Help Me, Help You, Deliver DevOps

I believe in DevOps. Actually, that's a pretty horrible way to put it. It's not about belief, like keeping Tinkerbell alive. I have successfully worked within an environment that implemented a DevOps approach to development, deployment and maintenance. I also provide classes and consulting on how to approach DevOps from the Ops perspective as well as writing books on the topic. Because I've seen the DevOps approach work, and work well, despite the fact that my principal job description is in the Ops side of DevOps, I am a very strong and passionate advocate for DevOps. But! DevOps Despite the fact that I absolutely support the concepts of DevOps, moving development & deployment into the production space, and moving operations into better support of the development space, I frequently find…
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SQL Clone and a Little Competition

Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps, Redgate Software
Redgate has released a new product, SQL Clone. I've already talked about how excited I am about it. Now, it's your turn to get excited. Our developers evidently had too much time on their hands after building SQL Clone. They created a skill in Alexa that lets you clone a database using voice commands. In fact, I was recently visiting Redgate HQ and was able to try it out and you can watch here. [embed][/embed] Now, in celebration of the launch of SQL Clone, we want to enable you to do some voice commands of your own. We're giving away five Amazon Echo Dots and one copy of SQL Clone to an overall winner. To enter, go into the comments and let us know what skill you would like to build for Alexa…
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PowerShell to Test a Query

DevOps, PowerShell, SQL Server, SQL Server 2016, T-SQL
So you want to do some tuning, but you're not sure how to test a query on it's performance. Not a problem. Here's a very rough script that I use to do some recent testing. This script to test a query is post #11 of the #enterylevel #iwanttohelp effort started by Tim Ford (b|t). Read about it here. The Script The goal here is to load a bunch of parameter values from one table and then use those values to run a query to test it. To do this I connect up to my SQL Server instance, naturally. Then I retrieve the values I'm interested in. I set up the query I want to test. Finally a loop through the data set, calling the query once for each value. [reflection.assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo") | out-null #…
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The Importance of a Full Backup in SQL Server

Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps, Professional Development, SQL Server, SQL Server 2016
This is the first of 12 posts this year in support of Tim Ford's #iwanttohelp initiative. These will be completely 100 level, introductory blog posts meant to help people that are just getting started as data professionals. I'll try to cover several different topics over the year, but felt I should start with what I think is the most important, backups. It is impossible to overstate the importance of getting a good backup of your SQL Server databases. A backup is the most fundamental of protections for the information on which your business is dependent. Since SQL Server is a service, it manages it's own files. Because of this, you can't just copy the *.mdb file where your data is stored. Instead, you must run a process, usually through the…
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Benefits from Data Lifecycle Management

Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps
I spend a lot of time talking about the need for automation within your databases, especially in support of development, deployment, and through process management. It's because I learned the hard way just how important this stuff is. It took a pretty strong developer (in the sense of abilities, he didn't beat me up) to convince me that I was doing database development the wrong way. However, once he made me see the light, I was like one of the Blues Brothers, on a mission. However, I think this is one of the hardest parts to get people to understand. If you have a mostly, or completely, manual deployment process, you're experiencing pain from the inefficiencies that causes. However, it's a pain that's just embedded into the organization so much, that…
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Learning R: Foundations

Azure, DevOps, Professional Development, SQL Server 2016
Learning a programming language is largely an act of using that language to do stuff. Done. However, the big thing about R is the mathematical and statistical analyses that can be easily run against your data sets. This means, part of learning this language is learning another, that of data science. I'll be posting about how I'm learning R, but I also should tell you how I'm picking up on Data Science. First and foremost, madman he may be, but one of the few sources of information that I simply trust is Buck Woody. He's been running a series on Data Science. Here's an excellent example on how to pick a particular algorithm. These are must reads. Next, I'm starting a book called Data Science for Business: What you need to…
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Changing Course On Learning

Azure, Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps, DocumentDB, Professional Development
With all the new stuff on the Microsoft Data Platform, it's really hard to keep up with it all. I had announced my plans to charge down the DocumentDB road to try to get the basics of that in my head along with learning some JSON so I could get what all the hoopla is about. However, after a lot of thought and some extensive meetings at Redgate, I'm looking to shift my learning in a new direction. First up. Arrrrrrrrr! No, it's not yet "Talk Like a Pirate Day." I'm going to start learning the R language. It's a language for statistical computing and is one of the many underpinnings for what's going to be happening with a lot of the Machine Learning capabilities in the Data Platform. With Azure…
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Time to Change

Database Lifecycle Management
I recently spent two days consulting with a company on their database development and deployment processes. They are a small, capable, team of developers, database developers and a DBA who have embraced the idea that they need to be able to automate their deployments. I wasn't in there to teach them much of anything, but to help walk them through what the possibilities were for their deployments. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. They recognized that it was time to change what they did and how they did it in order to achieve greater efficiencies. They recognized that, while they were successfully building and deploying their databases (a capable team, remember), they were experiencing pain that they could alleviate. Like Peter, it was a time for change. I…
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Hey Kids! Let’s Put on a Show at the Old Barn

Azure, Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps, PASS, SQL Server, T-SQL
Alternate Title: I'm traveling a bunch. Let's get together and talk. A bunch of trips and presentations coming up, so I thought I'd share. First, I'll be SQL Saturday Omaha for my first time ever presenting in Nebraska. I'm excited to add this state to my list (which is almost over 40 now). If you're not doing anything August 15th, let's have a chat. Next, fingers crossed, I'll get selected to fly back to my home state, Oklahoma, to go to SQL Saturday OKC. These guys put on a great event and hey, it's Oklahoma so how can it be bad. I hope they announce soon. I need to schedule my flights. This one is on August 29th. September also has several events. First, I'll be at SQL Saturday Las…
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But I Don’t Have a Test Server…

Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps, SQL Server, T-SQL
I frequently see statements on forums along the lines of "I don't have a test server, so I'm going to do something I've never done before directly on my production servers..." This is usually followed by questions along the lines of: But that's OK and I won't get fired, right? So how do I know if it worked? Is that dangerous? The replies are: No. You should be fired You won't By All the Gods! Yes! It's stupidly, insanely, I don't really like my production server, my data, my boss, or my job, dangerous. Yes. I understand. You're working for a not-for-profit, so you can't afford tons of new servers. You're looking at a 50tb production server of which, you can't make a copy. Your bosses just don't want to spend the…
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