I get the call, you get the call, everyone gets the call. “Hey, my app/procedure/query/report is running slow.” Now what do you do? You go to my full day session at SQL Rally, that’s what. Assuming you vote for it.
I didn’t post the abstract I submitted for the SQL Rally before because I thought that it would be redudant. However, since it’s not right off the voting page (unless they updated it since I voted), if you’re interested, here’s what I thought I would do for a day. If it sounds good to you, please go here and vote for it.
One of the most common problems encountered in SQL Server is the slow running query. Once a query is identified as performing poorly, DBAs and developers frequently don’t understand how to diagnose the problem and often struggle to fix the problem. This one day seminar focuses exclusively on these two topics. Attendees will learn how to identify the queries that are performing badly and learn how to fix them. We will start by learning how to gather performance metrics, both server and query metrics, using tools available directly from Microsoft such as performance monitor, DMVs and Profiler. From there we’ll move into learning how the optimizer works and how it uses statistics to determine which indexes and other database objects can assist the performance of a query. The session takes considerable time to show exactly how to generate and read execution plans, the one best mechanism for observing how the optimizer works. We’ll then look at other DMVs that can assist you when performance tuning queries. With all this knowledge gathered, we’ll move into looking at common performance problems, how they evidence themselves in the metrics and execution plans, and how to address them. Finally, we’ll explore advanced methods for solving some of the more difficult query performance problems introducing such concepts as query hints, plan guides and plan forcing. Through all of this, best practices and common techniques will be reviewed. Attendees will go home with a working knowledge of query performance tuning, a set of methods for identifying poorly performing queries, scripts to assist in these processes and the knowledge of how fix performance problems in their own systems.
Although I would prefer that you voted for me, it’s more important that you vote at all (same thing as in real life). Please go here and select the sessions that you want to see.
Less than two weeks to go until the PASS Summit. I’m excited. I’ve managed to cram a ton of activities into this Summit, more than ever before. But, I’m still going to try to go to a few sessions. The question asked, which sessions are you going to? Who do you want to learn from. Who can you learn from?
I’ve got a pretty simple answer. Everybody. There’s not a single person that I work with on my current team that I haven’t learned something from. Sure, there are those that teach you tons and tons, for example, we have a fantastic SSIS guy on our team, that has taught me quite a lot, faster than I could have picked it up on my own.
So, you’re going to the PASS Summit. Is your plan to hit just the big name people? If so, you’re messing up. You can learn from everybody. I’m not saying don’t go to the big name sessions, heck I will, but I’m saying you need to look around at more than just names. Now, that said, before I tell you the people who’s sessions I’m going to, I want to give you one important piece of advice. If you go into a session and within 5-10 minutes you can tell that session isn’t for you, get up & leave. Go to another one, or start chatting people up out in the hallway or down at the PASS booth. Don’t waste your time.
I already listed a number of sessions that I thought were must sees. Unfortunately, I won’t be making it to many of them. I’m pretty busy, presenting on Tuesday & Wednesday and at one of the Lightening Rounds on Thursday. I’m also going to work the Ask the Experts area for the first time ever (please, don’t stop by to play “Stump the Chump.” I know you guys know more than I do. I’m just trying to help) Thursday afternoon. Here are some other sessions that should have made my list, that I plan on attending.
Tuesday afternoon I’m absolutely going to make it to Aaron Nelson’s (blog|twitter) session on PowerShell, The Dirty Dozen. I saw him present at SQL Saturday in Raliegh. This guy is good. You may not know his name, but I promise, if you’re getting started in PowerShell, or even if you’ve been working with it for a while, you’re going to learn from him. I’ll probably hit a couple of other sessions on Tuesday too.
On Wednesday afternoon there’s a total embarassment of riches. I want to go to four different sessions right after lunch. I’m leaning towards the one on Professional Development Plans, but I’m not sure I want to miss the one Troubleshooting SSRS Performance or the Incredible Shrinking Execution Plan. After that, probably, because of a new emphassis on SSRS where I work, Cooking with SSRS. The last session of the day is easy, Kimberly Tripp’s (blog) Tales From the Trenches.
Thursday morning is open, assuming I’m still on my feet. I’ll probably hit DBA MythBusters. That’s also assuming that after listening to Dr. Dewitt my brain isn’t completely stuff full. If you only make one keynote, make it Thursday morning’s.
This is going to be an excellent summit. For the names I left out, for the sessions I didn’t mention, I could just list the entire summit schedule and tell you to go to all of them. I’d be willing to bet there are very few, if any, that you won’t learn from. Like I said, everyone can teach you something. Figure out which ones are best for you and go to them. See you there.
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.
There are a lot of things I’d like to say about the PASS elections. I was on vacation last week when the news about the slate of candidates broke. I’ve gone through a lot of emotions thinking about this, which is funny, because, really, what does it matter? But, because of the people, and let’s face it, PASS is nothing without the people involved, it does matter. But, I’ve decided to say as little as possible because I’m not convinced I can add constructively to the conversation and that is what is most needed at this time.
First, I want to endorse a few candidates. The people I’m going to endorse, I’m endorsing because I know them personally. I’ve worked with them, I’ve talked to them, I’ve read their stuff. I know these guys. None of this is to question the other people on the slate, their abilities or character, but these are the ones that I can personally recommend. So, I suggest you vote for, in no particular order, Andy Warren (blog|twitter), Allen Kinsel (blog|twitter) and Geof Hiten (blog|twitter).
Finally, the one person I would have liked to have endorsed, because he’s the guy who got me involved with the SQL Server community, who gave me chances to write, who always promoted the Summit, who gave away SQL Saturday to the PASS organization, who has acted in many ways that are positive for our community… well, anyway, I can’t endorse him because he’s not on the slate. I’ve heard the explanations for why that’s true and I still don’t understand it. But, since he’s taking the high road on this, I’ll follow along and refrain from further comment.
Be sure, if you’re eligible, that you vote in the PASS elections. This stuff can be important if you care about the community and the people involved.
I couldn’t hide the lead. Steve Jones (blog|twitter) has announced he’s running for the PASS board. I’m excited. I’m almost as excited as if I were going to run. Steve is not simply a major influencer in what we call the SQL Community. He brings two things to the party that I think are going to make him very successful on the board. First, he gets things done. He just does. He’s one of those guys that seems to keep it together, just enough, to accomplish stuff. Second, he has real ideas. He’s not someone who is simply going to iron out a wrinkle or three at the Summit. He’s going to propose stuff that will make a difference. Put those two things together and I think we’ve got reason to celebrate.
Help me out here. Spread the word on this. We need people to be aware of who Steve is and what he does.