Rob Sewell

Information & Communications Technology

PowerShell Azure DevOps Azure Arc Data Services Azure Bicep Bicep Infrastructure as Code

Exeter, England, United Kingdom

Rob Sewell

Be-Whiskered Maker of Things

Rob was a SQL Server DBA with a passion for PowerShell, Azure, Automation, and SQL (PaaS geddit?). Now he just helps people make things. He is a Cloud and Data Center MVP and a Data Platform MVP, co-leader of Data South West UK User Group and PSConf EU organiser and has spoken at and volunteered at many Data and PowerShell events all over the world. He is a proud supporter of the Data and PowerShell communities.

He relishes sharing and learning and can be found doing both via Twitter and his blog. He spends most of his time looking at a screen and loves to solve problems. He knows that looking at a screen so much is bad for him because his wife tells him so. Thus, he is often out riding his bike as his eyes are not good enough to play cricket any more

He has a fabulous beard

Current sessions

Automate your DBA tasks with dbatools and dbachecks

Let us show you how easy it is to use PowerShell to accomplish many everyday tasks straight from the command line with the community developed modules dbatools and dbachecks.

Join Jess Pomfret and Rob Sewell, two of the dbatools in a Month of Lunches authors and take your dbatools and dbachecks skills to the next level or be introduced to dbatools and learn how effective it can make you. We will show you the skills, scripts, and tricks that we have learned with dbatools and dbachecks and tell you how they have rocketed our careers

There will be many practical examples of how dbatools and dbachecks can help to save time in DBA administration duties

- Creating Availability Groups
- Syncing Agent Jobs and Logins between replicas
- Finding SQL Instances on your estate
- Working with Central Management Server
- Disaster Recovery
- Backup Testing
- Simple instance migrations
- Complex instance migrations
- Tracking Activity
- Simplify application upgrades with database snapshots
- Working with other community tools with dbatools
- Encompassing dbatools in DevOps
- Validating your estate
- Using dbatools in the cloud (i.e. working with Azure SQL Database)

And much much more

Come and join us for a great day of PowerShell and SQL full of demos and useful solutions that you will be able to take back to your workplace. You will improve your knowledge and skills, see how the modern DBA will work and have fun at the same time.

Who Are You?

You are a DBA, senior or junior, looking after 1 or 100,000 instances, a developer who interacts with SQL Server, an accidental DBA or you have DevOps in your job title.
You are interested in improving your PowerShell skills for SQL Server or reducing the time you and your team spend administering SQL Server.
You have spent 1 day or 20 years working with SQL Server.
You know that you work in a field where automation is king and want to understand more of what is available.
You are interested in learning and improving your automation skillset.

What do you need?

All you need is yourself! We would recommend that you bring something to take notes with as well as a minimum.

All scripts and slides will be provided to you. If you wish to follow along with most of the demos you should have access to a machine with PowerShell v 5 or above with a SQL Server 2012 or above instance.


20 Productivity tools we use to make life easier

You are busy, we are busy, everyone is busy. These are the tools that two busy consultants use to improve their productivity.

We want to tell you about the tools that we use; that maximise our time, simplify our life, reduce our key strokes and generally make us appear more amazing. So that you can use them too.


Control your Cloud Data Deployments - Deploy your Azure Data Solutions with Bicep and Azure DevOps

You can go to the portal and click in the blades and manually create all of the resources that you need. Such as Azure SQL Databases, Azure SQL VMs, Azure Arc Enabled Managed Instances, Azure Databricks or Azure Data Factory for example. You will want to ensure that they are all logging to Log Analytics and have monitoring enabled, maybe you need all of them to have Private Endpoints set up.

But you will forget something, you will mistype something, you will need to create multiple environments and they will need to be the same. Manually creating things is time consuming and mistake prone.

Humans make mistakes.

Come and join me for the day and I will show you how to deploy your data infrastructure into Azure using Bicep and Azure DevOps. How to ensure that when you deploy your resources, you automatically include Log Analytics or monitoring or add Private Endpoints. I will share the lessons that I have learnt along the way doing this for my clients.

