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





All Episodes
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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.

Jul 20, 2016

In Episode 53 Steve Stedman and I chat with THE Argenis Fernandez, storage guru and PASS Director-at-Large about what else? Storage.  Steve and I learn something new from Argenis every time we talk to him and this time is no exception. We are talking  LUNs, IOPs, and why he thinks we all need to approach storage a lot differently.  

Check out the show notes at

Jul 13, 2016

Since Microsoft purchases the R language they have been baking it into their products and SQL Server is on the list.  SQL Server 2016 now has support for R and I know I have had people approach me about this and I thought it might be interesting to get Ginger Grant on the show and talk about the implications and what we poor database administrators need to do to get ready or at least be armed with questions when approached about the subject.

Are you using R? What is your experience like?  Let us know on our show notes for today's episode at

Jul 6, 2016

I am always amazed at how people can use technology to solve different problems and in today's episode, my friend Jana shares with us a problem he solved with PowerShell.  The setup of this is different from previous episodes and I am interested to know if you like this format.  While we do talk about some uses of PowerShell, the interesting part is how Jana learned PowerShell, got comfortable with it, and then used it to solve a difficult problem. 

Steve and I also share some thoughts about when, if ever, you should shrink a database and the impact it can have on your system. 

Show notes for today's episode can be found at

Jun 29, 2016

As database administrators, we want to get as much performance as we can out of our SQL Servers.  Microsoft has provided a few knobs for us to tweak in the Operating System, the local security policy, and in the engine itself and in episode 50 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, we review some of these SQL Server settings and how you might take advantage of some and avoid others. Join me as I chat with Justin Randall about some of these settings and get introduced to my new co-host Steve Stedman!

Show notes for today are available at

Jun 22, 2016

When you code and you need to use a temporary object what do you use in SQL Server--temp tables or a table variable?  There is plenty of conventional wisdom out there and my guest Wayne Sheffield and I talk about the differences between these two objects.  Whether it around performance or coding standards, it seems everyone has an opinion about these objects. 

Check out the show notes for today's episode at and I will see you on the SQL Trail compañeros!

Jun 15, 2016

Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of new technologies and processes to manage data.  Episode 48 asks the question--Is the Data Warehouse dead?  I chat with MVP Tim Mitchell about the subject and how things are changing . . . and how they are staying the same. 

Jun 8, 2016

The expansion of data sets and increased expectations of businesses for analysis and modeling of data has led developers to create a number of database products to meet those needs. As data professionals, it is incumbent upon us to understand how these tools work and put them to their best use--before somebody else puts them to sub-optimal use.  I am joined by Kevin Feasel who walks us through some of the technologies available and sorts out under what circumstances we want to consider using each one.

Jun 1, 2016

Have you ever looked at some tsql code and thought--How does even run? I know I have and it can be daunting to take a piece of code and review it for performance or to make a change to it.  I enlist the help of Jen McCown from the MidnightDBA team to discuss approaches to unraveling code.  We tackle the issues of nested views, documentation, formatting, Hungarian Notation, and visualizing how all the code pieces fit together.

At the end of the day, we just want our code to be understandable and usable for the next person who has to review it, because that next person just might be you.  :)

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

May 25, 2016
Compañeros, we are going to get back into the engine this episode and go back to a feature that has been available since 2005--Service Broker.  I chat with Wolf about how he uses it, the major components, and scenarios that might work for you.
Are you using service broker?  Let us know on the website
May 18, 2016

Episode 44 takes us into a new service in the Microsoft cloud--Azure SQL Data Warehouse.  While still in preview, the Azure SQL Data Warehouse looks to help level the playing field for organizations that want to analyze their data without the expense of creating a data warehouse.  Sound a bit counter intuitive?  Check out this episode to find what the service is all about and what the future of data processing might look like.

Show notes for today's episode are at  Have fun on the SQL trail, compañeros!

May 11, 2016

Why is ETL so hard?  All we want to do is move data from system A to system B.  Perhaps that is the problem, says my guest Rafael Salas, and more time should be given to thinking about the architecture of the system.  With our thoughts turned to SSIS, we discuss this idea in today's episode. 

The show notes for today's episode can be found at and I'll see you on the SQL trail!

May 4, 2016

How did that get changed--do you ever get that question?  In this episode I talk with Brad McKuhen about how you would answer that and how you might need more than just enabling the auditing feature in SQL Server.  If you are willing to be a bit proactive and do some testing, you might be able to give an answer to that question instead of the same old shoulder shrug.

Check out the shownotes for today's episode at  See you on the SQL trail!

Apr 27, 2016

Compañeros, you know good care and feeding of your indexes is VITAL to a healthy database.  In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, I talk to Sean McCown about the best practices for index maintenance and how those guidelines are now part of his Minionware software.
The show notes for today's episode are available at

Apr 20, 2016

In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast I chat with Jason Brimhall, about SQL Server compression and his experience with it. He also answers your compression questions: Why is it a bad idea to compress everything in your database and how does compression work?

You can check out the show notes for today's episode at Have a good week and I'll see you on the SQL trail.

Apr 13, 2016

 Today on the SQL Trail I talk with Richie Rump, the podcaster, blogger, and now new hire at Brent Ozar. He and I discuss measuring query performance, using SET STATISTICS, and the story behind his Statistics Parser application.  He also talks about navigating the space between developer and DBA.

The show notes for today's episode are at

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

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

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

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 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

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  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

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

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