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Category: Bugs

Replication Error 20084 on SQL Server 2019

I ran into a weird issue:

Iwas helping out with a SQL Server upgrade recently, going from 2016 to 2019. We ran into a problem when trying to run replmerg.exe for a merge replication subscription. Specifically, we were getting error code 20084, which means that the replication process couldn’t connect to one of the instances. Interestingly, the process couldn’t connect to the local instance, and the failure was immediate—that is, within a couple of milliseconds. There was nothing in the management logs on either the distributor server or the subscriber server which indicated a problem. We were able to connect both sides together just fine—from the subscriber, we could connect to the distributor, and from the distributor, we could connect to the subscriber.

Click through for what error code 20084 typically means, as well as what turned out to be the problem here.

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Locking Issue with Columnstore Indexes

Joe Obbish troubleshoots an issue on tables with columnstore indexes:

I recently ran into a production issue where a SELECT query that referenced a NOLOCK-hinted table was hitting a 30 second query timeout. Query store wait stats suggested that the issue was blocking on a table with a nonclustered columnstore index (NCCI). This was quite unexpected to me and I was eventually able to produce a reproduction of the issue. I believe this to be a bug in SQL Server that’s present in both RTM and the current CU as of this blog post (CU14). The issue also impacts CCIs as well but I did significantly less testing with that index type.

Read on for the issue, how you can replicate it, and a couple ways to work around it.

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Error Messages during Change Tracking Cleanup

Lee Markum troubleshoots some error messages:

You’re a data professional and you’re trying to keep up with patching a wide range of SQL Server versions and editions. How do you know what’s in the CU and whether you should apply it or not? My favorite way to read up on CUs is to go to SQLServerUpdates and click around there.  It will take you to the latest CU pages as well as give you a way to see previous CUs that are available.

While doing this recently, I discovered this for CU 26 on SQL Server 2017.

These sorts of regressions do slip in, so keep an eye on them before (and after) upgrading. Lee gives us a concreate example of one in a recent CU of SQL Server 2017.

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Adding Debug Logic to T-SQL Procedures

Deborah Melkin does not take kindly to bugs:

I often find that I have to write complicated stored procedures where I need to check things as I go along. My go-to for using this snippet is when I write stored procedures that use dynamic SQL. You’d be surprised (or not) at how often I have had to do this over the years. There’s been functionality where the user gets to choose the columns being used, rewriting ORM data layer “catch-all” queries to improve performance, and cross database queries where the name of the database may not be the standard name (think development and QA databases living on the same SQL instance.)

Click through for an example of where the @Debug parameter pays off. My recollection was that, for really long NVARCHAR(MAX) strings, running PRINT by itself might cut off the code after ~4000 characters, but that could be a historical recollection.

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Persist Sample Percent Bugfix in SQL Server

John Sterritt has good news for us:

Hi Everyone, this is John Sterrett. I am a SQL Server Consultant in Austin, TX. Last year I blogged about a feature called Persist Sample Percent. It had a nasty bug that could negatively impact performance. I have great news to share. The fix is now rolled into SQL 2016 SP2 CU17 and SQL 2019 CU10Pedro Lopes let me know that with the fix now queued for SQL 2017 CU26, this becomes fixed in all versions.

Read on to see what this mean and why it’s important.

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Debugging Memory Access Violation Errors

Sean Gallardy explains access violations:

Access Violations (AV) are another common error that will cause SQL Server to take a memory dump. These can occur for a variety of reasons, and unlike the last one (Non-Yielding Scheduler) it’s quite the task, especially given public symbols don’t have structure data and offsets.

Read on to see what they are, what a dump file may include, and why they can be so difficult to debug.

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Security Breach in Cosmos DB: ChaosDB

Nir Ohfeld and Sagi Tzadik discovered a flaw in Azure Cosmos DB:

Nearly everything we do online these days runs through applications and databases in the cloud. While leaky storage buckets get a lot of attention, database exposure is the bigger risk for most companies because each one can contain millions or even billions of sensitive records. Every CISO’s nightmare is someone getting their access keys and exfiltrating gigabytes of data in one fell swoop.

So you can imagine our surprise when we were able to gain complete unrestricted access to the accounts and databases of several thousand Microsoft Azure customers, including many Fortune 500 companies. Wiz’s security research team (that’s us) constantly looks for new attack surfaces in the cloud, and two weeks ago we discovered an unprecedented breach that affects Azure’s flagship database service, Cosmos DB.

Read on for details about the attack. Microsoft has already mitigated the issue by disabling the functionality necessary to pull off the attack. H/T Ben Stegink.

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Dealing with Non-Yielding Schedulers

Sean Gallardy breaks up the party:

One of the most common items that will cause a memory dump in SQL Server is a non-yielding scheduler (generally referred to as NYS). What the heck does that mean? Why would it cause a memory dump? Is there anything that can be investigated? Good questions, let’s take a look.

Read on to learn what these are, why they’re not something you want to deal with on a regular basis, and how you can get more information on what happened out of a dump file. Which is also going to be helpful for Microsoft staff to diagnose and correct the underlying issue (if possible).

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Ways to avoid the MERGE Operator

Michael J. Swart has important bullet points:

Aaron Bertrand has a post called Use Caution with SQL Server’s MERGE Statement. It’s a pretty thorough compilation of all the problems and defects associated with the MERGE statement that folks have reported in the past. But it’s been a few years since that post and in the spirit of giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt, I revisited each of the issues Aaron brought up.

Some of the items can be dismissed based on circumstances. I noticed that:

– Some of the issues are fixed in recent versions (2016+).

– Some of the issues that have been marked as won’t fix have been fixed anyway (the repro script associated with the issue no longer fails).

– Some of the items are complaints about confusing documentation.

– Some are complaints are about issues that are not limited to the MERGE statement (e.g. concurrency and constraint checks).

Spoilers: some + some + some + some is still a lot less than all. Read the whole thing.

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Memory-Optimized tempdb Metadata Bug

Mark Wilkinson shines a light on a bug:

Hey folks! Today I’ll share another bug we found recently when testing some new SQL Server 2019 instances in our development environment. This one is a bit concerning as it could affect a lot of shops and the bug presents itself during a pretty common use case.

The unfortunate thing is that ours is exactly the type of environment that memory-optimized tempdb metadata was made for.

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