Dr. DeWitt’s Key Note at the PASS Summit

December 2, 2009 at 10:42 am (PASS) (, , )

If you missed this, here’s your chance to make it up. If you were there, and like me, you need to rewatch it about six to eight times to try to understand everything that was presented, here’s your chance. Dr. DeWitt’s key note was probably the high point of the Summit or at least in the top 5. It’s not to be missed.

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PASS Summit Wednesday Key Note 3

November 4, 2009 at 1:08 pm (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

More demos using Analysis Services from R2. They’re showing how you can refresh data & reports without having to write a bunch of SSIS packages. That’s pretty cool too. You can actually connect to Excel now and pull data into SSAS to manage the data like it was a database. You’re going to have to spend time managing these files like they were servers.

Analysis services is starting to manage itself? I hate to say this, but I’ve heard that kind of statement before from MS. It wasn’t true then. Is it true now? No idea yet, but the small part of me that doubts these things just fired up.

The reports can be animated. Data in motion is pretty darn slick to watch.

Powerpivot is a freebie that runs in Office 2010. You can put it to work in SharePoint through shared documents and it all runs on top of  SQL Server 2008 R2. It’s going to require a pretty major set of upgrades in peoples offices to get this stuff running. It’s going to be difficult when most of us are still running SQL Server 2000 systems.

And Microsoft is giving away an XBox. Go here.

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PASS Summit Wednesday Key Note 2

November 4, 2009 at 12:49 pm (PASS) (, , )

Tom Casey of Microsoft on BI.

20% of people that are decision makers within organizations have the tools and information they need. That means that 80% don’t have it. I believe those numbers. Microsoft is very focused on getting BI built into the information platform. You can tell from the stuff released in SQL Server 2008.

Part of the proof he’s putting out is the PASS Summit itself. There’s 2 dedicated BI trackes, 50+ sessions, and 30% of attendees said they were interested in that track.

For some information Ron Vanzanten. He’s sporting identical clothing to Tom Casey. 4 million card holders and 3200 employees. They’ll be working through 600,000 credit card applications in a month. Woof. 24tb of customer data in a SQL Server BI environment. Woof X2.

Unfortunately, while all this information is accurate, it’s still just marketing. It’s true that there are people in the organization that are building data access through Excel & Access, unsupported by IT. I’d love to find those people and support them within our company, but how do you find them? MS isn’t letting us know that.

Amir Netz comes out for the demo’s of the new Excel 2010 utility, PowerPivot. It’s basically the old pivot tables, but they’ve pumped it up… a lot. It’s not on steroids, it’s on pure rage. We’re seeing structured and unstructured data coming in. That’s great. The differences in Excel are pretty amazing. 100,000,000 rows. That’s going to be tough to manage desktops when they’re getting that much data. It’s all live, connected directly to the database, but it’s doing SQL queries in the background. I wonder what that TSQL looks like when it hits the server? But they can really go to town with the data, putting together pretty amazing  reports right out of box, easy & quick.

In the demo they showed the new Windows 7 Touch screen computer. Sweet! Very pretty! But best of all, there was some excellent stuff from Sharepoint using PowerPivot. He showed how you can gesture your way through sets of reports and data using the touch screen. It’s really slick. It’s almost like the computers in Minority Report. I’m digging this new technology.

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PASS Summit Wednesday Key Note 1

November 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm (PASS) (, , )

Nice phot montage, included so many friends. I love PASS.

Rushab Mehta launching the Wednesday key note. Unfortunately, this is the DULL, but important, stuff about finances. PASS is a non-profit, volunteer run organization. I’m not going to track this stuff. You can find the full financials on the PASS web site.

Celebrating volunteers. You do need to thank the people that make this thing run. I’m especially amazed by the work done by the Program Committee. The outstanding volunteers for the year are:

  • Tim Ford – Program Committe, Quizbowl
  • Me – SQL Server Standard, Editorial Committee
  • Amy Lewis – Co-leader & Volunteer Coordinator for BI Virtual
  • Jacob Sebastian – Chapter Regional Mentor

The PASSion Award is going to two people this year:

  • Charley Hanania – International Recipient
  • Allen Kinsel

I nominated Allen and I know several other people who nominated him as well. He’s one of the hardest working guys in this organization. That was well earned.


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PASS Tuesday Key Note – Part 3

November 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , , )

Now up is Ted Kummert of Microsoft.

He’s giving us a good overview of some of the technology coming up. He’s showing us his Top 5 reasons to be at PASS

  1. You are part of the world’s largest gathering of SQL Server Professionals – way too true. why aren’t you here?
  2. You can take your questions directly to the “Source” – Yes, this is very useful
  3. We’ve got Wayne & Rushabh – Instead of Arnold Schwarzenneger at the Oracle conference. Eh
  4. You can work hard & play hard at Gameworks – Oh lord, we’re in a DOT COM. Please no.
  5. You will build skills & knowledge on the #1 Database in the world – Yes.

Most of these are pretty good reasons to be here. #1 and #5 especially.

The Information Platform Vision. Ah, it’s no longer called the Data Platform Vision. That’s the kind of change that get’s DBA’s worked up. However, it’s true.  The desktop, the servers (SQL Server), and the cloud (Azure). They’re still stating the SQL Server is the foundation for the information platform. IBM is now a FastTrack partner. R2 is going to scale to 256 processors. R2 is also going to go to 100’s of TB (yikes).

