All Day Seminar on DevOps in Oslo

DevOps
In just a couple of weeks, I'll be presenting an all day session on DevOps for databases. It takes place on Friday, August 30th. You can click here now to get signed up. I have a very hard time hiding just how excited I get about DevOps. It's not just that the technology is fun. It is. It's not just that it makes for a happier work environment. It does. It's not because by using DevOps you can deliver more quality functionality, faster, for your organization. You can. No, the reason I love DevOps, as a DBA, is because it creates added protections for my production environment and my production data. You can think of the entire DevOps process as another backup, another consistency check, one more enforced referential constraint.…
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Sample Azure DevOps Pipelines

DevOps
I've said it before and I will repeat myself on this because it's an important concept: DevOps is about culture and communication, not tools Now, that said, to implement the automation required in DevOps, you're going to have to get into some degree of tooling. There are a whole slew of possible tools to support you: Jenkins, Team City, Octopus and more. All these tools offer excellent solutions with variations on limits, methodologies, etc. You'll need to explore them to understand which ones are best for you and your processes. I've been doing a lot of work lately in another tool, Azure DevOps. Let me show you a little of what I've done. Azure DevOps Pipelines I don't mean for this to be a complete tutorial on setting up Azure…
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Importance of Testing

DevOps
I've always said if you're running a script for the first time in a production environment, you're doing it wrong. Testing is fundamental to technology, yet it is one of the single most frequently skipped processes. Let's talk about this a moment. Developing in Production Through my work, I travel quite a bit. That means I get to meet a lot of different people with varying circumstances on their systems. I've even met someone who did all their development directly in production. Why? They ran a software that ran an assembly line. There wasn't a test assembly line. Oh yeah, they had checks and validations that all their inputs and outputs were valid prior to ever putting the code into production. However, they had no mechanisms, of any kind, for…
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Implement DevOps One Step At a Time

DevOps
In preparation for my upcoming DevOps training days (see the bottom of this post for details) and for some articles I'm working on, I've been building all new automation processes for database deployments. In the past, I've been using a fairly simple (and far too simplistic) example to do most of my demos. I haven't built a full process in a little while. OH MY GOD!!! IT'S PAINFUL!!!!! Automation Ain't Easy The easy part of getting your DevOps done is the tooling. I say that all the time because it's true. The hard part is changing your organizations culture to support the level of communication necessary for a successful DevOps implementation. However, easy by comparison doesn't mean just simply easy. There's a lot of work involved and making mistakes early…
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The Constant and Constantly Changing Role of the DBA

DevOps, Redgate Software, SQL Server
I've been working in and around data for over 30 years now. My title has changed a number of times and is poised to change again. My responsibilities have also shifted fairly continuously over that time. Even though it has been more than 20 years since I first took on the title of DBA, some aspects of the job are the same. However, over that 20 years, a stack of new technologies and processes have fundamentally changed a whole swath of what I do. The DBA Song Remains the Same Are your servers online? Are all databases available? Did the data load process run successfully last night? When was the last time a backup was run on this database? I honestly don't care if you're in the cloud, on-premises, or…
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Learning Containers

DevOps
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…
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DevOps Is About Communication

DevOps
I spend a lot of time showing how to use tools to automate database deployments in support of DevOps. However, the one message that I always try to deliver with DevOps is that it's fundamentally not about the tools. No, the single most important thing in DevOps is communication. Therefore, the single most important thing in DevOps is people. People Are Good Are there evil people in the world? Unfortunately, yes. Can even good and decent people do evil? Again, unfortunately, yes. However, most people, most of the time, are trying to do the right thing. I would say that you need to arrive at this position first in order to implement a DevOps solution effectively. You can't be all "Developers are EVIL" or "DBAs are mean" or "My SAN…
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Data Breaches: All Your Fault

DevOps, Redgate Software
One part of my job is to understand the compliance landscape. This means that I read a lot about the GDPR and related similar laws. I also have to read a lot about data breaches in order to understand how and where laws like the GDPR apply to them, and how they happened so that I can better prepare people through good DevOps practices to prevent them. The more I read about data breaches, the more I realize: It's You. It's your fault. Don't believe me? Let's walk through a few recent data breaches together. Passwords? We Don't Need Stinking Passwords. The Collection #1 data that represents 21 million unique email addresses and passwords for a combination of up to more than 700 million, was found by Troy Hunt... on…
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Critiquing Grant Fritchey: Circa 2008

DevOps, SQL Server
For several years, I ran a regular feature on this blog, Speaker of the Month. I attend a lot of events, so I have the opportunity to hear a lot of people talk about various topics. I decided, as an attempt to help out, to call out individuals that I thought had given a great presentation. There was no other reward beyond my attempts to promote others. In addition to that promotion and praise, I did offer criticism as well. It was never intended to be hurtful or in any way negative. I was hoping to point out people that I thought were great at presenting and provide a tip or two to make them even better. Not everyone liked it. In fact, a few people were decidedly, animatedly, against…
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DevOps and Automation Will Eliminate the DBA

DevOps
I've been reading about the death of the DBA ever since I first made the jump from full time developer to full time data professional. The first time I heard it was when SQL Server 7.0 was released. Did you know that SQL Server 7.0 was self-tuning? In fact, it was so self-tuning that the DBA is a relic of the past and no one will be paid for that kind of work any more. Right. So, twenty years later, several versions of SQL Server with tons of improvement from back in the day, and I'm still working (and I hope you are too). Object databases were going to eliminate the DBA. ORM tools were going to eliminate the DBA. Then of course, NoSQL absolutely eliminated the DBA. In fact,…
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