PASS Summit 2009 Key Note 3

November 5, 2009 at 1:24 pm (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, )

Dr. David DeWitt

“I’m not a doctor.” This is going to be good. “From 1 to 1000 MIPS” He’s doing great. He was a fantastic last year and I knew this was going to be good. 32 years in academia and only in MS for 1.5 years. He’s the blue sky guy, and beleive me when I tell you, you get smarter from being in the room with him. And a huge ovation because he told us that he’s going technical and not covering a marketing pitch.

Right. This one is going to be hard to blog. He’s going through information quick. It’s all good. He’s giving an academic talk about the 30 years of technology trends in databases. He’s going over how the trends have affected OLTP and why the trends are forcing DBMS to evolve and some future trends to keep an eye on.

Back in 1980 we had a Digital VAX with a 1MIP CPU, 8mb of memory, 80mb disk drive… all for $250K. Yeah, the “good old days” Not. More or less 1000 times better for Cache & memory, 2000 times better for CPU and 10000 times for disks. But transfer rates have only increased by 65X. And for seeks there has only been a 10x improvement. 1985, 100TPS & 400 I/O/second. Today, 25,000 TPS & 100,000 I/O/second. His key point is that it took 14 drives to keep a single processor busy in 1985 but it takes 300 drives to keep a cpu busy today. He believes that SSD and phase change memory are the only things that are going to make a difference here.

His comparison of the problem is that today we’re in the situation where we have a gigantic water tank to feed water to the hole town, but only a garden hose to drain it. That’s scary to think about. When thinking about it, he compared the disk to cpu ratio and came to the conclusion that drives are 150x SLOWER today than they were 30 years ago.

So his basic conclusion is that we need to avoid random I/O in our database applications…. uh, yeah, good advice, I guess, but how the heck do we do that? Obviously we don’t and that’s not what he’s saying. He’s making a great point. This is just flat out fantastic.

In the old days it was 6 cycles to access memory. Now it’s 200 cycles to access memory. Despite all these improvements, we’re really messing up our scalability on the hardware because of limitations in the design. Hard to believe when you consider that everything is, in fact, faster, but it’s just not faster the right way. It’s scaling too hard.

He’s showing how the queries work within the system, what happens, literally, what is waiting on what, all the way down at the lowest level of the process. Scan queries vs. join queries. So why so many stalls? It’s the L2 data cache stalls, an artifact of the last 30 years of design within systems. Why? Well, you’d need to be here to really understand. I’m not going to repeat it correctly. For each record, there’s an L2 & L1 cache miss from each page as it reads from the disk, row-by-flipping-row. So basically, we’re getting RBAR within the CPU when it has to read from the disk.

There is a new memory configuration called a column store where the columns are broken down instead of rows. The columns are stored on files/pages. He’s showing how ID would be one page, Name on 2, City on 12, etc. because otherwise the rows are stored across pages. Without compression, it changes the amount of data on a page. If they also add compression. It’s going to make a huge difference. BUT, it’s not updateable. They’re going to make the DB a perfect decision support engine. Showing some drill down on the details, he showed about a 7x improvement in speed, without compression.

Then, you put compression on top of it and stuff really takes off. But remember, this is a read win. It’s write lose.

Really, I’m going to stop trying to keep up. I’m starting to lose track of everything anyway. I think this might be available online or on the DVD. I sure hope it is. If you were at the Summit and you didn’t attend this… you messed up, big time.

The key to compression is to remember that you need to get more data onto the disk because the CPU is 1000x faster but the disk is only 65x faster. That’s why you compress. Not because you’re saving space, but because you’re saving READS. I’m going back to the office to turn on compression on everything (after testing & verification).

I can’t describe it all, but the early/late materialization performance differences are amazing.

Key points for the quiz. yes, I’m giving out the quiz answers, call Bluto and D-Day:

  • At first glance hardware folks would appear to be our friends
  • Huge inexpensive disks have enabled us to cod-effectively store vast quantities of data
  • On the other hand ONLY a 10x improvement in random disk access and 65x improvement in through point
  • Two pronged solution for “read” intesnsive data waroehouse workloads – parallel db technology & column stores
  • Column stores, minimize transfer, facilitate compression, minimize memory stalls
  • But column stores don’t work for OLTP, AT ALL
  • Hardware trends and demands are forcing DB systems to evolve through specialization

But, I missed to two bullets because I couldn’t type fast enough. So you might still fail the quiz.

This will be on the DVD. Thank you PASS. Thank you Dr. DeWitt.

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PASS Summit 2009 Key Note 1

November 5, 2009 at 11:50 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , )

Wow, the bloggers table is empty today!

Nice intro! Good photo’s. I love the Summit!

