New Free Azure and SQL Server 2019 Training from Microsoft

Microsoft Azure

Folks often email me and ask, “Brent, why don’t you do training classes on Azure?” The answer is simple: the products change faster than I can recoup the cost of building the training material. By the time the class gets enough revenue to pay off the downtime for building an Azure (or AWS or Google) training class, the material’s out of date. I’m sure you’ve sat through an online video where you’ve noticed things that are already no longer true.

But there’s a company who CAN afford to constantly build new stuff without charging you for it: Microsoft!

The sqlworkshops Github repo is chock full of courses built by Microsoft names that you’ll probably recognize like Bob Ward and Buck Woody. It’s all open source, and written in a way that you can follow along. Now, granted, that’s not necessarily as good as an instructor-led class, because you’ve gotta teach yourself, but … you don’t have to pay for an instructor, so there’s that.

Their latest course is a one-day workshop called SQL Server 2019 Ground to Cloud, and it covers:

  • What’s new in SQL Server 2019
  • Working with Big Data Clusters
  • SQL Server in Azure – the differences between Azure SQL DB, elastic pools, VMs, etc.
  • Migrating data from SQL Server into Azure
  • Which databases to use for different business requirements

You can download the 219-page workshop PDF and get the PowerPoint slides in the Ground2Cloud Github repo with the class resources. Don’t be fooled by the times listed to complete each module: if you’re doing these classes yourself, they’re going to take you more time, and that’s not a bad thing. Lots of the slides in these presentations are going to prompt you to jump in a different direction and read up on related features & documentation that you want for your own business projects. That’s a good thing: it means this “one-day workshop” is really something you can dive into for several days, or a few weekends.

If you’re a consultant, your clients are probably going to ask you questions that are covered in these workshops. Microsoft *wants* you to be able to present these workshops to your clients to get ’em the answers they want. These workshops aren’t just about empowering your self-paced learning: they’re also about empowering you as a consultant and/or trainer to get the knowledge out there.

And if you like this, you’ll probably like:

It’s all free – you can’t beat that. (I certainly can’t!)

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19 Comments. Leave new

  • Top Tip: Job hunting? Then learn Azure, at least to a level that allows you to converse knowledgeably about it.

    Many sites don’t use it, but are thinking about doing so, and if you know more than the other candidates, you rise up the shortlist. Happened to me a few weeks ago.

    This freebie is too good to ignore.

    • Better yet, learn enough AWS to try and help prevent an organization from making a horrendous mistake to go to azure

      • In what things aws way much better than Azure, just curious, our stack all based on azure and haven’t touched aws before

  • Ouch Keith, give some details behind that statement. If you are going to talk dirt then gives us the facts. Why do you feel AWS is better then Azure?

    • 1. expensive support that is almost entirely useless. I wish I could say I had fewer than 5 total support tickets that ran for more than a month across the 3 clients I regularly work with Azure on, but I can’t. I also wish I could say that support blowing their response time SLA, sometimes on a magnitude of days, was rare and almost unheard of, but I can’t. On multiple occasions, I had come into an AWS environment entirely blind to work a problem and not only did their support deliver, but also took the time to help me navigate an environment I had never seen before, show me how to use their available diagnostic tools and send me other tertiary documentation that may be of interest. This is above and beyond what I would expect, but that is the competition.

      2. MANY outages lasting more than a day. This can’t be chalked up to “stuff happens.” “Stuff happens,” on rare occasions, like what happened in the AWS virginia datacenter a few years ago. I have experienced two outages now where MS over-provisioned the capacity of their datacenter, leading to 2 and 4 core virtual machines not being able to boot without making the attempt a dozen or more times. The botched spectre and meltdown zero day patches that MS pushed out all at once, in spite of having had the patches for a few weeks before the exploits were announced, interfered with dozens of virtual machines that were kept running through the patches, and caused provisioning problems for the machines that automatically shut down at night while they fought to get resources as millions of virtual machines and hosts reboot all at the same time. I have absolutely zero problems with them pushing the patch out that quickly given the gravity of those exploits. I do have a problem for them holding on to them when they could have started staggering them in before the exploit was disclosed. there was another 30ish hour outage just in the last month or so that took down nearly an entire network. It’s blatantly obvious Azure’s failure domains are entirely too large, and this is an incredibly basic architecture convention that isn’t new.

      3. Launching incomplete products. New products and product updates are commonly not well tested, even after they have been promoted from preview to general release. MABS is an ongoing, veritable disaster. It took them more than a year for them to get their IPS/IDS/Proxy/Load balancer appliance (one of the application gateways) to where it wouldn’t take 2 hours to save a config. Many of their products also feature incomplete documentation that may stay incomplete for months upon months. Documentation trailing a little bit is ok, but waiting 6 or more months is not. Documentation that is just completely incorrect is uncommon, but seems to happen more with Azure than anything else. Those are extreme amounts of fun. Especially when you need to figure what really is going on, (contrary to the incorrect documentation), and the json file for whatever service you are working on is hundreds of pages long.

      I have other issues with AWS, but these are the main ones. Performance is also just better in AWS. I don’t care what any third-party says. When they compare an instance from AWS and one from Azure that they declare synonymous for similar cost, I promise you, that when the ‘synonymous’ Azure instance has 75% less disk i/o, or strict limitations on storage type, or stricter limitations on number of volumes, or a crappy network stack, they are in no way synonymous.

      AWS has problems. Their management tools are clunky, some of their products miss key features that seem would be obvious to include, their product selection is absolutely massive and sort of a headache to sort through when you need to find a product to accomplish a specific need and they seem a little bit slow in new features releases. However, I have never had anything from AWS promise more than it could deliver, their documentation quality is outstanding, if a bit overwhelming in volume, I have never been let down by their support and while their purchasing process is complex, it is no where even close to being the goat rope Azure’s purchasing process which takes all of the worst things about traditional on-prem licensing, and cloudifies them.

      • Damn it, Keith, stop mincing words and tell us what you really think!

        Useful stuff, actually. Thanks for posting it.

        • Another thing I was reminded of today with great pain is the MS Azure sales reps turning every single thing, regardless of how unrelated, into an Azure AD sales pitch, instead of just answering the original question, you may get the joy of getting a conference call with the “identity team”!

  • Interesting,
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Sorry for the off topic but do you use ssms for diagrams? And do you know what happened from version 18.x that corrupts them and crashes ssms?

  • […] New Free Azure and SQL Server 2019 Training from Microsoft Are you interested in learning Azure or SQL Server Big Data Clusters? […]

  • Thanks, Brent!

  • vardhineni srihari
    October 8, 2019 10:52 pm

    Can you please provide me the videos

  • more appreciating blog! You’re doing a great job, Keep it up and Good Luck for the upcoming update.

    June 3, 2020 11:42 pm

    More appreciate work Brent, quite useful. Once again thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • Francesco Mantovani
    March 11, 2021 8:25 am

    Devil Brent… You saved my day again


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