We’re hearing about one companies experience with upgrading to 2008.  They were very interested in partitioning and data compression. Data compression not only saves space, but you’ll see performance improvements. I’ve seen the most improvement in indexes, but I’ve talked to people who are also seeing a lot of enhancements on the data performance (fewer pages in memory means more data available in memory means better performance).  They went through a full production upgrade with lots of users, lots of data, lots of servers, over a weekend.

Now Mr. Kummert is going at EmpoweredIT with information about Application & Multi-Server Management.  Dan Jones is coming up for a demo on multi-server management. They’re going to show a feature complete build of the multi-server management system in R2. This should be good. He’s showing how it works, right out of the gate. Setting up instances for management right in front of us. Oops. Damn I hate that. The demo is tanking a bit. But they’re plowing through.  The servers validate ahead of time so that you know if it’s going to work ahead of time. The dashboardfor the control point looks good. So they’re going to enroll other instances. Kimberly Tripp talked about this last night. If you’re really interested in hearing about this, you should track her down. She’s got some good insights to the product (hardly a surpise, I realize). Setting the policies for monitoring and management are pretty easy. It’s slick and simple. Not bad. Now they’re moving into the application management.

I have to run though. Have to get ready for my session.

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PASS Tuesday Key Note – Part 2

November 3, 2009 at 11:52 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , )

Bob Muglia opened with January 13, 1988, when the Microsoft Sybase Ashton-Tate SQL Server program was launched. Apparently Bill Gates was very nervous about the speech at the time, but Steve Ballmer jumped up and down like a chear-leader. WOW. He’s holding a box with 51/4 and 31/2 inch floppy disks (yeah, I’m old enough to know what he’s talking about, kids, ask your grand-dad). Mr. Muglia just said that there were limitations to the product. That’s an odd thing to hear from a software company. Nice to hear it though.

He’s showing how 128 differnt machines can be added to the system. They’ve got some kind of load generator that is maxing out 128 processors. Then they jumped it up to 192 processors. You’d be surprised how little space 192 processors takes up. Microsofts goal is to grow the product and make it available for BI applications. Good news for their future. They now hold the world record for TPC-E at 2012 tbsE AND the price performance record at the same time.

They’re announcing the CTP of SQL Server 2008 R2 to be delivered this month. They’re adding new versions of SQL Server too, SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly called “Madison”).

Mr. Muglia is showing how the data center is changing, largely through virtualization. The demo is on Live Migration through the Virtual Machine Manager. They’re migrating SQL Server from one node to another. They’re pretty insistent that HyperV can compete with VMWare in performance, especially in I/O.  They’re moving the virtual machine while under load, without losing connections. Ooooh, aaaaah, special. That really does make a change in how you can manage a system.

Mr. Muglia is now showing how private clouds are changing the environment. Windows Azure is now going to be displayed. He’s trying to differentiate between client/server, web and service oriented architectures. They’re all way to much the same. Now clouds… they’re different. But, not that different. Structured or unstructured data, is still data. You’re going to access & store a lot of it the same way as you did before. He’s also talking about public clouds and how they’re going to expand and change the environment. But, hey, Microsoft doesn’t care how you use the cloud, they’ve got something to sell you for it.  35 to 100 THOUSAND servers inside these clouds. Yes, you can defend running everything yourself when you’re running at a scale like that.

To say the least, all these changes in technology, even if the data is still roughly the same, are absolutely going to require you to grow and change within your role as a developer, DBA or sys admin.

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PASS Summit Tuesday Keynote – Part 1

November 3, 2009 at 11:25 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , )

Set up and and ready to go. Wayne Snyder is going to open the ceremonies and the key note will be from Bob Muglia and Ted Kummert of Microsoft. There are almost 3000 registrants here this year. They’re in from 46 different countries. It’s really an amazing collection of people. Between twitter, the blogs, the people, the show… it’s not good for anyone’s ADD.

Cool intro with the quick history of the previous locations of the PASS Summit. Wayne’s talking about newsgroups as the source of information “back in the day” of 1999 and SQL Server 7.o. Wayne’s showing the growth over the last three years. 1528 in 2007, 2445 in 2008 and 2200 this year. That’s pretty amazing since most conferences are running 50% down this year, PASS is only down 9%.  That’s great! To the 40 some-odd percent of new people, Wayne asked, “Where the heck have you been for 10 years.” 98 MVP’s at the conference this year. Wow! Again. 400 Microsoft employees are at teh summit. They’re a healthy percentage of the people in the room. That’s pretty wild.

Wayne’s showing the status of PASS as an organization. We’ve got chapters all over the world, up to 200 different chapters (please come see us at the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group). Ah, up to the death of the sigs and the birth of the Virtual Chapters. It’s funny how that name change has actually made a difference in the same things that were being done before. Wayne’s going on about the 24 hours of PASS now. It’s a VERY successful event. They’re doing it again next year. I hope I can take part again. 50,000 registries from 70 countries.

WOO HOO! SQL Server Standard is announced. First complaint. He should have spent more time on it. But maybe that’s just me.

Lots of sponsors, Dell, EMC, Microsoft, nuts, he moved the slide, there were more. They are EXTREMELY important to this event. At the least, you should go and talk to them.

Steve Jones is quick. That’s all I can say. He’s quick.

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