On the Fifth Day of SQL…

Welcome to the Twelve Days of SQL series hosted by Brent Ozar ( blog | @BrentO ), I have the honor of hosting the fifth day! I won’t be passing out golden rings, but I did want to share one of my favorite posts from the year.

Parallelism, Processing and Options

In May, Adam Machanic ( blog @AdamMachanic ) posted a three-part series on parallelism: 

SQL University: Parallelism Week – Introduction

SQL University: Parallelism Week – Part 2, Query Processing

SQL University: Parallelism Week – Part 3, Settings and Options

The first post is the one that has stuck with me the most; it’s a “how it works” post. Any post that clearly and concisely describes a very complex topic is one I bookmark and re-visit as needed. In Adam’s post he defines and explains parallelism, but to do that, he also needed to set the stage by talking about CPU, threads and scheduling. He did all of that in four paragraphs, and provided further reading for anyone wanting to go more in depth.

Any SQL Server professional benefits from having a good grasp of parallelism as most production servers have a lot more than one core these days. It’s important to know not only what parallelism is, but what happens within the processing engine, how can influence the engine, and how we can test to determine the optimal parallelism value for our instance. Adam points out in his last post that the series did not contain the depth or breadth he thought it would originally. Ultimately, he turned his knowledge of parallelism into an all day post-con at this year’s PASS Summit.

SQL University

I also wanted to mention that Adam’s post is part of SQL University, hosted by Jorge Segarra ( blog | @sqlchicken ).  Whether you’re new to SQL Server, or looking for a stronger foundation in a topic, SQL University is an excellent place to start. Topics are covered by experts from the community, and the next semester starts January 18, 2011. Get ready, I am sure it’s going to be another great series of posts. 

What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s post will be brought to you by Tim Ford ( blog @sqlagentman ). I got to know Tim during this year’s SQLCruise. Smart guy, knows a ton about DMVs, married to an amazing woman (hi Amy!) and flat out funny. I’m really hoping Tim can tell me what animal my Christmas ornament represents (below), and he gets bonus points if he can name the Muppet that sang the “Five Golden Rings”’ verse in the Muppets version of The 12 Days of Christmas.  And by the way, if you haven’t listened to the John Denver & The Muppets Christmas album, I highly recommend it, no matter what Adam Machanic may say.


4 Responses to On the Fifth Day of SQL…
  1. Erin Stellato
    December 15, 2010 | 4:11 pm

    And I stand by statement that the Swedish Chef (your Twitter Avatar) is a Muppet. We shall agree to disagree 🙂

  2. Tim Ford
    December 15, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    Hmm. Looks like Quickdraw McGraw, but the hot dog protruding from his head like some odd take on a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not entry has me questioning that. I’ll need more time!

  3. Peter
    December 15, 2010 | 11:38 pm

    My kid’s elementary school had all of the teachers and staff acting out this song and last year they used the Muppets recording. Pretty sure I remember who sand that big, but I’ll leave it to Tim to answer unless you want the answer elsewhere. I seem to remember that the character is voiced by Frank Oz, though.

  4. Eric Wisdahl
    December 16, 2010 | 1:25 am

    The question is easy. Of course the muppet who sang the five rings verse is Mrs. Piggy. 🙂

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