Bill Graziano is introducing Day 3. He acknowledged Twitter and the bloggers. We rock! Outgoing board members are Greg Low and Pat Wright. These are great guys who’ve busted their butts for the community. Kevin Kline is completely off the board now, finishing his time as the immediate past-president. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time he won’t be on the board. Yep, I’m right, he’s never been off the board since PASS was a organization. He really has done a lot for the organization. Thanks for your time Kevin. A review of all the other board members including the new president Rushabh Mehta and Wayne Snyder as the immediate past president.

April 21-23,2010 the European Conference will be in Neuss Germany. Next years conference will be in Seattle (again…. blech!… I understand why, I do, but it’s a ROYAL pain to fly across the whole continent every year). A thanks to the headquarters staff too. These guys are great and they work some odd hours. You’d think they were DBA’s. Nice work guys.

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PASS Summit 2009 – Day 2

November 5, 2009 at 8:53 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

Day 2 of the Summit was extremely busy. I missed a breakfast on DMV’s that evidently was one of the hits of the show. Day 2 was kilt day. I wore mine and there were two others, Steve Jones and Bill Fellows. They were a hit. Next year I’d like to see more. There are pictures all over the place. Track one down on your own.

I set up at the bloggers table and blogged & tweeted my way through the key note. Except for the hyper-sexy Windows 7 touch screen computer, it wasn’t the most exciting key note I’ve ever seen. The new technologies coming out for data manipulation on the client machines in Office 2010 are impressive, no doubt, but something seemed lacking and I’m not sure what it was. During the key note they gave out awards to the outstanding volunteers of the year and they gave the PASSion award to best of the volunteers. I won one of the outstanding volunteer awards for the work I did with the Editorial Committee & SQL Server Standard. Allen Kinsel was the winner of the PASSion award. I wanted Allen to win. I had put in a nomination for him and I knew others that did as well. Congrats Allen. You earned it.

My first session was completely personal for me, and I doubt most people would be as excited about it as I was, but I was very excited to see Michael Rys of Microsoft talk about spatial indexes. It was a very useful session. I took a lot of notes, but I’m going to have to go back and watch it again on the DVD because there was stuff I missed. If you are working with spatial data, you should check this one out.

Lunch today was just lunch, but during it, many of the MVP’s that took part in the MVP book project, SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, all proceeds of which go to War Child International, were signing their chapters in the book. I bought the book, but only went over afterwards to get it signed by the last four or five that were still there. I told Paul Randal how disappointed I was that he didn’t wear a kilt. But, during his session he did put up a picture of himself in a kilt. He doesn’t own one. I hit on MVP’s for the rest of the day to get their signature. I’ll be carrying it with me today (and breaking my back, it’s huge) to get some more. Buy the book. You’ll get good information and help an important charity.

After lunch I went to Ben Nevarez’s session on How the Query Optimizer Works. It was very good. I took some notes and got some ideas for future research. I really like the way he did simple, direct examples that illustrated his point. He also reminded me of a DMV that I should have included in my session (and will next week). This is useful stuff and it’s definitely worth checking out on the DVD.

I skipped the next session to go and do a video interview with the Midnight DBA. For those that don’t know, the Midnight DBA is actually two people Jenn and Sean McCown. It was a blast. We talked about books, TSQL, Kenpo and sexual harassment of men by men. Yeah, it was pretty fun and not entirely appropriate (although, probably only PG in rating and completely work safe).

After that I did a thing with Microsoft, completely unrelated to being an MVP, but still NDA. Done.

To finish out my time at the Summit proper I went to Buck Woody’s session on using Policy Based Management, Data Collector and Central Management Servers. I’d met Buck in the hall and he asked me to come down. I’ve never seen Buck Woody speak before. For those who know, why didn’t anyone tell me? All I can say is, what have I been doing with my time at these conferences? I should have been going to see everything the man says. Not only was it useful information, but it was hilarious. We were laughing our butts off through the whole thing. He picked on people in the audience (especially poor Aaron Bertrand, although I took some hits when I showed up late, wearing a kilt), cracked jokes, and gave out useful information in a clear, engaging manner. I’d suggest you watch the DVD, but you’re not going to get the full kick in the britches that being there will give you. However, you will still see some good stuff. I’ve already sent off a message to my team lead to suggest we get started with some of this right away.

After the show was over it was party time. I had two to go to, but I only made one, the Microsoft hosted party at GameWorks. Good food, free alcohol, video games. I rode the Hummer with Wendy, @wendy_dancer, driving. She drove better than I would have. It was fun, but I went home early because I’d had a nasty cough and runny nose all day and my voice was completely shot. I needed rest.

Another great day at the PASS Summit 2009.

EDIT: Updated Bill Fellows name.

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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 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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PASS Summit 2009 Day – 0

November 3, 2009 at 2:07 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

Monday at the PASS Summit. It’s always a big day. This year it’s the eve of the Summit and the launch party is held. I started out the day with an impromptu breakfast with a bunch of great guys, bloggers I was interested in meeting or guys I’d known previously. Then it was off to the conference. I attended a series of Microsoft Insiders sessions. It’s one of those things you’re not supposed to talk about. I’ll say this though, MVP’s speak their mind, or at least SQL Server MVP’s do.

