Monday, November 23, 2009

Replication Scripts: Show All Transactional Publications & Subscribers At Distributor

Anybody who has talked with me about replication or heard me present about it knows that I recommend using a dedicated remote distributor for anything beyond light replication workloads. Unfortunately neither SSMS nor Replication Monitor provide an easy "one view to rule them all" way at the distributor (or anywhere else) to show every transactional publication, subscriber, and article they're subscribed to. The only way to gather that information using SSMS is to script out each publication and visually parse the scripts. I manage hundreds of publications & subscriptions and that's not a reasonable option for me so I've written this script to show me everything at once:

-- Show Transactional Publications and Subscriptions to articles at Distributor
-- Run this on the DISTRIBUTOR
-- Add a WHERE clause to limit results to one publisher\subscriber\publication\etc
SELECT  publishers.srvname AS [Publisher] ,
publications.publisher_db AS [Publisher DB] ,
publications.publication AS [Publication] ,
subscribers.srvname AS [Subscriber] ,
subscriptions.subscriber_db AS [Subscriber DB] ,
articles.article AS [Article]
FROM    sys.sysservers AS publishers
INNER JOIN distribution.dbo.MSarticles AS articles ON publishers.srvid = articles.publisher_id
INNER JOIN distribution.dbo.MSpublications AS publications ON articles.publisher_id = publications.publisher_id
AND articles.publication_id = publications.publication_id
INNER JOIN distribution.dbo.MSsubscriptions AS subscriptions ON articles.publisher_id = subscriptions.publisher_id
AND articles.publication_id = subscriptions.publication_id
AND articles.article_id = subscriptions.article_id
INNER JOIN sys.sysservers AS subscribers ON subscriptions.subscriber_id = subscribers.srvid

-- Limit results to subscriber 
--WHERE   subscribers.srvname = '[Subscriber Server Name]'

---- Limit results to publisher and publication
--WHERE   publishers.srvname = '[Publisher Server Name]'
--        AND MSpublications.publication = '[Publication Name]'

ORDER BY publishers.srvname ,
subscribers.srvname ,
publications.publication ,

This script also works for distributors running SQL 2000; just substitute master.dbo.sysservers in place of sys.sysservers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

PASS Summit 2009 Final Thoughts…or What I've Learned From The 2009 Summit

Welcome to PASS Summit Unite 2009 Last week I wrote a day by day recount of my PASS Summit experience (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday). Since then I've been tagged by The Midnight DBAs™  to talk about what I learned from the Summit…so I'm going to use the opportunity to share a few thoughts that didn't fit into my previous posts.

What worked

  • I rode the Light Link Rail from the airport into downtown for a whopping $2.50. That sure beat spending $40 on a cab!
  • To cut costs I split a room at the Sheraton. That put me right next to the convention center and lowered the amount to a rate acceptable for my company to cover, plus it gave me the chance to build a professional relationship beyond just chatting in the hallway between sessions. Win-win-win.
  • Twitter was a hot thing at the Summit this year. Because of the relationships that I formed on Twitter in the months leading up to the Summit I showed up feeling like I already knew 75 people there. It's a lot easier going to a party with people you know than going by yourself. Twitter also proved itself useful at the Summit in two ways:
    1. Entertainment: Reading the comments tagged with #sqlpass during the keynotes (e.g. Tuesday when the rack of servers were about to lift off and Thursday when Dell was…well, I have no idea what Dell was doing on Thursday. I don't think they did either).
    2. Value: Figuring out where people were at or what the nighttime entertainment of choice was.
  • I knew I wanted to meet as many people as I could so I pre-printed a lot of personal contact cards with URLs for Twitter, LinkedIn, and my personal email address. Exchanging information after a greeting was as easy as handing them my card. Surprisingly there were people who came to the Summit without any business cards to hand out.
  • Flying the redeye home. It gave me Friday to do some sightseeing around Seattle and sleeping made the long flight home easier.

 What I'll do differently next time

  • Bring a travel umbrella. Although I had a waterproof jacket, that only covered the top half. I was fortunate that it didn't rain more.
  • Arrive a day earlier. I flew on Monday which made for a loooong day after all the opening activities were done. It would have been nice to arrive on Sunday and adjust to the time zone difference.
  • I'm not 100% sold on staying at the Sheraton. Sure it's nice to be close by, but it wouldn't have been a big deal to walk an extra couple of blocks for $50 less per night.
  • Bring a real camera. I used the camera on my iPhone and it was OK, but I would have appreciated having zoom and higher quality pictures (especially at the keynotes). Fortunately other people have been kind enough to post their pictures on Flickr.
  • Get better contact cards. I printed mine at Staples at the last minute. They worked, but they could have looked much better if I had pre-ordered them from instead of leaving it to the day before I arrived.
  • Leave the extension cord at home. I brought a 16' cord with me so I didn't have to camp out for a plug along the outside wall at each session. I didn't even use it once. I either ran off battery power or just put my laptop to sleep and listened to the speaker.

