Blog

Ending My Time as PASS President

PASS
With the end of the year, other things are coming to an end as well. Tomorrow, December 31st, will mark my final day as President of the PASS organization. I won't be leaving the board itself for another two years. I'll still be there as the Immediate Past President (IPP). I still have a vote on the board and will take part in supporting the next President, Wendy Pastrick (who is going to be great). While my role shifts, I'm also still a part of the Executive Committee. With all that, I can still act as a conduit into the board. If you have questions on what we do, how we do it, why we do it, please, ask. If you want information passed to the board, I'll be available…
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Fritchey Family Christmas Movies

Uncategorized
MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY YULETIDE! HAPPY HANUKKUH! Instead of something technical, let's take a moment to just kick back and enjoy a few great Christmas movies. Now, let's be clear. "It's a Wonderful Life", "Rudolph" and the rest also play at the Fritchey household, but we have a few, special, Christmas movies that I'd like to share. Welcome To The Party Pal! Most everyone can agree that, yes, in fact, Die Hard is very much a Christmas movie (as is Die Hard 2). However, my family enjoys the following films each (or most) Christmas season: The Thin Man: William Powell and Myrna Loy. What else needs to be said? However, wonderful Christmas murder mystery. Mrs. Scary won't let me shoot balloons of the tree though. Mrs Scary's favorite line: "I'll take…
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Why Don’t People Use Columnstore Indexes?

Professional Development, SQL Server
I saw this question on SQL Server Central the other day and had an immediate, visceral reaction. I know why. Now, before I explain my answer, please, let me reassure you. I get it. You're busy. What I'm about to suggest is not meant as a direct critique of you. It's just an observation of the human condition. Heck, maybe I'm wrong. So, before you write the angry screed about how busy you are and why you can't possibly do what I'm about to suggest, believe me, I already understand. I'm still going to suggest something that's going to make some of you angry. Common Knowledge If you'll permit me, I want to talk about Extended Events before we talk about Columnstore. SIDE NOTE: Standing invitation, any time I'm at…
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Distributing Jupyter Notebooks

Professional Development, SQL Server
If you're working with the Microsoft Data Platform, you should be, at the least, exploring Azure Data Studio as a new tool in your toolbox. One of the big reasons for this is the inclusion of Jupyter Notebooks. For those who don't know, Jupyter Notebooks are an open source documentation tool that lets you combine text and pictures with live code. From this we can talk about runbooks that you can share with people, lessons in combination with videos, presentations, interactive software documentation and lots more. I'm myopically focused at the moment on Azure Data Studio, but there are a lot of other places and ways to create or consume notebooks. However, I'm going to keep my focus. The issue I'm running into, is distributing the notebooks. Where to go…
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State of Database DevOps Survey

Uncategorized
Maybe you're using DevOps within your database development and deployment. Maybe you're not. Maybe you're automating all the things or maybe you've got a completely manual set of processes. Fact is, Redgate would like to know. If you can spare a couple of minutes to swing by this link and fill out this survey, I'd sure appreciate it. The fact is, database deployments, regardless of the database, regardless of it being relational or not, can be very difficult. The core of the problem is retention of the existing data. If it was possible to deploy databases the same way we deploy code, throw away the old one, install the new one, usually in a single step, that would be great. However, unfortunately, throwing away databases usually gets organizations quite upset.…
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Tracking CPU Use Over Time

SQL Server
A question that I've seen come up frequently just recently is, how to track CPU use over time. Further, like a disk filling up, people want to know how to predict their CPU usage, so that they can easily decide "now is when I upgrade the hardware". Well, the bad news is, that ain't easy. CPU Use Over Time There are a bunch of ways to look at processor usage. The simplest, and probably most common, is to use the Performance Monitor counters such as '% Processor Time'. Query this, you can get an average of the processor usage at a moment in time. Ta-da! Fixed it. I thought you said this was hard Grant. Well, hang on. Are you running on a single processor machine? If so, cool, maybe…
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Containers: Upgrading SQL Server from 2017 to 2019 RTM

Containers
Throughout the pre-release of SQL Server 2019, I was demoing an effectively instant, and magical, container upgrade from 2017 to 2019. However, when I finally downloaded the release bits in a new image, the magic went away. In fact, I got errors, so what happened? Non-root User In SQL Server 2017, the containers were running as root. The thing is, you're basically setting up your instance to run as administrator of the system. We all know that's a no-no. So, in SQL Server 2019, Microsoft fixed this and now the SQL Server instance within the Linux container runs as mssql, much better. However, this immediately causes issues when we're doing an in-place upgrade using a volume on a 2017 container to move to 2019. We're not root any more. Let's…
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Your First Jupyter Notebook

Tools
In April, I said I was going to start learning Jupyter Notebooks. It's November. Let's get going with your first Jupyter Notebook. A quick aside before we start. I think one of the huge strengths that is going to come out of these things is as a runbook. You can share a notebook with someone, they can run the queries on it against their own systems and return the book, with the results to you. That's going to be extremely useful as a troubleshooting tool, but has all sorts of other functionality as well. I strongly suggest you start learning these things, as I am. Azure Data Studio There are a number of ways to create and consume Jupyter Notebooks, but I want to focus on the functionality around data…
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Docker, Git and DBATools

DevOps, Professional Development
For those who don't know, last week was the PASS Summit. It's an amazing event every year, but this last week, I saw a ton of indications that our peers are spotting the changing technology landscape largely defined by three tools, Docker, Git and DBATools. None of those indications resonated quite as much as this tweet from Kevin Hill: 3 things I can no longer justify ignoring: #dbatools Git and #Docker for my dev SQL work@cl @sqldbawithbeard @Kendra_Little and @unclebiguns @GFritchey, I blame you 🤪😂There’s more but those are top 3— SQL Cyclist (@Kevin3NF) November 9, 2019 There are a million things to learn about in our rapidly shifting technological landscape, but I think this assessment, especially the way it was put, "no longer justify ignoring" really nails some of…
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You Are A Coder

DevOps, Professional Development
So, you say you're a DBA. I say you're not. You say you're a system administrator. I say you're wrong. We are all coders now. Every single one of us. You are a coder. Put down the brick and let me explain. Automation There was a time when I would give a presentation to a room full of people and ask, "Who is using PowerShell right now?" and get, 15 hands out of a hundred. Last week at SQL in the City in London, the same question came up and most of the room raised their hands. What's changed? Automation. Automate all the things!!! The simple fact of the matter is, anything easy, repetitive, and quantifiable is, has been, or shortly will be, automated. You should not be spending your…
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