You will learn
• What Bicep is
• How to compose Bicep with VS Code
• How to create a pipeline in Azure DevOps to deploy the code
• How to add Logging and Monitoring to your Azure Data Platform
• How to create modules so that you can ensure that you deploy all of the resources that you require quickly, easily and repeatedly

You are
• Someone interested in Infrastructure as Code for cloud data resources
• Interested in learning new things
• Want to deploy consistently to Azure
• Never heard of Bicep or pipelines


Control your cloud data deployments - Deploy your Azure Data Solutions with Bicep and Azure DevOps

Lets migrate to the cloud.

You can go to the portal and click in the blades and manually create all of the resources that you need. Such as Azure SQL Databases, Azure SQL VMs, Azure Arc Enabled Managed Instances, Azure Databricks or Azure Data Factory for example. You will want to ensure that they are all logging to Log Analytics and have monitoring enabled, maybe you need all of them to have Private Endpoints set up.

But you will forget something, you will mistype something, you will need to create multiple environments and they will need to be the same. Manually creating things is time consuming and mistake prone.

Humans make mistakes.

Come and join me and I will show you how to deploy your data infrastructure into Azure using Bicep and Azure DevOps. How to ensure that when you deploy your resources, you automatically include Log Analytics or monitoring or add Private Endpoints.

You will learn
• What Bicep is
• How to compose Bicep with VS Code
• How to create a pipeline in Azure DevOps to deploy the code
• How to add Logging and Monitoring to your Azure Data Platform
• How to create modules so that you can ensure that you deploy all of the resources that you require quickly, easily and repeatedly

You are
• Someone interested in Infrastructure as Code for cloud data resources
• Interested in learning new things
• Want to deploy consistently to Azure
• Never heard of Bicep or pipelines


Think PowerShell and SQL is meh? Meet dbatools!

Come and join one of the creators of the most popular SQL Server open source PowerShell module and learn how we have used blog posts from many of the SQL community as inspiration for over 900 million* commands written by over 4tn* contributors.

Let me show you how easy it is to use PowerShell to accomplish many everyday tasks straight from the command line with the community developed module dbatools.

I will even demonstrate in containers using Jupyter Notebooks that you can try out for yourself on your own machine.

Afraid of PowerShell?
Worried its too complicated?
Don't want to go through the learning curve?

Let me show you with plenty of demos how easy and straight forward it can be and I will save you time starting Monday

Want to restore an entire servers databases to the latest available point in time of the backups in just one line?
Be useful to know the Last DBCC Check for your entire estate in only one line of code?
Need to test your restores but it's complicated?
and many many more
All this in a fast-paced, fun session
* Some numbers may have been exaggerated


Using PowerShell with Excel

You are often required to put data into Excel for sharing with business users. This is frequently a manual process involving copying and pasting and manipulating in Excel.

Come and lose the CTRL + C CTRL + V by learning how the ImportExcel module can help to automate this for you, including creating charts and conditionally formatting cells.


I ain't a Data Scientist - Why do I need Jupyter Notebooks?

Jupyter Notebooks were once the realm of Data Scientists. New releases of Azure Data Studio, Visual Studio Code, and .NET interactive tooling have brought this tooling into the Operational team's area. The biggest benefit of using Jupyter Notebooks is that you have your documentation, your code __and__ your results in the same source controllable document.

I will share with you all of the knowledge I have gained over the past 12 months implementing Jupyter Notebooks for Data Operation teams.

You will leave
- with a good understanding of possible use cases for Jupyter Notebooks
- being comfortable in using the different tooling
- with many examples that you can take back to work and start being effective immediately

Enabling collaboration with your team, simplifying common tasks, improving Incident Wash-Up meetings, creating run-books, easily creating code for others to use are some of the benefits that you will take away.
We will have fun as well.
Prerequisites: Working in an operational team supporting Data Platform systems.
Lack of pogonophobia!
Willingness to learn
We will use Azure Data Studio


Notebooks, PowerShell and Excel Automation

Everyone loves Excel. A common request that I hear is can you put that into Excel for me, please. I love automation and so have combined two of my favourite tools PowerShell and Notebooks. Using Jupyter Notebooks to accomplish regular tasks and run-books has become common over the past year.

A particular use-case that my clients have found very useful is to quickly create Excel sheets of information using Notebooks, PowerShell, and the ImportExcel module.

Let me share my experience with you and show you how to create your own Notebooks for your users and the tactics I have learned to enable users to self-service and create their own Excel Workbooks.


