T-SQL Tuesday #132 – Coping With the Global Pandemic – PIVOT

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party on the second Tuesday of each month. Currently, Steve Jones (Blog|Twitter) organizes the event and maintains a website with all previous posts. Everyone is welcome to participate in this monthly blog post.  Thank you Taiob Ali for this month’s blog topic: ‘How each of us is coping with a global pandemic’.

During this time of a global pandemic, I have tried to take a positive route working my way through life.  It felt like my life was always very busy pre-Covid and I did not have enough time for myself.  But I have been known to make lemonade when life hands me lemons.  Sometimes certain situations that were not pleasant were the push I needed to get moving.  So, when the pandemic hit and things changed, I have kept moving with one motto: pivot. Do you remember the Friends episode when they were moving the couch and Ross kept yelling ‘Pivot.’ I hear his voice in my head when I have to pivot. Saying ‘pivot’ when the situation changes and we need to redo our plans also lightens the mood a little.

The state of Colorado shut down on Friday, March 13, 2020.  I was supposed to be on vacation with friends in Moab, Utah that weekend.  Some of us were going to do an organized bike ride and some of us were going to run a half marathon then do some mountain biking.  The bike ride was postponed until 2021 and the half marathon offered a virtual option so I was able to run the half marathon on my own.  PIVOT On Saturday, March 14, I got out and ran the half marathon in Denver that I had been training for four months to do.  A couple of friends shadowed me along the route, provided water, snacks, pacing, and moral support.  It ended up being on of my favorite half marathons. 

On Tuesday, March 17, I had to go to downtown Denver to close on the sale of my parents house. Normally, St Patrick’s Day brings a lot of people to downtown Denver for all day celebrations.  There are people in the streets wearing green and celebrating. Instead, it was cold, overcast, and there was hardly anyone on the streets.  It was very eerie.  On my drive home, the clouds broke and the sun came out. I knew everything would be ok. 

There are a lot of things I miss that did not happen this year.  For one thing, I was supposed to travel a lot in 2020.  I had more trips planned this year than any year before.  One by one the trips started getting cancelled and tentatively scheduled for 2021.  Now it looks like some may not happen until 2022.  PIVOT Like everything else, we have figured out how to get out of the house and change a negative into a positive.  We changed our idea of travel from ‘we need to fly’ to ‘we can drive’. In July we stayed in a cabin outside of Steamboat, Colorado for a long weekend.  We were able to be outside with friends but be socially distant from other people.  In August, we were supposed to do a bike ride from Seattle to Vancouver. That was cancelled (PIVOT) so we decided to drive to Glacier National Park in Montana for five days instead. It was a long drive for a short stay but totally worth it.  We stayed in a silo that was converted into an apartment.  Our friends brought their camper and parked in the field next to the silo.  We were able to get away from the house, be outside, and be with friends at a distance.  We spent one day biking in Glacier including riding up Going-to-the-Sun Road.  Any other summer, the road would have been too busy for us to enjoy the ride.

No cars on Going-to-the-Sun Road

PASS Summit is happening this week and I was supposed to be in Houston. PIVOT When it was announced that the conference was going virtual, I decided to still get away from the house during the conference. I reserved a condo in Breckenridge, Colorado for the week of PASS Summit. I was going to get away, have no household interruptions, and enjoy the conference. Then on Saturday, I was told my mom was COVID positive. I had just taken her to the doctor on Thursday which meant I was exposed. PIVOT One of the first things I did was cancel my condo reservation. So far I have no symptoms and I can still enjoy the conference, just from home.

There are many things from my pre-Covid life that I do not miss and will work hard so they do not creep back into my routine once we return to a ‘normal’ schedule.  But a big thing that has come out of this is really understanding how important my friends are in my life.  My friends and I have figured out how to get together yet be distant.  It took some adjustments, thinking outside of the box and a few pivots, but we have been creative and successful.  I even had a birthday celebration outside with friends this year.  With winter approaching, we will need to come up with new activities that we can do together while being distant.

This year has been a challenge and I have found that you have to be flexible.  I know people who feel ‘stuck’ because things they had planned to do are not happening. Being flexible and being able to change is important right now. Also, instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I have been trying to focus on what I can do.  I have made changes and tried to work on things that I don’t normally have time to complete because I am too busy with things outside of the house.  For that, I am thankful, but I am ready to get back out and see my friends/co-workers/family and give them all hugs.  I can’t wait to start hugging again!

