Archive for November, 2008

SQL Server Scalability etc – Free Ebooks

RealTimePublishers has a whole bunch of free ebooks:


The Definitive Guide to Scaling Out SQL Server 2005
The Definitive Guide to Scaling Out SQL Server 2000
The Essentials Series: Optimizing Database Connection Performance
The Shortcut Guide to SQL Server Infrastructure Optimization


Few other ones that might be of interest:

The Administrator Shortcut Guide to VB Scripting for Windows
The Definitive Guide to Building a Windows Server 2008 Infrastructure
The Definitive Guide to Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services Updated Edition
The Shortcut Guide to Selecting the Right Virtualization Solution
The Shortcut Guide to Virtualization and Service Automation



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Connection to target machine could not be made in a timely fashion


Actually the error is (note spelling mistake on fashion):

"Connection to target machine could not be made in a timely fasion"


One of our DBAs was testing the SQL cluster failover. After he failed over from Node 1 to Node 2, he can no longer bring up SQL Server Configuration Manager (SSCM). Whenever he tried, he will wait for about 30-40 seconds before he gets an error message : Connection to target machine could not be made in a timely fasion


This could have been caused by a whole host of things.

In our case, all we had to do was to restart WMI service:

  1. Start > Run > type services.msc and press Enter
  2. Scroll down to Windows Management Instrumentation, right click, restart
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View or function ‘sys.dm_exec_sessions’ has more column names …


Agent message code 4502. View or function ‘sys.dm_exec_sessions’ has more column names specified than columns defined.


Our replication on our clustered database just started to fail. We were getting the following error:

Agent message code 4502. View or function ‘sys.dm_exec_sessions’ has more column names specified than columns defined.

Ok, this is a weird message. How can sys.dm_exec_sessions have more columns that specified?

We checked the definition:

EXEC sp_helptext 'sys.dm_exec_sessions'

And this is what we got:

CREATE VIEW sys.dm_exec_sessions AS

Ok, we can see how this can be a problem – because of the star (*). Any column change can spell disaster. However, we weren’t very sure why this would cause any problems, because this is not any regular user view. It’s a built in SQL Server DMV.

So we checked out a few things:

 SERVERPROPERTY('ProductLevel')    -- Service Pack

It turns out the installed Service Packs are not the same in all the nodes.


Make sure all nodes in the cluster have the same service pack. Sometimes it’s easy to miss because you have to failover to install the SP.

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Ooohh! Manga Guide to Databases!

I’m an anime/manga/JPop/JDorama junkie. Yup, that’s my other life besides databases. There was a time when I can talk some straight Japanese sentences – because I’ve watched/listened to Japanese stuff so much and so often.


I play Utada Hikaru, Ayumi Hamasaki, Do As Infinity (Tomiko Van is lead singer) and Maaya Sakamoto quite regularly while I drive. I have most of their CDs. I even used to wait for weeks for Amazon to deliver my JPop CDs because they’re usually not in stock. I’ve also listened to BoA, Hitomi, Amuro Namie, Otsuka Ai, Gackt, TOKIO, Orange Range, Arashi …


I watched a lot of the TOP 50 JDoramas listed in Love Mukodono!, Hana Yori Dango, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, Love Generation, GTO. Also watched Majo no Jouken (First Love) and Ichi Ritoru no Namida  (1 Liter of Tears) and cried buckets (yeah, I’m a weepy).


Anime was what started me with this whole Japanese fascination. The first ever anime that I watched was Rurouni Kenshin (marketed as Samurai X in North America) – all the episodes plus all OVAs – and absolutely loved it. My next set of anime/manga marathons Fruits Basket, Full Metal Panic, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Bleach, Inuyasha (yes, I watched all 167 eps). Also  love Hayao Miyazaki’s works – Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, Pricess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle.

And the point is?

BrentO mentioned on Twitter that there’s a Manga Guide to Databases on Amazon! Isn’t that uber coolness! (For me anyway).

Here’s an excerpt (from Amazon):

Princess Ruruna is stressed out. With the king and queen away, she has to manage the Kingdom of Kod’s humongous fruit-selling empire. Overseas departments, scads of inventory, conflicting prices, and so many customers! It’s all such a confusing mess. But a mysterious book and a helpful fairy promise to solve her organizational problems—with the practical magic of databases.

Haha doesn’t that problem sound all too familiar.

The cover is also super cute! Thanks Brent! I am pre-ordering it with JK Rowling’s Tales of Beedle the Bard. So excited.

PS – And if you are looking for good Japanese Tea, you may want to try out Hibiki-an. Great tea! And they deliver it so fast too.

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