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The Hybrid DBA's Blog

Hamish is a Systems Management Specialist with a passion for efficient application deployment using DevOPs methodologies. He has 19 years IT experience in managing large scale databases SQL Server technologies. He has been managing SQL Server since SQL Server 2000 and pragmatic architectural design is his main focus in his current job. Educating and helping others learn is a driver for Hamish and he is a PASS User Group Leader, International speaker and a repeat guest lecturer at a local university.

This is a company that practises what they preach

How good is a company at engaging with their user base? Obviously when things are going great then it’s wins all around for the company and hopefully the people have invested their money in that company’s products…

When things are not going well – I feel this is how you… Read more

0 comments, 752 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 22 October 2018

Connecting to SQL Server 2017 using Visual Studio 2017 and getting “An incompatible SQL Server version detected”

This blog post details the error you may get when using Visual Studio 2017 and you get errors that you cannot connect to SQL Server 2017 using Test Explorer or SQL Server Object Explorer.

TL;DR – upgrade Visual Studio from base version…..

I had built a new DEMO machine for… Read more

1 comments, 1,690 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 13 October 2018

Getting error “unable to parse remote unpack status” when attempting to push to Azure Repo in Azure DevOps

This blog post is about a situation where I went to push my latest local changes to my git repository up in Azure DevOps and got the weirdest error:

error: unable to parse remote unpack status: ng refs/heads/..

An error occurred while communicating with the remote host. The error code… Read more

0 comments, 578 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 27 September 2018

Why you should always build an Azure based VM in a Resource Group

This blog post is based on conversations I witnessed between MVPs around commissioning and more importantly de-commissioning virtual machines (VMs) hosted in Azure. Don’t worry – this blog post is not going to divulge NDA material….

…my MVP award is way too valuable to me to squander it!!

It comes… Read more

2 comments, 589 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 26 September 2018

How to sync user logins across SQL Server instances – dbatools is brilliant

This blog post is about how brilliant dbatools are. In this case – for syncing user logins between SQL Server instances.


Whenever I do my “DevOps and the DBA” talk I dedicate a minute or two talking about dbatools.

You can find the tools here:


Simply download and… Read more

1 comments, 635 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 13 April 2018

How to change the TFS Agent _work folder

This blog post is about how to change the default work folder _work that TFS agents use when building a solution.


I’m now a consultant – which is awesome – it means I get to visit clients and make a difference for them.

One particular client had installed TFS… Read more

1 comments, 396 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 10 April 2018

Use Boot Diagnostics to see what your Azure VM is doing at boot time

This blog post is about how to diagnose what your Azure VM is doing while it is booting.

I have a DEMO VM that is hosted in Azure – it is where I have Visual Studio, Redgate tools as well as all my DEMO systems, presentations hosted for when I… Read more

0 comments, 1,471 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 4 April 2018

Authentication issues with GitHub: An error occurred while sending the request —> System.Net.WebException: The request was aborted: Could not create SSL/TLS secure channel.

This blog post is about an error that you may receive if you’re using git commands in PowerShell and authenticating against GitHub.

My GitHub account uses 2 Factor Authentication so I thought it might be that – however I could use GitHub Desktop fine.

I was cloning a new project… Read more

0 comments, 463 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 31 March 2018

Redgate SQL Test utility isn’t showing up in SSMS

I had recently installed the SQL Toolbelt from Redgate at a client site on a laptop they’d supplied me.

(Fantastic product that SQL Toolbelt BTW.)

Things were going swimmingly – in fact thanks to SQL Compare, SQL Source Control and Team Foundation Server I had implemented an automated Continuous Delivery… Read more

0 comments, 281 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 21 March 2018

Automation and cleaner code/data are the key to future success

This blog post is a copy of a post I wrote for SQL Masters Consulting as part of T-SQL Tuesday. The original link can be found here:


If you don’t already follow T-SQL Tuesday on twitter – you should – search for


The blog post was a slight…

Read more

0 comments, 159 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 15 March 2018

Doing DevOPs for your Database? You need to start here…

I’ve been doing that thing called DevOPs for about 17 years – you know – before it had a name…

In fact it was when I first joined Jade Software that I realised that Ops and DEV had a common interest in making systems go. In 2002 I started working… Read more

3 comments, 1,066 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 28 February 2018

The Data Platform has expanded – so too should our approach in using it….

In recent years we as data professionals have moved from dealing with SQL Server databases with SQL Server Reporting Server and SQL Server Analysis Services interacting with them (all on-premises) to a wide scale data platform.

In fact even the name of most SQL Server things (like my MVP) have… Read more

0 comments, 400 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 26 February 2018

If your Surface Book loses it’s keyboard and trackpad – try removing KB4074588 update

My Surface Book (gen 1) recently did updates and then a day or so later the keyboard and trackpad mysteriously stopped working. Then I heard of 3 other people who experienced the same issue within 24 hours.

I could use the Surface Book in tablet mode – but I tired… Read more

1 comments, 360 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 24 February 2018

Speaking at PASS Summit and why you need to think about submitting….

This post is about the honor and experience of speaking at PASS Summit not once (2016) but twice (2017).

I recently received an email from PASS HQ that asked past speakers to share our success stories – to help others consider submitting for PASS Summit as… Read more

1 comments, 273 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 29 January 2018

Why I am leaving a role/company I loved

This non-technical post is about why I am leaving a technical company after working there for 17 + years.

If you are thinking this will be a post that will resemble this:

DevOPs is never about burning bridges

then I’m sorry but you will be sadly disappointed.

My reasons for… Read more

4 comments, 442 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 7 January 2018

Changing TFS to use HTTPS? — update your agent settings too….

This blog post is about Team Foundation Server (TFS) and is about the situation where you need remember to update your TFS Agent settings.

I will assume that you already have TFS setup and are just using HTTP and want to make things a bit more secure with HTTPS. I… Read more

2 comments, 422 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 16 December 2017

SSRS won’t bind HTTPS to new certificate — “We are unable to create the certificate binding”

This blog post is around the situation where you have SSRS setup to use HTTPS and thus using a certificate and the certificate expires (or just needs replacing). We had caught the initial error via our Continuous Monitoring of the SSRS site — basically when the certificate expired we got… Read more

4 comments, 1,064 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 11 December 2017

How the gym made me a better database bloke…..

A blog post about how many reverse bicep curls or Romanian DeadLifts I can do…? As Rob Farley (t | b | w) would succinctly put it — “what the…??”

No it’s not.

But it’s related — if you’ve met me in person you’ll know that I’m tall… Read more

0 comments, 418 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 4 October 2017

SQL Server 2017 — change the tag for your docker images


SQL Server 2017 is now officially released!

I have been using SQL Server 2017 running on Linux for a while now (blog post pending) and use the official images from:


To get the latest I used to run

docker pull microsoft/mssql-server-linux:latest

However today I noticed that the :latest… Read more

1 comments, 437 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 3 October 2017

Want to know what software is running on the VSTS Hosted Agent? Go here….

This is related to my previous post about installing things on my Private-Hosted agent that I use for my VSTS builds.

I have never had any issues using Microsoft’s Hosted Agents — my only issue is that I use up the 240 free build minutes (so utilise my own on-premises… Read more

0 comments, 231 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 2 October 2017

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