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SQLSaturday #59 - Speaker Interview Series # 12 with Ayad Shammout

 SQLSaturday #59 - Speaker Interview Series # 12 - with Ayad Shammout

Today, we bring you the immaculate interview.  If his sessions are as efficient and regimented as his answers, then indeed we can look forward to some well-organized and thoughtful presentations from certified expert, Ayad Shammout.  No really, he is a certified MCDBA, MCSE, MCITP and MCTS!  I guess he’s used to taking all these tests, hence the multiple choice format of today’s interview.  OK, it’s not really multiple choice, but let’s kick it off with one, in spirit of the upcoming event:

                Question:  Which of the following will we have at the SQLSaturday #59 11/20/2010 in NYC?

a)      Great Speakers

b)      Cool Prizes, Software Giveaways, and SWAG

c)       Great Sponsors

d)      Awesome Free Learning Sessions

e)      Free Breakfast & Lunch

f)       All of the Above

If you’ve chosen f), then you’ve either registered or thinking of registering, because that is the correct answer!

Alright, let’s get to our speaker interview, and learn All about Ayad.       

1.       RP:  Ayad, thank you for completing these questions and appreciate your time! Please tell us a little about yourself, your background, your career and your involvement in the SQL Community.

AS: I’m a Principal Consultant with Advanti Solutions Inc. (One of our SQLSaturday Sponsors) I’ve been involved in IT for 20 years as a Developer, System Engineer, System Analyst and Database Consultant. I have a long experience in Microsoft Platforms and products primarily specialized in SQL Server, SharePoint and Windows OS. I’m working in OLTP design and development, DBA support, Performance Tuning and Business Intelligence. I’ve been involved in many SQL Server Enterprise implementations for High-Availability, Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure Design, Security and Compliance.  I have extensive experience in SQL Server Integration Service, SQL Server Reporting Service, SQL Server Analysis Service, and PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint. 

I was awarded “SQL Server Innovators Award 2006” and presented at different events. I’m an MCDBA, MCSE, MCITP and MCTS


2.       RP:  What is your area of expertise?  How did you become a DBA/SQL Professional?

AS: Area of Expertise:

1.       High Availability and Disaster Recovery

2.       Performance Tuning

3.       Security and Compliance

4.       PowerPivot  for Excel 2010 and SharePoint 2010

5.       Infrastructure design

6.       BI


3.       RP:  What advice would you give your fellow colleagues who are trying to become more senior professionals?




a.       Take the time to read about all SQL features and have a background knowledge, focus on the features that interest you and test these features in your test machine to better understand how it works

b.      Access and follow SQL Server resources on the web and read SQL experts blogs/sites

c.       Get yourself familiar with IT infrastructure i.e. Storage, network, servers, etc.


4.       RP:  As I see the question all the time, what do you tell folks who want to get more involved in the SQL Community?



a.       Participate in SQL discussion threads/forum

b.      Share your knowledge by speaking at events, writing articles and answering peers questions


5.       RP:  What are 3 of your favorite features in SQL Server 2008/R2?


a.       PowerPivot for Excel and Sharepoint

b.      Auditing

c.       Policy-based management


6.       RP:  What are you working on currently?  (Projects, Books/Articles, Speaking circuit, etc.)


a.       Denali (SQL11) testing

b.      PASS presentation


7.       RP:  What are some of your other interests, hobbies, etc. when you’re not being a DBA/Engineer/BI professional?


a.       Soccer

b.      Bowling

c.       Basketball


8.       RP:  What are you looking forward to, or, what excites you the most about presenting at our SQLSaturday event in the capital of the world, NYC?


a.       Share my experience, lessons learned and best practices.

b.      Provide the advice to my peer dba’s


9.       RP:  Give us a preview of the topic and session(s) you have planned for us at SQLSaturday#59

AS: Two Sessions:


1-      Session:  PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint 2010

Description: In this session, I will cover PowerPivot - a data analysis add-in that delivers computational power directly within MS Excel 2010. By combining native Excel 2010 functionality with PowerPivot’s in-memory engine, I will interactively explore and perform calculations on very large data sets. This session gives the user the freedom to learn the many uses of PowerPivot from importing, modeling, analyzing and pivoting millions of records to publishing to SharePoint. I will show how IT staff can track and monitor user generated PowerPivot workbooks in SharePoint and explore PowerPivot Management Dashboard.

2-      Session: Build High Availability SQL 2008 R2 environment

Description: If you are new to SQL Server 2008 R2, you will learn how to utilize Clustering and Mirroring technologies together to achieve High Availability and minimize data loss in the event of a disaster. In this session, I will show how we minimize downtime while migrating from SQL Server 2005 Cluster to SQL 2008 R2. This session includes real life deployment and upgrade scenarios to achieve high availability and disaster recovery, the lessons learned, and the best practices. Technologies covered include Failover Clustering on Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL 2008 R2 Database Mirroring.



10.   RP:  Anything that you would like to add?

      AS: See you there!

Again, thanks, Ayad, I think you have some great and diverse session topics, and look forward to catching (for me at least one of them) coming up November 20, 2010!  We give you an A for some good answers and excellent format! J


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