Blogging has been a bit quiet of late. That’s because I’ve been spending a lot my spare time getting ready for presentations that I have to give. Two of them are in about two weeks.
First, and this one is going to be a big deal, is 24 Hours of Pass: Summit Preview. At the PASS Summit this year I have two spotlight sessions, both on tricks and tools for tuning queries, one on using execution plans and the other on using DMVs. Since the 24HOP presentation is supposed to be a lead-in to the PASS presentations, I decided that before you started tuning queries, you need to know which queries to tune. The presentation is titled: Identifying Costly Queries. I understand there are already nearly 2000 people registered. Let’s see if we can break LiveMeeting on September 15th. And please, try to break LiveMeeting for all the other sessions too. 24HOP this year is spanning two days, plus another four hours, so it’s really 28 Hours of PASS. There are going to be some fantastic sessions by great presenters.
Second, and I’m very excited about this one too, I’m travelling for the first time (not counting driving the car) to a SQL Saturday event. Red Gate, wonderful people that they are, have sponsored my trip to SQL Saturday #46 in Raleigh, NC, on the 18th of September. I’ll be doing an initial run through of my PASS Summit session on using execution plans to tune queries. If you can’t make the Summit this year, but you can make it to Raleigh, this is your chance to see this session. Check out the schedule for this SQL Saturday. It’s going to be a huge deal. I see a whole bunch of MVP’s and authors who are going to be giving you their best stuff. I’ll also be doing a lunch time session on some Red Gate tools (have to pay for the trip). The software they released in the spring is SQL Source Control. It’s a pretty amazing bit of programming that works within SQL Server Management Studio to get your database into source control (and if you’re not using source control with your databases, time to start).
Between getting these, and other, presentations together, working on books (tech edited one, working on chapters on another, getting ready to rewrite the Execution Plans book), actually spending time with my family, oh, and going to work (note, I didn’t say working), my blog posts have suffered a bit. I’ll get back on the stick very soon. Hopefully before Tom updates his blog listings.
If you attend any of the in-person events where I’ll this fall (and I’m going to four, SQL Saturday #46, New England Code Camp #14, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday #59), please look me up. Say hello. These events are all about networking and building community. The people that go and present expect you to stop them in the hall and talk to them. That’s what this community stuff is all about. Meeting people and making connections.
Since I just spent a bit more than half of my 24 Hours of PASS presentation on tuning queries talking about monitoring performance, you could probably tell that I think that the two are inextricably linked. I’m not alone. Tom LaRock has put a post on why it’s important to understand the extent of your problem prior to attempting to fix it. It’s absolutely spot-on and a must read.
Remember, if someone says performance on a system you manage is slow, you have to ask, as compared to what? You need to understand what “normal” performance is on your system in order to arrive at the ability to identify a particular process as performing in an abnormal manner. That’s not to say that you couldn’t tune a query in complete isolation to a baseline of performance. Of course you could. The question that Tom is answering is, are you tuning the right query for the right reasons?
Oh, and for those that are interested, some of the presentations made during 24 Hours of PASS are now available for download. The rest of the sessions will be available after the Summit. If you haven’t made plans to go, I’d get on over there now and register.
Or, as you should tell your boss, 24 hours of free training by many of the leaders of the industry presenting original sessions that will teach you about topics from SSIS to Spatial Data to Index Selection to CLR performance to… well, you get the idea. This shouldn’t be a hard sell for anyone to their boss. “Hey, remember that problem we had the other day with the database that was in simple recovery mode? Yeah, well, Kalen Delaney is presenting for an hour on just that topic.” Your follow-up question to the boss, should then be, not, can I, but “Do you want me to get a meeting room and project this for everyone?”
Developers, designers, architects, administrators, and managers are going to be able to find something interesting to learn about during this 24 hours of intense training. You won’t be alone while attending. I’ve heard that upwards of 3000 people have registered and that number is growing. You can even watch and listen with people like Tom LaRock, who is planning on hitting all 24 sessions and blogging, tweeting, whatever, live as he does it.
Get over to the registration page and pick the sessions that look best to you.
I’m even presenting one sessions at Noon GMT (8 AM EST) on Query Performance Tuning 101. I’ll try to give you the basics for going back & tuning your database, from identifying what is running slow and why, to figuring out how to see where the problems are, to fixing the query/index/table/whatever. It’s a 50,000 foot introduction to performance tuning and optimization. It’s based on the work I did recently for Rob Walter’s new book “Beginning SQL Server 2008 Administration“. You can get even deeper into the subject by hitting my last two books “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled” and “Dissecting SQL Server Execution Plans.”
And after the 24 hours, have another chat with your boss. You want to attend the PASS Summit in November so that you can get even more time with all these great people and many, many more. If you need help selling him, check out the return on investment page for some great ideas. Come on. If 24 sessions is great, how mind-numbling fabulous will 160 sessions be?