Archive for the ‘SQL’ category

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 support will end January 14, 2020- ask Synergy Software Systems about options.

November 16th, 2019

On January 14, 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end. Only 2 months away
That means the end of regular security updates.

Don’t let your infrastructure and applications go unprotected.

We’re here to help you migrate to current versions for greater security, performance and innovation.
009714 3365589

Azure Arc in preview manage hybrid data across cloud platforms……

November 16th, 2019

Now in preview, Azure Arc helps simplify enterprise distributed environments by managing everything via Azure services (like Azure Resource Manager). Connecting hybrid infrastructure via Azure Arc improves security for users via automated patching, and provides improved governance, with everything ‘under one roof’. Azure Arc, a tool that lets organizations manage their data on: the Microsoft Azure cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform or any combination.

Microsoft says that deployments can be set up “in seconds” via Azure data services anywhere, a feature of Azure Arc.

Azure Arc also supports Kubernetes clusters and edge infrastructures, as well as on-premises Windows and Linux servers.
No final release date yet but there is a free preview of Azure Arc .


Enhanced HA and DR benefits for SQL Server Sofware Assurance from 1 November.

November 5th, 2019

The enhanced benefits to SQL licensing for high availability and disaster recovery that are listed below are now applicable to all releases of SQL Server for a customer with SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance. The updated benefits will be available in the next refresh of the Microsoft Licensing Terms.

Business continuity is a key requirement for planning, designing, and implementing any business-critical system. When you bring data into the mix, business continuity becomes mandatory. It’s an insurance policy that one hopes they never have to make a claim against in the foreseeable future. SQL Server brings intelligent performance, availability, and security to Windows, Linux, and containers and can tackle any data workload from BI to AI from online transaction processing (OLTP) to data warehousing. You get mission-critical high availability and disaster recovery features that allow you to implement various topologies to meet your business SLAs.

A customer with SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance has historically benefited from a free passive instance of SQL Server for their high availability configurations. That helps to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an application using SQL Server. Today, this is enhanced for the existing Software Assurance benefits for SQL Server which further helps customers implement a holistic business continuity plan with SQL Server.

Starting Nov 1st, every Software Assurance customer of SQL Server will be able to use three enhanced benefits for any SQL Server release that is still supported by Microsoft:
• Failover servers for high availability – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate operating system environment (OSE) or server for high availability on-premises in anticipation of a failover event. Today, Software Assurance customers have one free passive instance for either high availability or DR
• Failover servers for disaster recovery NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server on-premises for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event
• Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event

With these new benefits, Software Assurance customers can implement hybrid disaster recovery plans with SQL Server using features like Always On Availability Groups without incurring additional licensing costs for the passive replicas.

A setup can use SQL Server running on an Azure Virtual Machine that utilizes 12 cores as a disaster recovery replica for an on-premises SQL Server deployment using 12 cores. In the past, you would need to license 12 cores of SQL Server for the on-premises and the Azure Virtual Machine deployment. The new benefit offers passive replica benefits running on an Azure Virtual Machine. Now a customer need to only license 12 cores of SQL Server running on-premises as long as the disaster recovery criteria for the passive replica on Azure Virtual Machine is met.

If, the primary. or the active replica. uses 12 cores hosting two virtual machines and the topology has two secondary replicas: one sync replica for high availability supporting automatic failovers and one asynchronous replica for disaster recovery without automatic failover then . the number of SQL Server core licenses required to operate this topology will be only 12 cores as opposed to 24 cores in the past.

These high availability and disaster recovery benefits will be applicable to all releases of SQL Server. In addition to the high availability and disaster recovery benefits, the following operations are allowed on the passive replicas:
• Database consistency checks
• Log backups
• Full backups
• Monitoring resource usage data

SQL Server 2019 also provides a number of improvements for availability, performance, and security along with new capabilities like the integration of HDFS and Apache Spark™ with the SQL Server database engine.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU10 – (it fixes CU 9)

October 10th, 2019

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU10 is essentially a fixed version of CU9.