imageOther random thoughts
Initially I complained about the Summit being in Seattle. "It's prohibitive for people on the east coast to come!" I said. However, after going to the Summit I realize that Seattle is a great location for it. Why? Public transportation into downtown and having everything within walking distance. I'd love for the conference to be in my hometown of Orlando, and we certainly have the facilities for it, but if you want to get anywhere here you need to drive. I don't think that having everyone drive away at the end of the day to get to their hotels, go to dinner, etc. facilities networking. Meeting people and getting the chance to build relationships with them is one of the biggest things I got out of the week. I'm not saying there aren't other cities that could host the Summit, just that I can understand why Seattle works well.

So what now?
Now it's back to the real world and time to put all those great things I learned into action! First off, I'm getting the Summit DVDs and sharing them with my coworkers. I got to go to the Summit, now they get to benefit from it. I'll hold lunch and learns every week and let them pick which sessions to watch. Second, seeing the emphasis that Microsoft is placing on BI reinforced to me that I need to learn SSAS and BI, and fast! I've already started identifying ways that my company can benefit from it; now it's time to put my head down and figure this stuff out. Finally, I'm already looking forward to the next Summit in 2010. You can bet that I'm going to do everything I can to make it back next year and make it even better!

Jason Massie, Michelle Ufford, and Aaron Nelson - tag, you're it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Looking Back – PASS Summit 2009 Day 5

Since this was my time visiting Seattle I opted to stay an extra day and take in the sights and sounds of the city. I wasn't signed up for any post-cons so I was able to sleep in past 8 for the first time all week. I met up with Aaron Nelson (Blog | Twitter) for breakfast then headed back to the hotel to pack up and check out. I had collected enough SWAG to have too much to pack in my carry on so I made a stop by the FedEx store to ship some things back home (right in the convention center, how convenient!). I could have checked my carry on and used the plastic PASS bag to haul stuff around, but for almost the same price as checking a bag I had a traceable, insured package and no worries about security checkpoints or theft along the way.

I spent Friday afternoon at the Space Needle with Michelle Ufford (Blog | Twitter), Aaron Nelson (Blog | Twitter), and Mike Wells (Twitter). Mike and I continued on to the Pike Place Market to wander around and grabbed a coffee at the original Starbucks while we were there. From there we headed to dinner where we met up with Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter), Rick Heiges (Blog | Twitter), and Wayne Snyder. After dinner Mike stayed behind to meet up with relatives who were in town while the rest of us shared a ride to the airport. Wayne and I were on the same flight together so we sat for a few hours and talked about PASS and other SQL related things while we waited to catch the redeye.

I finally arrived back in Orlando Saturday morning. It was tough getting back to reality (and East Coast time) but the things I saw and did, and the people I met at the Summit during the week made it worth it. I'll be back next year – count on it!

Space Needle Looking downtown from the Space Needle Pike Place Market First Starbucks Store

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Looking Back – PASS Summit 2009 Day 4

SQL Saturday breakfast at Top Pot Thursday started off with a meeting of the SQL Saturday minds over breakfast at Top Pot Donuts a few blocks away from the convention center where we spent about an hour talking about how to engage the local community and grow the SQL Saturday brand. I got sucked into another work related problem, but I had an aircard so I could stay and enjoy a local establishment that I don't have at home.

The final keynote presentations were…a roller coaster. Things started with Wayne Snyder giving a very genuine and heartfelt delivery of a special award presented to Kevin Kline (Blog | Twitter) for his many years of service to PASS. Then Dell's rep put everyone to sleep by mailing in their 20 minutes (no kidding, he said "blah blah blah" at one point!). Dr. David DeWitt of Microsoft's Jim Gray Systems Lab saved the day with a fantastic technical presentation that included zero marketing. A deep technical talk delivered to an audience full of geeks made it the best keynote of the week, hands down. I live blogged it here, but honestly I didn't do it justice. Thankfully Dr. DeWitt's keynote will be included on the Summit DVD set and is reason enough alone to drop the $125 for a copy.

I spent next hour closing out the problems from work earlier in the day, then sat with Jack Corbett (Blog | Twitter) at the OPASS table in the dining hall for the chapter leader lunch. We didn't get anybody else from the Central Florida area, but it wasn't a big deal as we had a few random folks join us to talk shop.

Hanging out at the 4th floor couchesAfter lunch I lingered around the couches on the 4th floor to network (and pick up one of the Starbucks cards Steve Jones was giving away), then spent the rest of the afternoon in the speaker ready room getting ready for my Transactional Replication session at 4 PM. I had about 30 people come - not bad for the final session of the last day. I made all the key points I needed to, fielded lots of great questions, but had to skip some demos due to lack of time. I didn't get thrown off stage though, and I heard positive feedback from a few folks afterwards so I feel confident that I did an OK job. Obviously I am anxious to see how the speaker evals turn out, and hopefully I get the chance to come back and talk again at the 2010 Summit!

