Monday, November 21, 2022

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 11-14-2022 Live! 360

 Hello Dear Reader!  Last week was a week we have been building towards since the launch of Tales from the Field.  My favorite conference every single year, Live! 360.  Live! 360 is 5 conferences in one.    TechMentor, Visual Studio Live, Artificial Intelligence Live, Cloud & Containers Live, & SQL Server Live.  

Much like the SQL community became the Microsoft Azure Data Community SQL Server Live is largely about the Data Community as a whole with sessions on Synapse, COSMOS, Azure Arc Data Services, SQL Server 2022, Power BI, and many other topics. 

My favorite part about this conference is the organizers and the people who attend.  Of course, a big bonus is I get to see friends of my and other Microsoft colleagues, and that is always incredible.  But these organizers are something else.  Everyone I get to come here immediately understands how great they are to work with, what an amazing job they do taking care of the attendees, the speakers, & the staff involved.  I've been presenting at Live! 360 since 2012 at the first SQL Live event.  The organizers have been the same this whole time.  They are great people, that you just love to work with.

The audience at Live! 360 is also different than what I find at most community events.  This is a much more developer & enterprise customer centric conference, and it forces you to look outside of the traditional DBA events.  I started my technical life as a developer, and it is a chance to stretch my old technical skills.

This year I had some fun and created several videos where I was walking up each day.  I will post those soon, and we have a big surprise for you this week when we will drop a whole lot of Live! 360 content on Thanksgiving Day!

"So Balls", you say, "When do we get to the wrap up?"

I hear you Dear Reader. Away we go!

SUNDAY 11-13-2022

This was a great event.  My colleagues Josh Luedeman (@JoshLuedeman | Twitter), Buck Woody (@BuckWoodyMSFT | Twitter), & myself started the week by delivering our Hands on SQL Server Ground to Cloud workshop on Sunday!  

If you didn't make it and would like to take the course, I have good news for you.  The whole SQL Server Ground to Cloud course is posted on GitHub and you can access it here!

TUESDAY 11-15-2022

"WHOA, WHOA, WHOA BALLS!", you say.  "What happened to Monday?". 

I was busy working with customers and setting up the Microsoft Booth for the conference on Monday Dear Reader.  There were great pre-con's underway by Davide Mauri (@mauridb | Twitter), Thomas LaRock (@SQLRockstar | Twitter), Karen Lopez (@DataChick | Twitter), and many more.  We had a meet and great with speakers and attendees, dinner, then bed, because we had to be up early for the keynote!

Tuesday kicked off with a Keynote by Henk Boelman (@hboelman| Twitter) and Buck Woody AI for Good - Using the Intelligent Data Platform to Create Assistive AI.

During the keynote Buck started off by showing how he assisted the owner of a grocery store with the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform.  We used Azure Synapse Link for Azure SQL Database to create a seamless workflow migrating OLTP data to our data warehouse. Buck then used Power BI in an Azure Synapse Analytics Workspace to generate reports going against the real time data.

That's great Henk replied.  Buck helped the seller.  Henk wanted to empower the shopper.  He gave an example of someone with sight impairment.  He show how to train a voice assistant, which was amazing and a little scary.  He could then use that voice assistant, using his voice, to say anything he typed.

He then DELETED HIS DEMO TO SHOW US HOW TO REBUILD IT!! Talk about high stakes.  I don't think Buck will complain about me typing in a demo again..... actually he will.  He has.  He has complained about me typing in a demo. 

Henk then used ML Flow to train a synaptic model that could verify and describe items using a camera.  He then created a work flow using both models so he could scan an item and use his voice assistant to read the contents.  In this case a can of Sprite.  It not only read the can, it read out the calories and ingredients!

But that's not all.  Tuesday also had our LIVE SHOW!  Yes, we were live from Live! 360 with special guest's Thomas Larock & Buck Woody!

I Hosted!!! Want to see who won? the video!

