precon session at the PASS Summit 2018 titled “SQL Server Security” is scheduled for November 5th, 2018 in Seattle, Washington at the Seattle Convention Center.  Seats for my session at selling fast, and if you’re thinking of attending you’ll want to get your ticket to this great session soon.

During this full day Precon, we will review a variety of ways to secure your SQL Server databases and data from attack. In this session, we will discuss proper network designs, recommended firewall configurations, and physical security options. We will also review data encryption options, password protection options, using contained databases, and Always On Availability Groups security.

If this session interests you, you’ll want to sign up now as seats may run out (I have no idea which room the PASS Summit plans on putting my precon in).


The post PASS Summit 2018 PreCon Session is Selling Fast appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

Lots of announcements about #Azure and #SQLServer were made at Ignite today

Published On: 2018-09-24By:

Today starts the Microsoft Ignite conference. Like we are used to seeing at a Microsoft conference, Microsoft had a lot of announcements during the Ignite Keynote today.

SQL Server

Probably the most significant announcement for the Microsoft data platform user is the new preview version of SQL Server 2019 that’s now available.  This new version is bringing big data capabilities with this new release. You can ingest, store and analyze vast amounts of data with a built-in Spark and Hadoop distributed file system. And new connectors let you query databases like Oracle, Teradata, and MongoDB directly from SQL Server, breaking down data silos for faster insights.

Azure SQL DB

On the Azure Data Platform side of the world, we have the announcement that Azure SQL DB now supports databases up to 100 TB in size using the Hyperscale feature of Azure SQL DB which you’ll see coming on October 1st, 2018.  Hyperscale is an excellent move for customers, as many customers were blocked by the fact that they couldn’t move the database to Azure SQL DB simple because of size; and this limit is going away in just a few short days.

Along with the legacy database platform, we have Managed Instance which was in Public Preview.  The fact is that it is in preview is no-more; Managed Instance is being released in General Availability starting on October 1st, 2018.  Managed Instance will make migrations to Azure much more accessible for many clients that need support for a SQL Server instance because of features that aren’t available in Azure SQL DB. Managed Instance will bridge this gap for customers giving customers basically full SQL Server functionality within a PaaS service.

In the Azure SQL DB space, we see new features for optimization of query performance getting released to General Availability.  These features include three new features called row mode: memory grant feedback, approximate query processing, and table variable deferred compilation. With minimal effort, these features can collectively optimize your memory usage and improve overall query performance.

Azure SQL DW

Azure SQL DW isn’t being left out of the new feature party. Azure SQL DW is getting a new lower pricing tier to allow more companies to get into Azure SQL DW without the high cost of entry that we used to have.  The new pricing tier gives customers all the scalability and functionality that they are expecting from Azure SQL DB without having to commit as much money to the process.

Cosmos DB

On top of these pretty impressive announcements, there’s a significant new feature for Cosmos DB as well; Multi-Master writes.  While this feature has been in preview since Build, not everyone has been aware of the new feature. The Cosmos DB landscape changes as multi-master write enters General Availability allowing developers to build applications which even more availability and scalability.

Azure Stack

If you have deployed Azure Stack and you were worried about being left out of the Microsoft Ignite announcements, I can put your mind at ease.  Azure Stack doesn’t include support to expand your environment; which leaves companies with no ability to grow. This limitation changes as your Azure Stack environment can now be increased to up to 16 nodes.  The hardware still needs to be purchased from an approved vendor such as Cisco, Dell, HPE, etc.

Windows 2019

Windows 2019 will be entering Global Availability in October 2018.  This new release of Windows Server introduces a ton of features in its own right.  This version of Windows Server increases security over prior versions as well an creating an easier path to a hybrid environment between on-premises environments and the Microsoft Azure environment.

Azure Disks

One of the most significant announcements is in the Azure Space.  Microsoft is introducing the new Ultra-SSD performance tier for hosting storage in Azure.  This new performance tier will provide VMs and workloads with every more performance than is available today in the premium tier of Azure Storage.

Been stored from moving to Azure because Managed Disks didn’t support big enough disks? That isn’t going to be a problem anymore as Microsoft has released larger Managed Disk capacity tiers allowing you to have 8TB, 16TB and 32TB size drives.  Using these new storage sizes, you have to potential to add up to 2PB of space to a single Azure Virtual Machine.  If you have a space concern moving to Azure, that concern should be gone.  While this feature is currently in Public Preview, I’m sure that’ll it’ll become generally available soon.

Azure Files

Microsoft has improved the Azure Files feature of Azure Storage as well. Up to today, Azure Files was only available on storage accounts which are set up on Standard Storage.  Starting today, customers will see Azure Files is available for storage accounts which are built on Premium Storage as this feature is entering Public Preview.

There’s More

There’s a ton of new features available in Azure, SQL DB, Windows, the Developer Experience, and more. I only touched the surface of what was released today.  Check out the Microsoft documentation and the other Ignite sessions for more information on what else was released.


The post Lots of announcements about #Azure and #SQLServer were made at Ignite today appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

PASS Summit 2018 Speaker Idol Contestants

Published On: 2018-09-18By:

Today is the day that I have the privilege of announcing the PASS Summit 2018 Speaker Idol contestants.  The contestants have been grouped into three groups, with each of groups presenting on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

The groups that we have for the PASS Summit 2018 this year are:

Wednesday (4:45 PM)

  • Heidi Hasting
  • Ameena Lalani
  • Christopher Wolff
  • Dennes Torres de Oliveira

Thursday (4:45 PM)

  • Leslie Andrews
  • Janusz Rokicki
  • Michael Johnson
  • Paresh Motiwala

Friday (11:15 AM)

  • Randolph West
  • Peter Shore
  • James Donahoe
  • Rob Volk

The winners of these three days will then be presenting again in the finals on Friday afternoon at 3:30 pm along with one runner-up.  Each of these 12 attendees to going to get some great feedback from our panel of judges (which I’ll announce later).

I wish everyone luck, and all see you at the PASS Summit.


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Globally Recognized Expertise

As Microsoft MVP’s and Partners as well as VMware experts, we are summoned by companies all over the world to fine-tune and problem-solve the most difficult architecture, infrastructure and network challenges.

And sometimes we’re asked to share what we did, at events like Microsoft’s PASS Summit 2015.