The end of the Summit felt like a bit of a letdown to me. I walked back out to the 4th floor couches after my session and although there were a few people I knew hanging out there wasn't anything official to signal the end of the conference. I think some kind of simple reception with closing remarks (no food necessary), maybe a re-announcement of who won awards during the week, a final thank you to volunteers, and a chance for people to say their goodbyes would have been fine.

Dinner Thursday night was with fellow Friends of Red Gate. The folks at Red Gate really treated us well – easily the best dinner of the week – and I felt privileged to sit at the same table with Adam Machanic (Blog | Twitter), Tom LaRock (Blog | Twitter), and Paul Nielson (Blog). The great food and conversation more than made up for the lack of any official close to the Summit. It's too bad it couldn't end like that for all attendees.

Good times at Bush Garden With the summit done (save post-cons on Friday) it was time to let loose. Monday night's karaoke shenanigans at Bush Garden were so fun that several people went for an encore. Word must have spread because the place was packed with summit-goers. We stayed until closing time, enjoying the singing, drinks, and new found friendships that had been forged throughout the week. Good times all around!

…Day 5 and final thoughts coming tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking Back – PASS Summit 2009 Day 3

I started Wednesday planning on going to the Quest sponsored breakfast (plus presentation about DMVs) but when I bailed when I saw the line of 50+ people leading out the door. I ran into Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter), Patrick LeBlanc (Blog | Twitter), and Greg Larson (Blog| Twitter) on the way to the dining hall; the four of us grabbed some breakfast together and talked shop before making our way to the keynote.

I lived blogged the keynote, but if you haven't read it or heard it elsewhere it was focused on BI in SQL 2008 R2 – mostly PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for Sharepoint. Basic gist – only 20% of decision makers have the data they really need and it's up to us IT folk to give it to them or "that guy" will create some hodgepodge solution in Access that we will end up having to support. (Now if I could just figure out those fancy cube thingies I might be able to help with that…)

After the keynote I caught Paul Randal's (Blog | Twitter) session on logging and recovery. Unfortunately I got the inevitable call from work about a problem so I spent half the time listening and half the time trying to put out a fire. Regardless, I thought it was a great session that reinforced some of what I already knew (good) but I was still able to pick up a few new things (better). One thing I'll mention that I was surprised he didn't – you can use DBCC SQLPERF(logspace) to see a summary of transaction log size, % space used, and status for all databases on the instance.

From Paul's session I went to the Women In Technology luncheon where I think I was one of about 20 men in the room (it was dark though, so hard to count). Honestly, I'm disappointed that more men didn't come to this. The food was great (better than the dining hall!) and the speakers – Jessica Moss (Blog | Twitter), Kathi Kellenberger (Blog | Twitter), Cathi Rodgveller (Twitter), and Lynn Langit (Blog | Twitter) – were fantastic. If you haven't read it, check out Michelle Ufford's (Blog | Twitter) live blog of the event. A nice bonus is that I won a Zune 120 at the end which I plan to give to my daughter as a Christmas present (keeping with the theme of introducing women to technology, of course).

PASS HQ booth outside exhibitor hall After lunch I made my way to the exhibitor's hall and spent an hour and a half talking with Red Gate and SQL Sentry. I didn't realize it at the time, but the exhibit hall was only open through Wednesday and I had arrived in the last few hours. Lucky for me, because I walked out with books and a stack of T-Shirts to give away back home.

Since I had just been sucked into a production issue earlier in the day I thought it was a good time to go visit the SQLCAT clinic and see if they could help me figure out what happened. All I can say is those cats are smart! No surprise I got the answers that I needed…and felt like what I knew about SQL was tiny and insignificant compared to Bob Ward (who I happened to get paired up with).

I wrapped up the afternoon by going to the PASS Board of Directors Q&A session. I'm not sure if there were more people up on stage or in the audience – and yes, that's a knock against people who didn't come. There was a virtual donnybrook over the BOD elections this year (see here, here, here, and here if you don't know what I mean) and I'm surprised that more people didn't show up to grill the board express their opinion. There were some interesting questions asked, but nothing too pressing or controversial. I'm sure it could have gone worse. Either way I'm glad to see the BOD recognize that the SQL community is paying attention and is willing to show some transparency into what they are doing for us and how.

Wednesday night's party was courtesy of Microsoft – they rented out GameWorks across from the convention center, paid for food and drinks, and gave everybody swipe cards for unlimited games. It was there I made the biggest networking blunder of the Summit…I met Ted Kummert (as in the Ted Kummert who gave the opening keynote the day before) and, thanks to some tips I learned from Don Gabor, was able to keep a conversation going despite not knowing him personally or otherwise having much in common. My big mistake, though, was not giving him my business card before parting ways. Would he have chucked it in the trash? Yeah, probably…but I didn't even give him the chance to.