Microsoft added a note to the KB article to holdoff on CU9, and now…that CU9 KB article page has vanished altogether.

So CU9 is dead to Microsoft, Everything we said about CU9, is replaced by CU10.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 SP2 CU9 release

October 1st, 2019

Cumulative Update package 9 (CU9) (build number: 13.0.5470.0) for Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 SP2 is now aavilablefor download. (It contains fixes that were released after the initial release of SQL Server 2016 SP2.)
SQL Server CUs are certified to the same levels as Service Packs, and should be installed at the same level of confidence. Historical data shows that a significant number of support cases involve an issue that has already been addressed in a released CU.

The CU provides the following fixes and improvements (Referenced from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4100997/cumulative-update-9-for-sql-server-2016-sp1)

KB4099472 – PFS page round robin algorithm improvement in SQL Server 2016 SQL service
KB4133164 – FIX: Error when a SQL Server Agent job executes a PowerShell command to enumerate permissions of the database Management Tools
KB4086173 – FIX: Access violation occurs when executing a DAX query on a tabular model in SQL Server Analysis Services Analysis Services
KB4131193 – Performance issues occur in the form of PAGELATCH_EX and PAGELATCH_SH waits in TempDB when you use SQL Server 2016 SQL service
KB3028216 – FIX: A crash occurs when proactive caching is triggered for a dimension in SSAS Analysis Services
KB4135113 – FIX: Change tracking record is inconsistent during an update on a table which has a cluster/unique index in SQL Server SQL service
KB4293839 – FIX: TDE database goes offline during log flush operations when connectivity issues cause the EKM provider to become inaccessible in SQL Server SQL security
KB4230730 – FIX: A dead latch condition occurs when you perform an online index rebuild or execute a merge command in SQL Server SQL service
KB4163478 – FIX: An access violation occurs when incremental statistics are automatically updated on a table in SQL Server SQL performance
KB4230306 – FIX: Restore of a TDE compressed backup is unsuccessful when using the VDI client SQL service
KB4163087 – FIX: Performance is slow for an Always On AG when you process a read query in SQL Server SQL service
KB4164562 – FIX: Wrong user name appears when two users log on to MDS at different times in SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS)
KB4094893 – FIX: Database cannot be dropped after its storage is disconnected and reconnected in SQL Server SQL service
KB4162814 – FIX: An internal exception access violation occurs and the SSAS server stops responding Analysis Services
KB4134541 – FIX: Error in the MDS Add-in for Excel when you use the German version of Excel in SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS)
KB4132267 – FIX: Deploying a SSAS project in SSDT is frequently unsuccessful in SQL Server Analysis Services in Tabular mode Analysis Services
KB4101554 – FIX: Parallel redo in a secondary replica of an availability group that contains heap tables generates a runtime assert dump or the SQL Server crashes with an access violation error High Availability
KB4098762 – FIX: Hidden parameters are included in reports when the Browser role is used in SSRS 2016 Reporting Services
KB4134175 – FIX: Processing a cube with many partitions generates lots of concurrent data source connections in SSAS Analysis Services
KB4091245 – FIX: Access violation occurs when you query a table with an integer column in SQL Server 2017 and SQL Server 2016 SQL performance
KB4094706 – FIX: One worker thread seems to hang after another worker thread is aborted when you run a parallel query in SQL Server SQL service
KB4058175 – FIX: TDE enabled database backup and restore operations are slow when the encryption key is stored in an EKM provider in SQL Server SQL service
KB4131960 – FIX: An access violation occurs when you execute a nested select query against a columnstore index in SQL Server SQL Engine
KB4094858 – FIX: “An unexpected error occurred” when you use DAX measures in Power BI table visualizations in SQL Server Analysis Services
KB4101502 – FIX: TDE enabled database backup with compression causes database corruption in SQL Server 2016 SQL service

CUs also often include supportability, manageability, and reliability updates.

Before udpate:

- Check compaitbiltiy with your application.
- Test CUs before you deploy to production environments.

