Attending our SQLBits Pre-Con? Prepare Your Laptop Now.


If you’re joining Erik & me at our SQLBits precon, Expert Performance Tuning for SQL Server 2016 & 2017, you’ll be able to follow along with the demos on your laptop. We’re going to be showing you some common and not-so-common query anti-patterns, and explaining how they’re easier to solve with SQL 2016 & 2017.

We’re also giving you two workloads to troubleshoot: an easy set, where the queries are named with the anti-patterns they exhibit, and a not-so-easy set – where you have to figure out the problems yourself. You can work through these labs as we talk about the anti-patterns in class, and you can continue working through ’em after the conference.

To prep, here’s what you need – and we’ll also distribute USB drives with this stuff before class, but if you’ve already got it done, then you’ll be able to network with us & the other attendees before class starts:

SQL Server 2016 with Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2017 with Cumulative Update 3 – these two updates add a lot of performance tuning capabilities, and our demos are going to flat-out require those patches. If you’re not patched, the demos simply won’t work.

SSMS 17.4 – Microsoft’s been adding all kinds of goodies in SSMS, too.

StackOverflow2010 (1GB zip) – this is a scaled-down version of the StackOverflow public data dump. It has exactly the same schema, but it only has data from the first few years of Stack (2008-2010), so it’s only 10GB in size. (You could actually follow along with the full-sized >100GB version too if you had a really beefy laptop, but it will take much longer for your indexes & queries to finish, so we’re using the smaller version for the live classes.). Remember to bump the compatibility level up to whichever version you’re following along on.

SQLQueryStress – open source load test app that lets you run lots of queries at once. If you’d like to learn more about it, here’s how I use it, and here’s the Github repo. It’s maintained by @ErikEJ, a Data Platform MVP from Denmark who’s definitely worth a Twitter follow.

Our First Responder Kit – download & install our scripts. Optionally, if you want to use the Power BI Dashboard for DBAs, then you’ll also need to install the Power BI Desktop, and set up the sp_BlitzFirst Agent jobs to collect data on your laptop during class. That part really is totally optional.

Join the Slack chat room – in large events, we handle Q&A and attendee chat using the SQL Server community chat. If you’re not already in it, get a free instant invite, and then join the #sqlbits-tuning room.

We’re excited! See you in London. If you can’t make it there, we’ve also got an online version of the course, too.

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • I was hoping to leave my laptop behind so I can really concentrate and take notes. Would you recommend against that, or does either method work with this course?


  • My laptop is running win7 (dont ask), so i cannot install SQL2016/2017 on it. But i have create an SQL Database in Azure and uploaded the StackOverflow2010 db to it.
    Will that work?

    • Henrik – bad news: this class is Expert Performance Tuning for SQL Server 2016 & 2017. Most likely, it’s not going to work. But you can always follow along by watching us onstage, at least! See you there.

      • Ok, I will try to find another solution. See you 🙂

        • Could you use a SQL Server IaaS VM in Azure? It’s only running for a day and they have Dev Edition templated so you’re not picking up the SQL Server license cost.

          • Hi I got a WIN10 + SQL2016 SP1 up an running using a VMWare Workstation….. Played around with Docker but could not get it working….

  • Kevin Harrison
    February 17, 2018 5:35 am

    Many thanks for the info. Looking forward to London!


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