It’s been a while since my last post. Eight years actually. Unfortunately when the blog went offline back in January 2013 I lost my muse for a while. Like all IT professionals working in Ops, I did still write the occasional “TL;DR” email or publish an article in my workplaces’ internal Wiki. I was initially put off by the fact that the blog had to be set up from scratch.

When I look back at what happened in the last eight years I realise that I have been far from idle. I recently also started getting photo reminders from my Cloud provider “AI” of events that happened a number of years ago. I will not get into whether photos should or should not be stored in Cloud storage - opinions vary, and that is a matter for another discussion.

So, what’s been going on?


I worked with various teams (Enterprise Architects, Server Admins, Storage Admins, Network Admins, DBAs for other DBMS’, Management, and a variety of business users) to design a new consolidated environment for the Government of Malta (my country of birth).

This same year saw me experiencing career growth, becoming the “unofficial” Lead DBA (SQL Server) in a team of three. Our collaboration and camaraderie resulted in successful projects.

A holiday to Skerries, Ireland was a welcome break from work.


Once the hardware was procured, delivered and installed, we started the installation and configuration of the new consoldated environment. This came hand-in-hand with provisioning development and other non-production environments, as well as planning the upgrades and migrations of a considerable number of database systems to the new version. This was a long-term project spilling over to 2015 and, if I recall correctly, we migrated/upgraded (or worked with Developers to upgrade) more than 250 applications, a lot of which were still on SQL Server 2000, and some even on SQL Server 7.

This year my “disconnect time” was a holiday to Donegal, Ireland.

My workplace also gave me the opportunity to attend the Microsoft TechEd, held in Barcelona, Spain in October/November.


The migration, consolidation and upgrade of various application databases continued almost non-stop.

My wife and I were also considering our move to Ireland more seriously. A dream that had been postponed for various reasons, for a number of years.

I completed the EDX course “DAT203X: Data Science and Machine Learning Essentials”, passing the exam. That was a tough nut to crack, especially since I did not have any background in Mathematics or Statistics.


My wife and I decided to take the plunge and move to Ireland. Leaving family and friends behind, and my job of sixteen years, was a tough decision but we felt it was for the best. We spent the next three years in a rented apartment in Howth, Co. Dublin.

Moving to another country also gave me the opportunity to attend my first SQL Saturday Ireland conference at the National College Of Ireland in Dublin.

After that conference I joined the SQL Ireland User Group, and attend monthly meetings organised through MeetUp.


The original version of my SQL Monitor was based on a number of SSIS packages, however I wasn’t too happy with the dependency on the SSIS service nor the fact that the packages required a specific IDE version to apply changes; so I decided to write a new version of SQL Monitor using PowerShell and publish it to GitHub. More about this in a future article.

I attended the SQL Saturday Ireland 2017 conference at Trinity College in Dublin.


My employer provided me with the opportunity to attend my first major SQL Server conference - the “SQLBits 2018 - The Magic of Data” held at the Olympia in London, England.

Later that year I attended SQL Saturday Ireland 2018 conference at the University College Cork (UCC), in Cork.


We finally got to buy our own piece of Irish soil and moved into our new home.

I attended the SQL Saturday Ireland 2019 conference which was once again held at the University College Cork (UCC), in Cork.

Sadly, I had to sell my Honda Shadow VT-600C motorcycle after 18 years of great adventures. I miss that bike some days.

I decided to try something new, and work on a topic that wasn’t within my comfort zone, and took up the CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst course.

I began to look into GutHub Pages and Jekyll as a platform to host the new version of this blog.


Passed my CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst exam.

I changed jobs in March. On the sixth day of my new employment, the country went on lockdown and I relocated to a desk at home. That has been my workplace ever since.

This was the year inspriation hit; I decided it was time to bring my blog back to life. I converted the original SQL Server Diaries blog content from an eight year old Wordpress backup (one huge XML file) to individual Markdown files. I will be sharing the experience at a later date.

I have a lot of new ideas and can’t wait to share them with you over the course of 2021.

Thank you for visiting. Stay safe and have a great day!