SQL Server 2016SP2 Cumulative Update 8

August 3rd, 2019

The urgent security update earlier this month is not the only patch for SQL Server 2016 in July,
Microsoft has released SQL. SP2 CU8 (build number: 13.0.5426.0)
• Restores of compressed encrypted backups fail
• Data masking doesn’t
• DAXquery needs memory 200x larger than the database size
• Peer-to-peer replication fails when your host name isn’t uppercase
• QueryStore cleanup can fill the transaction log and cause an outage
•DistributedAvailability Groups cause memory dumps when automatic seeding
• AGreplication stops working due to internal thread deadlocks
•The deadlock monitor can cause an access violation
• Query a view with a union on a linked server,
• Concurrent inserts into a clustered columnstore index can deadlock
•Infiniteloop when FileTable is used for a long time without a restart
•SSAS2016 randomly crashes ( maybe not completely random if they fixed it)
•TransparentData Encryption doesn’t encrypt if it’s restarted mid-encryption

And much more.https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4505830/cumulative-update-8-for-sql-server-2016-sp2

I guess we will get a similar patch for Sp1 but by now you should be on a later patch

SQL Server 2014 Sp3 mainstream support ended on July 9 – CU4 just released

July 31st, 2019

However Cumulative Update 4 for SQL Server 2014 SP3 has just been released.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4500181/cumulative-update-4-for-sql-server-2014-sp3

SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 -OUT OF SUPPORT today

July 13th, 2019

SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, both of these versions of SQL server go out of extended support with Microsoft today 9th July 2019

Many companies and businesses are still SQL Server 2008 R2 and below. There can be a number of reasons for this, maybe the applications the databases support require an older version of SQL Server, maybe the applications are also coming to the end of life, but the end dates do not match up with the data platform end of support dates.

Sometimes applications are critical to the business and everything works just fine. The business doesn’t want to disrupt the application or introduce any risk by performing a migration to a new version so why change it?

In this situation your data platform is out of support completely. Out of support system attract hackers. Note the previous articles about fines for loss of privacy data to realise how serious this can be

So you should be making plans to migrate your legacy SQL Servers off the unsupported versions. It is likely if you are still on an old database that you are also on an old server and on an old version of Windows. That gives additional risk of failed hard disks, other system vulnerabilities – Meltdown, Spectre? Phishing…….
Investors and insurers are not likely to be sympathetic in such circumstances.

There are many performance and security benefits of upgrade.

If you decide to run on out support software and take the risk associated with running on out of support software. The main advantage of this approach is there is nothing immediate to do. The longer you run on the platform the greater the chances of you encountering a security vulnerability or failing a compliance test.
If anything does go wrong you’ll have no support from Microsoft.
Other software vendors support contracts may also require that you be on a currently supported database

Modernise and upgrade is one of the options that you have available.

You can upgrade your on premises SQL Server or migrate the databases to Azure either as IaaS solution where you run the VM in Azure or even the PaaS Azure SQL database offering

There are number of advantages to upgrading your data platform. You’ll be running your database workloads on an in support data platform, with a long support window. There will likely by new features in the latest and greatest version of SQL Server that you can use to add business value to your application – Availability Groups for example. Also you will likely find people with skills in the later technology, those skills will be more readily available in the jobs market.

There will likely be a different licensing model – the licensing model changed between SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 – it possible you will have to pay more for you SQL Server licences.

The third option is instead of doing nothing you pay for a custom support agreement. The main advantage here is you can continue to get security updates and therefore potentially remaining compliant. The main disadvantage of this approach is the cost involved, which is typically 75% of the full license costs of the latest version of SQL Server and Windows Server.

Migrate workload to Azure. Microsoft allow SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server R2 VMs running in Azure to have the security updates for free for a further 3 years. So you can migrate your database server to azure and continue to get security updates for free until 2022.

The main advantage of this is you get to keep running the same version of the OS and Data platform, the security updates are free so the cost is minimal \. The disadvantages is you would need to move off premises, if this is not an option for you then you can’t exercise this option and there will still be work in involved in ‘lifting and shifting’ the VM to the cloud.

