Testing labs

What sort of testing lab do you setup when you're testing things out? I hear see the world adventureworks almost as often as I see SQL in these books. Is there anything else out there? Jeremiah Peschka made a post recently about sample databases. Are there any others out there you all use? I personally use VMWare Workstation 10, though VirtaulBox works great... and it's free ^.~ . You can use Windows Server Trial for a lot of your testing... and you can use a trial of SQL Server or even just get the developer edition for 60$ and not worry about rebuilding every time.

My personal setup is VMWare Workstation running one Domain Controller, how ever many SQL boxes I need (normally 4 + a control) and i test everything out there using adventureworks and a SQL Load Generator.

I'd love to find a better load generator that works with 2014... What settings are you all using? Do you only test in prod... or do you have a server at work just to play with?

My workstation build is an Alienware M14 i7 4th gen with 16 gb of ram and I upgraded the hard drive to the Samsung Evo 1TB. (Yes, yes... The price tag is a bit much to deal with... but it's a 14 inch laptop that can play all my games, run all my projects and I can get about 5 hours of life out of it when I cut my settings down. It's soooo much more portable than my last ASUS 17 inch Knights of the Old Republic laptop) I can normally load 1 Domain Controller and 4 SQL boxes all without lagging my videos or youtube. I plan on removing the drive bay, getting an external drive and adding a second 2TB spinning drive for archive reasons.

Please respond with any information or thoughts you have on this. I'd love to hear the feed back.

Note: Still only one post for the free month from Plural Sight. Sounds like this will be an easy win if no one else joins in. Winner decided Wednesday!


  1. Northwind and perhaps even Pubs can still be used on SQL 2012:


    1. Also this Stack Overflow post:


    2. Very good information! Thanks for the post.


All opinions welcome! Please comment with any changes thoughts or discussion points.