Fuzzy - not just a name, a way of life

Friday, July 22, 2005

Into the guts of SQL Server

I've just spent a week doing the SQL Server internals course developed by the 8 leading SS MVPs who *don't* work for Microsoft. It was a really well constructed course, that included my favourite pass-times like "when MS says don't look at X, grab a hex dump anyway and decipher it like this ...". Having done the hard-core internals work on other databases was a useful baseline that showed me where SQL Server is in comparison with, say, Oracle and DB2. In short, it has a few bits of really cool technology that Microsoft seem hopelessly unable to communicate to the tech community, and a whole bunch of stuff that they think is cool and l33t, but in actual fact is 10-year old stuff that their competition mastered ages ago, and is now the bread and butter of undergrad comp sci degrees that have a "build your own database" course. When someone blindly defends cache-hit ratios as an unquestionably good tuning instrument, you know the kool-aid is mighty strong :-)

I'm going to run a bunch of the tricks I learned over the guts of SQL Server 2005, to see what they've improved or changed. Given I've already developed a point-by-point run down on their new "headline" features, and how badly it appears they're playing catch-up (and failing!), it'll be interesting to see if the engine under the hood has fared any better in the six years it's taken to get to market. I'm willing to be surprised, but somehow think I won't be.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

43 Things ... why not 44?

Gordon suggested I check out 43 things. It's like a window on what a few hundred or thousand other people wish they were doing. Why 43? Don't know, couldn't be bothered digging that far. I thought I'd prefer to be somewhere warm, learning to surf some more. As that wasn't currently on the 43 things list, I thought for a minute about how I get it there ... and then I thought I should just ask someone who already knows.

Which made me think "Hey! Gordon's the guy for that." Kinda circular, I know, but at least I visited a new site :-)