T-SQL Tuesday #129 – SQL Community Time Capsule

It is time for another T-SQL Tuesday! Thank you Tammy Clark (t|b) for hosting this month. This month we are building a SQL Community Time Capsule.

I am contributing to the SQL Community Time Capsule my experiences from PASS Summit.  There are two parts to PASS Summit.  There is the conference itself and the time spent in Seattle outside of the conference.

PASS Summit is amazing and I love the conference, but some of my favorite experiences have been outside of the conference. Each morning, before the conference starts, and before most people are even awake, I run the streets of downtown Seattle.  It has become one of my favorite places to run.

Some attendees of PASS get together each morning and run at 6:00am.  I have joined the group on some runs.  It is a great place to meet people outside of the conference. 

I don’t run with the group every morning.  My favorite time to run in Seattle is at 5:00am.  Coming from Colorado, running in Seattle is so different.  There is usually a light mist, sometimes a light snow, or if nothing else, there is humidity.  I really love running next to the water.  There are the lights, the smells, and the sounds of Seattle.  It is amazing.  Running through downtown Seattle at 5:00am, you get to see the city wake up.  There are delivery trucks coming and going and not many people.  It is active but in a very different way.

I finish my run a few blocks away from my hotel at Top Pot Doughnuts.  This place is a PASS Summit tradition for many for different reasons.  I like getting there early in the morning and enjoying a fresh donut after my run.

I am going to miss running in downtown Seattle at this year’s PASS Summit. But all is not lost. I have rented a condo in the mountains of Colorado for the week of Summit. I still plan to get out and run at 5:00am. Instead of lights and water, who knows what I will see. All I know is there better be a good donut place nearby!

T-SQL Tuesday #115: Dear 20 Year Old Self

This month our host is Mohammad Darab (b/t) he has given us the subject ‘Dear 20 year old self’. We are supposed to write a letter to ourselves in our early twenties.  I am writing this a couple of days late because I was out of town and did not get it done for Tuesday, but I still wanted to put it out there.  I love the topic and want to thank Mohammad for hosting this month.

This is a topic that I think about at times, usually around my birthday.  It is interesting that our host posted this after his 41st birthday.  I snicker at people who think they are old when they are 41.  You have a long way to go and there are going to be so many new things in your life.  It might seem like you have lost your youth, but you are not even close.

My advice to my 20 year old self is to continue to listen to your heart, it will not lead you astray.  I have made several career and personal decisions since I was 20.  Some were easy to make, others took some deep reflection.  But when I listened to my heart, I feel like I made the right decision for me.

The second thing I would tell myself is don’t be afraid to try new things.  I am where I am today because I tried new things and moved to new places.  You don’t know if you will like something until you try it, so give it a shot.  If you don’t like it, that is ok.  You can move on.  But don’t have any regrets in the future because you did not try something when you had the chance.

One of the hardest decisions I had to make was to leave my life in Texas to move back to Colorado to be near my parents.  I had a great social life and really didn’t want to leave, but my dad was having heart surgery and I wanted to be with him.  I didn’t know how many years I would have to spend with him.  My dad lived 20 years after his heart surgery and during that time we built a better, stronger relationship.  And my friends in Texas are still my friends in Texas.  I would not change a thing because there is no way I would get that time with my dad back.

I won’t say that I have had a perfect life, and there are things I wish I would have done when I was younger like buy stock in Apple a long time ago and buy a house in Denver before the real estate boom began.  But I have some of the best people in my life that I feel that if I had changed anything earlier, these people may not be in my life right now.  And these people are very important to me…more important material items.

T-SQL Tuesday #114 – Puzzle Me This

The topic for this month’s T-SQL Tuesday is a Puzzle Party hosted by Matthew McGiffen.  We were given the challenge to write a blog post combining puzzles and T-SQL.

 

One of the first assignments I had in my programming class in college (after writing Hello World) was to assign seats on the airplane.  A lot of people who have taken any type of programming class have probably also completed this assignment.  It was kind of a standard assignment for beginning programming.  This was always one of my favorite assignments, and working on the assignment was when I really got hooked on computers and programming.

