Interview with Balmukund Lakhani – MS SQL Server Employee, Forum’s Moderator and Forum’s Ninja

Good day, everyone!

Today is Monday and I'd like to introduce  Balmukund Lakhani - MS SQL Server Engineer, Forum's Moderator and Forum's Ninja.

Many folks, who visit SQL Server forums, undoubtedly know Balmukund for his expert answers. I noticed him about 6 years ago and soon we became friends on Facebook. I had few occasions to seek Balmukund's help in private with some tough SQL Server problems I or my colleague had and he was always  extremely helpful. I am very fortunate to have such a great friend.

Let's look at Balmukund's profile impressive statistics:

  • More than 38k Recognition Points!
  • 1,326 Answered Questions
  • 2,172 Helpful Posts
  • 4,782 Replies
  • Total of 29 Medals!
    Medals for Balmukund

Some Examples of Recent Posts from Balmukund:


Let's start the interview.

Tell us first about yourself. Who are you, where do you live, what are your specialty technologies?

My name is Balmukund and I am currently working with Microsoft as SQL Server Support Escalation Engineer. I live in Bangalore and I have come here in April 2005 when I joined Microsoft as support engineer. Since then I have been supporting everything which comes under the umbrella of SQL Server Database Engine, which includes installation, uninstallation, performance tuning, backup, restore, replication, log shipping, mirroring and my favorite AlwaysOn technologies and In-Memory OLTP.

with family

How did you become involved with SQL Server and how did you start working for Microsoft?

As a part of my role at Microsoft, I work with SQL Server product every single day. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2005, I worked as SQL developer, SQL DBA and also got a chance to wear my other hat as a ERP Consultant in Ahmedabad. It was a long round of many interviews to get into anyone’s dream company Microsoft.

What are your big projects now?

As a part of escalation services, we are responsible to work at toughest SQL Server related issues. I have worked with many high profile customers to assist them in various issues. As of now I am involved in many internal projects including SQL Server on Linux.


In what other sites and communities do you contribute your technical knowledge?

I have my own web site, where I wrote a lot of blogs about SQL Server In-Memory OLTP when it was launched. It also has some tips and tricks to solve SQL Server related issues.


When did you start participating in online forums? Which forums are your favorite to visit?

I have been helping customers since I joined Microsoft SQL Support team. Since troubleshooting a problem and finding solution is my passion, I started answering in forums in year 2008 (I think) and then it has become an addiction to share the knowledge and help others in being successful. Here are my frequently visited forums: Database Design, Database Mirroring, Getting started with SQL Server, SQL Server Database Engine, SQL Server Documentation, SQL Server Express, SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery, SQL Server In-Memory Technologies, SQL Server Manageability, SQL Server Migration, SQL Server Search, SQL Server Security, SQL Server Setup & Upgrade, SQL Server SMO/DMO, SQL Server Tools, Transact-SQL.


In MSDN/TechNet forums, can you name your favorite threads?

I would consider all of those threads as my favorite where I was able to help someone in solving their problem.


Can you name a few people who you consider your mentors or role model? 

Few people who have influenced me to grow technically are Bob Ward, Suresh B. Kandoth and my current mentor Venu. All of them are/were part of SQL Escalation services team at Microsoft. Even though I have not interacted a lot with each one of them but still I have a lot of respect for them.


Who impressed you in online community and why?

I always liked the response by Erland because quality of his answers is very high. One the other hand Shashank (Shanky), Kalman Toth and Hilary Cotter are few more who always pitch in with right answers. Whenever it comes to T-SQL, I always look for answer by Naomi.


Do you moderate any forums? What forum moderation means to you, can you share some tips for other moderators?

Yes. Forums which I listed earlier are the one which are moderate as well. Forum moderation is a powerful task and as they say “With great power comes great responsibility”. Sometime you need more leadership skill rather than technical skill to maintain forum ethics.

