SQL Data Partners Podcast

In this podcast, I discuss a variety of SQL Server related topics mixed with a sprinkling of professional development and I talk with some of the biggest names in the industry. I want to introduce new and familiar topics and talk about them in a way you may have not considered. We are all on different stages as data professionals. I hope you will join me and Steve on the SQL trail compañeros--you won't regret it.
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SQL Data Partners Podcast





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Companeros, welcome to the SQL Data Partners Podcast, a podcast dedicated to SQL Server related topics which is designed to help you become familiar with what’s out there, how you might use features or ideas and how you might apply them in your environments.

Jan 11, 2017

As database administrators, we will all upgrade our environments at some point; however, we don't normally have the opportunity to upgrade to the next version of SQL Server before it becomes available to everyone else.  In this weeks episode of the podcast, Steve and I chat with Brian Carrig about the journey channeladvisor took to implement SQL Server 2016 in their environment, that it was like working with the SQLCAT team, and how they go about making use of some of the new features.  Brian shares with us some of the struggles they were having along with how the 2016 version helped address these issues.

Brian invites everyone to upvote his connect item which you can find on the shownotes

The show notes are available at and have fun on the SQL trail!

Jan 4, 2017

We invited Paul Turley on the show to chat with us about some of the new features in SQL Server reporting services, but were pleasantly surprised to have the conversation take a different direction.  Paul talks about some of the new training available for those interested in visualizations and why this community can be hard to define--and connect with.  There are so many visualization options and even within Microsoft we have many products that overlap in functionality.  In addition to talking about the pick list items of new features, Paul gives some guidance and why you should choose certain products and what makes good use case scenarios for some of the new features.

With the new analytics features now available in SQL Server 2016 via SP1, I think there is going to be additional requirements for data professionals to provide better analytics features and this episode is a good starter for how to frame those conversations. 

Show notes for today's episode can be found at and have fun on the SQL trail!

Dec 31, 2016

Availability groups provide some exciting features in mixing high availability and disaster recovery; however, from a performance consideration, there are a few drawbacks.  With the advances in SQL Server 2016, our guest Jimmy May from SanDisk, set out to test the features and see if they could get some really high performance out of an availability group with two synchronous replicas. In this episode he talks with us about some of his findings and some of the pains associated with getting there. 

Show notes are available at and have fun on the SQL trail!

Dec 21, 2016

Storage testing and validation is something what we to add under roles and responsibilities as DBAs. Every database we ever manage is going to need one, but how often do we kick the tires? Many times we’re basically told to go verify that array or we’re doing this POC, we’re testing this new storage, but are we really only testing connectivity?  In this episode of the podcast, we chat with Argenis Fernandez about how he goes about testing a SAN array and the important metrics you should consider for your storage.  If you are still using SQLIO or even Diskspeed to test the IO for your SQL Server, don't miss today's episode.

The shownotes for today's episode is found at and have fun on the SQL trail.

Dec 14, 2016

As the year 2016 comes to a close, Steve and I share our thoughts on our accomplishments for the year and what lies in store for 2017.

Dec 8, 2016

At some point all data administrators will have to tune their environments and there are may ways you might go about that.  In this episode, we talk with Pinal Dave about how he does performance tuning and the thought process behind the approach.

Nov 30, 2016

In the data space we're hearing a lot about dev ops, continuous integration and the programmers are getting a lot of love there with lots of tools to help them; however, if you're on the data side--not so much.  If you're running Agile in your environment and then you're trying to do data warehousing or other data development we're not quite getting the same love. Sure, there are a couple of unit testing software offerings out there, but it's a little bit cumbersome.  This episode our conversation focuses on testing automation in a business intelligence or data warehouse environment--even in an Agile system.  Our guest is Lynn Winterboer and she has some interesting thoughts at the intersection of business users, data professionals and tools.   


Show notes for today's episode can be found at

Nov 23, 2016

It is easy to feel like the odd man (or gal) out in the SQL Community.  We are constantly hearing about new features, products, and architectures and our companies may not always have the same enthusiasm when we describe what could be.

This is probably even more true in the Analytics space as much of the marketing has been pointed in that direction.  Even PASS tried to create a conference just for Analytics.  While there are some amazing new technologies out there--we might--GASP--not need them in every scenario. 

Our guest today is Kevin Wilkie, a BI architect with Innovative Architects and he talks to us about some of the tools he uses and spoiler--they aren't all that fancy.  He also talks with us about how he manages the tech and business users so each feels comfortable and each can get their work done. 