 

For this month’s blog, I am taking the airline seat assignment task and make it more relevant to the SQL Family.  My puzzle is to create a schedule of sessions for one day at PASS Summit.  I pulled the session data from last year’s PASS Summit to use for this puzzle.  (PASSSchedule) Within the Excel spreadsheet, there is one sheet for sessions, one for rooms, and one for time slots.  Save each sheet as either .csv or .txt files to import into SQL .

In this challenge, you are responsible for assigning a room and time slot for each session.  There are a few rules you have to follow.  Everything is outlined below.

 

The Challenge:

  • There are 4 time slots and 16 rooms which allows for 64 session slots available
  • There are 49 sessions from one of 7 different technology focus areas
    • Advanced Analytics
    • Application Development
    • Big Data and IoT
    • Business Intelligenge and Data Warehousing
    • Cloud Solutions
    • Database Administration and Development
    • Other (Professional Development)
  • There must be at least one session from each technology focus per time slot for all but Big Data and IoT sessions
  • There can be no two sessions in the same time slot for Big Data and IoT
  • There can be no more than 2 Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing sessions per time slot
  • There can be no more than 2 Application Development sessions per time slot
  • There can be no more than 2 Cloud Solutions sessions per time slot
  • There can be no more than 2 Other (Professional Development) sessions per time slot
  • There can be no more than 3 Advanced Analytics sessions per time slot
  • There can be no more than 4 Database Administration and Development sessions per time slot
  • The Speaker Idol session must be held in the 4:45pm-6:00pm time slot in the TCC Skagit 4 room

 

When you are finished, you should have a complete schedule.  With 64 session slots and only 49 sessions, there will be some empty session slots in the schedule.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Running Away with Databases: T-SQL Tuesday #113

 

Todd Kleinhans (b/t) is the host for T-SQL Tuesday this month.  He has asked us to discuss how we use databases in our everyday life.  I have been asked by friends to help them with databases covering a wide variety of topics.  For myself, I haven’t created many personal databases, that is until I started doing destination runs.

There are two things that I like to do in my free time: running and vacationing.  I am an avid runner and I am always looking for new runs, usually half marathons, to do in different cities and countries around the world.  A few years ago, I decided to do a half marathon and started searching on the internet for good runs in fun locations.  That is when I fell in love with the destination run.

It makes for a great way to see new places and I can pair that with a run.  I love to wander through new cities and explore.  Most runs take you past historic places or beautiful scenery.  Plus, after running a half marathon, it is a lot easier to explore local restaurants and bakeries without feeling too guilty.  That way I get a real taste of the area.

 

Picture1

 

After my first destination run, I created an Excel spreadsheet to track runs I might want to do in the future.  I found that I needed a way to organize the runs of interest for future reference.  There are so many interesting runs that it is hard to remember them when I am ready to register for a new run.  I get recommendations for runs from Twitter friends, top runs provided by running magazines and websites, local running groups, along with many other places.  I needed help keeping them organized.

Keeping track of those runs couldn’t be enough.  That spreadsheet has grown into a SQL Server database.  The database helps me keep organized and helps me pick my next vacation location.  Deciding on my next run takes a lot of time.  But it is not stopping there.  Currently, this is a very simple database but I am in the process of expanding it to include local races, training miles, as well as health stats.  This will eventually become my training partner database that will be customized to track everything that I want to track.  There are apps to track some of this information, but not everything that I want in one place.

 

Conquering SQL Server Failover Cluster Fears: T-SQL Tuesday #98

Welcome to 2018 and the first T-SQL Tuesday of the year.  T-SQL Tuesday was created by Adam Mechanic (b|t) and this month is hosted by Arun Sirpal (b|t).  The New Year is a time when people are making resolutions and setting new goals.  What better T-SQL Tuesday topic for the New Year than discussing technical challenges that you overcame.   It is usually those challenges that we have throughout our life that drive us to set new goals and resolutions.

 

Working with SQL Server Failover Clusters

During a job interview I had when making the leap from Junior DBA to Senior SQL DBA, one of the questions they asked was about working with clustered servers and SQL Server Failover Clustered instances.  I had not worked with them before and said so during the interview.  When I was offered the job, I knew I would have to work with clustered servers and they scared me to death.  I started my new job as a lone DBA and I was responsible for four SQL Server Failover Clusters.  No problem I said shaking in my sneakers.