I left GameWorks to join up with my friends Steve Jones, Andy Warren, and Jack Corbett (Blog | Twitter) for dinner at PF Chang's just down the road, then headed back to my room for an early night. I was presenting my session the next day and wanted to try to put some time in on it, but lack of sleep got the better of me and I fell asleep before midnight for the first (and only) time since I had arrived in Seattle.

…Day 4 tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Looking Back – PASS Summit 2009 Day 2

Tuesday Keynote - 192 Cores!Tuesday started early for me because I had to be at the bloggers table in time for the opening remarks and keynotes starting at 7:45 AM. I had just enough time to grab a quick breakfast from the dining hall before finding my spot. I live blogged the keynote if you want to read all the details. To sum it up: it was twice as long as it needed to be, a bit fluffy on the marketing side, and made it clear that BI is what Microsoft is concentrating on in the near future (*cough* PowerPivot *cough*). Note to Microsoft for next year: when presenting to a room full of DBAs showing off Visual Studio is probably not the best use of your keynote time. The most entertaining part was when the rack full of servers overheated, the fans spun up to max RPMs, and everybody on twitter was taking guesses about whether or not there would be an explosion on stage.

After the keynote I went to Michelle Ufford's (Blog | Twitter) presentation on how GoDaddy prepared for the anticipated load that Super Bowl 2009 would put on their database servers. Michelle was a first-time PASS presenter like me and I thought she did a great job speaking clearly, staying on topic, and answering questions that came up. Tony Davis (Blog), Editor of Simple-Talk, was in the audience as well and I took advantage of the opportunity to meet with him and talk DMVs while waiting for Michelle to finish answering questions afterwards.

Michelle, Tony, and I made our way to the dining hall for the Birds of a Feather lunch and ended up sitting at Kathi Kellenberger's (Blog | Twitter) table. I talked with Kathi for a while about using T-SQL to select random rows from a table and she was kind enough to give me a personalized signed copy of her book Beginning T-SQL 2008. Also at the table was Kathi's editor from Apress; I took advantage of the opportunity to talk with him about how to get into writing books, and I'll definitely follow up with him in the next week.

After lunch I went to Jimmy May's (Blog | Twitter) session on disk partition alignment. His session was very popular at last year's Summit and part of my motivation for writing my disk performance series earlier this year. I nominate Jimmy for best speaker giveaway: At the end of his session he put a few copies of Windows 7 Ultimate out and said "First come, first served". Unfortunately I sat midway back and didn't get to the front before they were gone (Lesson for next year: Sit at the front of presentations!). Anyways, what floored me the most was afterwards I think he was as excited to meet me in person as I was to meet him. Thanks Jimmy, I'm honored.

I skipped the next time slot to talk disk performance with Chuck Lathrope (Twitter), then hit the last scheduled session of the day - Kalen DeLaney (Blog)'s Index Internals. I was surprised that the room was only half full, but that was probably due to a misprint on the schedule that listed her talking about Data Warehouses. About halfway through her presentation I realized that I was sitting next to Erland Sommarskog (Blog) of "The curse and blessings of dynamic SQL" fame. Very cool.

Dell sponsored an "after hours" event in the exhibit hall from 6-8. I went but spent most of the time taking with Wesley Brown (Blog) about solid state drive performance. From there I headed to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my friend Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) and other folks from Florida (plus a few non-Floridians tag-alongs, more than happy to have them join!). I wrapped up the night at a fantastic party sponsored by SQL Sentry at the Tap House Grill where I had the pleasure of meeting PASS BOD VP Rick Heiges (Blog) and Andrew Kelly (Blog | Twitter), among the many that showed. Things wound down around midnight at which point I headed back to the hotel to call it a night and try to get a little sleep.

…Day 3 tomorrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Looking Back - PASS Summit 2009 Day 1

Downtown Seattle - almost there! I intended to blog daily while at the PASS Summit last week. At least that's what I told myself I was going to do beforehand, then I realized that wasn't possible once I got there…at least not with the schedule I kept. This was my first time at the summit and after the first day I understood everything I had previously heard about being busy and getting very little sleep but having a fantastic experience. As much as I am glad to be back at home with my family part of me wishes I were back in Seattle doing it all over again. I know that won't happen (until next year's summit, that is!) so I'll do the next best thing and relive the experience by writing about each day one week after the fact.

I arrived in Seattle on Monday at 1:30 PM and, thanks to Twitter, met up with Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter) and Arlene Gray (Blog | Twitter). We shared a short ride in on the Light Link Rail for the low, low price of $2.50, which I also found out about thanks to Twitter. (Tip – when riding into town sit on the right side relative to the direction of travel – the view is much better). The walk from the rail station to the Sheraton was only a few blocks, and after checking in I met up with Aaron Bertrand (Blog | Twitter), my roommate for the week. (Side note – sharing a room is a great way to cut down on the cost of attending the summit!)

