32-Bit Server-based SQL Server Is Finally Dead

Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Setup, SQL Server, SQL Server 2016, x64, x86 | 0 comments

Some of you may have noticed that Microsoft recently released SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.4. There is one major change that I am very happy about – x86, or the 32-bit version, is no longer included. SQL Server 2016 is now 64-bit only. This is what you see in Windows Explorer:

SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.4 file - no x86 directory

SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.4 file – no x86 directory

This is one of those changes that has been a long time coming. I first blogged in 2009 about the beta release of Windows Server 2008 R2, and how it was 64-bit only. I’ve talked publicly how SQL Server was really  the only major Microsoft server product left shipping a 32-bit version and how the SQL Server dev team needed to stop shipping an x86 version – especially since the last 32-bit Windows Server release was Windows Server 2008. I even entered a formal bug for SQL Server 2014. Now that SQL Server 2016 is officially not supported on that OS, it’s time to kill it – and it has finally happened.

Its removal is actually the result of an offline conversation I had with someone on the SQL Server development team earlier this year (that conversation covered other stuff which has not and probably will never be fixed … grumble). I’ve been lobbying for this to happen for quite some time (since Windows Server 2008 R2, actually). I pleaded my case yet again during that chat, and they said they would see what they could do – no promises. I did not hear anything for about half a year until an e-mail in June saying that 32-bit would officially be dropped, and was told a few weeks ago it would finally be in CTP 2.4. Lo and behold, no x86! I know it was hard work for the dev team to do, and I for one, thank them from the bottom of my heart. It’s been hard sitting on this one for all this time, but I’m glad I can finally talk about it. As the old saying goes, people really do win on MTV.

Another major reason to kill 32-bit would be so that the SQL Server development team could have more test coverage elsewhere, Think about it – for everything they test, it had to be done twice (x86, x64). Now it’s just once.

Does this mean there will be no 32-bit version of SQL Server 2016? They may make some desktop version; I don’t know nor have I been following. But as a Server product? RIP, and good riddance.

So you can thank (or damn) me for this one. Me, I’m going to celebrate. Where’s my bottle of Coca Cola with real sugar?

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New Year = New Chapters and Beginnings

Posted by on September 13, 2015 in advice, Book, Mission Critical SQL Server | 0 comments

Hello everyone. The Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, starts tonight at sundown. I’m leaving to visit family in a little bit for the next few days, but I wanted to write a quick note. I’ve never really seen the secular New Year celebration (you know, that little ol’ January 1 thing) as the beginning of a new cycle for me; it’s always been Rosh Hashanah for me, even before I had my Bar Mitzvah when I turned 13. Not only is Rosh Hashanah the beginning of the new year because it leads up to one of the most important holidays (if you can call it that … heh) – Yom Kippur.

It has been a crazy year to say the least since this one began, but I am very happy with the way year 5775 ended, and I am really looking forward to 5776. If you just look at our Events page, you can see the dance card for both Max and myself is pretty full this fall. I’ve got a few more things to post, and those will be up soon. I’m working on 2016 dates for many things including user groups (some to be hopefully announced soon) and some classes here in the USA. Besides the book being completed soon, I’m looking forward to what’s coming down the road. No hints – wait and see!

The next week or so before Yom Kippur is a time of reflection for me (as it should be). I recently read a good blog post on apologizing related to Yom Kippur, but it has great takeaways for how to deal with apologizing in any situation. Especially in business where things can go south from time to time, own it. Be sincere. Many of us give hollow apologies because we think it helps; often times it does not, and can even make things worse. That is how you lose customers and ruin relationships. I’ve been around many insincere people in my life, and choose not to associate with them.

I’m told my facial expressions are entertaining, and I know I’d make a bad poker player. People can tell when I’m not happy, and if I was ever lying, chances are, you’d know it. Being brutally honest (as I can be often) is not something everyone can handle, but sometimes you shouldn’t sugarcoat things. In business and in life, sometimes being brutally honest is not the best approach (even if it should be …), so there are other ways you need to approach things. At 43 (nearly 44 soon), I’ve learned when to use those soft skills. That’s one of the ways you need to be in business. Tough, firm, honest, fair, and kind are not mutually exclusive concepts. People need to learn in business to not take things personally. The right business decisions are difficult sometimes and real people understand that. Others take them as a slight.