As an improvement, I believe, there should be option for moderators to block someone who is putting marketing content or spamming the forums.

Same as other moderators, I hate spammers and those who put marketing content as an answer.


Do you have ideas and suggestions for the forums?

I always want the experts to have patience and not to challenge the capability of a person who has posted the question. Sometime questions are very basic and sometimes senseless also. But always put yourself in the shoe of the person who has asked the question. Never insult anyone on forum.


Would you like to add something in conclusion?

I always believe that there's a solution to every problem and a reason for everything. This is true for personal as well as professional life.


Thanks a lot to Balmukund for the great answers and now he is waiting for your comments and questions.





Comments (20)
  1. A great interview. Thank you.

    1. Balmukund says:

      Thanks a lot Richard!

  2. Good one always there when we need help .

    1. Balmukund says:

      @Navratan – I am glad that I can help community .

  3. Narendra Reddy says:


    1. Balmukund says:

      Thanks NaReddy 🙂

  4. I echo your responses for the great SQL Server forum contributors:

    “I always liked the response by Erland because quality of his answers is very high. One the other hand Shashank (Shanky), Kalman Toth and Hilary Cotter are few more who always pitch in with right answers. Whenever it comes to T-SQL, I always look for answer by Naomi.”

    This is a great interview! Thanks!

    1. Balmukund says:

      Your comment means a lot to me Ed. Thanks for all your help in driving community initiatives.

  5. Lohith K S Chalam says:

    Good Interview.. Got to know more about Balmukund, who has been phenomenal is responding all sql server queries and he has been hope for many DBAs queries and been a role model to most of them (including myself). I would consider myself lucky to interact with him in person many a times.

  6. pituach says:

    Great interview! Thanks for sharing Naomi 🙂

    Nice to meet you Balmukund 🙂
    >> ” Support Escalation Engineer”
    sound VERY interesting, dealing with all the unique and interesting cases. I would like to read more about these unique cases, by the way. I love reading about case studies. I will definitely gonna check out your blog.

    1. Balmukund says:

      Thanks Ronen. I would try to share such information via my blog.

  7. Shanky_621 says:

    I knew about Balmukund because we both are from same country and share some common friends. If you happen to find him on MS forum and your are with some failed installation or stack dump or some other issue you are sure to get some pointers and solutions in most cases. I recently got one from him, it was silly from my side but he sure did catch it within a minute.
    Thanks for being on forums and making it better place.

    1. Balmukund says:

      @Shanky – I am glad that I was able to assist you during some strange setup issue. You are one of my inspiration to help community.

  8. Anoop Kumar P says:

    Balmukund is a legend. Like he said,He has solution for all SQL related stuffs

    1. Balmukund says:

      Hi Anoop – Nice to see your comment. Thanks a lot.

  9. Hemant says:

    I know Balmukund for the past 11+ years and was lucky to work with him from 2005-2008. He is a real SQL server Geek! I remember customers used to ask for him to work on their issues and was ready to wait if he was busy addressing other customer issues. He is an asset to Microsoft & to the SQL Server Family. I wish him all the very best for all his future projects and Good Luck!

    1. Balmukund says:

      Thanks a lot Hemant for those kind words.

  10. Dharmendra says:

    Thanks Naomi for the excellent interview! He is one of the best and my favorite community leader in India. He always guides, supports and makes sure any question posted on the SQL Usergroup ‘SQLBangalor’, that should be replied. He is a fantastic person…

    The third picture I always describe as BPV (Bullet-Proof-Verdict)

    B = Balmukund =You will get reply from him like Bullet
    P = Pinal = If you need any proof of how it (SQL) works, Google that you will get his website to explain
    V = Vinod = If the given answer is not correct, he always corrects. That becomes final call for you to proceed

  11. Himanshu Verma says:

    Good Interview and inspiring also. Learnt a lot from this conversation as being a SQL Server DBA.
    Balmukund has always been inspirational, when i logged a support request at microsoft.

Comments are closed.

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