Speaking at 24 Hours of PASS

24HOP_GOC_SpeakerButtonI’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected to present as part of the next 24 Hours of PASS! The theme this time is “Growing Our Communities” – only those who have never been accepted to speak at PASS Summit were eligible to submit abstracts. From the submitted abstracts, twenty-four were selected to present a one-hour webcast during the event on June 24 and 25. The full schedule was announced today, and I have to say, I’m in great company. I’ve met many of the selected speakers over the last couple of years – they’re fantastic presenters, and I’m honored to be part of that group.

I’ll be presenting one of my current presentations, “Protecting Your Data with Encryption”, at 10:00 AM (CDT) on June 24.  If you’d like to attend, you can register now at the 24 Hours of PASS site.  I’d love to see you there!

Monitoring Your Backups [T-SQL Tuesday #66]

T-SQL TuesdayCathrine Wilhelmsen (b|t) is hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, and the topic she chose is monitoring. All of us, whether a DBA or a developer, internal resource or consultant, monitor something on a daily basis. The hardest part for me was deciding what to write about. In the end, I decided to write about monitoring backups.
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SQL Server 2016 announced… and it’s gonna rock

In what spare time I’ve had this week, I’ve been watching the news coming out of Microsoft Ignite (formerly Tech Ed).  SQL Server 2016 was announced during Monday’s keynote.  And it sounds like it will be awesome.

Just a few of the highlights I’m interested in so far:

  • Always Encrypted
    SQL Server has had encryption capabilities for quite some time – except in memory. Always Encrypted is a new feature which promises to allow us to perform operations on data without decrypting it and without storing the key in the database. SQL Server never sees the unencrypted data. For those of us concerned about security, this is a major win.
  • Row-level security
    Other database platforms have the native ability to allow a user to see some rows in a table but not others through permissions. Azure SQL Database finally gained this capability last year, and now it’s making its way into the on-premises product.
  • Dynamic data masking
    Data masking is the ability to mask all or part of the data in a field using Xs (i.e., XXX-XX-XX12 for a Social Security number). This is increasingly important, both from a security perspective as well as a compliance perspective.
  • Improvements to AlwaysOn
    AlwaysOn was a fantastic addition to SQL Server’s HA/DR features when it was introduced in SQL Server 2012, and SQL Server 2014 improved it. SQL Server 2016 will apparently improve this yet again, adding multiple synchronous replicas and secondary load balancing.
  • Native JSON support
    JSON is one of the latest data interchange formats, replacing XML in some circles. I was first asked about SQL’s support for it a couple of years ago – the lack of JSON support was the one thing stopping this person from adopting SQL Server over a competing NoSQL platform. I’m glad that Microsoft is catching up.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Microsoft’s posts have mentioned a number of other features, and they said that more will be announced as the release date gets closer.

A TechNet post mentioned that the first public preview will be out sometime this summer. I’m already on the list, and I’ll be testing out some of these features as soon as I can.

Speaking at Iowa Code Camp on May 9

If you’re in the Iowa City area, come to Iowa Code Camp this weekend! They have a great lineup of speakers, covering the full gamut of development topics – Agile, Node.js, ORMs, UI design, Javascript, interviewing, R, NoSQL, SQL Server, and many more.

I’ll be presenting my session on SQL Server encryption at 10:30:

We’ve all seen the recent news stories about companies whose data has been stolen by hackers. What was once a rare event has become all too common, and companies large and small are at risk. While it isn’t always possible to prevent intrusions, you can reduce the risk by encrypting your data. In this presentation, I’ll show you the four ways that SQL Server provides to encrypt data: hashes, cell-level encryption, database-level encryption (also known as transparent data encryption), and backup encryption. We’ll also discuss the keys required for each type of encryption and discuss how to protect the keys themselves.

They still have spots available – details are on their website, iowacodecamp.com. I hope to see you there!

Creating a Self-Contained Multi-Subnet Test Environment, Part II – Adding a Domain Controller

This is the second in a series of articles about creating a simulated environment for testing systems that cross subnets.


In Part I of this series, I showed you how to setup the networking and router for our simulated network. In this article, we’ll create the domain controller.
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