WEDNESDAY 11-16-2022

Wednesday started off with in a really nice way.  There's this really great guy on the other side of the Pond named Hugo Kornelis (@Hugo_Kornelis| Twitter).  Hugo is battling a really tough disease.  He has blogged about it prolifically. He's a good man.  He's a good friend.  We all want him to get better.  Some months ago another of his very good friends reached out to many of us, and we all spread the word behind the scenes and we all got t-shirts that said #TeamHugo.  At our conference and the PASS Summit out in Seattle, many people wore a shirt and took pictures sending our love to Hugo on Wednesday.

My friend Ginger Grant (@DestertIsleSQL | Twitter) and I had our picture taken by Buck supporting our friend. Like I said really nice way to start off the day.

The majority of Wednesday was spent working in the Microsoft Booth and interviewing some people for this Thursday's show!  Davide, Karen, and Alan Hirt (@SQLHA | Twitter) all amazing people in the own right, sat down with me for interviews.  Lunch was the Bird's of a Feather luncheon where we sit with attendees and talk about anything they want to discuss.  I had a full table and we had a lot of great discussions.  Some performance tuning, some Azure related, some analytics, some Azure Security and Azure Policy based questions.

At the end of the day we had a quick dinner out, before heading back to the dessert luau.

At this luau Tom had insisted one of his co-workers go up and participate in the show.  She repaid him by ensuring he would have to go up later.  When his name was called, I could see him shrinking away.  He clearly wanted to pull his hat down, and step further in the shadows so he would not have to go on stage.  It was apparent.  He really wanted this to pass over.

So I did what any good.... no scratch that, any truly great friend would do.

I held my hand up high and yelled at the top of my lungs, "HE'S RIGHT HERE!  THOMAS LAROCK IS RIGHT HERE! IT'S OK I FOUND HIM."

Naturally, when he took the stage the next name called could not be found.  The man on stage said he needed someone.  Thomas leaned over and gave him a name.  "BRADLEY BALL", the man bellowed.

I looked at Josh shrugged and said, "Yep.  Seems fair.", and walked up to the stage.  After that it was time to head back to the hotel room because I had to present at 8 am.  Oh, if you want to see what happened, watch the video. 

THURSDAY 11-17-2022

First session of the day was me presenting Indexing Internals for Developers & DBA's.  The audience was amazing.  We had almost 100 people in the room.  Great crowd, great feedback, really wonderful follow up questions and conversations with attendees.  My thanks to them, without attendees showing up in the room speakers cannot do what we do.  Over half of my audience was developers, and I love it when we discuss concepts.

SQL Server is an application.  It is written by developers.  It is used by DBA's.  We live it we breath it, but we should never forget it is an application.  Developers & DBA's must work hand in hand to exchange knowledge in order to be successful in any enterprise.  The best places I've ever worked have great interpersonal relationships that span IT teams.  They have to.  We all depend on one another. 

Next up was the SQL Server Live! Panel Discussion: Azure Cloud Migration Discussion. Buck, Karen, Alan (filling in for Ginger), and myself were on the panel and Thomas was our host. This was a great Q & A with the audience were they asked us questions and we gave them answers. There were lot's
of great questions from "how do I convince my boss to move to Azure", "does the fact that we are using M365 help us in a migration", to "what are the gotcha's", "what mistakes have you seen made", "what are the best strategies" were asked.  Two people working for Microsoft PG's and two Microsoft Data Platform MVP's with over 25 years of being MVP's did our best to give out the answers.

Once again, amazing attendees!

Next up I presented Azure Synapse Serverless Pools: POLARIS DEEP DIVE.  I love this session.  This is a fun one where we discuss the architectural differences between Dedicated Pools and Serverless Pools.  I show a bunch of demos, the last is a customized SQL Stress test against two external tables hitting the same object to show the concurrency scale of the Polaris engine on Serverless Pools. 

Then we talk about some architecture patterns.  I love giving this talk to user groups or conferences.  Serverless Pools are one of my favorite new products to use in Azure Synapse. I wish I got a picture of the room and the great audience.  Alas I did not, I was busy talking, answering questions, and having a
good time with the crowd and I forgot to take a picture.

