Not quite as dedicated as he thought

Pilot fish notices a problem with one of his company's production databases one evening -- and things just get messier from there.

"We had recently moved that database to a dedicated SQL Server machine," fish says. "There seemed to be some sort of problem with the database connection, so I reset the SQL Server.

"But eventually I decided to point back to the original database, as I was having difficulty bringing the Web sites that used it back up."

Fish sends a message out to the database, infrastructure, operations and Web teams. And the database admin responds promptly: "The attached error log of the SQL Server shows some problems with the connection for one user. Which user account is your application using to connect?"

Fish confirms that his application is the one whose logon was rejected. But looking at the log, he notices that the database seems to be optimized for eight concurrent queries. Maybe that's the source of the problem, he suggests to database admin.

Next day, fish gets a copy of another message from the database admin -- this one to operations, infrastructure, the Web team and the big boss:

"The SQL version installed on this server is the Microsoft SQL Server Personal Edition! This version is very limited and definitely not suitable for production.

"The error message indicates that SQL can maximum process eight queries simultaneously -- which was exceeded by 92! -- hence the timeout errors.

"This server is hosting about 40 databases. I am not sure how many are production, but I think there is a pressing need here to upgrade the SQL. Please advise how to proceed."

Sighs fish, "Historically, it appears that someone was playing with SQL Server Personal Edition and everyone kept on using it until it eventually became designated as a production server."

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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