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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.

Apr 6, 2016

Compañeros! You heard rumblings about how awesome SQL Server 2016 is, right?  I talk with Rick Heiges about the wins he's seen for his clients using SQL Server 2016, including how one client's move from a large Oracle rack to SQL Server garnered them huge improvements in query performance.

Show notes for today's episode are available at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/04/02/sqlserver2016/

Mar 30, 2016

In this episode of the SQL Data Partners podcast I sit with Patrick LeBlanc during SQL Saturday RVA. We chat about Microsoft PowerBI. PowerBI is a business intelligence tool that easily connects disparate data sources to create dashboards and I was interested to get his thoughts on how this would affect the data professional. Patrick answers my questions about the application and also explains why he thinks that PowerBI has grown in popularity so quickly.

The shownotes for today's episode are found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/03/29/powerbi/

Mar 23, 2016

You can host SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines in a variety of configurations, ranging from a single database server to a multi-machine configuration.  In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast I chat with Luis Vargas, program manager for virtual machines, about why organization might consider a virtual machine with SQL Server already provisioned and other virtual machine considerations.

The show notes are available at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/03/23/virtualservers/

Mar 16, 2016

On Episode 35 of The SQL Data Partners Podcast, I talk with Philip Morgan of The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms. Philip’s book has influenced my work at SQL Data Partners, so I wanted to bring him on and share his insights with the rest of you on the SQL Trail.  Philip and I talk about positioning as a tool to create more value through a narrowed focus. Philip discusses how to apply positioning to your SQL Career, even if you’re a W2 employee. Philip and I go over three ways to narrow your focus and how it affects the direction of your career. I also ask him about how to turn unwanted work assignments to your advantage using the leverage grained from positioning.

Get the shownotes at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/03/14/positionyourself/ and I'll see you on the SQL trail.

Mar 9, 2016

Hello, compañeros! You’ve heard of Hekaton and in-memory tables before, but what does in memory really mean for your database? Perhaps you have questions like I did, like how does in memory OLTP differ from disk-based tables? What data types aren’t allowed in in-memory tables? Is in-memory only an “on premises” feature or does Hekaton work in Azure too? Is there a minimum amount of memory required for in-memory tables?

In Episode 34 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, we’re going to talk about in-memory OLTP and in-memory tables with Jos De Bruijn. Jos is a Program Manager at Microsoft for SQL Server In-memory OLTP. We sit with Jos and we explore how in-memory tables work and why they’re just as durable as traditional disk-bound tables. He lays out the whole process. Jos also answers common DBA concerns about them and discusses how to make them efficient. Jos reveals the SQL Server 2016 features that affect in-memory OLTP.

As always, you can catch the show notes for today's episode at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/03/08/inmemorytables/

Mar 2, 2016

Many developers will make the transition to the DBA role and in this episode I chat with Amy Herold about making that very move.  Amy started as a C#/.NET developer and moved into the database world as an “accidental” DBA.

Amy shares her tips and stories from the trenches, including:

  • The move from row-based thinking to set-based thinking
  • How to manage developer access in production
  • The database performance activities new DBAs need to master
  • The importance of getting code reviews outside the developer team
  • The tool Amy relies on as a DBA, and the one event you shouldn’t miss
  • Why Amy believes that moving around frequently can be good for your career

You can get the links and show notes at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/03/01/developer2dba/.  Have fun on the SQL trail.

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/02/23/powershell/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/02/16/virtualization/.

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/02/09/e2eratio/.

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/02/03/sqlserverthinks/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/01/27/baselines 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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/01/19/distributedreplay/.  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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/01/12/devops/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/01/06/episode-25/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/12/29/query-store/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/12/22/iotuning/ 

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/12/15/sp_whoisactive/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/12/08/azure-data-factory/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/12/01/role-of-mentors/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/11/25/ssd/ 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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/11/17/biml/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/11/10/partitioning/

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/11/03/sql-server-agent

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/10/28/working-at-a-university/.

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 http://sqldatapartners.com/2015/10/03/clustering/

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