Welcome! I’m Thomas…

SQL University Hoops Practice

SQL University Hoops Practice

OK everyone, great job against UDB the other night. It was a real team effort and it made me proud to see just how far we have come in a short amount of time. Our last game is tomorrow afternoon, making this our last practice for the semester. We have to head across town to play Filemaker Vocational and will be back in time for everyone to get home for Christmas Eve. But make no mistake, the Appleseeds are tough to beat and their fans are very devoted.

OK everyone, let’s get going, layups <whistle blows>.


BRENT OZAR DID I JUST SEE YOU TAKE A LAYUP FROM THE LEFT SIDE USING YOUR RIGHT HAND? C’mon, you know better than that. Right hand from the right side, left hand from the left side. You are going to need that left hand one of these days, so you might as well practice using it and be ready for when that moment comes.

Open up SSMS and navigate to a database. Right-click and examine the file properties for the database. Learn what is meant by the column headings “logical name”, “file type”, and “filegroup”. See that column that says “autogrowth”? Good. Now find out why autogrowth can be a bad thing for your database files. Another good question for you to answer: how many database files should you have?


I want jump shots from the elbow extended today, followed by baseline jumpers, and you can finish with a crossover and drive to the hoop. Flush it if you can, if not get as high as you can.

Learn about the different levels of RAID and which ones work best (in general) for database files. Learn the basics of SAN storage as well. Become as familiar with the disks that your server depends upon to function. I am not asking you to become a SAN administrator, just to learn about some of the basics so that you can be familiar with the terminology as well as the technology.

Fast Break

We need to finish on our fast break chances. I AM TIRED OF THROWING AWAY THE BALL WITH A THREE-ON-ONE BREAK. We need to have good decisions, crisp passes, and a strong finish. You cannot take the ball strong for 83 feet only to finish with a weak layup that get challenged. Be strong and finish strong, or I will put someone else on the floor instead.

Let’s get our legs going with some Disk Partition Alignment. What’s that? You’ve never heard of DPA? Well then, start digging around and find out what DPA is and what it can mean for your shop. Imagine if there was a way for you to wave a magic wand and get a 30% improvement in performance. Would that be something you would be interested in having? Then DPA is something for you to learn more about.

Press Break

We can expect the Appleseeds to pressure us a bit tomorrow afternoon, so let’s work on breaking the press. They typically run the 2-2-1, but I want us to be prepared for the 2-1-2. I doubt they’ll go 1-3-1 but if they do we can beat that easily with the sideline break and sending two guys deep into the corners and using a skip pass.

Find out how SQL writes to and uses the transaction log. Look for ways to maximize your throughput for your log file. While you are at it, look for ways to maximize your throughput for tempdb. Start to get a feel for how RAID, DPA, and file allocation all play a role in your overall performance.


OK, grab some water and get back here in two minutes.

Let’s finish with a full court scrimmage. I want to work on our press break to start. After we beak the press let’s get into our offense and get a good shot. Be patient against the pressure, we don’t have to be in a hurry. Make the right pass, make the right cuts, advance the ball, and run the offense. After we do that a few times we will go full court, no pressure, and finish with some sprints. If you do everything we need right the first time through then we can get out of here early.

Have you ever built or designed a server from the ground up? Imagine what it would be like to be given such a chance. What RAID would you use for the O/S drive? What about your data and logs? And tempdb? How would that be handled? And what about your database backups? Where do they go? Start thinking about everything that goes into the disk configuration for a server. And do not just stop at direct attached storage; think about a SAN. You can also go one step further and start thinking about virtualization. How do you allocate disk from the host to the guest O/S ?

OK, here is the starting five against UDB:

  • Brent Ozar (F)
  • Jason Massie (SF)
  • Linchi Shea (SF)
  • Denny Cherry (SG)
  • Jimmy May (F)

OK, let’s finish up with some sprints, everyone on the line <whistle>.

  • Yes, but my right hand was busy with the – wait, never mind. Yes, Coach.