Welcome to the Summit! The first event on tap was Gabor's precon on Networking to Build Business Contacts. Before things began I had the chance to meet Tom LaRock (Blog | Twitter) in person for the first time, along with many other people I've met on Twitter in the last year and a few new faces. It's worth noting that about half of the people in Don's session were first timers at the Summit. I think that's a good indication that word about what PASS (and the Summit) is and does is spreading and people are getting interested in becoming part of the SQL borg community. Don gave some nice tips – some things I already knew, some new things – and shared a few secrets for remembering names before giving everybody a chance to try it out for themselves. I did OK, but clearly it takes practice to be good at it. Fortunately the week ahead presented plenty of opportunities to practice. By the way, Don's amazing at remembering names – he nailed at least 80% of people's names in the session after only a brief introduction and handshake at the door.

Welcome Reception - Quiz BowlAfter Don's session I headed upstairs to the Welcome Reception where I ran into at least 20 more people I've met on Twitter recently. The food was OK (carved meats on rolls with veggies), but the real draw was the quiz bowl (Paul Randal (Blog | Twitter) and Kimberly Tripp (Blog | Twitter) smoked the competition!) and the announcement of the 1st annual PASS logreader award winners. I must have done something right because I won two categories – Best Blog Series for Disk Performance Hands On and Best Professional Development Blog Post for Off-Hours Work: A Guide For Managers.

Following the reception I headed to the SQLServerCentral party where I had the chance to meet Chris Massey (Twitter) and the folks from Red Gate. As in past years (so I hear) it was a casino style party where everybody got some chips and played different games around the room. I spent half the time socializing and the other half losing my chips. I didn't realize that at the end you could cash in whatever chips you had left and get raffle tickets for prize giveaways so I went all or nothing and lost. Oh well, next year I know better.

I caught word that a group of folks was heading to Bush Garden, a hole in the wall karaoke bar in the International District about a mile and a half from downtown. I tagged along where I met – you guessed it – even more people from Twitter for the first time (along with a few folks from Florida who I've known for a while now). I was pretty tired by that point so I just sat back and watched everyone else take turns singing. The group stayed until closing time, and for some reason we all thought it would be a great idea to walk back to the hotel at 1:30 in the morning. It was a good bonding experience for new friends, if nothing else.

I crashed once I got back to the hotel; by that point I think I had been up for close to 24 hours and the PASS euphoria only lasts so long. That and I had to be up to live blog the opening keynote that started at 7:45 AM the next morning. I'm pretty sure at that point Aaron was wondering what he got himself into by sharing a room with me.

…the adventure continues with Day 2 tomorrow!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PASS Summit 2009 Day 3 Keynote Live Blog

10:25 AM – And that's it for the week! Thanks for tuning in. Be sure to order the Summit DVDs. David's keynote alone was worth it.

10:20 AM – Time's up for David. Mentioning key points. Waaaaay too much information on the slides to type before he's moved on to the next one. Other bloggers doing live keynotes were smart enough to grab photos of the screen. Hopefully they'll post the contents.

10:05 AM – David's comparing different compression techniques. Run Length Encoding, Bit-Vector Encoding, and Dictionary Encoding.

10:00 AM – Now talking about compression in column stores. Basically it trades I/O cycles for CPU cycles (remember that CPUs have gotten 1000x faster while disks have only gotten 65x faster).

9:51 AM – Boiling down the row store vs. column store discussion, basically we're looking at a 7X performance improvement in column store architecture for certain types of queries. "Select * from …" will never be faster though. Best bet: Store some data row wise and some data column wise.

9:45 AM – L2 cache misses are due to row store architecture. Now David's talking about column store architecture.

9:43 AM – David talking about why we have L2 cache misses in CPU when fetching data off disk. Highly technical, and my head is beginning to hurt!

9:36 AM – OK, lots of technicals on CPUs now. Too hard to write about what he's talking about. It's deep. Really deep.

9:35 AM – Now talking CPU trends. This is awesome stuff, really. Best keynote so far in my opinion.

9:34 AM – 1980, sequential/random 5:1; 2009 sequential/random 33:1. Takeaway: RDBMS must avoid random disk I/O when possible.

9:32 AM – Incredibly inexpensive drives & processors have made it possible to collect, store, and analyze huge quantities of data. But considering the metric transfer bandwidth/byte, when relative capacities are factored in, drives are 150X SLOWER today.

9:30 AM – After 30 years of CPU and memory improvements, relative performance of CPUs and disk are totally out of whack in terms of performance. The benefits from a 1,000x improvement in CPU performance and memory sizes are almost negated by the 10x in disk accesses/second. David thinks that SSDs will change our lives in this area. (Side note, I've got some GOOD stuff coming on SSDs soon. Stay tuned!)

