Iain Kick is a lead consultant for Quest Software SQL Server products. He has worked in the U.K. for Quest since 2005, and has presented on performance, configuration, security, disaster recovery, and high availability of the SQL Server platform at various SQL Server user groups, and at SQL Bits. Prior to joining Quest, he spent 5 years as a production SQL Server DBA for Framlington Group and ITouch PLC.
Kick lives in Reading, Berkshire, best known for its annual music festival, football team and the "3Bs" - Beer, Bulbs and Biscuits (none of which are still made there). Reading is the birthplace of Ricky Gervais and Kate Winslet, and also home to large European offices for companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and Hewlett Packard.
Follow Kick on Twitter, www.twitter.com/iainkick, or visit his blog, www.iainkick.com.
Articles by Iain Kick
I have been working with SQL Server for more than 10 years now, and my time with Quest has been spent as a consultant visiting hundreds of customer sites, and discussing their environments and matching products to their issues. This has given me a fairly unique insight into how SQL Server is changing. It has also been intriguing to work closely with colleagues from the Oracle world, and seeing how their opinion of SQL Server has changed. They now take it very seriously, something I like to think I have played a positive part in! The most striking trend I have noticed is the lack of expertise in some environments when using SQL Server. I can confidently say you are extremely unlikely to run an Oracle database without an Oracle DBA. However, in the SQL Server world this practice seems to be commonplace.
Posted May 12, 2011
When I meet SQL Server professionals, I am always interested to find out if they have deployed the latest version of SQL Server into production yet, if they are using Enterprise Edition, and, if so, which new features they are using and why. Nothing beats real world implementation scenarios to help get a better understanding of a feature in SQL Server. The most common Enterprise Edition SQL Server Engine features deployed (and this is not a scientific survey, by any means) appear to be Table Partitioning, Backup Compression (now in Standard Edition) and Resource Governor. The Resource Governor was the feature DBAs working with large-scale SQL Server environments seemed most excited about when SQL 2008 was first announced.
Posted April 05, 2011
Microsoft extended support for all editions of SQL Server 7.0 ended on Jan. 11. Considering that this edition was initially replaced 11 years ago by SQL Server 2000 (and there have been three more major releases since), this may not seem to be big news. However, I'm always amazed by the number of DBAs I meet who are still responsible for keeping a few instances of this, or even version 6.5, running in production.
Posted March 09, 2011
Depending on their industry sectors, many database professionals have to deal with audits at some stage, often removing vital years off their lives and inches off their hairlines! Having worked as a DBA in the financial industry, I've experienced both internal and external auditor visits on multiple occasions. In all cases, we pretty much had to drop all other work to ensure they were provided with the relevant information, or to implement the changes they required so we could provide the information in the future. The auditors' levels of experience and understanding varied wildly. This was not their fault, as they are not paid to be database experts, but it could make them frustrating to work with.
Posted February 02, 2011
In line with recent SQL Server releases, Microsoft on Nov. 9 announced at the PASS Summit that the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) version of SQL Server 11 - codenamed Denali (after the Alaska mountain also known as Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America) - is available for download and evaluation. This is our first opportunity to look at some of the features that will form the basis for the next major release of SQL Server, expected to be fully available in the second half of 2011.
Posted January 07, 2011
SQL Azure is Microsoft's cloud-based relational database service hosted in their data centers, and it's got some DBAs worrying about the future. The more I look at the technology, however, the more I see practical applications for it and the less I think people should be concerned.
Posted November 30, 2010
I am attending my first Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Summit in Seattle this month. A lot of DBAs I meet are very keen to attend these events as the standard of speakers and quality of content is so high. Travel, accommodation and attendance costs are often prohibitive, however, let alone getting the time away from the office. Getting managers' approval to attend and justifying the cost can be difficult, especially for those of us based outside the U.S. PASS also runs a European event in April each year in Germany and, in the U.K., we have the SQL Bits conference. Those who wish to attend can still run into the same objections, however.
Posted November 09, 2010
As a consultant, I get to meet many varied SQL Server professionals on a regular basis. One of the most common conversations we've had over the last few years surrounds the loss of control the DBA has experienced due to a couple of advances in technology.
Posted October 12, 2010