Daily Coping 6 May 2021

I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag.

Today’s tip is to take a 5-10 minutes break today and do something fun.

I take some breaks often during work, but usually they’re to go cook or do laundry or exercise. I have sometimes done something distracting, like watch my wife work, but not often do I do something fun.

There was a time I played guitar for a few minutes, or tried to learn some new song, but I have gotten away from that.

Yesterday I decided to get back to that, and stopped work mid-morning after a few meetings. I didn’t have anything pressing, so I went and got my guitar, put on a couple songs and just played along. I don’t do that often enough, having fun, ignoring my mistakes, and just enjoying the time away from work.

Reminder: tomorrow is the WIT Data Platform Mental Health and Wellness Day. I’m speaking, and if you want a few minutes to hear how others cope or deal with life, register and join us.

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Powershell Practice with a War Game

I attended part of the recent PowerShell + DevOps summit, and one of the sessions was from Fernando Tomlinson (@wired_pulse and @underthewire_ps) on incident response. He talked about a number of things, but one was his work at UnderTheWire.tech, where there are PowerShell training items.

One section here is on War Games. These are challenges, where you need to use PowerShell to progress through the levels of the game. It’s a chance to practice some knowledge, or maybe look things up and learn. I decided to try one of these.


The first war game is Century. Here you join a Slack server to get credentials, and it’s also where you can ask for help. Once you join, you have an initial set of credentials to connect to a host through SSH. If you’ve never done this, it’s a chance to learn.

For me, I knew Win10 had added this, and I hadn’t actually installed PuTTy on this machine, so I tried this:

ssh century1@century.underthewire.tech

This prompted me for a password, which I had from Slack. From here, I needed to go through the next step in the wargame. In this case, the 1st level looked like this:

2021-04-27 16_06_17-Century 1 – UTW

Easy enough, I need information on PowerShell that is installed. If you know how to do this (I did), it’s easy. I copied the build number, and then used “exit” to disconnect. I opened a new SSH connection, with the century2 user and the build number as the password.

It worked, and I continued through the challenge.


This was an interesting test of how to use PowerShell. I don’t do a lot of desktop admin type stuff, so I had to look up some items. I had to type carefully (or copy/paste carefully) and read. For example, one item said to look in a folder for a file, but I was looking at the list of items in the root, not as folders. Slightly embarrassed myself in asking for help on this one.

Overall, these weren’t too hard, but I enjoyed the process of working through the game and learning something new. Not a bad way to play with some PoSh.

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Cloud Database Growth

The growth of the cloud is exploding overall, with all of the major vendors showing growing lots of revenue growth. Not all of them are profitable, but they are growing. This shows that customers want to use the cloud, and more of them are migrating all the time.

I do think that databases are likely migrated less than many other services, though their use is increasing. Plenty of organizations would like to offload some of the overhead of owning and managing hardware, which may be one reason why the growth of IaaS in the cloud is one of the more popular options.

For those databases that are being used in the cloud, can you guess which ones have the fastest growing usage? Since this is a primarily a SQL Server-based site, you might guess Azure SQL Database, and you’d be close. It’s one of the fastest growing, edged out by PostgreSQL.  That’s one reason we’ve been publishing some PostgreSQL articles; it’s very popular and being used in many organizations that also have SQL Server.

While we know we can build cheaper systems on premises, and we can better control, or at least predict, performance, the cloud is attractive to many businesses. It’s not perfect, but it is an option that you should be able to knowledgeably talk about when someone brings it up. That means you need to learn a bit about how it works, the costs, the performance, and the differences with an on-premises system. The options change all the time, so don’t rely on your knowledge of the cloud from a few years ago or hearsay. Spend some time asking questions of people using the cloud today.

You also might consider using VMs if someone wants to migrate to the cloud, as the system will appear to be very similar to the way your on-premises instance runs. The hardware setup is different, and you need to learn about the differences in the hardware, especially how you connect disks and their performance. 

Knowledge is important, and for many of us, we are looked at as those with knowledge about these different platforms and technologies. That means we need to spend some time learning, and likely a bit practicing to understand the impact so that we can present a good argument about when it may or may not be appropriate to use a cloud database.

Steve Jones

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Daily Coping 5 May 2021

I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag. 

Today’s tip is to walk a different path outside today.

You could take this literally or figuratively today. Maybe you want to change the way your life goes today, but for me, this was a literal new path.

When I walk, it’s usually a specific path like to the mailbox or using a trail near the house. Today I decided to try something different. I don’t walk the property enough, but I took the dogs and made a loop around, checking on fence, and just enjoying a different environment in life today.

I do try this figuratively as well, thinking about our outside life here from my wife’s perspective. How she looks at horses and our property, the things she’s concerned about. I try to put myself in her place, to better understand why she does some things and what’s important.

It helps me cope by not focusing on my issues.

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