Bill Ramos

Chief Technology Storyteller

Ok, my official title is Director of Technical Product Management. I also work on customer projects as a solution architect for projects related to SQL Server, Microsoft Azure, and AWS.

What makes DB Best great is the breadth of technologies and services they offer to their customers and partners. For example, how many people get to work with technology like the AWS Snowball Edge?

 

 

It's my job to work with the DB Best team members to define the services that DB Best provides to its customers. More importantly, tell the customer success stories in blog posts, webinars, and training events to help people better understand the latest technologies and how they can move forward with their digital transformation efforts.

Database migration to SQL Server award winners 2016

 

A brief history of Bill

To understand how I got here, I assembled a "blast from the past" tour of my 37 years in computing.

Semper Paratus "Always Ready"

 

I started my database career in 1982 with the US Coast Guard by creating one of the first vessel tracking systems using the Pick operating system and later with dBASE II on CP/M.

 

The PC era and the start of client-server

 

In 1987, I landed at Ashton-Tate and eventually Borland as a developer working on the dBASE product line. At that time, I got my first exposure to the Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, Sybase SQL Server running on OS/2 where I wrote compatibility and performance test suites for the platform.

 

Start Me Up era

 

 

In 1995, I joined Microsoft as a program manager in Visual Studio working on database design tools for SQL Server and Oracle. I spent several years in Microsoft Office working integrating SharePoint and SQL Server with Access as part of the XP release. I then had the privilege of being a lead program manager for Excel, Access, and VBA for the Office 2003 release.

At the tail end of 2003, I had a chance to work with another great team in developing the manageability and performance troubleshooting tools for SQL Server Management Studio across the SQL Server 2005, 2008, and SQL Server 2008 R2 releases. I want to think I was part of the team that made SQL Server for the masses, but I might have been wrong based on this "Man on the street" interview.

In this role, I immersed myself in the world of Oracle with the goal of taking the best they offered, to make SQL Server better for DBAs. Plus, the intel helped spawn this video for a Microsoft sales event.

 

 

Entering the world of marketing

 

In 2010, I had a unique opportunity to join a technical marketing company, Indigo Slate – formally known as Advaiya Inc. As the VP of Technical Consulting, I got the chance to immerse myself in the world of technology marketing for a variety of large software vendors like Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, and SAP. Also, I consulted with Microsoft to develop technical content for helping Oracle DBAs better understand SQL Server technologies.

 

In recognition of the community involvement with SAP HANA, SAP awarded me the title of HANA Distinguished Engineer (HDE) in 2015. It was also where I refined my processes for evaluating technologies for customers. Check out my interview at 2 minutes and 37 seconds in the video below on what being an HDE meant to me.

 

That's my story!

37
Years of experience
94
Blog posts
32782
Happy readers
NOW
Ready to innovate
Adding a test automation framework into a database migration CI/CD pipeline
03 Mar 2020

In our prior blog post called Creating CI/CD solution for the database unification project, we covered the complexities of having to maintain a single application code base that supports both Oracle Database and Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL. We briefly mentioned our approach for extending our client’s Java with Apache Groovy to work with both database technologies. In this blog post, we’ll show how we built a solid test automation framework as part of our database migration project running on AWS using TestNG, Apache Maven, Selenium WebDriver, Jenkins, and Amazon EC2. As of the publishing date for this blog post, our team has increase...

Invoke-Sqlcmd variable parameter
Using PowerShell Invoke-Sqlcmd with Variable parameter
24 Feb 2020

I recently needed to use PowerShell to call a T-SQL script using Invoke-Sqlcmd with the -Variable parameter. In my case, I wanted to specify the locations for backup files and where to restore the data and log files. Rather than add the conditions into the SQL script, I wanted to make the SQL script as generic as possible, and use SQLCMD variables for the different scenarios. In this blog, I’ll show how to use the array sub-expression operator and “splatting” with hash tables to build the parameters needed for the Invoke-Sqlcmd cmdlet. Isn’t using Powershell Invoke-Sqlcmd with the -Variable parameter straightforward? W...

