June 11, 2014

Traits of a DBA - Part One – The Technical Side
In this article I will discuss the technical traits a DBA should have, and in my next article I will discuss the valuable personal traits that make a person an excellent DBA. Technical traits are those skills a person uses to perform a particular task that is technical in nature. These technical tasks fall into a wide range of categories related to managing and maintaining a SQL Server environment. Below is a list of those technical traits or skills that would be beneficial for a SQL Server DBA to understand. This list is in no particular order.

Hybrid IT: The Best of All Worlds
“In this fiercely competitive landscape, many companies don’t even have time to put together detailed business cases before they respond to competitive changes. If you don’t take advantage of the right technologies to move quickly, you will get left behind,” says Elizabeth Shumacker, Vice President, Global Products & Solutions Marketing at CenturyLink Technology Solutions, a global provider of managed services on virtual, dedicated and colocation platforms. In this white paper from CenturyLink, we learn how the drive to maximize IT agility in support of new business needs (e.g., digital customer experience; big data analysis) while holding down cost is leading many CIOs to re-imagine their core IT infrastructure.

Snapchat Must Either Grow Up or Risk Disappearing
"If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez writes in the agency's announcement. "Any company that makes misrepresentations to consumers about its privacy and security practices risks FTC action." Before the ink even dried on its settlement with the FTC, Snapchat was in hot water again, this time with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The non-profit committed to defending civil liberties in the digital age scored Snapchat at the bottom of the pack in its annual review of technology and communications firms titled "Who Has Your Back?

Google Open Sources Its Secret Weapon in Cloud Computing
Google is now sharing this technology with the rest of the world because its business has evolved. In addition to creating its own web applications, it now offers cloud computing services–services that let outside companies build and run software without setting up their own machines. Releasing Kubernetes as a way of encouraging people to use these cloud computing services, known as Google Compute Engine and Google App Engine. But the new tool isn’t limited to the Google universe. It also lets you oversee machines running on competing cloud services–from Amazon, say, or Rackspace–as well as inside private data centers. Yes, today’s cloud services already give you quick access to large numbers of virtual machines,

Threats in the Cloud – Part 1: DNS Attacks
Attackers use malicious IFrames (the size of a pixel) or malicious Jscript to expose the unsuspecting user’s system to a variety of exploits. If all the software on the user’s system has not been kept up-to-date with security updates, one or more of these exploits could allow attackers to successfully compromise the system and allow attackers to download malware onto the system. Attackers will then have remote access to the system and potentially control it remotely. The user’s system can then be used for a wide range of illicit activities without the user’s knowledge or consent, such as DDoS attacks, spam projects, hosting stolen and pirated content and software, stealing data and software keys from the compromised system, potentially stealing the compromised computer’s users’ identities, etc.

HP Cloud Chief: OpenStack and Cloud Foundry a Match Made in Heaven
Open platforms are popular with these people because they enable development of applications. “Applications are great because that’s where the touch-point with the broader organization happens,” Mishra said. When applications are easy to build and deploy, IT shops can deliver the innovation that is expected from them. There are many parallels that can be drawn between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry, but the main one is in the way both open source technologies have given big IT vendors, such as HP and IBM, an on-ramp into the cloud services business.

Stretchable electronics could lead to robotic skin, computerized clothes
Researchers at Purdue University have made an advance in stretchable electronics that could lead to computerized clothing and robots with humanlike skin that can "feel." The issue has been how to create stretchable electronics, but the Purdue scientists have found a simple answer -- a sewing machine. The same sewing machine that you use to make your child's Halloween costume or to stitch together a pair of curtains is the same machine that can make what scientists call ultra-stretchable interconnects out of conventional wire.

Model-Driven Architectures + BI: The Perfect Pairing
One byproduct of MDA is a dashboard that is conceptualized by business-users from various disciplines rather than one that exclusively reflects IT capability. This is because MDA, at its very essence, is a development approach that starts by asking the question "Why?" What is the purpose of the application we're building? What business problem are we trying to solve? Once the answers to these questions become apparent, MDA developers work backwards in collaboration with the end users they are assisting. This requires visualization and cross-functional consensus about what data is relevant and what insights are desired.

Managers: Beware Becoming Part of the Drama
Let’s face it, some people thrive on bringing their personal challenges into the workplace and baring them all for the world to see. These drama kings and queens seem to revel in sharing their own misery with us in a seemingly never-ending series of scenes from the worst tragic Broadway or faux-Shakesperian play ever. As distracting and annoying as these people and their gray clouds of doom and dust become, it’s all too easy for the manager to get caught up in these serial soap operas, excusing poor performance or spotty attendance due to the nightmarish circumstances of the latest tragedy, illness, divorce, break-up, melt-down or (insert one you’ve heard before).

Most valuable storage metrics describe performance, capacity
Storage metrics cover a lot of ground. Administrators can get information on everything ranging from storage performance to bandwidth and cost. Whether you're working with object, block or file storage, StorageIO founder Greg Schulz said the metrics that matter most depend on how your storage is being used. In this video, Greg helps users nail down which storage metrics are most valuable by grouping them into one of four categories using an easy-to-remember acronym: PACE.

Understanding SQL Server Concurrency
When you can't get to your data because another application has it locked, a thorough knowledge of SQL Server concurrency will give you the confidence to decide what to do. Download your free copy of SQL Server Concurrency: Locking, Blocking and Row Versioning, the new eBook by world-renowned SQL Server trainer Kalen Delaney, dive into SQL Server's models for concurrent access, and learn how to troubleshoot blocking, deadlocking, and update conflicts. The simplest way to catch these problems on your servers is with SQL Monitor, so grab a free trial and see how quickly you can put Kalen's tips into practice.

Quote for the day:

“You can change only what people know, not what they do.” -- Scott Adams, God's Debris

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