Category Archives: Uncategorized

Replay your Workload in the Cloud

Join Kevin Kline and me on Monday, November 23rd to learn how we do load testing in the cloud.

Want to save money, validate performance, and make sure you do not have errors while migrating to the cloud? You need to learn about the DEA today. Once you’ve added the DEA to your toolkit, you’ll look like the rockstar while the business saves money and makes the customers happy.

There is! It’s time to learn about the SQL Server Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA)! In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Capture your workload database on-premise or in the cloud
  • Replay your workload on-demand as needed
  • Analyze and compare results, giving you full confidence in the best outcome for Azure migrations and implementing new on-prem hardware

If you want to save money, validate performance, and make sure you do not have errors while migrating to the cloud, then you need to learn about the DEA today. Once you’ve added the DEA to your toolkit, you’ll look like the rockstar while the business saves money and makes the customers happy.

Got Cloud Migration Questions?

WordPress Community Podcast

I had the pleasure of catching up with John Parkinson, one of my mentors and a great friend of mine. It feels like yesterday John, GWC of AITP, and I brought two SQL Saturday’s to Wheeling, WV (#36 and #$80).

It’s fun to see how we both stayed highly involved in the IT Community over the years. John is highly involved in the Greater Wheeling Chapter of AITP and WordPress while I am highly involved in the SQL Server Community.

John reached out to me to do a podcast with him talking about my SQL Saturday experiences so people in the WordPress community could learn about other all-day training events. The result is the 10-minute video which is provided below.

Upgrading SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate to General Availability

I have a client that wants to run on the latest and greatest version of SQL Server.  We have been testing on RCs (Release Candidate), and we are in the process of upgrading non-production environments to RTM GA (General Availability) as it was released today on June 1st, 2016 . When SQL Server 2014 RTM’ed (is that a word?) upgrades from the latest RC was supported.  I expect the same with SQL Server 2016. Currently, this isn’t specified in the SQL 2016 Release Notes.  I will update the post when it’s confirmed.  I am not a SQL Server MVP so I have one sending a message to their message board to see if we can get confirmation on if this upgrade will be supported.  Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend doing this with your live production instances of SQL Server until it is confirmed. Even, if this isn’t supported, I have a automated install process so it wouldn’t take us much time to start fresh.

Read The Release Notes

Please read the release notes. There actually might be a few things you need to complete before upgrading to GA especially if you are using Stretch Databases.

Everyone, should validate if they need to apply KB 3138367. msvcr120.dll should be version 12.0.40649.5 or higher.

Here are screen shots of validating that even Windows 2012 R2 Server with SQL 2016 RC3 needs the .NET update.


Here I am applying KB 3138367.



This is restart number one for anyone who is counting at home.


This validates that msvcp120.dll is on the recommended version 12.00.40649.5 by the SQL Server 2016 Release Notes (Seriously, please read these..)


Questions You Should Ask Before Upgrading?

Does the business need to or wants to upgrade? Will this upgrade even be possible? Just because it was allowed in SQL 2014 doesn’t mean it will be possible with SQL Server 2016.  Will it be supported? Can I change editions from Evaluation to Developer (Now free in SQL 2016) or Enterprise, Standard?

Upgrading SQL Server 2016 RC3 to GA

The following are the screen shots. I will add some more detailed text in here tonight per step.



I am using the developer edition for testing here. It’s cool that I can flip from evaluation to developer mode.






Here we can see that it is possible to upgrade RC3 as its detected as an existing upgradable version of SQL Server for SQL 2016 GA.



The instance ID changes even though we are able to keep the same named instance. This gets up a separate root folder for the SQL 2016 GA install.


The server configuration caught be off guard as I expected seeing the database engine and sql agent services listed as well.







Finally, you can see the SQL 2016 RC3 Evaluation Edition was able to be upgraded to SQL Server 2016 GA. I was also able to change this from Evaluation Edition to Developer Edition as well.

My PASS 2015 Vote

Today I got my annual email from PASS HQ to vote for the Board of Director elections.  I always like to vote for who I think can add value to my favorite IT organization.

Today, I am happy and proud to vote for a new candidate who I know will be a great leader for PASS.  I have known Ryan Adams for years.  I remember meeting him for the first time at the 1st BI SQL Saturday in Dallas.  It’s amazing how much stuff Ryan has accomplished since that day as a volunteer for PASS.

The reason why I am voting for Ryan is because he has already done the work I would expect from a PASS Board of Director.  He is the example for what a Regional Mentor should be.  I would know as I was his co-RM. Ryan took  loose requirements where very little is required and make sure his region is successful.  Ryan also manages the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter and created the Performance Palooza that keeps growing every year. In his free time, he also helps out with the Dallas SQL Saturdays and is also on the board of directors for the Dallas User Group.