The final session of the day was the NEXT? LIVE! 360 Networking Event.  Another event were we the speakers were 1:1 with the audience.  Any attendee who wanted to come and ask us questions could.  Questions we received!  We had questions on data modeling, secure data centers, replication, SQL Server 2022 and why we should upgrade from SQL 2019, tips on migrating from SQL 2012 to 2022 including a discussion on how to use the Query Data Store, and more.

Here's a quick video summarizing the day!

All of that and we also had the Tales from the Field Community Round Table!! We recorded this last week because Josh and I were both delivering sessions during our normal broadcast time.  Great discussion up front about Thanksgiving & Time travel.

Of course, OUTSTANDING content provided to the community from:


So you want to talk at conferences? This is what its like.  by Todd Motto Twitter @toddmotto


Pro SQL Server 2022 Wait Statistics Book by Thomas LaRock Twitter @SQLRockstar


Azure Purview Deployment Checklist by Zeinab Mokhtarian 


PowerBI Row Level Security by Thomas LeBlanc Twitter @TheSmilingDBA


Introducing the SQL Server 2022 blog series - Microsoft SQL Server Blog by Bob Ward Twitter @bobwardms


Synapse Spark Delta Time Travel by Liliam Leme Twitter @LemeLiliam


Azure Stream Analytics releases slew of improvements at Ignite 2022: Output to Delta Lake and more!  by Ajeta Singhal Twitter @ajeta_singhal


Four Different ways to Incorporate Azure Synapse and PowerBI  by Ginger Grant Twitter @DesertIsleSQL


Best Thanksgiving Deals by Twitter @theblackfriday


Performance Tuning Table Visuals With Filters Applied In Power BI by Chris Webb Twitter @cwebb_bi


Optimize your Stream Analytics job’s performance using Job Diagram Simulator by Alex Lin


DAX Date Calculations Cheat Sheet by Arthur Graus Twitter @ArthurGraus


This was an amazing week.  A busy week.  A week to see old friends, make new ones, and help people learn. 

Remember this week there are no Live Tales from the Field shows, HOWEVER we WILL DROP NEW CONTENT on Tuesday & Thursday just for you!

As always Dear Reader, I hope you have a happy holiday weekend if you celebrate, as always Thank You for stopping by.



Monday, November 14, 2022

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 11-07-2022 Run Disney, Gareth, & Veteran's Day

 Hello Dear Reader!  Last week I was fresh off of finishing the Run Dinsey 5K, 10K, & Food and Wine Half Marathon.  My good friend Josh Luedeman (@JoshLuedeman | Twitter), his wife Lisa, and my wife Sue all did the 5K together.

The 5K was particularly meaningful to me.  

My dear friend Gareth Swanepoel and I once did the Princess 5K together.  Gareth was famously known throughout the Microsoft Data Community.  

If you knew him, you have only to close your eyes to see his beaming smile and hear his booming laughter.  Gareth was the one who got me to start running in the first place.  

Gareth didn't do anything half way.  So when we were set to run the race he insisted we dress up for the occasion!  He dressed as Donald Duck, with a tutu that had lights interlaced inside of it.  To match him, I dressed as Mickey Mouse complete with black tutu that had lights as well.

We were supposed to walk, but the excitement got to me.  I had trained for this and was not yet running longer races and I ran off.  I then ran back, in the end I completed a 7K instead of the mere 5K we had signed up for.  I was worried I had upset him by running off, instead we laughed and he loved the progress I had made.  In the end we finished how we started.  Together.

Josh & I had signed up, and as we walked the expo floor I saw tutu's and better yet! Sparkly headbands!  I bellowed out, "OH WE ARE DOING THIS"!

Josh, to his credit, was a fantastic sport.  While these tutu's did not light up, we found tutu's that matched our jerseys.  To make it even more special Gareth's sister Tessa had given me two of Gareth's shirts.  A rugby jersey that bore his name and his favoirte Rugby team, which I wore.  Another was his Captain America Sharks jersey which was given to Josh and he wore.  Both of those shirts have special significance outside of just them belonging to Gareth.  Gareth wore these multiple times around us and for special occasions.  

