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.

Feb 24, 2016


PowerShell, isn't that a Windows Administration tool?  This is certainly how it is positioned by Microsoft, but why should the DBA community give it more than a passing glance?  My guest is Mike Fal and we chat about ways data pros can use PowerShell.

Mike says there are two reasons why PowerShell is valuable for SQL Server folks.  I hope you will join us for the conversation.  We promise not to bore you with syntax. 

Are you using PowerShell?  I would love to hear your stories in the comments at the bottom of the show notes page at

Feb 17, 2016


As database administrators, we have to live with virtualization.  As a consultant, I can't think of a single environment I have been in that didn't have some of the SQL Servers virtualized.  Troubleshooting issues in a virtual environment can be a bit tricky and in today's episode I chat with David Klee about his experience and how you might learn from his experience. 

What has been your experience with virtualization?  I would love to hear from you in the comments on the show notes page

Feb 10, 2016

Think of one big investment that will be made this year.  How will it affect you?  Perhaps there is a large server migration project or move to Azure on the books this year.  Maybe you have been given the ok to try some new feature or have been promoted and have different responsibilities.  You will make many decisions and purchase different things, but the biggest investment you should be involved in is the investment in yourself.

I am joined by Bruce Van Horn, host of the Life is a marathon podcast and the person that introduced me to the E to E ratio.  The Entertainment to Education ratio is a gauge for how much of your time is spent entertaining yourself versus how much you education yourself.  We discuss how this affects your future opportunities but also how it affects your happiness.

How do you keep yourself educated?  I would love to hear about it.  You can leave your comments and see the show notes for today's episode at

Feb 3, 2016

We each have our way of going about things–this is what makes us unique.  When it comes to getting data out of the database, many times we might think that SQL Server would go about getting data the same way we would.  If you think about scanning a Microsoft Excel document, how would you find the record you are looking for?  How does that differ from SQL Server?

My guest for this episode is Brent Ozar and we chat about internals and how SQL Server processes your request and what you need to consider as SQL Server returns your result.

Our show notes for today's episode are available at

Jan 27, 2016

Have you ever had a situation where performance got worse and you were sure why?  Do you keep records of when changes happen to your system?  How do we know there's a problem?  Baselines can help us out.  More often than not, tribal knowledge rules the day and if you weren't part of the tribe when the on-call pager goes off, things can be tough to figure out.

My guest this episode is Erin Stellato of SQLskills and we discuss what your baseline should consist of and how you might go about capturing some of that data.  I am always interested to see how people monitor their servers and I know this episode will give you a few things to think about in your baselines.

Get the show notes for today's episode at and I'll see you on the SQL trail.

Jan 20, 2016

Have you ever wanted a feature to help you assess the impact of future SQL Server upgrades, the impact of hardware or operating system upgrades, and for SQL Server tuning?  Well that tool has been around since 2012, but I have found that not many people have used Distributed Replay.  The level of difficulty to get this feature set up lends to the small adoption rate, but I chat with Melody Zacharias about her experience with the tools and I think it is time to give this feature a spin.

You can see the show notes from today's episode at  You can also let me know if you are you using Distribute Replay  What do you think the best feature is?  What is the worst thing about it?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below the show notes.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Jan 13, 2016

DevOps for the database--you have probably heard the term if you work in an organization that is deploying code on a regular basis.  The developers have this down to a science, and now it is the database's turn.  The idea of deploying code and having a certainty it will run correctly instead of crossing your fingers and hoping you don't see the red error messages has a certain appeal.  There are lots of tools out there now to help with this, but it seems like we still drag our feet.

I know I did.  When I chatted with Cindy Bean from DBMaestro, I didn't have much database change automation experience.  I had exposure to source control, but DevOps seemed more than that.  After speaking with Cindy I created my first database project in Visual Studio.  I definitely get the idea and hope to implement it fully in my environment.  This episode is an introduction to the idea of database change automation and how you might get started. 

You can see the shownotes from today's episode at

Jan 6, 2016

SQL Server 2016 has several new features and this episode explores the stretch database feature.  One of the unique attributes of this feature is that it uses both the on premise instance and the Azure platform.