When I arrived at the job, almost all of the SQL instances had not been updated in at least 6 months, some had not been updated in as long as two years.  I had to bring everything up to date.  That was the first order of business.  I got everything up to date except the SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances.  Working with a new technology for the first time can be scary and I was saving the best for last.

 

Step 1 – Research

The first thing I did to figure out SQL Server Failover Clusters was a lot of online research.  I have always been pretty good at Google so I started in.  I Googled and read, Googled and read, Googled and read.  I dug into the articles and compared the information I was reading with the clustered servers we had in house.  That is all well and good, but it is hard to ‘test’ clustered servers without letting others know that you are not knowledgeable in this area.  I became very familiar with the SQL Server Failover Cluster Manager.

After a lot of reading, I hoped I had learned everything there is to know about SQL Server Failover Clusters.  Hoped was the key word here.  I had taken the reading part of my training as far as I could.  I needed to move forward and talk to the people who were managing the Failover Clusters.

 

Step 2 – Work with VM and Windows team

The second part of my SQL Server Failover Cluster training was to work with the Windows and VM teams.  They had both been part of team who set up the Clustered servers.  There also had not been a SQL Server DBA on hand for a few months so they had managed the SQL instances until I came on board.  I questioned a couple of the guys from the Windows team who had ‘managed’ the SQL Server instances in the absence of a DBA.  They gave me a lot of good information and explained why the instances were in the state they were in and decisions that had been made prior to my arrival.  They were very helpful and provided a lot of good information, probably because they were happy to have a SQL Server DBA in house and to remove that from their job description.

The SQL Server instances for our VM Console were located on the SQL Server Failover Clusters, so I worked with the VM team lead to understand the process to take when failing over the nodes in the cluster.  He was very helpful and very patient with me.  He walked me through the steps and reviewed the process I needed to take to fail over the SQL clusters.

 

Step 3 – Jump In

The next step was the biggest.  I had to jump into SQL Server Failover Clustered Instances.  One, two, three…go!  Failing over the SQL instance is not hard but you still hold your breath waiting for everything to come up on the other node.  With a lot of nervous energy flowing through me, I failed over my first SQL Server instance.  It worked!  That was so much easier than I ever expected.  I was able to apply the most recent SQL Server Service Packs on all of the SQL Server Failover Cluster instances with no fallout.  Everything worked smooth.  Why was I so nervous?

 

Step 4 – Lessons Learned

One of the things that I was told when interviewing for this job was that everyone is not expected to know everything.  If you don’t know something, ask.  We work as a team to manage this data center and we help each other.  Asking for help when you are not sure about something is preferred over running ahead full steam with no idea where you are going.  I thought this would be a problem for me since I was the lone SQL DBA.  Who else could I ask for help?

Some of our best resources are right under our nose.  I had only been on the job for a few months and was working with a technology that I was not familiar or comfortable with.  There were a couple of co-workers who had information that I needed and they were great at sharing that information and teaching me this new technology.  Between reading documentation on SQL Server Failover Clusters and working with my co-workers, I was able to learn a new technology and successfully apply that knowledge.

 

 

T-SQL Tuesday #97: 2018 Training Goals

T-SQL Tuesday is the brainchild of Adam Machanic (b|t).  Adam rightly predicted that we all could benefit from ‘a recurring, revolving blog party’ with a new topic given each month – the party has been on since 2009 with great benefit to bloggers old and new.  The December 2017 T-SQL Tuesday will cover setting learning goals for 2018.

Training goals are good to have if you are exercising your mind or exercising your body.  You need to exercise each part of your body in order to get stronger.  For 2018 I have several training goals.  The first is to prepare for a half marathon in May.  I am training  to run 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I have a weekly mileage schedule that I follow and I am tracking the data each run.  I also am working with a trainer on cardio and speed.

My second training goal for 2018 is to become more knowledgeable in Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL Databases.  To accomplish this, I am going to take a similar approach.  I will create a training schedule to to make sure I am covering all of the information in a timely manner and will use various training resources.  But to set up my training schedule, I need to answer a few questions first.

 

Who

You would think this was an easy question; my training is about me.  I will be the one outlining my learning plan; I will be the one acquiring the appropriate training materials; I will be the one carving out time to study; and I will be the one taking in the new knowledge.  However, my training plan will not only benefit me, it will benefit my company and my customers.  This is always important to keep in mind no matter what new material you are learning.  There is always a bigger impact than just yourself.  I try to keep that in mind whenever studying new technologies.  I love learning about new technologies and am looking for ways to implement the new information into our current environment.

