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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.

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

1 comments, 103 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, 226 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, 209 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, 124 reads

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

When upgrading a Visual Studio project — you need to upgrade your TFS/VSTS Agent

This post is linked to my post about hosting VSTS private agents . I had recently upgraded my Visual Studio environment from 2015 to 2017. I was getting prepared to do a run through of my upcoming PASS Summit DEMOs.

At PASS Summit I’m speaking on “Achieving Continuous Delivery… Read more

1 comments, 259 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 1 October 2017

DevOPs is not just about the latest & greatest tools

I’m a technical guy.

Thus – I love tools. They make stuff go.

Tools are great.

Except – as I wrote in my other post — DevOPs and Databases — the one thing you may be doing wrong.  You can’t just focus on one thing in DevOPs.

You need to… Read more

0 comments, 1,503 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 26 July 2017

DevOPs and Databases — the one thing you may be doing wrong. 

This blog post is part of T-SQL Tuesday Blog series — thanks to Grant Fritchey (t | b)  – for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday event.


OK, so this DevOPs thing – what is it?

I consider myself both a… Read more

1 comments, 423 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 13 June 2017

var Microsoft_Data_Platform_MVP = “Yip.”;

The 2nd June 2017 will always be something of a special day for me.

It was the day I was awarded my Microsoft MVP for Data Platform.

Warning: this isn’t a technical blog post nor is it a complete “how to get a MVP” guide

For me – being awarded… Read more

3 comments, 438 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 6 June 2017

T-SQL Tuesday #90 — Bringing Continuous Delivery to a ‘brownfield’ database system

This blog post is part of  T-SQL Tuesday #90 – Shipping Database Changes .

I have decided to write about  a client’s SQL Server based system that was having issues with deployment of code changes. The code changes were being deployed by a third party contractor.

The client engaged with… Read more

0 comments, 223 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 9 May 2017

Removing an App Service Plan in Azure

In my previous post I adhered to my O-OCD (Operational OCD) and standardised my App Service Plan name to fit in line with my Database, User and App Service naming standard.

Why do I standardise everything? Have a quick read here:

The 20 second rule (or why standards matter).

Here… Read more

0 comments, 604 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 7 May 2017

Creating an App Service in Azure that connects to an Azure SQL Database.

Using the methodology listed in my previous blog post on creating an Azure SQL Database we now have a Continuous Integration database (named  CIAzureWebAppDEMO_DB).

Now that we have a database its now time to create the web app. This will be an App Service in the Azure portal.

For more… Read more

1 comments, 189 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 30 April 2017

Removing an Azure SQL Database using PowerShell..

In this post we will remove some databases located in Azure.

This related to my last post where I am cleaning up some badly named databases and replacing them with standardised database names.

So we have this situation:

We want to get rid of the top two databases AzureWebAppFunctionalTestDB and… Read more

0 comments, 448 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 30 April 2017

Creating an Azure SQL Database via PowerShell

This post is about using the brilliance of PowerShell to script the creation of databases in Azure.


Apart from the obvious question of why not? The actual reason is one of standards and how I did not adhere to my own standards that I’ve been preaching for the past… Read more

3 comments, 940 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 30 April 2017

Moving Azure resources between subscriptions – especially VSTS Team Services Account

For the past 6 months I’ve been paying for my own Azure subscription. My work has a plan but for some reason I (and others) who had a MSDN Subscription (Infrastructure) could not access the ‘free’ credits. I use Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)  in a lot of my DEMOs… Read more

0 comments, 162 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 24 April 2017

Installing a Visual Studio Team Services private build agent hosted On-Premises

This blog post is about a situation where I  use Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to build/deploy my DEMOs. Those DEMOs are what I use to illustrate Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (important parts of that thing called DevOPs).

I use my own personal VSTS account so that I am… Read more

3 comments, 536 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 22 April 2017

Retrospective analysis of SQL Saturday South Island (#sqlsat614)

Now that SQL Saturday South Island (also known as #sqlsat614 on the Twitter) is done I thought it would be good to look back at an event that consumed me for 4 months.

If you haven’t already — read my post on how to grow a technical conference.

Back… Read more

2 comments, 79 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 22 April 2017

Resolution to “Connection Timeout Expired. [Pre-Login] initialization =18090; handshake=14281” error

This blog post is about a SQL Server connection issue that presents itself:

We were building an Availability Group (AG) at the time for an online banking platform.

PROD would have 4 nodes – 2 in Christchurch and 2 in Auckland. Whilst building the prePROD installation (a 3 node cluster… Read more

0 comments, 72 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 20 April 2017

Can I tune the tempDB of an Azure based SQL Server database…

Yip. You can.

I was originally going to write this post about tuning tempDB in our Azure SQL database. Which would be a very short post.

You can’t.

So I’ll write about tuning tempDB in your Azure based SQL Server database.

Why tempDB tuning? Well I consider it a valuable… Read more

0 comments, 76 reads

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

How to grow the exposure of a Data Platform based conference (SQL Saturday South Island)

SQL Saturday conferences are awesome.

That is the opening line of this blog post – because it’s true and understated.

If you’re reading this and do not know what a SQL Saturday is – go visit http://www.sqlsaturday.com/ and find your nearest SQL Saturday. I’ve been lucky enough to have gone… Read more

1 comments, 67 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 1 April 2017

Answer to “Could not locate file ‘xxx_Log’ for database ‘xxx’ in sys.database_files”

This blog post is a form of resolution to the issue of not being able to shrink a transaction log after a FULL backup where you this error:

Could not locate file ‘xxx_Log’ for database ‘xxx’ in sys.database_files

Its funny how peculiar issues decide to crop up on… Read more

2 comments, 65 reads

Posted in The Hybrid DBA's Blog on 24 March 2017

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