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Day: June 22, 2021


Paul Randal looks at a particular latch:

Most latch class names are tied directly to the data structure that they protect. The FGCB_ADD_REMOVE latch protects a data structure called an FGCB, or File Group Control Block, and there will be one of these latches for each online filegroup of each online database in a SQL Server instance. Whenever a file in a filegroup is added, dropped, grown, or shrunk, the latch must be acquired in EX mode, and when figuring out the next file to allocate from, the latch must be acquired in SH mode to prevent any filegroup changes. (Remember that extent allocations for a filegroup are performed on a round-robin basis through the files in the filegroup, and also take into account proportional fill, which I explain here.)

Read on to understand what can cause this particular latch to become a bottleneck in your system.

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Returning 0 Instead of BLANK in DAX

Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari want to see zeroes in specific circumstances:

What makes this specific product interesting is that the product had sales in 2007, no sales in 2008 and it started selling again in 2009. Its behavior is different than the other products. Indeed, for most of these products one can argue that they start to produce sales when they were introduced in the market. Their behavior is quite intuitive: no sales up to a given point in time, then they start selling. We want to highlight this specific product because it shows a gap in sales when it was already present on the market. For other products, we are happy to blank them until their first sale. By doing this, we show gaps when they are real, and we avoid showing non-relevant information, that is products that could not produce sales because they were not even available to sell.

Read on to see how they do this.

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Planning a Restore Strategy

Jonathan Kehayias inverts the paradigm:

Do you know how long it takes to RESTORE each database from a FULL backup? Does your run book include critical configuration options like Instant File Initialization or backup compression that can impact how long it takes to restore a database? Does the database have an excessively large transaction log file that will require zero initialization upon creation if the existing database files are not there? Does the database use transparent database encryption (TDE) which will prevent it from being able to instant initialize the size of the data files for the database?

Until you test your RESTORE time for a FULL backup, you don’t know if you can meet your RTO utilizing backups or not, and you may need one of the previously mentioned HA/DR features in SQL Server. However, in an absolute worst case scenario where recovery can only occur from backups, it is still important to know how long each step of the process is going to take so that you can set expectations appropriately. Your minimum recovery time is going to at least be the time required to restore the most recent FULL backup.

Click through for a lot of great advice in this vein.

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Exporting Large Tables from Power BI Desktop

Nick Edwards shows us the way:

Have you ever wanted to export a table from Power BI Desktop into Excel just to make sure the DAX you’ve written is performing as expected but ran into this error message: “Data exceeds the limit – Your data is too large. Some data sampling may occur”?

Most probably this has occurred because you’ve got more than 30,000 rows of data in your table that you’re trying to export. In the example shown below I’ve actually got 30,001 rows of data – a row containing column headers plus 30,000 rows of actual data.

Click through to see how you can get around this limitation.

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