 

What

My training goal for 2018 is to learn more about Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL Databases.  More specifically, my primary training goal for 2018 is to pass the 70-765 exam (Provisioning SQL Databases) and get my MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration.  With almost half of the content in the exam focuses on Azure and Azure SQL databases, Microsoft Azure is one of the new technologies I want to learn more about in 2018.

 

When

Setting a timeline of when I want to complete the exam is very important.  I had set training goals for 2016, also, that were never achieved.  I attribute part of that to me not setting a timeframe to complete the training and taking the exam.  There is always so much going on and there was never a ‘good’ time to study or take the exam.  Months kept passing and I was no further in my preparation.  I kept saying next month, but that didn’t happen because something new would come up.  The next thing I knew, it was 2017 and I had not achieved any of my 2016 learning goals.

Last year started off the same way.  I had training goals and they seemed to be swept to the side.  “I will get to it later.”  As I noticed that I was not making any progress and the year was almost half over, I changed my behavior.  I set up a training plan and goal for taking my next exam.  I ended up taking it a few weeks late, but I felt great because I met my goal and passed the exam.

 

Where

Starbucks, where else.  A lot of the training will happen on my own time.  Many times when studying at home, it is too easy to get distracted.  The laundry needs to be finished and the kitchen needs to be cleaned.  It will only take a minute to take care of those things…right?  How it really turns out is five minutes to take care of the laundry then 10 minutes to get back to where I was and move forward.  To avoid this, I schedule time at Starbucks (or another coffee place) once a week in the evening.  It is good to get away from all of those little things around the house that my attention, plug in my earphones, go online, and study.

 

Why

First and foremost, this year’s goal is part of a bigger goal.  Learning about Microsoft Azure will help me prepare to pass the 70-765 exam.  I just recently passed 70-764 so the two together will give me my MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification.  This has been a long time goal and it will soon be fulfilled.  I love learning new things whether it is work related or not.  Education has always been a priority in my life.

Learning more about Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL Databases will not stop with the exam.  More and more companies are moving to the cloud so having a better understanding of this technology will benefit me at my job.  Technology is continuously changing and I need to stay current.  I don’t want to be the expert in faxing information using my dial-up modem.

 

Execution

The first step in creating my training plan is to put my final goal in writing.

My training goal for 2018 is to become more knowledgeable in Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL databases in order to prepare for and pass the 70-765 exam during the first quarter of the year.

Now it is time to create and execute the plan.  I have acquired most of my training materials and set the date in the calendar to take the exam.  The who, what, where, how, and why have been defined.  It is time to get started.

T_SQL Tuesday #96: In the Beginning

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party started by Adam Machanic (t|b). This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Ewald Cress (t|b).  Everyone is invited to this party. Participation is easy. Each month, members of the community write a blog post about the topic presented and post it on the second Tuesday of the month.  This month’s subject is to give a shout-out to people (well-known or otherwise) who have made a meaningful contribution to your life in the world of data.  For me, that goes way back and there are so many that I want to thank.

The two people I am thanking helped me build my career base.  They helped me get started, encouraged me to continue to grow, and showed me that I could do anything.  There have been many others along the way who have helped me with my career in various ways, but Jan MacLeod and Nancy Donelan McCall were there to get me started.

 

In the Beginning

After high school and a couple of years of college, I could not figure out what I wanted to do with my career.  Rather than continue down a path that I was not excited about, I took a couple of years off from college to figure it out.  I got a full time job working 8-5 in an office.  The job was not great but I learned a lot of valuable lessons.  Here I worked with Jan; a person who really pushed me and helped me advance my career.

First and foremost, I learned I was smart.  I had doubted my ability to be successful but this experience helped me see myself in a new light.  I was not able to make any advancement in this job because I did not have a college degree.  I felt that I was had a lot to offer the company but the HR department told me I needed that degree.

The other thing that I learned at this job was that sexism still existed in the workplace.  The company that I worked for still had the ‘Good Old Boy’ mentality in place.  The men were managers and had offices with windows; the women were administrators and office clerks and worked in an open office setting together.

