Learning Containers

I find that I’m using containers more and more to get things done with SQL Server. They’re so easy to set up for testing, spin ’em up, do stuff, turn ’em off, done. So, as I learn more and more about them, I figured it was time to start to share that learning here on the blog.

First up, I’m NOT an expert on this topic. The two best people I know currently on this are Anthony Nocentino and Andrew Pruski. Those are the people you really should be learning the details from. I’m going to try to start to cover the introductory level of containers, Docker, and, at some point in the future, Kubernetes (maybe) and other orchestrators.

However, I know that as my knowledge of how to work with containers grows, I’ll have more to share. Let me tell you why.

DevOps and Learning Containers

For me, the most exciting aspect of containers is what I’m going to be able to do in the future with DevOps. I’d be more than happy to show you how to get your databases into source control, automate a continuous integration process, begin to move build and deployment artifacts between environments, build a continuous deployment process, and go full bore into automating your way into production. In fact, I’m going to be doing exactly that (see the links at the bottom of this blog post). However, for a lot us, currently, this means having to set up and maintain some infrastructure in support of all this.

Containers are going to be a way to automate the delivery of infrastructure in exactly the same way as we’re automating the code necessary to support database deployment. In short, we can not only automate deployment of T-SQL and other database related objects and code, but the very servers and data that all that runs on. Why keep a CI server when you’re not using it? Containers are going to enable us to just get that server in place, just in time, making the process of CI/CD even more agile.

Conclusion

Watch this space. In addition to all the traditional work of a DBA, I’ll be adding a bunch of information on containers as I learn it. For good or for ill, a lot of stuff like query tuning, backups, HA/DR, and more, is NOT going away. Containers are not going to be put DBAs out of work any more than ORM tools, NoSQL, Big Data, Virtual Machines, DevOps, or any of the other myriad supposed DBA-killers that have traipsed past our doors over the last several decades. However, like all those other things and more, each has changed how and where the DBA works. Containers are no different. I’m going to start learning containers and I think you should too.

I’m kicking this off with a week of posts about containers. So, please, join me as I expand my knowledge and understanding of this important technology.


I’m going to be teaching all day seminars on DevOps, showing you how you can automate database development and deployment through CI/CD, source control, and, yeah, maybe a container or three. If this sounds like information you need, please find me at one of these events:

SQLSaturday Indianapolis Precon, Friday August 16th, 2019. Click here now to register.
SQLSaturday Oslos Precon, Friday August 30th, 2019. Click here to register.

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