The show notes for today's episode are at and we'll see you on the SQL trail!

Nov 16, 2016

In the keynote of PASS summit 2016 Rohan Kumar, the program manager for SQL Server proudly displayed a database restore to a SQL Server instance installed on Linux.  What makes this all even more interesting is the database was sourced from a Windows server.  While it might not sound like much, the number of operating systems SQL Server runs on has now doubled.  This is no small feat and our guest today Travis Wright is the program manager for the SQL Server on Linux migration.  While I have to admit I was not super excited about the news when it came out last year, I am definitely more interested and think there is a huge opportunity for SQL Server administrators to get access to jobs they wouldn’t have before.  I know you will enjoy this interview with Travis.

Get the Linux for the preview and other items on the show notes page and have fun on the SQL trail!

Nov 9, 2016

We have all been there–next, next, next–let’s just get this install done.  While there are many ways to get SQL Server installed on a server, the real impact is in the way we administer the database and when we want to get good performance.  Listener James Youkhanis asked us about our install checklist and Steve and I realized we hadn’t made one public before.  In this episode of the SQL Data Partners podcast, we talk about some of the settings we are looking for when we set up a server.  We don’t have time to reference every single item, but hit some highlights.  Your list might differ slightly, but our list has been built from the experiences we have seen over time from various installations.  We love to other opinions, so give us your thoughts!

The show notes for today's episode and the install checklist are available at  Have fun on the SQL trail compañeros!

Nov 2, 2016

For all of us working with data, we know that we work no only with SQL Server but the suite of tools around the SQL Server engine.  In this episode, we share some thoughts around SSIS administration, which is the most popular ETL tool in the Microsoft stack.  Just like the SQL Server engine, many times the defaults are taken and in this episode we give some thoughts around logging, package execution, and notification with our guest Ravi Kumar.  With the every expanding functionality of SSIS, Steve and I found this discussion insightful as we think about supporting an SSIS environment and ways we can educate package developers.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Have fun on the SQL trail!

Oct 27, 2016

Compañeros! The good organizers SQLSaturday in Pittsburgh allowed me to take a slot on the schedule and opened up the podcast for a little Q&A session and I was super happy with the results.  We had several SQL Server pros come and our conversation was around one central issue--testing in your development environment.  We came at from a setup perspective, but also from a how to compare apples and oranges when your hardware is different.  Because we had a developer ask the question, I opted to call this episode  “Dear Developer”. Hear from Microsoft MVPs and SQL Server consultants such as Allen White, Kevin Feasel, Jonathan Stewart, Tim McAliley and others give their thoughts on this subject.  At the very least you will have a few more ideas on where to start looking for potential options to your testing after listening to this episode.

The show notes for todays episode is found at 

Oct 19, 2016

After talking with Patrick Thomas in episode 64, I was introduced to Microsoft's newest learning curriculum, the Microsoft academy, and their first offering in data science.  In this episode, I talk with one of the lead course writers Graeme Malcolm about the new program.  Microsoft consulted data scientists along with several companies to identify the core skills they need to be successful. A curriculum was developed to teach these functional and technical skills, combining highly rated online courses with hands-on labs, concluding in a final capstone project. This episode talks about the new program and what is next for Microsoft learning.

The show notes for today's episode is found at and we'll see you on the SQL trail!

Oct 12, 2016

This week on the SQL Trail, Steve and I chat with Jason Horner about building a good data architecture. When talking about a data warehouse architecture, or even just a data architecture, people often think about building the data warehouse and specifying the server hardware, building the ETL, things like that--they tend to lose sight of the larger picture of data architecture.  Jason gives us his “four pillars of data warehouse architecture” and how each of them impacts what you are able to do from a reporting prospective.

We are super excited to have Jason on the show with us this week.  You can catch the show notes at and we'll see you on the SQL trail.

Oct 5, 2016

Have you ever thought that Microsoft certifications were a waste of time? Depending on where you are on the experience scale, certifications still play a large role in hiring and career development.  In Episode 64 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast I talk to Patrick Thomas the program manager for the MCT and MCP programs and the role they play at Microsoft and in what way they continue to provide value, including what’s in store for data science learners and what he thinks of the Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn.

The show notes are available at and we'll see you on the SQL trail!

Sep 28, 2016

Availability groups provide both high availability features and disaster recovery options, but they also have several areas you must be aware so you don't introduce more risk into your environment.  The major advantage is availability groups allow for you to fail over more than one database at a time.  In Episode 59 we talked about general data availability options and in this episode we focus on the new features of Availability Groups in 2016 and how data availability options have changed with our guest John Sterrett.  John shares his experience getting a large database to a highly available situation along with some other ways to use availability groups.

