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SQL PASS Summit 2011 – A First Timers View – Day 3

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

This post is part 3 of at least a 4 post article on my First Timer view of the SQL PASS Summit as I experienced it personally.  If you missed the first posts, click here.

Day 3

Day 3 for me, Day 2 of the Summit (Thursday) rolls around and today I’ve gotten up a little earlier to make it on the shuttle over to the convention center for the free breakfast at the Summit.  Yesterday I mentioned in my Day 2 summation that the hot breakfast from the Marriott was a better choice.  Don’t get me wrong, the breakfast at the Summit in the dining hall was OK, with typical cereal, yougurt and continental items, but it just wasn’t as good as the hot fresh breakfast items at the hotel.  So to me, in the end, the 10 block walk is worth it if your hotel is providing a hot breakfast for free too…

Anyway, on to the Summit Day 2 Keynote.  Plus, it’s SQL Kilt Day, so Bill Graziano, PASS Executive VP, is in a kilt, like another 30 or so other attendees, to introduce Day 2 and Quentin Clark (Corporate Vice President, SQL Server Database Systems Group Microsoft Corp) as the keynote speaker.

Quentin provided a second keynote comprised of a sales pitch.  This time focused mostly on what he called the “Fantastic 12”, the top 12 important features in SQL Server 2012.  Quentin is an entertaining speaker and also brought out quite a few Microsoft technologists and experts to cover the “Fantastic 12” in the keynote:

#1 Required 9’s & Protection – SSIS is a server, AlwaysOn, and HA for StreamInsight
#2 Blazing Fast Performance improvements to the SQL Engine, SSIS, and SSAS (and the new ColumnStore index (really sweet for DWH))
#3 Rapid Data Exploration
#4 Managed, Self-Service BI – Power View, PowerPivot
#5 Credible Consistent Data – Data Quality Services; Master Data Services
#6 Organizational Compliance Auditing; User-defined server roles
#7 Peace of mind – Distributed Replay Utility; System Center Advisor / MPs; Premier Mission Critical support
#8 Scalable data warehousing – Optimized & pre-tuned appliances from multiple vendors
#9 Fast time to solution
#10 Extend Any Data, Anywhere – Drivers for PHP, Java, Hadoop; ODBC drivers for Linux & CDC for SSIS & Oracle
#11 Optimized productivity SQL Server Data Tools (“Juneau”) for both OLTP and BI; deployment + targeting “freedom”
#12 Scale on demand AlwaysOn; Elastic Scale & Federation

Again, lots of demos and a lot of time spent talking about the Parallel Data Warehouse turn-key data warehousing hardware platform.  At least it was a good amount of information shoved into the space.

To see the entire keynote for yourself, click this link.

The rest of the day was just like the first day, filled with sessions and Expert Pods and a quick stop into the SQL Server Clinic put on by Microsoft and staffed with escalation team and sqlCAT team members to answer tough questions you brought with you.  Unfortunately, I have tough questions about merge and transactional replication issues and there was no one in the clinic to answer them.  The recommended I post them to them to the MS forums or Connect.  I did get to take a bag full of SWAG for my SQL PASS Chapter though, so that was a #win.

Thursday evening was the night of the Microsoft sponsored Community Appreciation Party held across the street from the convention center at Gamewerks.  This event was awesome.  A huge sportsbar/arcade cover a massive amount of square footage.  There was free food and drinks again of course.  And then, to spur networking, there was a contest where you had to find 5 new people, get to know them a bit, and have them put their name and email addy on a card.  I met some neat people, played a bunch of games, and found out the next day that I’d won in that contest.  A new xBox360 Kinect!  #winning #sqlpass rocks!

Back to the hotel instead of where a lot of people go, SQL Karaoke, but it was a great night anyhow.  The walk back to the hotel was chilly, but I called my wife and we chatted the entire walk back.  #morewinning

Little work for the company to wind down and some shut eye to prepare for the final day….was almost sad it was this close to the end…..


SQL PASS Summit 2011 – A First Timers View – Day 2

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

This post is part 2 of at least a 4 post article on my First Timer view of the SQL PASS Summit as I experienced it personally.  If you missed the first post, click here.

Day 2

So day 2 began with a fairly early rise.  I was staying about 10 blocks from the Washington State Convention Center (again, at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites), so I would need to walk or catch the shuttle at the top of each hour.  I missed the 7AM shuttle by about 5 minutes trying to get ready, so I opted for a hot breakfast at the hotel (which we’ll find later was a good choice).  After a hot breakfast, I trekked it up to the convention center and checked Guidebook (a fantastic additional scheduling and conference organizational tool that PASS decided to use again this year I hear) for any changes to schedules or sessions I was interested in, and then headed into the main conference room for the first Keynote and opening of the 2011 SQL PASS Summit. 

