Inspire 2018 is coming! Partners, are you ready?

One great thing that happens annually is the Microsoft Partner conference, titled “Inspire”. This year, it will be held July 15th-19th in Las Vegas.

Sign up SOON, as there is a 300 dollar discount to sign up before June 1st! Go here:

While you are reading: I am in a new role as of March, where I am helping Microsoft Partners. This role is called “ISV Technical Evangelist”. Other types of partners may know this as “Partner Technical Architect”.

What does that mean? Especially for ISVs?
(Webinar here:

I am charged with helping recruit independent software vendors, or assist ISVs in their desire to modernize and improve their offerings.

The role is technical, and broad. I cover all of Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Windows. Much of the focus is on Azure.

I also get to pull in deep dive resources, who are Cloud Solution Architects, to help with specific projects that are aligned to the Partner’s goals for sellable solutions.

Part of this role is being involved also on the business side of my ISV portfolio.  I engaged with Microsoft Partner Development Managers, who deal with more business-side activities, like co-selling activities, publishing in our Azure Marketplace, and the like.

Together, we help our partners bring their solutions to market.

Please continue to give me feedback on what you’d like to see here. Thank you!

p.s. Microsoft is always hiring. I am happy to help you navigate what the roles mean from my standpoint. Since I am on my third field role at Microsoft (Previously, Premier Field Engineer and Technical Pre Sales), this might be helpful. Please look here: and then hit me up on Twitter! @gwalters69


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Troubleshooting SQL Server on-premises Performance

Are you trying to figure out if you have SQL Server performance issues?

Is your server overloaded?

There are free tools to help you diagnose this.  Generally, I would tell you to get a support case opened, but you can do some diagnosis yourself if you wish.

Do not run in production, unless directed to by a Microsoft Support Engineer, and permitted by your organization.

The built in collection tool is called SQLDiag. The configuration tool for it is “DiagManager”.

“The SQLdiag utility is a general purpose diagnostics collection utility that can be run as a console application or as a service. You can use SQLdiag to collect logs and data files from SQL Server and other types of servers, and use it to monitor your servers over time or troubleshoot specific problems with your servers. SQLdiag is intended to expedite and simplify diagnostic information gathering for Microsoft Customer Support Services.”

DiagManager will help configure SQLDiag to collect appropriate data to troubleshoot any performance issues.

Do not run in production, because it will slow it down.

“Pssdiag/Sqldiag Manager is a graphic interface that provides customization capabilities to collect data for SQL Server using sqldiag collector engine. The data collected can be used by SQL Nexus tool which help you troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems. This is the same tool Microsoft SQL Server support engineers use to for data collection to troubleshoot customer’s performance problems.”

How to run the tool, and collect into the output folder is detailed here.

Please zip and return the output folder to Microsoft support for further analysis.

The further analysis Microsoft does may include the following tools.  Microsoft will do the analysis, but feel free to play with these tools as well.

SQL Nexus reads output of SQLDiag to show performance issues.

PAL is a tool to read perfmon files and compare against known good metrics.

I would encourage anyone doing this performance troubleshooting to test on a test system.  Do not run in production, unless directed to by a Microsoft Support Engineer, and permitted by your organization.

Posted in Data, SQL Server | Leave a comment

Developer tools and training for SQL Server, Mobile Development, and cross platform. Where are they?

Are you a developer, or wish to become one?  Maybe you want to learn how to access data with modern tools.

The following are a set of links to free tools and training that can help you get started around data, mobile, and cloud.

At a high level, Microsoft has developed courseware that you can use for free:

There are Immersion projects, to get your feet wet.

The Microsoft parent site for SQL Server developers is here:

As an IDE, Visual Studio is superior.  Also Visual Studio Code is now available on any platform:

Visual Studio has plugins for different areas of development.  One area is Xamarin (Cross platform mobile)

More than just a developer IDE, Developer Essentials gets you free Azure cloud usage, and other stuff.

Finally, is a fantastic resource, with free training from many schools as well as Microsoft professional training. You only pay if you want a verified certificate. Auditing courses is free!

Hopefully these will help you get started on your journey of data and/or mobile development.


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Azure DataFest! March 1st, Burlington MA!

On March 1st, there will be an event, “Azure DataFest”, all day from 9-5 at Microsoft’s office at 5 wayside road, Burlington, MA.

If you wish to attend, please go here. We are charging 22 dollars for this event plus tax:

Thanks to the following user groups, who are responsible for helping put this event together. Please consider going to get connected to these great groups!

New England SQL Server User Group

Boston SQL Server User Group

North of Boston Azure User Group

Boston Azure User Group

Boston BI User Group

Rhode Island SQL Server User Group

Rhode Island BI User Group

Boston .NET User Group

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Homage to the DBA

To my Database Administrator friends… #Parody #Humor

“The DBA Rules” sung to the tune of “The Mob Rules” by black sabbath.

Oh come on
Restrict the database and tell the people that something's coming to call
Performance and slowness are taking a bite from the BI users, oh
You've nothing to say
They're breaking away
If you listen to Data
The DBA rules
The DBA rules
Kill the SPID and you'll be thanked, the end is always the same
Play with indexes, you burn your fingers and lose your hold of the trace, oh
It's over, it's done
The transaction began
If you listen to Data
The DBA rules
You've nothing to say
Oh, they're breaking away
If you listen to Data
Break the rebuild and stop the autogrow, the storage is overrun
Just remember it might start growing and take you right back around
You're all Data, Insights, Performance, Throughput
The DBA rules
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Upgrading to SQL 2016 (and 2017) and Windows Server 2016

A lot of engineering work has gone into easing upgrades for SQL Server and Windows at Microsoft. In general, a lot of breaking changes no longer happen especially around the database engine. But what about other components? What about Windows?

Many folks are wondering where to get the documents to help guide them on software upgrades.

I compiled a few links for a support manager in Microsoft, and am sharing them here.  I think this will help you get started.

Public Docs:

What’s new in SQL 2016 (and SQL 2017 is on the left menu)

SQL Release Notes for a bunch of versions

Upgrade to 2016 from 2008R2, 2012, 2014….

“Are you upgrading from SQL 2005?”

Windows Server technical content… 2016, 2012r2, 2012, 2008r2, 2008, 2003

Windows Server installation and upgrade

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SQL Saturday! Albany July 29, 2017 – Come and learn Databases and BI!

Are you a data professional? Promoted into a DBA or BI role?

SQL Saturdays are free training events, put on by volunteers who deliver great content to you, the audience, all around Microsoft SQL Server, and surrounding technologies.

I am speaking at this saturday’s SQL Saturday, and have two major sessions:

Power BI: Architecture and demo

The technology stack can range from the relational engine, to Business Intelligence, Security, and out to adjacent technologies such as Powershell (for scripting), Hadoop and Big Data, and data lakes.
The people who volunteer range from Microsoft MVPs (recognized community contributors) and regular folks like yourself who got bit by the teaching bug.
Please come, and sign up here:
Note: Most of the people who teach at these events are on Twitter, and can be discovered just by searching for PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) or SQL Saturday.
Thanks, and happy learning!
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