I chat with Anthony van Gemert, one of the product managers for stretch, about how the features works and under what scenarios organizations might use stretch technology.

Are you planning to use stretch database?  Let me know via twitter.  I am @CarlosLChacon.  You can check out the show notes at

Dec 30, 2015

One of the new features being added to SQL Server 2016 is the Query Store which will allow for greater access to the performance history of your databases.  This is going to be extremely helpful when you are approached about 'What happened this morning?'  With the Query Store feature, you will now be able to provide some insight into that question.

I chat with Borko Novakovic, the program manager for Query Store feature, and he shares with you, Compañeros, details about the new feature and how those interested in performance monitoring will be able to use this for their benefit. 

Even if you aren't going to run SQL Server 2016 as soon as it comes out, you will find this information interesting and I hope it helps you along the SQL trail.  Have fun out there.

You can find the show notes for today's episode at

Dec 23, 2015

If I were a betting man, I would wager your disk IO system is probably the biggest bottleneck in your SQL Server right now.  Sure, there are lots of moving pieces, but if you can tame the IO situation, you are putting yourself in the drivers seat.  So how do you go about putting together the pieces you need identify your IO constraints?

I chat with Theresa Iserman, a premier support engineer at Microsoft about some of her thoughts and why IO in general is an issue.  She gives us some guidelines and even some metrics to check out.  Join us in the conversation, and I'll see you on the SQL trail . . .

As always you can check out the show notes at 

Dec 16, 2015

In what has to be one of the most downloaded SQL Server scripts on the planet with over 73,000 downloads, sp_whoisactive has been providing active session information to data professionals for eight years.  I catch up with Adam Machanic to talk a bit about how the procedure came to be, how he uses it and what is in store down the road.

If you are using SQL Server and haven’t used sp_whoisactive before, I invite you go and download it right now, then come back and listen to the program.  We will wait for you.  Ready?  Let's do this.

Have fun on the SQL trail compañeros.

You can see the show notes for today's episode at

Dec 9, 2015

As one of the newest Azure offerings, Azure Data Factory can at first thought be compared to SSIS.  I don't think we are quite there yet with the comparisons; however, I talk with MVP Reza Rad and discuss some of the similarities and differences between the two.

A consultant now living in New Zealand, Reza has lots of experience with the data management and gives us the scoop on the initial offering of this new Azure tool.  I hope you enjoy the episode.  If you have some feedback or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter--I am @CarlosLChacon


You can see the show notes at

Dec 2, 2015

We all start somewhere and if you can find a mentor who will help you on your way by pointing you in a direction you had not considered, you are a lucky person indeed.  This episode I chat some fellow podcasters about their experience with mentors and the characteristics we think good mentors have.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. -Oscar Wilde

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.  -Paulo Coelho

Experience is what you got by not having it when you need it. -Author Unknown

[A mentor and mentee] is the third most powerful relationship for influencing human behavior (after the family and couple relationships ) if it is working. -Richard E. Caruso, PhD

 Part of the reason I have the podcast is to help bring to light some thoughts and ideas you may not have considered.  I hope this continues with today's episode.  I hope you check it out.

You can see the links to the other podcasts at

Nov 25, 2015

A hard drive is a hard drive, right?  Storage has come a long way, but is probably still the biggest bottleneck in your system.  Solid State Drives (ssd) have changed the rules in terms of performance and there is new technology on the horizon to allow us to access our data even faster.

I talk with Justin Strong and Ananda Sankaran from Micron Technologies about their experiences with SSD and how organizations are using in their environments.  We also chat about some of the new technologies on the horizon for Micron.

Check out the shownotes at for links to topics discussed in today's episode.

Nov 18, 2015

I learn stuff every day.  In this episode I tackle a new subject for me and one I am hearing a lot about--BIML.  BIML is a markup language you can use to build your SSIS packages. 

I met up with Bill Fellows and Cathrine Wilhelmsen in Portland and they shared with me some insights on BIML, what they use if for, and some tips on getting started.  If you find your self doing more SSIS packages and haven't yet tackled BIML, this episode is for you!

Check out the shownotes at

Nov 11, 2015

Do you find you have tables and indexes that have grown really large? Are you moving around a lot more data than you used to? Are your windows for jobs and maintenance getting tighter? If you answered yes to any of these questions, partitioning may be for you!

