Troubleshooting outages is stressful. Studies and Microsoft case files tell us that approximately 90% of all SQL Server related outages are due to blocking. Even with this knowledge in hand most SQL Server DBAs can’t walk you through the fundamentals of how to resolve SQL Server down scenarios. One of the greatest free tools on the market for DBAs is Adam Machanic’s sp_whoisactive. His tool provides us with everything we need to know in order to become adept at watching transactions and resolving outages. By definition a database is a container for objects. That’s what a database is but is but not what it does. What it does is process transactions. If you want to become proficient at troubleshooting outages, then you have to understand how transactions flow. In this lecture I’m going to cover the importance of watching transactions flow through SQL Server. Additionally, I’m going to show you how to use sp_whoisactive to resolve outages and how to use it as a starting point for your performance tuning efforts.
Mike West brings over 23 years of IT experience, including expertise in network administration and SQL Server. Prior to becoming a database consultant, Mike worked as a senior level SQL resource for Fortune 500 as well as several small to mid-size companies. Some include: Georgia Pacific, SunTrust, Reed Construction Data, Building Systems Design, NetCertainty, The Home Shopping Network, SwingVote, Atlanta Gas and Light and Northrup Grumman. Mike’s technical expertise for the last 20 years has centered on databases. For the last 18 years Mike’s sole focus has been on SQL Server. Mike is a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) Born in Ohio, raised and educated in Pennsylvania, he currently resides in Atlanta.