Microsoft always provided us with some sample databases(remember Northwind, AdventureWorks and more recently Wide World Importers). These databases are small, easy to understand and great for testing purposes. The only problem is that they aren’t real world databases with real world problems. Also as they are quiet small, some performance issues will never show up when using these databases.
If you want the ‘real stuff’, I can recommend the Stack Overflow database. You can download a torrent of the SQL Server database version of the Stack Overflow data dump. Brent Ozar took the original data dump and converted it to a SQL Server database:
- Torrent file: http://u.brentozar.com/StackOverflow201603.7z.torrent
Be aware that the download is about 12GB and around 95GB after extraction.