In the afternoon I went to two sessions with small talk expert Don Gabor. The first session was for the PASS Volunteers. It was a lot of fun and I really learned a lot. The second session was for people who had paid for the privilege and was twice as long as the first at two hours. Mr. Gabor went into a lot more detail in the second session. I came away feeling much better about my chances of actually being able to talk to people and learn from them and maybe even build a bit of network, connecting people to each other. If you get the chance to read his books or hear him speak, I highly recommend it.

That was the end of the working part of the day. The Summit was kicked-off with the welcome reception party.  It was a good night. They gave out prizes for people who referred a friend to the summit. They then gave out the new Blogger awards. I didn’t catch all the awards because I was getting ready for the next event (more on that in a minute). I think they’ll be posted here soon. Apparently I was runner up for something, but I couldn’t hear from backstage. Backstage you say? Yes, backstage. I was busy getting ready for the Celebrity Quiz Bowl.

Yes, somehow my named bubbled up on a list (probably labelled sucker) to be in the quiz bowl with some actual luminaries. I was teamed up with Joe Webb (great guy, by the way). We were competing with two other teams. The first was Kevin Kline and Brent Ozar, neither a slouch. The final team… well to call them ringers would be incorrect. You know how boxers and other fighters try to punch up, go up a weight class if they can to fight the bigger, more challenging opponents… Yeah well, imagine a bantam weight in with a heavy weight. Well that was us vs. the team of Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp. We were punching up something like six weight classes. It was a stomp. A spanking. A massacre. It wasn’t even remotely close. BUT, it was really fun. It was quite the honor to share a stage with all those people, people I’ve been learning from for years (well, OK, I’ve learned from Brent Ozar, but not for years). It was a great party. The food was good and everyone I talked to (stretching my new networking muscles) had a good time. Then it was time for the next party, SQL Server Central.

It’s a PASS Summit tradition, one that I hope lasts a very long time, for Steve Jones, editor at SQL Server Central, to host a gambling party. I went again this year. I’ve hit every one since Dallas, so I think that makes this my 5th. It was a great time again tonight. I met several regulars from SQL Server central, some I knew previously and some I had met earlier in the day or yesterday and a few were brand new. Again, it was a great opportunity to chat with people you had only every communicated with through typing, shake their hands, look them in the eye… Really, it’s a big part of what the Summit is all about.

No extra-curricular activities for me tonight though. I’m presenting tomorrow, so it’s off to bed.

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PASS Board Nominations

August 25, 2009 at 6:50 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , , )

I think the Professional Association of SQL Server users (PASS) is an extremely important organization for SQL Server DBA’s. Even if you’re not a member, you’ve never attended the Summit, gone to a local chapter meeting, read the magazine (while it was in print), took part in the special interest groups, or even read the technical articles available on the web site, you know, or work with, someone who has. What’s more, the people who get involved with PASS are the ones that are growing and expanding. PASS members are the ones that are becoming leaders in the industry. PASS members influence the direction Microsoft takes with its products. PASS, it’s members and volunteers, foster and grow the speakers, teachers, writers and MVP’s that are showing you how to perform your craft as a DBA or developer in better, faster, stronger ways. Even if you’ve never been directly involved with PASS, you’re involved with PASS.

Why am I bringing this up? Because the nominations are open for the PASS Board of Directors. They need strong, invested individuals to help move this organization, that you’re using, in the right direction. If you know someone that you really think can make a difference in this organization, you need to put their name forward. Further, you need to make sure you vote on the Board members that you think will most positively affect the organization. I understand, from people who participated in past elections, that it’s frequently only a very few votes separating the winners from the losers. You can make a real difference by nominating and then voting for the people that will keep this thing running, and running the right way. Get out there and make it happen.

 On a side note, one or two times I’ve seen my name come up as a possible candidate. My current position is completely in line with William Tecumseh Sherman; I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected. Not yet anyway. I’m still struggling to keep my local users group going (I need speakers by the way, please). If I can’t keep that afloat, what business do I have running something as large, and as important, as PASS? None.

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PASS Summit Session Preview

June 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

The Pre/Post Conference Sessions and the Spotlight Sessions for the PASS Summit 2009 have been announced. Go check it out. This is going to be a fantastic conference this year based on the topics and the people presenting (and I’m still humbled to be included with that group).

I wasn’t aware that they had shifted the structure of the conference so that it takes place from Tuesday-Thursday instead of Wednesday-Friday. I’m not sure I like that. I’m not sure I dislike that.

In addition to the Pre/Post conferences, a special new session, and program, has been put together by Andy Warren on networking. Since networking is one of the very best reasons to attend the PASS Summit (although pure geek joy can be had in the sessions), this should be very useful.

Things are starting to ramp up around the Summit. If you’ve gone in years past, I think this one may be better than before. If you’ve never been, I think this may be the one to get started on.

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