When SQL Server Replication Ignores Tables

Matt Slocum takes us through a tricky replication scenario (hint, they all are):

There are occasions when Updates, Inserts, and Deletes on a replicated table do not replicate out to the Subscriber.  You’ve verified that the table is listed in the Articles included in the Publication, and that there is at least one Subscription on the Publication. 

The strange thing is that there are likely other tables in the same Publication that are properly being replicated to the same Subscriber.

What is happening here?  Why is replication ignoring this table?

Read on to see Matt’s explanation and fix.

Rollback’s Effect on Identity Columns

Adrian Buckman explains that rollbacks on identity columns still burn those identity values:

As I say – This is just what I has seen people do and it was only the other day when I saw a similar situation but with an insert instead, The user believed that because the changes were made within a transaction this would rollback EVERYTHING however they did not consider the impact on the Identity column on the table they made the insert in.

Here is an example to demonstrate how a rollback on an insert will not rollback your identity seed on your table.

Click through for the demo. Sequences behave in practice the same way: once you pull that next sequence ticket, you can’t put it back into the machine just by rolling back the transaction. That’s why identity columns and sequences aren’t good for situations where you absolutely need contiguous data, such as invoice numbers or check numbers.

Persistent Storage and Kubernetes

Chris Adkin explains the concepts behind persistent storage in containers:

A question that often crops up is “Can I use local storage”, the answer is “It depends”. Kubernetes is essentially a container scheduler at its most basic and fundamental level. The ‘Pod’ is the unit of scheduling, containers in the same pod share the same life cycle and always run on the same node. For stateless pods life is reasonably simple and straight forward, for state-full pods, life is a bit more nuanced. If for any reason a node fails, the pods that ran on that node have to be rescheduled to run on a working node, and their  storage needs to follow them. This involves un-mounting the volume from the failed node and then mounting it on the node the pod(s) are rescheduled to run on. With basic vanilla hyper-converged storage, i.e. storage and compute in the same chassis, this will ultimately lead to scheduling problems. However, software defined solutions exist that enable this kind of infrastructure to be turned into a storage cluster which allows state to follow pods around the cluster. Some people automatically associated HDFS with local storage, the reason for this is probably because “Back in the day”, the most cost efficient way for Google to scale out its infrastructure was via commodity servers with local disks. 

Read the whole thing.

Finding Column Usage Anywhere on an Instance

Pamela M. has a script for a difficult scenario:

This is what I use when these moments happen. This script will go out and search for occurrences of the search parameter in every table, view, synonym, stored procedure and function on the instance and will return the results in a single set.

Click through for the script, which Pamela warns us will be slow.

Saving Time with Choclatey

Craig Porteous explains how you can use Chocolatey to manage Windows packages:

In my own words, it’s the quickest way to get a machine up and running, ready to start working. Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows that allows you to script out the installation of (what feels like) almost anything. I was able to get up and running on a new laptop in just a few hours, while I worked on something else. Forget constant Next > Next > Next installation wizards. I had all the tools I needed to do my job, not just apps but PowerShell modules too, all installed automatically.

I’ve pulled packages but never created one. It’s definitely something that should go on my to-learn list given how often I build and rebuild machines and VMs.

K-Nearest Neighbors in Python

Hardik Jaroli shows how to use the k-Nearest Neighbors algorithm using scikit-learn:

K Nearest Neighbors is a classification algorithm that operates on a very simple principle. It is best shown through example! Imagine we had some imaginary data on Dogs and Horses, with heights and weights.

Training Algorithm:
1. Store all the Data

Prediction Algorithm:
1.Calculate the distance from x to all points in your data
2. Sort the points in your data by increasing distance from x
3. Predict the majority label of the “k” closest points

Apache Flink 1.8.0 Released

Aljoscha Krettek announces the general availablity of Apache Flink version 1.8.0:

SQL pattern detection with user-defined functions and aggregations: The support of the MATCH_RECOGNIZE clause has been extended by multiple features. The addition of user-defined functions allows for custom logic during pattern detection (FLINK-10597), while adding aggregations allows for more complex CEP definitions, such as the following (FLINK-7599).

There are several really nice changes. I pointed out this one to get people to vote up Itzik Ben-Gan’s feedback item to get row pattern recognition in SQL Server.

Tracking Database Recovery with Extended Events

Jason Brimhall takes us through the extended events which show progress on database recovery:

Recently, I wrote a rewrite of my database recovery progress report script. That script touches on both the error log and some DMVs along with some fuzzy logic to join the data sets together. That script may not be the most complex script out there, but it is more more complex than using the power of XE.

Database recovery (crash recovery) is a nerve wrenching situation under the wrong conditions. It can be as bad as a root canal and just as necessary to endure that pain at times. When the business is waiting on you waiting on the server to finish crash recovery, you feel nervous at best. If you can be of some use and provide some information back to the business, that anxiety dissipates and the business becomes more calm as well. While the previous script can help you get that information easily enough, I want to introduce the easiest method to capture that information currently available.

Click through for more information, as well as a couple of scripts.

Blob Storage for Database Backups

Randolph West has a couple of tools to help upload and download database backup files:

I wrote it because AzCopy was weak and inconsistent. It was fragile, needing constant attention and monitoring in case a journalling file got stuck. Also, AzCopy didn’t keep files in sync. If a file was deleted locally (as part of a cleanup to delete old backups), AzCopy was unable to delete files remotely, so it was messy to maintain files in Blob Storage containers. The uploader was written to keep files in sync, and not have to fuss with AzCopy.

The real value of this tool though, is being able to recover the latest backup files (full, differential and transaction logs where available) which are needed to recover from a catastrophic failure. Without any knowledge of the backups, just knowing the database name, it can parse the list of files in Azure, download the necessary ones to recover, and build a T-SQL script to restore them. Literally all you need to do is run the downloader, then run the restore script.

Randolph talks about how the state of AzCopy has changed and offers up some new guidance as well as tooling updates.

SQL on Linux with Local Repositories

Kevin Chant explains how you can use local repositories to make installing SQL Server on Linux easier when you have servers lacking Internet access:

Now, some of you more experienced Linux users probably know there is another way to do this. When I previously had to create a Hadoop environment I had to implement a local repository.

In other words, I copied the contents of the online repository locally and created my own repository on a server.

That way I could manage installing software onto multiple clients using the same secured files in a local location instead of online. Which means I could install using the same method I would have done with internet access.

Kevin provides links and some notes on the process.

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