Partitioning allows us to break a table or index down into smaller more manageable chunks.  Partitioning can enable us to perform maintenance on just part of a table or index. We can even move data in and out of tables with quick and easy metadata only operations.

In this episode, we’ll go over basic partitioning concepts such as horizontal vs. vertical partitioning, how to identify if a table is ready for partitioning, and what you need to know about your applications before you implement partitioning.

Check out the show notes at

Nov 4, 2015

I learn things every day.  One of the great things about the SQL community is the willingness to share their learning experiences and today's episode is an example of this.  I chat with Mark Wilkinson about the SQL Server Agent--some best practices and MSX--a feature I have not used in the past. 

If you are interested in expanding your SQL Server agent horizon, this episode is for you.  Check out the show notes for today's information at

Oct 28, 2015

Corporate culture is a BIG deal when it comes to job satisfaction, and it is interesting to see how different sectors can be.  Today we talk with Doug Purnell, DBA at Elon College in North Carolina and Jamie Wick, DBA at William and Mary in Virginia about their experiences working in the university system.

Check it out compañeros, and have fun on the SQL trail.  As always, the shownotes are available at

Oct 21, 2015

Clustering is a now tried and true technology to help increase the availability of your SQL Server environment.  I talk with Paul Popovich about his experiences with clustering and how his approach has changed as the technology has evolved.  If you are looking for a good introduction to some concepts of clustering, this episode is for you!  It should be noted this episode does not include the new feature of Availability Groups.

You can view the show notes for this episode at

Oct 14, 2015

I attended Kevin Feasel's SQLSaturday session entitled Apply Yourself and thought it was pretty funny.  While not close friends, I have know Kevin for a while and knew he had good stuff. 

He there shared this quote in his session.  “If you don't understand the APPLY operator, your skills are somewhere around the 50th percentile at best.” -- Adam Machanic. 

I knew immediately I wanted to have him on the show.

This episode will introduce some concepts, but you will have to do a bit a leg work if you want to start 'Applying' this into your code--I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.

As always, you can check out for the show notes.  Have fun on the SQL trail!

Oct 7, 2015

Database corruption is something that will eventually come to all data professionals.  While I have been fortunate to only come across is a handful of times, I was glad that I was able to get back the corrupted data and get everyone back on track.

In May of 2015, Steve Stedman set the data community ablaze with his database corruption challenge.  Some of the biggest names in the community jumped in with solutions to his challenge and I knew I wanted to have Steve on the show.

If you are interested in hearing more about his experience and his suggestions for dealing with database corruption, this episode is for you!

Sep 30, 2015

So it turns out an old dog can learn new tricks--or at least that is what happened to me when I chatted with Grant Fritchey from Red Gate software about SQL Server Statistics.  Always taking an opportunity to teach, Grant talks about why statistics are important and we go over some fundamental items you may just want to know about.  As always compañeros, have fun on the SQL trail.


Be sure to check out the show notes at for information we chat about during the program.

Sep 23, 2015

We mix things up a bit as I chat with Thomas Frank from about test anxiety and test preparation.  Taking a test can be a big deal and it is always interesting to get other options on preparation.  As data professionals, of course we want a way to be able to advance our careers and a certification can play a role in that, but we might have a bit of anxiety around it.  The biggest take away for me from this session was Thomas's tool recommendation and how he was able to start better habits.  I took his advice and have seen some results I may share in a latter episode.  Have fun on the SQL trail compañeros!

As always, you can check out links for the show on the website

Sep 16, 2015

Joey D’Antoni has been doing quite a bit with database automation and I caught with him to discuss his experiences about how database automation has helped him be more efficient and have fewer support problems.  We discuss strategies for starting your automation techniques and he gives a few pie in the sky examples if you are running a large environment.  Compañeros, I hope you enjoy the program.

Be sure to check out the show notes at

Sep 9, 2015

I chat will Louis Davidson about database design and get his thoughts on some strategies about how to go about making your design and what tools are available to help you.  It may surprise you that, according to Louis, the data type is not the most important component of database design.  I hope you enjoy the show.

Be sure to check out the show notes.

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