9:27 AM – Drilling down into disk trends now. 10,000 x capacity, 65x transfer rates, but the BIG change is in seek times.

9:24 AM – Going back to 1980, comparing hardware then to hardware today. A LOT has changed: improvements of 2,000x CPU, 1,000x CPU Caches, 1,000X memory, & 10,000x disk.

9:21 AM – This is going to be a really deep dive into technical stuff: trends in CPU, memory, disk, and how they impact design. Disclaimer: This is an academic talk – no marketing speak (yay!)

9:20 AM – No product announcements, no motorcycles, but already a lot of humor. This is going to be interesting.

9:18 AM – Bill back on stage, introducing Dr. David DeWitt, Technical Fellow at Microsoft. He's going to present "From 1 to 1000 MIPS"

9:18 AM – Dell Keynote over…not a lot to mention, honestly.

9:05 AM – More talk about disaster recovery…(BTW, we're a room full of DBAs at PASS. I sure hope we all understand disaster recovery)

8:59 AM – Benefits of configuration management:

  • Provides clear picture of the SQL Server Environment
  • Improves operational efficiency
  • Drives priority for SQL Server Disaster Recovery and Consolidation

8:55 AM – Patrick talking about configuration management…types of data to collect (e.g. Name of server, Server Properties, CPU, Location Information, OS Version, SQL Server Version, etc). Basically stuff that anybody in IT should already know and be collecting.

8:50 AM – PASS business out of the way, now Patrick Ortiz from Dell's Infrastructure Consulting Services coming onstage to talk about "Managing SQL Server In The Enterprise"

8:49 AM – Thursday's To-Do List:

  • SQL Server Clinic
  • Hands-On Labs
  • Eat lunch with regional and local Chapter Leaders
  • Sign up for one of tomorrow's Post-Cons
  • Order Summit 2009 DVDs for $125
  • Submit your session and Summit evals
  • Drop comments & questions in the Suggestion Box

8:48 AM – Announcing 2010 PASS Summit, November 8-10 in Seattle again. Register now for $995. No contract signed for 2011 yet; feedback on location will be solicited.

8:47 AM – And now the new executive board: Rushabh Mehta (President), Bill Graziano (Executive VP), Rick Heiges (VP, Marketing), and Wayne Snyder (Immediate Past President)

8:46 AM – Bill introducing new board members Brian Moran, Jeremiah Peschka, and Tom LaRock.

8:45 AM – Wayne is tearing up telling stories about Kevin…Kevin receiving a standing ovation as he receives his award for 10 years of service.

8:44 AM – Kevin taking the stage now. Wayne Snyder joining in to present Kevin with a special award for his service.

8:43 AM – BIll thanking outgoing PASS board members Pat Wright, Greg Lowe, and Kevin Kline. Special video tribute playing for Kevin's years of service to PASS. Big applause for Kevin.

8:40 AM – Bill Graziano, PASS VP of Marketing, taking the stage now. Promises this will be the shortest keynote of the week. Big applause.

8:38 AM – I'm back for the final day of the 2009 PASS Summit. Today is the Dell sponsored keynote. Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" is blaring through the speakers as videos from the conference play on the big screens.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

PASS Summit 2009 Day 2 Keynote Live Blog

10:08 AM – And that's a wrap! See you tomorrow for day 3's keynote.

10:07 AM – Tom talking up the product roadmap.This is the first year there's ever been a simultaneous release of Office and SQL. Reminding everyone that "you make the difference".

10:06 AM – Whet's next for PowerPivot here at PASS?

  1. Learn more about Microsoft BI at PASS
  2. Kick the tires and ask the experts
  3. Register for CTP updates
  4. Get social at Facebook (\powerpivot) and Twitter (@powerpivot)
  5. Learn and contribute at the BI resource center

10:03 AM – Announcing the PASS PowerPivot Sweepstakes:

10:00 AM – Amir's demos done..Tom showing off more examples of reports in SharePoint. Again, cool stuff…but I'm a DBA. I want to hear something more technical, like what I need to be prepared for to make all this work under the covers.

9:48 AM – Shifting gears…Amir now showing off what's in it for IT workers. Demoing the integration of the PowerPivot management dashboard with SharePoint. We can see which Excel spreadsheets are popular over time. IT gets more insight into SharePoint. DBAs still not allowed to touch anything under the covers.

9:45 AM – The cover comes off the box on the stage. It's an out of the box Windows 7 touchscreen PC. Tom's showing integration of SilverLight 3.0 into SharePoint 2010. Users can use gestures to navigate through, slice, and dice data.

9:43 AM – PP for Excel has some really useful features…but 133 MB documents aren't the way to share data. Segway into PP for SharePoint demo.