So we two friends started out the weekend, in tribute to our dear friend and we finished the way we started.  Together. 

"So Balls", you say, "I miss him too."

Well said Dear Reader.  Well said.  

On to the show. 

TUESDAY 11-8-2022

On the Tuesday show we had Andrew Nathan (@AndrewNathan05 | Twitter) Principal Engineering Manager from the Azure FastTrack Infrastructure team.  Andrew is also a Veteran, and he is very active in Veteran's organizations within Microsoft.  Andrew shared with us his experience transitioning from the Military to Microsoft.  

His perspective is one that we have encountered many times with former and current Military members.  Operational excelence is the standard operating procedures.  Many veterans do not realize that the skill set they have translates to a career in technology and in IT Security. It was a fantastic conversation, and it will lead to many more conversations we have with Andrew in the future.

Neeraj was the host this week, I WASN'T DISQUALIFIED!!! I won!  So I am the host this week at Live 360!

THURSDAY 11-10-2022

Thursday is Community Round Table day!  We had a call for content this week and recieved some great submissions. 

Here are the links that we covered:


Data Security Explained: Challenges and Solutions By Mike Tierney Twitter @Netwrix


Data Science For Power BI Developers  By Sandeep Pawar Twitter @PawarBI


Zero Trust Security for IoT  by Arjmand Samuel Twitter @arjmandsamuel


  Configure Bicep code scanning in GitHub with Microsoft Defender for DevOps  By Will Velida Twitter @Willvelida


Veterans in Tech: Transitioning From Service into the Tech Industry By Kristen Capuzzo Twitter @KCapuzzo @QwasarSV


Mastering DP-500 Exam: Querying JSON Data in Serverless SQL Pools  By Andy Cutler Twitter @MrAndyCutler


Microsoft Defender for IoT Ninja Training   By Kim Wall


  Fun with KQL - Arg_Max and Arg_Min By Robert Cain Twitter @ArcaneCode


Krebs on Security – In-depth security news and investigation By Brian Krebs Twitter @briankrebs 


Database Projects – Merging changes By Olivier Van Steenlandt Twitter @Oli_Vsteenlandt


DevOps Security Workbook By George Wilburn 


  Granular Cost Management for Azure Data Factory  By Koen Verbeeck Twitter @Ko_Ver


The week went well.  I have the medals at home, but I realized that I did not take a picture of the medals themselves.  

As I type this I am sitting in our pre-con at Live 360!  

So here's a quick picture of me with the medals after the race.

A quick programing note, we are NOT doing Live shows the week of Thanksgiving.  

We are taking some time off to spend with our families and we hope Dear Reader, that you too have some time off planned.

HOWEVER, we do have NEW content that will drop Tuesday at 1 pm and Thanksgiving Day at 1 pm!  

Tuesday will be technical content dealing with ACID and Transaction Isolation Levels within SQL Server, Thursday will be a really fun suprise!

We hope you will check out the content, but most importantly we hope you have a great week with your family!  As always Dear Reader, Thank you for stopping by.



Monday, November 7, 2022

Tales From The Field Weekly Wrap Up for the Week of 10-31-2022

 Hello Dear Reader!  Last week was Halloween and I hope you all had a fantastic time.  Halloween has long been my favorite holiday.  The cost of participation is imagination, activity, or a couple of bags of candy.  Anyone can do it.  It doesn't hurt that my daughter's birthday is on Halloween which makes it extra special!!

This we had the house decorated, table set up outside to give out candy to the neighborhood kids, and my kiddos were old enough that none of them needed me to walk them around to other houses.  This left me, for the first time in at least 19 years, sitting outside giving out candy.

I learned a few things. First, we need a lot more fans.  Fans outside in Florida will create a cross section of air that will keep mosquitoes away.  It is not so much for the temperature, although it was close to 90 degrees.