Creating Azure SQL Database Users Programmatically with a Service Principal using Azure DevOps

The cloud enables us to quickly and easily, create and destroy resources when we need them.
Automating this process reduces manual mistakes and the need for user input.

You can use Terraform to put Azure SQL Databases into Infrastructure as Code, then deploy them with Azure DevOps with any additional steps that your business requires for approvals or other processes

Once you can create your Azure SQL Database programmatically, a cool next step would be to be able to grant and remove access using automation as well.

With a sprinkling of dbatools and a couple of configuration changes, you can also set this up in Azure DevOps

This session will take you through the steps required to build an automated solution to create an Azure SQL Database with a Service Principal and create users and apply permissions using Azure DevOps, Terraform, Azure Key Vault and PowerShell.


Azure Arc-Enabled Data Services Introduction

Azure Arc Enabled Data Services allow you to provide the capabilities, functionality, and ease of management of Azure Data Services but hosted on your own infrastructure or in other clouds. This allows you to get all the latest Azure Data innovations, elastic scaling, and a single pane for all your data workloads with or without a direct connection to the cloud.

Being able to host your own PaaS services, no longer worrying about patches, upgrades and utilising system managed backups but still being able to manage those services from the Azure Portal and utilise Azure Monitor and Security systems will be appealing to many organisations who cannot fully migrate to the cloud or who want the ability to move to a different cloud provider in the future.

Come and learn about this offering and how it can help you to manage your Data Services no matter which cloud you are hosting them on.


A Managed Instance from nowt to query in 10 minutes with Azure Arc Enabled Data Services

Managed Instances in Azure take a considerable time to provision.
In this 10 minute session we will start with nowt and create a Managed Instance, restore a database to it, and query it inside 10 minutes using Azure Arc Enabled Data Services running on Kubernetes.

* nowt - Northern UK word meaning nothing


Past and future events

New Stars of Data Speaker Improvement Library

31 Dec 2022

SQL Ireland Meetup - 2022

11 Jan 2022 - 12 Dec 2022
Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

SQLBits

8 Mar 2022 - 12 Mar 2022
London, England, United Kingdom

Data Saturday Portugal 2021

18 Dec 2021

SQL Ireland – Annual Christmas Event 2021

14 Dec 2021

Data Saturday Slovenia 2021

11 Dec 2021

PASS Data Community Summit 2021

8 Nov 2021 - 12 Nov 2021

New Stars of Data #3

22 Oct 2021

Azure Bootcamp South Africa 2021

30 Sep 2021

PowerShell, DevOps and Cloud Conference

16 Sep 2021 - 17 Sep 2021

Data Saturday Oslo - Virtual

4 Sep 2021

Data ANZ

25 Jun 2021 - 26 Jun 2021

DataMinutes #1

11 Jun 2021

Power Saturday 2021

5 Jun 2021

Data Saturday Southwest US

15 May 2021

#DataWeekender v3.1

15 May 2021

Global Azure Lüdinghausen 2021

16 Apr 2021

New Stars of Data 2021

12 Mar 2021

Virtual Scottish Summit 2021

22 Feb 2021 - 27 Feb 2021

Data Ceili Dublin 2020

9 Jul 2020 - 10 Jul 2020
Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Power Saturday 2020

6 Jun 2020
Paris, Île-de-France, France

psconf.eu 2020

2 Jun 2020 - 5 Jun 2020
Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany

Data Community Weekender Europe

2 May 2020

dataMinds Connect 2019

7 Oct 2019 - 8 Oct 2019
Mechelen, Flanders, Belgium

Data Saturday Holland

5 Oct 2019
Utrecht, Netherlands

DATA:Scotland 2019

13 Sep 2019
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

DataGrillen 2019

20 Jun 2019 - 21 Jun 2019
Lingen, Lower Saxony, Germany

Techorama Belgium 2019

20 May 2019 - 22 May 2019
Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium

Data in Devon 2019

27 Apr 2019
Exeter, England, United Kingdom

SQLGLA 2018

14 Sep 2018
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

SQLGrillen 2018

21 Jun 2018 - 22 Jun 2018
Lingen, Lower Saxony, Germany

Battle of the Beards

29 Mar 2017