9:30 AM – Demo time again…Amir Netz showing off PowerPivot for Excel. Over 100 million rows in Excel on the desktop. Online sorting, filtering, etc. all from within Excel querying AS.

9:27 AM – Helping "that guy" is what PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for SharePoint is all about. Tom jokes "it just rolls of your tounge, doesn't it? You can just call it PowerPivot for short". At least MS has a sense of humor about themselves.

9:26 AM – As much as we vilify "that guy", the truth is he's the go-to guy that we need to help. Who is "that guy"? About 20,000,000 Information Workers.

9:25 AM – Testimonial done…Tom telling everyone that relevant information is everywhere. We have to make a change to get information to people, or "that guy" who uses Access and Excel will. I love that he's knocking on the crapass solutions that get built like this. I'm an IT guy, and I know exactly what he's talking about.

9:17 AM – Rob talking about how 3,000 people are getting information out of Premier's data warehouse. Reports that ran for an hour before run in under a minute now. Charts, graphs, reports coming out of Premier's BI stack have helped a lot with understanding what's going on and they couldn't be happier.

9:16 AM – Customer testimonial time. First up: Ron VanZanten, Directing Officer BI and Software Development at Premier Bank Card…9th largest issuer of credit cards in the US.

9:15 AM – Technology advancements on the hardware side are enabling us to do exciting things in software, yet we're also being asked to do more with less.

9:10 AM – PASS is the place to "B-I". 2 dedicated BI tracked, 50+ BI related sessions, 31% of attendees chose DW and BI as their track.

9:08 AM – Tom challenging everybody to be agents of change. He says only 20% of decision makers have access to the data that they need to make good decisions.

9:06 AM – Now taking the stage, Tom Casey, Microsoft General Manager for SQL Server Business Intelligence

9:05 AM – Make sure to come by the PASS BOD Q & A session at 4:30 today too. And don't forget about the Microsoft Appreciation Event at GameWorks tonight!

9:03 AM – Rushabh plugging the Women In Technology Luncheon and the MVP Deep Dives book signing, both today at 11:30 AM

9:00 AM – A big congratulations to the 2009 PASSion Award winners:

  • Charley Hanania (International)
    • European PASS Organization Committee
    • Leader of the Swiss PAS Chapter
    • 4 years of service to PASS
    • Managed the entire 2009 PASS European Conference
  • Allen Kinsel (North America)
    • Program Committee volunteer, Volunteer & Nomination Committee volunteer
    • 5 years of service to PASS
    • Program Manager for the 2009 Program Committee

8:50 AM – Wayne Snyder on stage to recognize outstanding PASS volunteers

  • Tim Ford - Program Committee, Quizbowl
  • Grant Fritchey (wearing a kilt today!) – Editorial Committee, SQL Server Standard Editor
  • Amy Lewis – Co-leader & Volunteer coordinator for BI Virtual Chapter
  • Jacob Sebastian – Chapters Regional Mentor, Head of PASSS Member Outreach in India

8:48 AM – Rushabh encouraging people to become an official PASS member by registering (free) on It's also important to engage with the community by becoming involved with local chapters, virtual chapters, networking, and consider sharing knowledge by speaking. If speaking isn't your thing, consider volunteering.

8:44 AM – Total project revenues in FY 2010: $3.2 million. This represents a 15% reduction in revenue yet there's been a 40% growth in community spend. FY 2010 saw investments in infrastructure and PASS HQ, however there was a 67% reduction in IT expenses. The European PASS summit is profitable.

8:43 AM – Rushabh says PASS is committed to financial openness and communications. All members can log into to view BDO minutes and more.

8:41 AM – New PASS President Rushabh Mehta is on stage for the opening comments. He's planning on talking PASS financials today.

8:39 AM – I'm here and ready for the day 2 keynote to begin. Video highlights of day 1 are showing on the screen as everybody makes their way to their seats.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PASS Summit 2009 Day 1 Keynote Live Blog

(Note: Updates are listed newest first)

10:15 AM – And we're done! The rooms empty out to grab spots at the first set of sessions for the day. See you tomorrow for the next keynote!

10:15 AM – Now the official announcements:

  • SQL 2008 R2 November CTP available, RTM targeted for 1st half next year
  • Azure feature complete CTP is live, try it out today
  • Two new editions of SQL 2008 R2:
    • SQL 2008 R2 Datacenter
    • SQL 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly know as project "Madison")

10:08 AM – Now previewing a new Data Sync tool available later this month to synchronize on-premises databases with SQL Azure. Pick which tables, columns, and rows you want to synchronize. I can see this coming in very useful

10:06 AM – SQL Azure is now feature complete and showing off features. Using SSMS to connect to a SQL Azure DB. You can manage it just the same as on-premises instances.

10:05 AM – Wait, more demos after all…now a SQL Azure demo.