Show notes for today's episode are available at Have fun on the SQL trail. 

Sep 21, 2016

Have you heard the buzz around the Cortana Intelligence Suite? It seems like it is all the rage these days and Microsoft is coming out with lots of new features in this space. In Episode 62, Steve and I interview Melissa Coates, AKA “SQLChick”. We chat about the history of Cortana, about the tools it encompasses, and why you might implement parts of the suite in your organization.

Show notes for today's episode are found at If you are using Cortana, we would love to hear about it on the show notes for today's episode.

Sep 14, 2016

Do you dread the idea of going to the project post-mortem?  Is it because you have to spend tons of time prepping your defenses for the onslaught?  This week we chat with Russ Thomas and get his take on what makes a good debrief and where he got some of his ideas.  These concepts are intended to make the whole team better so if you like what you hear, pass this along to other in your group and perhaps your debriefs can help everyone.

The show notes for today's episodes are at where you can get links to information Russ points to in this episode.  Have fun on the SQL trail compañeros!

Sep 7, 2016

When Microsoft introduced the Azure Data Lake, they included a new language, U-SQL, for Big Data processing as part of the Cortana Intelligence Suite.  U-SQL plays a role in the streaming analytics space–primarily in the Azure environment.  We break down some of the basics of U-SQL, then we’ll discuss the use cases that might make it an effective addition to your database toolbox--especially if you know C#.


The show notes for today's episode can be found at http:\\\usql  Have fun on the SQL trail, compañeros!

Aug 31, 2016

Have you ever wondered what the best option is for making your data available in your environment? Listener Chris Hendon asked us to talk about differences between Availability groups, mirroring, log shipping, and replication. Today on the SQL Trail Steve and I chat with Andy Mallon and Mariano Kovo about these topics. We cover each topic in detail and explain the positives and negatives of each one.  Join us, for another great episode.

The show notes for today's episode are available at

Aug 24, 2016

With all the changes in technology, how do you stay up to date with your technical learning?  This is a question we have been asking our guests the last several episodes and in this episode we, the hosts, attempt to answer this question and Carlos and Steve give some thoughts on how we stay up to date.  We discuss four ways to keep up.  If all else fails, you can follow this old adage.  "It's know WHAT you know, it's not WHO you know--it's WHAT you know about WHO you know." 


The show notes for today's episode can be found at

Aug 17, 2016

Compañeros, in Episode 57 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast we take a page from the SQL Server Radio podcast where they list the 50 worst feature and discuss SQLFamily question 2 about what SQL Server features we think could improve. We talk about the redundancy of default maintenance plans, the pain of autogrowth and autoshrink, why NO LOCK hints shouldn't be used, what's so bad about Activity Monitor, and more.  It should be noted here, that we LOVE SQL Server, we just being a bit picky with some of the tools.  :)

What feature do you want to change? Do you disagree with our list?  Let us know on the show notes page or using the hastag #SQLPodcast

The show notes for today's episode are at

Aug 10, 2016

I found myself in Columbus Ohio at the SQLSaturday event and thought I'd do a live panel discussion about our Favorite SQL Server 2016 Features--what we are most excited about.   We also discuss the "Microsoft paradigm shift" and how the hybrid model is likely to stick around for a long time.  Oh, and Scott Klein from Channel 9 shows up and gives us his two cents.  You just never know what is going to come out of the wood work.

Aug 3, 2016

SQL Server reporting services hasn't changed in what seems like 10 years.  The rest of the reporting environment at Microsoft has seen some MEGA changes and it seems like we could use a few updates to the environment.  Our guest this episode is Jessica Moss, a data architect and Microsoft MVP.  She gets us up to speed on what we can expect in the new version and how this ties into the other changes Microsoft is making. 

The show notes for today's show can be found at and we'll see you on the SQL trail.

Jul 27, 2016

What is the leadership of your company thinking about the future of data and the role you will play?  To help give some insight into that question we have and executive pane on episode 54.  Andrew Rose is the CEO of and Jim McCullen is the VP of IT for Century Distribution. We ask them about what they're looking for in IT staff, how they go about hiring, what they think of social media, and moving to the cloud.  They give their thoughts on what makes a great member of the team and so I hope you will give today's episode a listen.

You can check out more about them and get the show notes for today's episodes at

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