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Manic Monday......Notes from the field, Playing catchup

It's the beginning of the new work week, and as they say, it's Just Another Manic Monday....[Bangles]

I have a lot to catch up on, so this will be a short blog entry. I wanted to note a few things from last week!

If you've been following me on Twitter|PearlKnows, then you know I spent the last week at Adam Machanic's awesome 2-day class in NYC, Taking It to the Extreme: SQLCLR and Parallelism

This training was intended for the SQL Server professional who wanted to take performance tuning to the next level, and interested in how to optimize your SQL Server Performance beyond typical tuning methods.  It definitely lived up to its expectations, and truly was an exhiliarating experience. It was an intense training, that definitely required you to "bring your brain!"  Good thing I keep it handy, and first thing I grab out the door (besides the car keys :-)

Day 1 covered everything you always wanted to know about SQL CLR, and Day 2, covered deep-dives into Processors, Parallelism, and Performance. We even talked about my personal favorite topic, Waits & Queues. :-)

Data Education creates SQL Server training events in the greater northeast. Many of their classes feature some of the top SQL Server experts in the world. You can find a list of its future course offerings here: Upcoming Classes

Adam was great!  The class agenda was well-organized, complete and very thorough. He is an excellent teacher, and no doubt that he knows his stuff from A-Z!  (Was there any doubt?) He even gave us an historical overview on the integrated circuit, leading us to the history of the CPU, which brought us to the MultiCore - so prevalent in today's server technology - with respect to speed!

We even touched on Moore's Law, Amdahl's Law, and Gustafson's Law, (isn't WikiPedia wonderful :-) - and boy, did I feel like I was back in my college computer science class days!  He also spoke about, dare I say, THE BIG O

Hey, get your heads out of the gutter - I know we were in NYC, but we're talking about that complex algorithm of a given operation with respect to the number if elements being operated upon. We related this to common SQL Server Query Costs. Click the above highlighted link to learn more.  Once we tamed the theories, the roller coaster ride got much faster, and we were soaring thru the rest of the session.  The topics were timely, and Adam's presentation made it easy to follow along.

There were some interesting moments, and was also glad to have in attendance, and meet F2F Tim Ford, Twitter|sqlagentman, SQL MVP, author, and co-founder of Brent Ozar PLF.  (By the way, if you're interested, the PLF stands for Jeremiah Peschia, Kendra Little, and Tim Ford - all co-founders)  Although Adam took a zing at Tim, and called him an employee of Brent - he-he!

As an aside, Tim is currently organizing SQLSaturday#84, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, coming this September 17, 2011.  I'll have another blog on SQLSaturdays shortly, as we approach #100!

As NYC is the crossroads of the world, we also had another fellow in the NYC area, Jose Chinchilla, aka Twitter|SQLJoe, who was at a client site, on behalf of his company Pragmatic Works.  Since he was right in the vicinity, he stopped by the class, and we all said hi and shook hands! And, it's a good thing too! Turns out that Jose will be speaking at Tim's SQLSaturday event, and we might have missed his Business Intelligence: Decaffeinated Please!, session.  For a full look-see at the speaker submissions visit: SQLSat#84Submissions 

So, back to the eXtreme Query Performance Tuning Class, we discussed much about methods, measures, and debunked a few myths along the way.  For example, PLE, Page Life Expectancy, once thought of as a Reliable Indicator of SQL Server Memory Pressure, such as in a SQLMag article by Brian Moran.  Well, it still is, but there's been some debate recently, even laughter among the MVP experts, that >300 is the magic threshold as to where every SQL Server's buffer pool should be.

It was pretty interesting timing, as well, since this very topic went on this past weekend via Twitter, with the Dean of DBCC, as I like to call him, Co-CEO of SQLSkills, and MVP, Paul Randal.  While 300 may a great number for your bowling score, it certainly is not a magic number for your server's PLE.  As I always say myself, Performance Tuning is more art than science, and each situation is different.  According to Adam and Paul, baseline, and monitor overtime what is your "steady-state", and then react if it dips and stays low.  So, as I had tweeted, it's more reliable to look at your baseline PLE, and if that drop significantly for a consistent period, then you most likely are having real issues with memory pressure.

See Paul's take-down on the perpetuation of the 300 threshold theory in his article, "What does page life expectancy mean?"  It seems that Microsoft itself is guilty for perpetuating this, and perhaps it was more valid back in the day, but no longer with today's 64-bit purely addressable memory space, and machines with googles of gigabytes.  It does seem that customers like solid numbers, and therefore attractive to say, "If it goes under 300, we need to add more RAM" 

Moreover, SQL Server Magazine has opened nominations for its SQL Server Community Choice Awards 2011, to nominate your favorite product in a number of categories, such as Backup/Recovery, Security, BI, Best Performance Monitoring, Development, Tools, etc.  Pearl Knowledge's flagship product, SQLCentric, has been a part of this in the last few years, and even picked up the 2010 Silver Award for Best Monitoring & Performance Software.  I'm not sure if I have the time this year to focus on it, but anyone is welcome to nominate.  It's always an honor to be nominated, and to win is a great bonus :-)

Also, now that the CTP3 is out for Denali, they are having a quick-poll on "Do you plan to download the SQL Server Denali CTP3?"  I guess that depends when Microsoft is planning on releasing it RTM ;-)

Shout out to Pinal Dave, of SQLAuthority.com, who is in the U.S. this week!  Welcome, Sir!  I hope that he will have the opportunity to hook up with SQLServerCentral's Steve Jones, since you'll be in his neck of the woods, way0utwest.

Meanwhile, while several local students, Tim and I, were imbibed in Multi-Core Parallelism with Adam, across the Atlantic, another great event going on in London, was RedGate's SQLIntheCity, with MVP presenters Steve Jones, Brad McGehee, Grant Fritchey, Mladen Prajdic, and Microsoft's own Buck Woody! 

I'm looking forward to some of the feedback and blogs at that event.  Going from London to L.A. (this fall - October 28, 2011), SQLIntheCity will be happening in the U.S.  Seems they skipped the East Coast here, so as an official FORG (Friend of RedGate), I'm inviting, hoping, or both, that next year, they'll plant their flag in NYC.  (afterall, aren't WE the City? :-)

Speaking of events coming to NYC, for real, SQLPeople Inspire NYC, is coming to town on November 12, 2011, and is sure to be a great fantastic and awesome time with some of our favorite speakers, SQL MVPs, and industry experts, to share with you their inspiring SQL Stories.  I announced the event recently here on SQLServerCentral.com.  The SQLPeople sessions is not technical training, though there will be plenty of technical discussions, but a new concept of discourse in ideas and innovation.  I have my bi-weekly SQLPeople call coming up this week, and sure I will have more concrete details and speaker list coming soon.....

Finally, just a tinge of things to come.  I will be hosting a cool new contest, with chances to win various prizes and the inclusive iPad.  Stay tuned, or bookmarked to the PearlKnows blog, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter|Pearlknows

Anyway, seems the day has gotten away from me!  It's already mid-afternoon, and I'm still blogging.  So much for a short blog entry. Ok, have some real work to do.  Hope you enjoyed!

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