10:03 AM – Demos are done, now talking SQL Azure. Unfortunately the keynotes are running long and people are making their way for the exists to head to the first set of sessions for the day.

10:00 AM – Now showing off features of new report builder 3.0. Unfortunately this demo's as lost on me as the Visual Studio 2010\.NET 4 Entity Framework features.

9:55 AM – Next demo: Loaded 60 million rows to a server farm with 320 cores using powershell at a rate of 3 Terabytes per hour.

9:52 AM – More demos, this time of Master Data Management. Showing a data validation demo.

9:47 AM - Showing off examples of StreamInsight  - a Complex Event Processing Technology. It'll be included in SQL 2008 R2. Imagine watching MNF online and being able to pick your own camera angle. Neat stuff!

9:40 AM – This is interesting stuff, I think. Honestly though, it's a bit lost on me since I'm a production DBA.

9:33 AM – Now a demo of what's available in .NET 4 and the Entity Framework.

9:30 AM – Demoing the new Data Tier Application project type on Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2. To deploy there's a new "upgrade" option in SSMS – no more alter scripts, or needing to understand the order of operations needed to apply the new code (including schema changes). Hmm, I wonder if it understands changes against replicated databases. In the demo they added a new column in between existing columns. You can't do that on a replicated table today.

9:25 AM – Now showing off the dashboard for multi-server management. It looks polished, and the integration of monitoring along with PBM is really going to put some pressure on 3rd party tools.

9:23 AM – Multi server management – a simple 5 step process to set up. Uses Policy Based Management under the covers.

9:15 AM – Dan Jones coming on stage to give a demo of Application & Multi-Server Management.

9:11 AM – Listening to user testimonial about how First American Title is using SQL 2008 to run their business. It's a rundown of SQL 2008 features – better performance, compressed backups, transparent migration.

9:08 AM – Scale up & scale out SQL 2008 R2:

  • Scale up to 256 logical processors
  • Scale out with massively parallel processing 10s to 100s of TV with low TCO

9:05 AM – Talking releases for the next year. Everything based on building on a solid foundation.

9:00 AM – Ted talking the Top 5 reasons to be at PASS:

  1. You are part of the world's largest gathering of SQL Server Professionals
  2. You can take your questions directly to the "source"
  3. We've got Wayne & Rushabh
  4. You can work hard & Play hard (talking about renting out Gameworks Wednesday night for the SQL Server Appreciation even)
  5. You will build skills and knowledge on the #1 database in the world.

8:55 AM – SQL 2008 R2 will be released in first half of 2010. SQL Azure begins billing after Jan 1, 2010.

8:50 AM – Next up, Ted Kummert – Senior Vice President, Business Platform Division.

8:45 AM – Now talking cloud based computing. Between private clouds and public clouds, clouds are all the buzz, and they're going to affect all of us IT Workers. Death of the DBA? Perhaps not, as Bob says the skill sets we have as DBAs today will be able to be leveraged in the cloud.

8:39 AM – Demo time: Live migration with Virtual Machine Manager. Showing off moving Hyper-V VMs' between hosts. It's as simple as a right click and selecting a Migrate menu option. The best available host is automatically selected and the virtual machine is moved with zero loss in connectivity. Nifty!

8:38 AM – A "journey" is occurring from the traditional datacenter to a virtualized datacenter.

8:29 AM – SQL 2008 R2: New OLTP world-record performance TPC-E benchmark of 2,012 tpsE; Record DW performance on Windows TPC-H 3TB: 102,778 QphH. 20,0000 users w\ sub-second response time for Dynamics CRM xRM business applications. If you understand benchmark numbers that's some serious performance!

8:25 AM – Showing off a rack full of servers running SQL 2008 R2 with 192 CPUs!


8:19 AM – Bob talking about his first week on the job, running into Bill Gates, and Ashton Tate SQL Server – includes floppy disks in the box!

8:18 AM – Bob Muglia (President, Server and Tools Business) taking the stage for the keynote.

8:16 AM – Wayne talks twitter and the live twitter stream on the #sqlpass hashtag.

8:15 AM – Wayne encouraging everyone to get the most they can out of the conference – go to sessions, meet people, get involved!

8:05 AM – Wayne talking about the growth of PASS: SIGs have been renamed to Virtual Chapters. 50 energy events in 12 countries last year; PASS to promote and fund as many local events as possible in 2010. 24 hours of PASS - 3,500 people from 64 countries attended. SQLServerStandard re-launching as free premium content on; First article of 2009 posted this week and all back issues available online.


8:00 AM – PASS President Wayne Snyder on stage for opening comments. Almost 3,000 registered attendees and 98 MVPs. Wayne wonders "where the heck have you all been?" (referring to attendance vs. past summits)

7:50 AM - I'm at the 2009 PASS Summit getting ready for the keynotes to begin. People are pouring in getting ready for the day to begin.