Change is good

So, for the “fun” of it, I added some dns names to my home network (namely the cablemodem and the router).  Now, it’s not like I really NEEDED to do so. The honest truth is IPv4 network addresses are rather simple to remember. So, I could just type in the IPv4 address of the device I want to reference and do fine.

So why bother?

Well, a former colleague of mine convinced me that it was time to change.  You see, IPv6 is coming.  I won’t bore anyone with the details, but let’s just say that I’m not about to try to remember the IPv6 addresses of any of my devices.  At first, the Luddite in me rebelled at the idea that I could no longer just refer to devices by IP address.  I attempted a few feeble attempts at arguments (hey, it’s easy to remember the IP address of some public DNS servers for example, and that’s one of the few times in an IPv4 network it really helps to have memorized some IP addresses.)

But the truth is, over time, I saw his point.  IPv4 was the old way.  IPv6, for a variety of reasons is the future.  My desire to be able to say I could remember the IPv4 address of my router was simply stubbornness.  The truth is, there really isn’t any real benefit to it.  The fact that I could (and did) reference my network printers by IP address wasn’t really helpful.  In fact, it meant that when I wanted to move it to a different address, I had to go to individual machines and make changes.  Now, I had  a small network, and only changed the printer address once in the past 5 years.  So it wasn’t a huge burden.

But now that I’ve moved to using hostnames, even for stuff I used to use IP addresses for, my limited memory can be used for more useful things.  And when I do reconfigure my network (say add another printer, or expand it in other ways) a simple DNS change and I’m all done.  I don’t have to go from machine to machine to make changes.

So, the moral of the story is, just because IPv4 made something EASY to do, it didn’t make it the right thing to do. IPv6 forced me to reconsider my thinking and in the end change for the better.

Sometimes, being forced to change can make you a better person.

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SQL Server User Group

Not much of a post tonight.  I didn’t realize it had been over two months since I last posted.  I’m sure all my faithful readers (all 1 or 2 of them?) have been holding their breath.

Anyway, tonight went to the local SQL Server Users Group meeting.  They had a remote demonstration on query tuning, one of my favorite topics.

In fact performance tuning in general has been a topic I’ve often enjoyed.

First rule: There is always a performance bottleneck.  This is one of the first rules I recall reading.  At first people object, “but the system is fast enough.”  That may be true.  BUT, there is still limiting it from being better.  Of course you might not be able to fix that limit.  But more importantly, it may not matter.

Second rule: It may not matter.  If your query is already running in subsecond times, it may not be worth spending any time on optimizing it any further.  Or, if your query takes 1 hour to run, but runs at night when nothing else is running, it may not matter.

Third rule: Optimize only what you need to.  A classic example of this I’ve seen is finding reports that run overnight and slow down other processes.  You start to optimize it and then think to ask, “is anyone still using this report?”  You find out the report is no longer being used.  Now you can achieve the holy grail (and perhaps the only exception to rule 1): infinite optimization.  Delete the report and suddenly you have infinitely optimized it.

BTW, these rules don’t apply just to SQL Server.

Optimize your life and enjoy more of your time doing things you enjoy.