Introducing the Database Experimentation Assistant

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In the Channel 9 studios this week is Harini Gupta, a Senior Program Manager on the SQL Server SEALS team, and Dinek Kothottil, a Senior Engineering Manager on the SQL Server SEALS team.

Both Harini and Dinek are in the studio today to show off a new tool currently in preview called the Database Experimentation Assistant, a tool that enables migrating from a lower version of SQL Server to the latest version of SQL Server. However, it is much different than the Data Migration Assistant in that the Database Experimentation Assistant provides clarity into the complexity and risks of upgrading.

Harini and Dinek explain that the DEA focus is on key upgrade and migration areas such as understanding breaking changes or performance implications through looking at production workload comparisons between your current version and SQL Server 2016.

At the [03:15] mark we get into the high-level architecture and how the Data Experimentation Assistant to capture, replay, and analyzes workloads across SQL Server versions. Harini and Dinek explain how this works and what to expect during the process.

At the [05:35] mark it is DEMO TIME! Dinek spends the remaining 15 minutes of the show demoing the Database Experimentation Assistant tool, including capturing a trace, replaying the trace, and interrogating traces and tests to gain insights into the workload comparisons.

The DEA is a GREAT tool and we look forward to having Harini and Dinek back to provide updates to the tool. They are also looking for feedback on the tool, so download it and provide feedback via the links below!

You can download the latest DEA from here:

Data Migration Team blog:






The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Would the Data Migration Assistant allow us to replay workloads against Azure SQL Database to test a migration from on-prem to Azure SQL DB?

  • User profile image

    @John:The Database Migration Assistant won't allow you to replay workloads, but it will help you migrate your schema and data to Azure SQL DB.

    If you meant to ask whether DEA would allow you to replay against Azure SQL Database, the answer is no, DEA doesn't support that scenario yet.

  • User profile image

    This tool would be brilliant if it was easy to set up, more user friendly, like DMA.
    Also the error messages are not intuitive.

  • User profile image
    Mindy Curnutt

    I'd love to see this tool get more love. I see there was a new version that came out in Sept 2019. I'm teaching a session that's a combination of this tool (the command line pieces) + the distributed replayable trace but then with my own analytic component. The times I've tried to run the reporting / analytics piece my traces are too large and the tool cannot handle it. Also, would be nice to not have to recreate the IRF over and over again. I have so many ideas, I'd love to chat w/someone at MS about it. Neither of the speakers in this video are in the same positions any longer, who is over this tool now? (11/2019)

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