Whatever you do when support ends for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 have a plan

SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 – end of life July 9, 2019 -ask Synergy Software Systems

June 23rd, 2019

Microsoft has previously announced that SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will reach end of life on July 9, 2019.

This means that in less than a month, Microsoft will no longer release regular security updates for the product.

There are several reasons this is important to you.
• Attacks against software products of all types are common and ongoing. With Microsoft SQL being such a prevalent platform, attacks against it are ubiquitous, and it’s important to keep your database platform up-to-date with the latest Microsoft security patches.
• Many compliance requirements dictate that you must be running currently supported software.
• As Microsoft drops support for a product, many third-party applications may also discontinue support for their products running on those platforms.

So, if you are still running SQL Server 2008/2008 R2, then what are your options?

1.Upgrade to a newer version of SQL.
SQL 2019 is in preview release as of this writing, so the current production version of SQL Server is 2017. Its end of life will be October 12, 2027.
Evaluate your applications and databases to make sure they are compatible e.g. Dynamic Ax 2012 is not supported beyond SQL 2016

Plan a migration for either on-premises or cloud. A move to an Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, will not require you to upgrade in the future. By choosing this option, you will also gain access to new features which have appeared in the latest SQL Server versions. However, it only offers subset of SQL features so you need to be sure it will support your application and use.

2.Migrate to Azure to receive three more years of Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. If you need to stay on the same SQL code base for a bit longer, Microsoft will allow you to rehost your SQL 2008 environment in Azure and still provide you with security updates for an extended period. There is no extra cost for the extended updates beyond the standard Azure VM rates.

3.Purchase extended support. Microsoft allows customers with an active Enterprise Agreement and Software Assurance subscription to purchase and receive three years of Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. The annual outlay for the updates is 75% of the full license cost.

4.The least desirable option is to stay where you are and pray. If circumstances prevent you from moving forward now, then at minimum you should:
• Recognize and account for the risk;
•Plan and budget for a transition as soon as possible;
•Re-evaluate your security and tighten it as much as possible.

Microsoft provides guidance for handling the end of support of SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 at https://www.microsoft.com/2008-eos.

Of course, Synergy is ready to help you to evaluate and to progress to the next level. 0097143365589

If you are running newer versions of SQL Server, then here are their End-of-Life dates.
•SQL Server 2012 – July 12, 2022
•SQL Server 2014 – July 9, 2024
•SQL Server 2016 – July 14, 2026
•SQL Server 2017 – October 12, 2027

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, support is coming to an end.

June 23rd, 2019

Sometimes lifecycles end because of age or workload and other times they expire due to vendor support.
In the case of Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Microsoft announced that Extended Support will end on January 14, 2020.

Microsoft provides: Mainstream Support, Extended Support, and Beyond End of Support.

Mainstream Support

Mainstream Support is Microsoft’s first phase of support and lasts five years. It includes the following benefits:
• Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
• Security update support
• Ability to request non-security updates

Extended Support

The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support, and also lasts five years. The key features of Extended Support are:
• Paid support
• Security updates at no additional cost
• Ability to request non-security updates (available only via Unified Support, a new model of support that offers comprehensive support that covers your entire organization)
• Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase.

Beyond End of Support

The Beyond End of Support phase is the final phase of the product lifecycle and lasts for three years. Here are the key things to remember.
• Request to change product design and features are not available
• Security updates are available only with the purchase of the Extended Security Update Program for up to three years. This typically costs 75% of the on-premises license cost annually.
• Technical support is provided when you purchase Extended Security Updates and have an active support plan in place on the product that has moved beyond the Extended Support date.

Server 2008 and 2008R2 are moving out of the Extended Support phase on January 14, 2020. From that date on,
non-security updates will no longer be available,
security updates will be available only if you pay for the Extended Security Update Program,
and other vendors will diminish their support of this operating system version.
If you are not prepared, then this will leave your environment open to security holes, application instability, and support restrictions.
If you have not already planned for this then now is the time to get it into your budget for first thing next year.