So although there was a lot of Tweeting and blogging going on during the keynote by Ted Kummert (Senior Vice President, Business Platform Division Microsoft Corp), I’ll highlight some things I thought were important, but below are my takeaways:

       *  SQL Server “Denali” is now officially named SQL Sever 2012 and will be released to RTM the first half of 2012
       *  Microsoft has recognized Big Data, and its associated technologies, are very real things and are releasing a provider/connector for Hadoop
       *  SQL Server Deep Dives 2 is being premiered at the Summit and you can get it signed by many of the 54 co-authors here at the Summit

To see the entire keynote for yourself, click this link.

Now, if you’re still with me, the keynote was cool as a first timer because I’d never seen this much of a production put on for a technology conference.  4000 attendees, making this the biggest Summit yet, in attendance and chomping at the bit to get the latest information and ready to get onto a full day of sessions and networking.  The anxiety and excitement was almost palpable.  As the keynote closed, everyone was again welcomed to the Summit and we all headed our separate, but collective ways, to our intended sessions. 

If I hadn’t already mentioned it, there were 170 sessions over 3 days.  With only five 45 minute to 1 hr 15 minute sessions (and some even spanned two sessions because of their depth), you do the math.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day (or even a solid week for that matter) to see it all.  Guess that’s what the DVD’s are for.

So I attended sessions on Day 2.  All good.  Some great.  Lunch was a chapter luncheon, so I sat at a table specifically designated for the Wichita, Omaha, and Lincoln SQL Server User Groups.  Unbelievably I was the only one there from the Wichita area.  Got to meet some cool people though, and hope we’ll stay connected and share often.  Later in the day I got to spend some time in the Exhibition Hall looking at the different vendor’s offerings and signing up for all the giveaways to be done the next day.  It was fun.  There were also SQL Server Expert Pods located all over the 6th floor to cover a range of topics.  Always manned by MVPs or Microsoft Experts, these are great places to spend the session hours, especially if you have a question you need answered and you’re going to buy the DVDs anyway.

After the regular conference day is thru, there are plenty of after-hours events and parties to get invites to if you spent your time well with the vendor’s.  Make an effort to be sure you have options for the evenings, and don’t just head back to your hotel.  Again, I don’t drink, but hanging out with your SQL comrades is fun even when you’re sober.

Day 2 in the books.  Tired, but really having a good time.  Met some cool people.  Chatted with MVPs, experts, and SQL Server Community celebrities.  #SQLWinning

Check back tomorrow for Day 3 (2nd conference day) details.


April 2011 Wichita SQL Server User Group Meeting

Friday, April 8th, 2011

April 2011 WSSUG Meeting

Topic:    Accelerating your Database and Applications with Fusion-io Technology
Date:   Thursday, April 21st, 2011, 6-8:30PM
Speaker:   Brian Terry
Location:   Glorious Bible Church
Overview:   Fusion-io is a pioneering purveyor of NAND Flash based ioMemory –a non-volatile technology that physically acts like persistent memory, yet logically acts like disk. Our presentation will describe ioMemory as a new performance tier that enables data decentralization and consolidation through performance.

 We will explore NAND Flash technology implementations and contrast these to Fusion-io’s approach to leveraging this technology to provide massive performance improvements. Additionally we’ll discuss database and application use cases to illustrate how this technology can be quickly implemented any many common environments.

Sponsor:   Sogeti USA  

Future Wichita SQL Server Users Group

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

11/02/2010 Update:

As promised, I’m keeping you all up to date on the progress for an official Wichita SQL Server Users Group. I have submitted application to PASS for a Wichita chapter and am currently working with a regional mentor to get things started off on the right foot.  I have verbal comittment from a sponsor, access to a meeting location for as long as needed, and will be working on policies and documentation to become an official non-profit with working bylaws.  

No official meeting dates yet as I have more groundwork to accomplish, but look for something no later than early first quarter 2011.  

So again, if you’re interested in attending, get word out to your peers (DBAs, Accidental DBAs, Developers, and the like). After the first meeting or two under our belt, we’ll need to have members step up and fill board positions. Bylaws will dictate, but I imagine there will be two (2) alternating sets of (2)year term positions.  This is something to consider if you want to become a contributing member of the SQL Server community (and won’t hurt listing on your resume either). 

Anyway, this is exciting news! Please keep checking back for updates (even if it’s not for my regular posts 😉 )!  If you have ideas or questions, don’t hesitate to contact me thru the contact page and introduce yourself.