Jan and I had a long distance friendship.  We worked together but all of our interaction was via phone and company mail.  We talked about the work environment and she was my strength.  She understood the environment and saw my potential.  She helped me build my strength to move forward.  I had a second opportunity to attend college and she was behind me 100%.  She pushed me to be better and rise above the current situation.  Jan was the first person after I had moved out of the house to help me grow as a person and build my career.  After all of these years we are still friends and I will always be grateful for the support and friendship she has provided.

 

Best Supervisor Ever

Over the years I have had many supervisors, but Nancy was the one who really helped me get started on my database career.  I had some database experience in previous jobs, but Nancy was the supervisor who took a chance on me and promoted me to an Access DBA.  She made sure I had the appropriate training and encouraged me to continue to grow.

It was also when I was working with Nancy that I got my first taste of SQL Server.  We had an enormous data center built in Microsoft Access that needed a more robust system.  Again, she made sure I had the appropriate training to take our system and my career to the next level.

Nancy taught me so much about databases and data structure as well as soft skills.  And there were so many little things that I learned from her along the way.  Individually, they might not seem like much, but together they were all invaluable lessons.  She also has been one of my biggest supporters as I have continued to grow my career.

Some people say it is luck, some people say we make our future.  Either way, I have had some great people in my life supporting me and my career decisions.  There is not enough space to thank them all.  These two were there at pivotal times in my life/career and I would not be where I am today without them.

T-SQL Tuesday #95: Big Data

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party started by Adam Machanic (t|b). This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Derek Hammer (t|b).  Everyone is invited to this party. Participation is easy. Each month, members of the community write a blog post about the topic presented and post it on the second Tuesday of the month.  This month I was getting this together, but I want to participate.  Better late than never.

This month’s topic is Big Data.  Big Data is a booming area of technology. Technical professionals and companies alike are investing a lot in Big Data.  Posts can be about; how big data affects the industry and our careers, how the cloud is enhancing our ability to work with big data, how you deal with big data in SQL Server on-premises, NoSQL, development challenges and strategies for working with internet of things data, or anything else you come up with. Big data has become quite large (pun intended) and should offer a lot of freedom for self-expression in this month’s posts.

Business is always full of buzzwords with some of the current ones being ‘Deep Dive’, ‘Incentivize’, ‘Outside the Box’, ‘Wheelhouse’, ‘Drill Down’, and “Big Data’.  These are not bad, but instead they are a sign of where business is putting their focus.  Big Data is really an old concept if you consider that processing a lot of data has been going on since computers were invented.  This concept of Big Data has become more popular over the past few years as computer hardware and software has improved data processing abilities.  However, Big Data is not like relational data in that it is not always collected in ordered, relational datasets.  With the increase use of Big Data, databases like MongoDB, DocumentDB, Cassandra, and other NoSQL databases have become popular tools.  These NoSQL databases are designed to store large quantities of non-relational data.

As a SQL Database Administrator, it is important to stay on the leading edge of technology and continue to grow your skillset.  Life (and technology) move pretty fast.  If you don’t keep up, you might be left behind.  The Big Data movement has taken off and it is important for DBAs to understand their role in the industry and how their skillset can grow and be used with the new technologies.  Microsoft has expanded their toolset, giving us new ways to work with Big Data.  Microsoft has made the PolyBase feature available in SQL Server 2016, which was previously available only in the Microsoft Analytics Platform System.

Relational data in conjunction with Big Data are key components of the decision making process.  Hadoop and Azure Blog Storage data can be accessed through SQL Server 2016 and the PolyBase feature allows users to join their Big Data with their SQL Server relational databases.  PolyBase enables the use of existing SQL Server tools, such as SSMS and T-SQL, to query Big Data as well as the use of existing SQL Server tools like Reporting Services, Power Query, and Power BI on the combined data.

Learning more about PolyBase is an opportunity for SQL Server DBAs to learn more about Big Data, how it works with SQL Server, increase their skillset, and become more valuable within their company.  More and more businesses rely on Big Data and Big Data analytics in ways never before dreamed of.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much more that can be accomplished with Big Data.  From tweaking marketing campaigns, refining operations, and improving business performance, the uses of big data have not even scratched the surface yet.  Data driven businesses and analytics-enabled decisions will become the norm.  Having the right skills and tools available will pay off in the future as the use of Big Data continues to become the norm.  If you haven’t already done so, install the Microsoft PolyBase feature and become familiar with the product.  The more you know, the more opportunities that might become available.