How to do DevOps as a SQL Server DBA

Database Lifecycle Management, DevOps
You recognize that you need to provide a pipeline for database deployments, that you need to automate as much support for your development teams as you possibly can, that you have to have testing in place to ensure protection of the production environment, that you need to speed your processes. In short, you recognize the need for taking on a DevOps approach, an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) approach, even, a Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) approach. Cool. Now what? Well, there are three¬†fundamentals that you need to get under your belt. You need to get your database into source control. You need to set up a continuous integration process. You need to set up automated deployments. All tough nuts to crack. Hey, we get it. That's why Redgate Software is going…
Read More

DevOps, the DBA, and the word “No”

DevOps
Check out this DevOps Reactions animated GIF and caption. It's funny on multiple levels, but it also makes me both mad and disappointed. I get mad because it's 2015. Surely by now most of us, especially those who have worked in the enterprise with development teams, know that the old 1970s vision of a walled off data center with DBAs in white lab coats acting as gatekeepers to the data is long discredited. As DBAs, even if you're not working with development teams at all, you're just offering a service to the business. This whole, a DBAs favorite word is "NO", meme needs to die a quick, hard, death. All those "Technology X" is going to eliminate the DBA articles that come out every six months like a comet with…
Read More

Podcast on Devops and the Database

DevOps
I've been attempting to expand my reach to get back to my roots in development. I'm doing this because I really believe in the concepts behind devops, that these walls we've erected between development and dba, between dba and san admin, et, ad nauseum, cetera, need to come to an end. The great news is that there are a lot of other people who feel the same. We're changing things. Come on over to the dark side, we have wine. Any way, I had a blast talking database devops with Bryan for his podcast. Have a listen and let me know what you think.
Read More

The Curse of Working With A DBA

DevOps, Professional Development
I no more than finished my rant from last week than I started thinking about all the reasons why a healthy chunk of the reasons that developers want to bypass relational database is not the horror of the relational database itself, although, that's there. No, a very large reason why is the DBA. We're on a blog called The Scary DBA. I earned that title, well sometimes. Sometimes I got it and I wasn't sure why. However, it's perfectly in keeping with how many people view their database administrators; grumpy, obstructionist, slow, difficult, control freak, etc.. There are even jokes about it, "What's the DBAs favorite word? No!" And for those answering "It depends" that's two words. I understand why. In large part it's that phone in your pocket (used…
Read More

I Am Better Than You

DevOps
That is a patently false statement and total BS. It sure does crawl up your spine though doesn't it? Why then do we need to do this? I read an article, "How DevOps is Killing the Developer," and, frankly, was a little put off by this: Good developers are smart people. I know I'm going to get a ton of hate mail, but there is a hierarchy of usefulness of technology roles in an organization. Developer is at the top, followed by sysadmin and DBA. QA teams, "operations" people, release coordinators and the like are at the bottom of the totem pole. Why is it arranged like this? Because each role can do the job of all roles below it if necessary. Nice to know I'm almost as good as…
Read More

Book Review: The Phoenix Project

DevOps, Professional Development
Let's get this straight right up front, the thought of reading a novel that's about IT is so repellent, so repugnant, just so horribly wrong, that it's kind of hard to fathom why I would even attempt it. What's even more difficult for me to fathom is how much I enjoyed this book. Which is a novel. About IT. I can't figure it out. Maybe I need to start reading more IT novels... no. Let's hope that's not actually a thing. On with the review... The Phoenix Project is a story about a mid-level manager in a large company who has been running part of the IT organization that is a bit of a backwater, maintaining old big-iron systems, VAX, that type of thing. He gets called into the CEOs…
Read More

Database in Source Control

SQL Server, Tools
Many years ago, I was working with a great DBA. Seriously, a very smart and capable guy. He told me, "We need to put the database into source control, just like app code." And I just laughed. Not because I disagreed with him. I knew he was right, but I had tried, several times, to do just that. See, I'm not really a DBA. I'm a developer. I knew that code (and all the T-SQL that describes databases is code) needed to be versioned, sourced, tracked and audited. But great googly moogly, it was not an easy thing to do. I first tried just exporting the entire database into a script and then occasionally checking that script into source control. Yay! Mission Accomplished... Well, I had a database in source…
Read More