Second, it is possible to get stung by so many mosquitoes that you have an allergic reaction. To mosquito bites that led to a wonderful 3 am *asthma attack and hive like welts appeared on parts of my body..... that were covered in clothing and inaccessible to mosquitoes. 

*Not to worry though, as a lifelong asthmatic I had my rescue and daily use inhalers.  All that happened was I woke up, used them, made myself a cup of tea, watched RRR while my body relaxed, and my breathing returned to normal*

Third, and most important, I learned that maybe I just stay inside and give out candy next year.

"So Balls", you say, "what happened on the show?"

Right you are Dear Reader, keeping me on track!  On to the show!


On Tuesday we had Pam Lahoud (Twitter | @SQLGoddess) Principal Program Manager from the Azure SQL Virtual Machine team as our special guest.  Pam talked with us about some of the really cool announcements they have coming up at the PASS Summit. 

We also talked about the IOPs advancements that have been made and are coming to Azure SQL Virtual Machines!!  I wore a Spider-man costume.  Our good friend Dan Taylor (Twitter | @DBABulldog) guest hosted for Andres Padilla (Twitter | @NodeStreamio) as he will be out for the next few Tuesday shows.  Our topic was a spooky topic for Halloween, technology fails!  We had some great stories talking about epic failures, how we recover, stay calm, and most importantly learn from failure. 

Speaking of failure, I was disqualified! AGAIN! Neeraj Jhaveri (Twitter | @Neeraj_Jhaveri) & Josh Luedeman (Twitter | @JoshLuedeman) fought for the win.  Neeraj won the show!  Congratulations Neeraj!!  Neeraj will be the host and pick the topic for our show on Tuesday.


On our Thursday show we had 5 time Microsoft Data Platform MVP Matt Gordon (Twitter | @SQLatSpeed) on our Community Round Table.

We discussed Matt's adventures as a race car driver, his new book Pro Database Migration to Azure: Data Modernization for the Enterprise, and some of his favorite community content.  

Here are the links that we covered:


TIME's 20 Most Successful Technology Failures of All Time | Time  by LISA EADICICCO , MATT PECKHAM , JOHN PATRICK PULLEN AND ALEX FITZPATRICK Twitter @mattpeckham, @LisaEadicicco, @jppullen


Resurfaced tale details how Toy Story 2 was saved after being deleted – twice  by Ellie Harrison Twitter @Ellie_Harrison


It's Time to Go Passwordless - Here's How  by Joey D'Antoni Twitter @jdanton


Demystifying Machine Learning for Industrial IoT applications  by Jomit Vahela Twitter @jomit


Converting Azure UTC DateTime to User Defined Locale and DateTime  by Jamie Maguire Twitter @jamie_maguire1


The biggest technology failures of 2020  Antonio Regalado Twitter @antonioregalado


SQLskills SQL101: Dealing with SQL Server corruption by Paul Randal Twitter @PaulRandal


T-SQL Tuesday #148: Just Keep Swimming by Matt Gordon Twitter @sqlatspeed


Taking Azure Arc and Kubernetes to the Edge!  by Jason Farmer


The 10 Biggest 21st Century Tech Failures by Katie Rees Twitter @Vocal_Creators


Log Shipping - Pre-Stage Database backups with dbatools  by Jess Pomfret Twitter @jpomfret


Using Azure Site Recovery for VM DR, and a SQL Managed Instance Failover Group by Denny Cherry Twitter @MrDenny


GitHub for Ben Wilkinson by Ben Wilkinson Twitter @brwilkinson


IoT Edge v1.1 EoL: What does that mean for me?  by Ian Banham


SQLServerFast By Hugo by Twitter @hugo_kornelis

A big shout out with a lot of love to Hugo!


Another week is spread out before us, and it looks to be a really great one.  We hope that you have a wonderful week.  Don't forget our shows are live on Tuesday & Thursday this week at our Tales from the Field Youtube channel at 1 pm EST.

We hope to see you there.  As always Dear Reader, thank you for stopping by.