Bottom line: say what you mean, mean what you say, and honor your word (or contracts …). Too many people do not do that and do whatever the heck they want, which is why those qualities I mention – tough, firm, honest, fair, and kind – are hard.

Speaking of being honest and sincere, the thing I am most sorry for is the book. It weighs on me a lot. I am not sorry for doing it (some friends and family may think otherwise given how much of my time it’s consuming as of late), not for its content, but how long it’s taking. I’m now up to a Table of Contents of 30 chapters (!), including 2016 (both Windows and SQL Server) content, and it’s going to be killer. Come hell or high water, it’s going to start to be edited (properly – tech editor, not me) next month. I should be done all primary writing by PASS Summit, and at that point, it’s letting the editing and production process take its course. Someone said this to me in e-mail recently:

You need to get it done, get it done right—& know when it’s done … It deserves the attention you’re giving it.

But there’s also a point of letting it go – and I’m ready to give proverbial birth to it. ProTip: don’t ever write a book if you have any perfectionist genes. :) So for everyone who has already purchased or is considering purchasing it, I am sincerely sorry for it taking so long. I’m not going to give you any lame excuses or sob stories. I’m not going to go into anything personal or professional which may or may not have affected its writing and production. I’m man enough to stand up and own this, both the good and the bad.

In hindsight, I could (maybe should) have done another 300 pager a few years ago via a publisher, but it wouldn’t be what this is going to be and I would have been ultimately not happy with it – again. I felt my 2008 book, as much praise as I get from people for it, had a lot of compromises.

As I’m writing and doing mental math, the reality is I may even come in somewhere between 1500 and 2000 pages when all is said and done. There will be a lot to digest, so if you’re looking for a beach read, this will not be the book you are seeking. 2000 pages is anywhere from 3 – 10 books for most people. That should give you an idea as one of the things why this is taking a bit longer. The scope is enormous, and maybe I bit off more than I should have (hindsight and all that), but I’m thrilled at how it’s all finally coming together. I had a huge epiphany recently about a few chapters that were vexing me for the longest time. I always say go big or go home, and I’m doing just that.

My one main goal besides writing a great book is making sure that I can maintain it going forward (hence the update subscription). Most books unfortunately – my past ones included – are hard to update. I’m never reinventing this wheel again. Since both Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 are not RTM yet, the first major update once this is done will be getting the finalized 2016 content in. We don’t have RTM dates for either, but hopefully by mid-next year, there will be some nice updates to include.

Anyway, this took a turn I had not intended, so back to matters at hand. I will not be working the next few days (nor on Yom Kippur), so for those of you celebrating, I wish you a L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu, and for everyone else, see you on the other side.

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London Update – Special Class Discount and User Group Appearance

Posted by on September 4, 2015 in speaking, SQLHAU, training, user group | 0 comments

Happy Friday, everyone. As some of you hopefully know, I will be hopping across the pond otherwise known as the Atlantic Ocean later this month to teach my 4-day Mission Critical SQL Server class in London. There are very few seats left. Right now there is a special discount code – AH25 – which will give you 25% off the price. Since seats are nearly sold out, first come, first served.

As an aside, I’m tweaking the labs right now and testing the VMs; lots of fun for everyone when you do them, and this is just part of my process making sure everything is A-OK.

This week it was also confirmed that I will be speaking at the London SQL Server User Group on Tuesday, September 29. The link apparently just went live and nearly 50 people are registered! I’m humbled and flattered, and am looking forward to it. User groups are fun, and the last time I spoke in London was a blast. Use the link in this paragraph to get information on how to register for this free event.

I want to give a special thanks and shout out to Neil Hambly (blog | Twitter) for making the user group possible.


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August Anniversaries

Posted by on August 25, 2015 in advice, consulting, MVP, rant, training | 5 comments

August is a big month for Allan

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The Setup Experience in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3

Posted by on August 20, 2015 in rant, Setup, Technical Preview 3, Windows Server 2016 | 2 comments

Microsoft changes the Setup experience for TP3 … again.

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In The End – Life (and IT) Lessons from Rush

Posted by on August 4, 2015 in advice, Book, Mission Critical SQL Server, MVP, speaking, training | 9 comments

What does Rush have to do with an IT career?

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Defending Fort SQL Server

Posted by on July 7, 2015 in consolidation, consulting, Hyper-V, Live Migration, PASS, presenting, Vmware | 1 comment

The case for coming over to the Virtualization Army

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