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Au Revoir 2016, Bienvenue 2017!

Au Revoir 2016, Bienvenue 2017!

Ca Va! No, I don’t speak French but that never stopped these guys: Foux Da Fa Fa. And this title, as they say in France, has a certain “oh I don’t know what” ring to it.

Sacrebleu I was a busy throughout 2016. Mostly working on… well… mostly the work this blog documents, but also unclogging garbage disposals, driving kids to bus stops, fixing broken things, and filling\emptying wheelbarrows. It seems I barley took the time to look up and look around. Looking back on it now with a bit of the ol’  l’esprit d’escalier, I can see it was clearly an amazing year for me! Here are a few highlights in photos:

Le Grand Teton

In June my friend Dan and I climbed to the summit of the Grand Teton. We had tried this climb quiet a few times in past years, so it was excellent to finally achieve it. I love it there and I want to go back.

tetonsfromgate gtsummitme

Le Labyrinthe

The Maze is one of three districts in Canyon Lands National Park. It has so much great stuff: natural and cultural history, rivers, rocks, and sky. My friend Greg and I loaded up our bikes rode in the 20-or-so miles to set up a base camp for a few days of exploring. I love it there and I want to go back.

memazebygreg gregandpackedbikes


Back to the professional side of things, I had the chance this year to present at the Professional Association of SQL Server. I partnered up with Pinal Dave to deliver a talk on Database Backups in SQL Azure VMs. Pinal is a great guy and I really had fun hanging out with him while we prepped. (Our topic and presentation slowly gelled as we took every opportunity to meet, both in Bangalore IND as well as Seattle USA). The 10am presentation itself went well with Pinal’s exuberance and humor saving us all from falling back to sleep. We ended up with a deadpan\comic dynamic as you might be able to see in the photo. Not sure I’ll ever get the chance to do that again, but if I do I’ll take it.


India 2016

I visited Mumbai and Bangalore India for my second time (last time was 2014). This trip I gave a few classes on Azure to DBA colleagues but just as importantly I had the chance to hang out with awesome people in a really cool country. I love it there and I want to go back.


So, to summarize…


2. OK 2017, LETS GO!

‘Till next time, enjoy every baguette

I’ve got a blank space baby… and it is filled in by my ConfigurationFile.ini

Check this out – the almost last page of a SQL install, Ready to Install. See the configuration file path at the bottom?


Recently I have been doing many SQL installs on Azure VMs. As AOAG ‘nodes’, each install needs to be, basically, the same. There are options for imaging Azure VMs but in this case I don’t have access to the portal. As a time saver I have been using these configuration files.

As I complete the first install with everything set up as required, I copy the configuration file path and then kick off the install. I paste that path into Windows Explorer which opens the .ini file — select all and copy. Next I move to my secondary, or secondaries, and quickly create a new text file on the desktop, paste, and save.

When I fire up the install-able on the secondary, I don’t go to ‘Installation’ as usual, instead I go to ‘Advanced’ and choose ‘Install based on a configuration file’.


Now I have the chance to browse to the .ini config file on the desktop (kinda PITA that it has to be an .ini).


Once that loads I’m off and clicking! Next, next, next, next, next, next, next with Taylor Swift tunes  echoing through the catacombs of my mind. Where necessary, I still need to input passwords, but otherwise all the “blank spaces” are filled in;  feature selections, root directory, shared feature directory, server and engine configuration (e.g. data directories), and so on.

No big deal, but a bit of a time saver when I want a set of SQL Servers to ‘match’ and it helps me to avoid one-off mis-configurations.