Upcoming Presentations: #24HOP & #SQLSAT46

August 30, 2010 at 8:53 am (PASS) (, , , , )

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.

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24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview

August 11, 2010 at 8:58 am (PASS, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, TSQL) (, , , , , , , )

Registration is open for the second 24 Hours of PASS this year. This one is going to be a preview of the Summit itself. So all the sessions are tied, in some manner, to sessions being given at the summit.Here’s a link to go and register.

I’m very excited to be able to say that I’ll be presenting in this 24HOP. One of my presentations at the Summit this year is Identifying and Fixing Performance Problems Using Execution Plans. It covers pretty much what it says, methods for fixing performance problems by exploring the information available within execution plans. But, how do you know you have a performance problem? That’s where my preview session comes in. Identifying Costly Queries will show you several ways to gather metrics on your system so that you can understand which queries are causing you the most pain. Once you know which queries need tuning, you can use execution plans to tune them. Whether you’ll be attending the PASS Summit or not, and whether or not you’ll go to my session once you’re there, I think this 24HOP session will be useful to help you understand where the pain points are within your own systems. I hope you’ll attend.

More importantly though, check out all the other great sessions. This is an excellent collection of presenters and presentations. For anyone who has ever said “PASS doesn’t do anything for me,” I want you especially to take a look at the amazing training opportunities being offered by PASS, for free. The volunteers that run PASS do amazing things and this is just one of them. Take advantage of this opportunity and, hopefully, recognize that PASS is doing things for you. This just barely scratches the surface of all that PASS offers.

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24 Hours of PASS v2.0

April 6, 2010 at 10:29 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

The kids over at the Professional Association of SQL Server Users have done it again. They’re hosting 24 Hours of PASS: Celebrating SQL Server 2008 R2. That’s 24 hours of free training by top names in the business, providing you with the information you want and need. I’m not presenting this year (I may cry), but who cares. This is going to be a great chance to get some serious learning. I’m sure going to attend as many sessions as I can. First one that I’ve already got marked is Andy Leonard’s on database development patterns. That’s a topic that’s near & dear to my heart.

So follow the link, look the offerings over, and register right away.

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LaRock on Monitoring

September 11, 2009 at 7:34 am (SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, TSQL) (, , , , )

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.

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24 Hours of PASS

September 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm (PASS, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication, TSQL) (, , )

This was a pretty cool event. The advertising leading up to it seemed to really cover the community very well. There was even a link to 24 Hours of PASS in my team’s local web site. Unfortunately, I’m not an iron man like Tom LaRock, watching all 24 hours. I only hit a few sessions.

The first session I hit was Allen White’s PowerShell for SQL Server. I have attended a couple of  his presentations at the PASS Summit. I think he’s done a great job of gleaning better and better examples out of his presentations. This one was good. I loved the way he put together the backup processes for automating backups. It looked good, took into account common issues, it just worked. I was really happy I got to see this presentation and I can strongly recommend you track down the recorded session when it becomes available.

The next session I “attended” was my own. It went over fairly well based on the response I got on Twitter. I messed up getting reports to run from the Data Collector. It wasn’t one of those normal errors that occurred, I forgot how to get it. Moving on… It was a lot of fun. I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 430 people. Everything was managed by Jeremiah Peschka and he did a great job. I’d do this again in a heart beat.

My next session was with Steve Jones on Being a Better Blogger. There was lot of excellent information. I was surprised to see my blog on the presentation for examples, twice. Quite the shock. Anyway, Steve covered a lot of the basics of blogging, but worked through good and bad examples of the kinds of things you should do to run a good blog. You could go a long ways before you got better advice. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking about reworking my blog a bit after seeing the presentation. Thanks, Steve.

I then watched 1/2 of Adam Machanic’s session on CLR and Performance. Unfortunately, just as it was getting truly meaty, I got pulled to go to a meeting. Nuts! I’ll be downloading this when it becomes available at some point in the future. The parts I saw… Adam was building a great case for when to use CLR and how much better it performed, in certain situations, than T-SQL. When I left he had 425 people.

Next up for me was Andrew Kelly presenting on File and Wait Stats. I’ve read bits and pieces of stuff he’s written or said about this in the past. I was convinced going in, but seeing how he laid out the argument for why this is one of the best performance measures was worth it. I love learning new techniques that I can put to work in my business. That’s what I got here. He did get some odd slide issues, with strange characters coming up on the screen occasionally.

That was my experience of 24 Hours of PASS. I had a great time presenting. I learned from the sessions that I saw. What more can you ask for, especially for the price? The sessions I saw all had at least 200 people in them. From what I saw on Twitter, the only real time comments I was aware of, this was a very successful event.

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24 Hours of PASS

August 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm (PASS) (, , , )

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?

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24 Hours of PASS

August 3, 2009 at 7:05 am (PASS, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

I’m fairly certain Jack Bauer isn’t involved with this new initiative from PASS. Just as I’m also certain I won’t be the only person to invoke 24 while referring to 24 Hours of PASS. But even without Jack Bauer, I’m on the edge of my seat. 24 different sessions by top names in the industry from all around the world. I wonder if I can do this without sleep? Probably not. I’ll still being trying to attend as many of these as I can work in. I’m really looking forward to it.  People you want to hear are going to be there. Jessica Moss is going to talk about Reporting Services. Adam Machanic is going to introduce CLR. Gail Shaw will be presenting (at something like 2:oh my flipping god am, so I might miss that one) on effective indexing. There are many others. These are really not to be missed and it’s a free opportunity to not only gather the information, but take part in the Q&A session afterwards. You wanted a chance to ask Kalen Delaney about simple recovery? Here you go. You had questions for Allen White about PowerShell (the gods know I do)? This is an opportunity (assuming I don’t hog the time). So follow the link and figure out which sessions you’re willing to lose a little sleep over and which ones you attend during lunch and get some free learning time in and expand your skill set.

Oh, and I’ll presenting on the 2nd on Query Tuning 101, an introduction on how to find and fix the poor performing queries in your system. Please swing by.

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