Summer discount on SQL protection tools

June 18th, 2019

Security, privacy, performance, and up time, all depend on a well maintained database with timely reports and alerts.
for an Enterprise system this is mission critical.
Few DBAs have the time and training to write and maintain a comprehensive set of scripts. Yet they also often lack the tools to do the job.
We offer fantastic suite of tools to help you to mange your SQL databases and with discounted bundled prices.
With privacy laws and compliance adding to the ever rising security threats, a well managed system is now often key to whether a customer will share data it you, and directly impacts whether you can secure and retain business.

Talk yo us about System health checks and administrator training, and how you can reduce administrative cost, and system risks with SQL management tools.
00971 43365589

Major SQL updates don’t skip – SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU7 and SQL Server 2017 CU 15

May 26th, 2019

This week, Microsoft released two major updates.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU7 has multiple fixes including:

• Filtered index corruption
• Access violations in sys.dm_exec_query_statistics_xml, sys.dm_hadr_availability_replica_states, sys.availability_replicas, sys.dm_db_xtp_hash_index_stats, sys.fn_dump_dblog, sys.dm_db_xtp_checkpoint_files
(I.e. if you monitor your servers, which you should, then you should apply this CU to avoid problems caused by the monitoring tool’s queries)
• AG failover fails
• Incorrect query results on columnstore indexes, and also this

SQL Server 2017 CU 15 has even MORE fixes, read the full list. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4498951/cumulative-update-15-for-sql-server-2017

Note also, that from SQL Server 2017, the Analysis Services build version number and SQL Server Database Engine build version number do not match

There are some CUs you might be tempted to skip because they don’t affect you. These releases will affect a wide range of features and you should plan to apply these sooner than later.

SQL 2014 updates April 2019

April 18th, 2019

SQL Server 2014 seems to have become a lot more stable i.e this shot list is the entire list of fixes in Service Pack 3, Cumulative Update 3:
• Query plans are different on cloned databases
• CDC source preview fails with an error
• Incorrect query results for columnstore filter pushdowns
• Log reader agent fails after AG failover when trace flag 1448 is enabled

And for the entire list of fixes in Service Pack 2, Cumulative Update 17:
• SQL jobs fail due to blocking in SSISDB
• Fail to join the secondary replica if the database has a defunct filegroup
• Incorrect query results for columnstore filter pushdowns

Power BI update March – April 2019

March 21st, 2019

Microsoft launched the public preview of new Power BI workspace experiences in August 2018 to enable Power BI workspace admins:
• to use security groups to manage access to workspaces,
• to enable BI teams to create workspaces without needing to create an Office 365 Group,
• to provide granular workspace roles to make giving access to workspaces easier.

At the beginning of April 2019, the new workspace experiences. will reach General Availability (GA)

Usage metrics for new workspaces are rolling out this week
This capability is much requested by customers and works the same as it did for classic workspaces based on Office 365 Groups. It may take until late this week or next week to reach all commercial cloud customers.

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/update-on-the-new-workspace-experiences-preview-including-ga-timeline/

The March update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.2.47) includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which matches the one released as part of the Power BI Desktop March update.

This will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the Gateway will go through the same query execution logic/runtime as in the latest Power BI Desktop version.

Happiness Day, Loneliness and Power BI

March 21st, 2019

At the annual Gartner BI Bake Off session at the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Orlando, Florida the Power BI team featured this report which you can explore here:

Here are some insights and highlights from the report:
• The employment groups with the most happiness are employed and retired people followed closely by stay at home parents and students.
• The highest ratio of lonely to non-lonely people by age group is between 35 and 44 years old.
• For the countries in the dataset, the UK and the US have higher loneliness ratios (0.30 and 0.29 respectively) than Japan (0.10).

if you think Power BI might provide insights into your business, and need training or assistance with report modelling, or need to understand the different licence types, then contact us – 009714 3365589