I look forward to seeing Ryan on the Board of Directors. It’s amazing how much he gives to the community without ever expecting anything back!

8 Hours of SQL Server Performance Training This Week!

Check out the annual Performance Palooza hosted by the Performance Virtual Chapter on July 23rd, 2015.  This is a virtual online event open to the public and it’s absolutely free.  We’ll have 8 back to back sessions with start times from 10am to 5pm Central Time.

I am honored to be selected to speak and kick off the event.  I think you will love the other sessions too. Check them all out below.


Central Time Speaker Topic
10am John Sterrett Make Your SQL Server Queries Go Faster
11am Warner Chaves Building High Performance SQL Servers Virtual Machines on AWS and Azure
12pm Andy Galbraith Performing a SQL Server Health Check
1pm Matan Yungman Columstore Indexes – Questions and Answers
2pm Neil Hambly Performance Troubleshooting Using DMVs
3pm Tim Mitchell Maximizing SSIS Package Performance
4pm Trayce Jordan Troubleshooting Seconday Replica Latency
5pm Mike Fal SQL Server Benchmarking: The Powershell Speedometer

SQL Saturday Austin is looking for Pre-con Speakers

In January we the Austin SQL Server User Group had a blast putting on SQL Saturday #361. We had so much fun we wanted to do it again on January 30th 2016.  We are currently looking for both regular speakers and also pre-con speakers.  If you would be interested in speaking the call for abstracts is open until November 15th.

If you are interested in giving an all-day paid session on Friday, January 29th 2016 please send your abstracts and marketing plans to promote the event to sqlsaturday461 @ We plan to have selected pre-cons announced by the end of July.

Developers Make Your SQL Server Queries Go Faster!

Being that today is my birthday I thought I would share a nice gift to everyone who follows my blog. Below is a free link to a recorded video of one of my latest presentations that goes over multiple SQL Server developer anti-patterns I see repeated over and over again in the field. Most of these are patterns that any IT professionals can identify and fix just by identifying the pattern and changing the pattern to another one shown in the video that is optimizer friendly.  I promise no brain surgery is required 😉

Make Your SQL Server Queries Go Faster

I hope you enjoy the hour long video on making your SQL Server queries go faster!

Bonus Material

If you want to play along feel free to download the sample scripts.  If you want to learn more about being a proactive performance tuner check out my root cause performance analysis blog series which includes my What Is Running Script, Disk LatencyWait Stats monitor processes and more..

May 2015 SQL Server Speaker of the Month

I was honored this morning to see that I was selected by Grant Fritchey ( blog | twitter) as the Speaker of the Month for May 2015.  It feels great to be

May 2015 Speaker of the Month

May 2015 Speaker of the Month

acknowledged by your peers.  Some people might think I am crazy to spend my own money on travel to deliver 30 SQL Server sessions over the past year and they might be right. With that said, every time I attend SQL Saturdays, Virtual Chapters, and User Group meetings I always learn something. I am blessed to be in a community that gives me the opportunity to connect, share and learn.

The following are some upcoming speaking engagements. If you are attending any of these events I look forward to seeing you.

Kansas City Developers Conference
IT/Dev Connection
Austin SQL Server User Group
SQL Saturday Pittsburgh (Assuming I get Selected)



Converting identifiers into SQL Server table variables in Management Studio

If I had a nickel for every time someone gave me a list of identifiers and asked me to pull a result set for them I would be a very wealthy man. Over the years this is an endless request. I used to use several different tools like excel for example to convert the list of identifiers into SQL Statements. I would then use set based logic to complete my task inside SQL Server.

Being a SQL Server Database Administrator I like to use one consistent tool for working with queries. One day I noticed an interesting feature inside of the search and replace functionality inside Management Studio. I could utilize regular expression as a tool in my tool belt for manipulating text inside of SQL Server Management Studio. This gave me the functionality to stay within my preferred tool for doing SQL Server development work.

If you want to see how you can quickly manipulate the identifiers and convert them into table variable check out the three minute video below.

Microsoft BI Days in Texas (Recap)

This week I had the pleasure to join  Mark Moore my local SQL Server TSP in Austin to deliver two separate events in Austin and San Antonio to help get people up to speed on some of the Self-Service BI tools included in the Microsoft stack. I had a great time connecting, sharing and learning with new friends.

The following are some links I wanted to share on PowerBI and PowerPivot that I talked about during my session.

PowerPivot for DBAs (Slide Deck) ->

Dallas BI Edition SQL Saturday on May 2nd ->

Channel 9 PowerPivot Free Videos ->

Channel 9 PowerBI Free Videos ->

SQLPASS Virtual Chapters ->

Business Analytics Virtual Chapter ->

Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter ->

Austin SQL Server User Group ->

San Antonio SQL Server User Group ->