Collecting business-critical transaction throughput for analyzing using Power BI
14 Jan 2020

In my blog post Using Power BI to analyze Windows Perfmon data for SQL Server, I introduced a concept that I call “business-critical transactions” (BCT) to understand the overall throughput of your SQL Server applications. When I worked on the SQL Server team, the SQL Performance Engineering team used a set of customer applications with server-side replay scripts that would get executed before development teams checked in their code. If a development team’s build showed significant regression in performance, they could not check in their code. Organizations that practice DevOps use a similar process, but need to consider wa...

analyze Windows Perfmon
Using Power BI to analyze Windows Perfmon data for SQL Server
13 Jan 2020

In this second blog post for my series, Power BI for the SQL Server DBA, I’m going to show how you can take Windows Perfmon (Performance Monitor) data for SQL Server and analyze it with Power BI. You can find the source code, Power BI reports, and other related files on my GitHub site at https://github.com/db-best-technologies/power-bi-for-sql-dbas. Here is a summary of what’s coming up in the series. It is subject to change based on feedback and reader demand: Capturing performance counters to optimize Microsoft SQL Server performance on AWS EC2 instances Using Power BI to analyze Windows Perfmon data for SQL Server — this blog pos...

optimize SQL Server performance on AWS EC2
Capturing performance counters to optimize Microsoft SQL Server performance on AWS EC2 instances
04 Jan 2020

Over the last few months of benchmarking SQL Server performance on AWS, I discovered a way to optimize SQL Server performance running on EC2 instances by paying close attention to several key Windows performance counters. This blog post is the first in my new series called Power BI for the SQL Server DBA. I’m going to show how you can easily capture performance counters to optimize SQL Server performance and cost on AWS EC2 instances. I’m going to start with the basics and grow the Power BI reports during this series. You can find the source code, Power BI reports, and other related files on my GitHub site at https://github.com/db-best-te...

Challenges migrating SAS solutions to SQL Server – Missing Values versus NULL
10 Dec 2019

Managers for a well-known accounting and tax-preparation company contacted DB Best looking for an alternative solution to a big problem. They were long term customers of SAS but were now facing two key challenges: high SAS license costs and the fact that SAS developers could not keep up with business demands and provide for effective support. The DB Best team analyzed our customers’ initial SAS solution and determined that the best possible option was to migrate their workloads to Microsoft SQL Server. In this post, we will talk about one of the challenges when migrating SAS DATA step modules to the Microsoft SQL Server — SAS missing valu...

SQL Server 2017 AWS EC2
Are you getting the best value out of AWS EC2 running with SQL Server 2017?
25 Oct 2019

Last year, we published Validating AWS EC2 SQL Server Deployments Using Benchmark Tools. Since then, AWS released enhancements like Optimizing CPU Option that allow you to choose a larger EC2 instance for your SQL Server 2017 instances for greater Memory and IOPS / vCPU to keep your licensed vCPU count down. In this blog post, I’ll demonstrate how benchmarking your SQL Server workloads on AWS in a pre-production environment can help you pick the best candidate EC2 instance with an optimized storage configuration based on real data. It turns out that the process is simple. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for. I’m going to use ...

Improve SQL Server Performance with Kingston Technologies DC500M Enterprise Solid State Drives
03 Sep 2019

DB Best Technologies recently partnered with Kingston Technologies to demonstrate SQL Server 2017 with 8 virtual cores (vCores) and  Kingston Technologies DC500M Enterprise Solid State Drives (SSD) runs faster than SQL Server 2008 R2 with 16 vCores using hard drives (HDD). We typically find when we work with customers looking to upgrade their SQL Server 2008 servers to newer versions of SQL Server that these systems are using HDD drives for data, log, and tempdb. Based on prior benchmarking we’ve done with other hardware manufacturers and cloud vendors, we had a pretty good idea that by moving older versions of SQL Server to SQL Server...

convert SQL Server Standard edition to Developer Edition
How to convert a development server running SQL Server Standard or Enterprise edition to Developer edition
03 Jul 2019

I recently had a client using SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition on three of their development servers. However, SQL Server 2012 has a developer edition that is specifically designed for development servers. More importantly, our client has free SQL Server 2012 Developer edition licenses as part of the paid SQL Server Standard Editon purchase. The problem Our customer decided to convert their Standard Edition to the Developer Edition so they could save big bucks. However, the conversion process can be a bit tricky. And it’s not as easy as going into setup and changing the SQL Server edition from the Standard Edition to the Developer Edition. ...

remove the Management Data Warehouse from SQL Server
How to remove the Management Data Warehouse from SQL Server running on a production instance
26 Jun 2019

One of our customers had their Management Data Warehouse (MDW) running on their production SQL Server 2012 and didn’t know what to do with it. Microsoft had introduced the MDW with SQL Server in 2008. However, there was a bug in SQL Server 2012 that prevented the Query Statistics data collector from working. Rather than trying to fix it, we made the decision to remove it instead. We replaced the MDW with the Open Query Store project, a community supported tool that works with SQL Server 2008 and higher. The problem Removing the MDW from SQL Server running in production is straight forward and requires that you follow the steps below. The so...