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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

PASS Summit 2012 Day 2: Keynote

Welcome to Day 2 of the PASS Summit!

It’s been a very exciting event so far. Today I’m presenting two sessions, one on tuning queries by fixing bad parameter sniffing and one on reading execution plans. Please stop by, or watch the one on execution plans on TV as PASS is livestreaming events all day long on SQL TV (which is what I used to call Profiler).

The intro video, which can be good or goofy was really good this year. They had people from all over the world talking in their native language, making the point that the PASS organization is a global community. It really is.

Doug McDowell is giving us the finance and governance information for the PASS organization. I find this boring and vital at the same time. We need to know how this organization is managed, if we care about the organization. And since, let’s be honest, this organization has changed many of our lives for the better. I mean through the family we’ve met, the jobs we’ve gained, and just the knowledge that has been shared with us. PASS has doubled it’s expenses in two years in order to support all the stuff they do, SQL Saturday, Rally, 24 Hours of PASS, etc. It’s amazing.

We have three new board members, Wendy Pastrick, James Rowland-Jones and  Sri Sridharan. Congrats guys. You’re crazy for taking part, but thanks for everything you do.

Next up is Tom LaRock, another board member and a good friend. The PASSion awards are great. It’s the people who are doing, crazy sick work for the community. Mention goes to Amy Lewis and Jesus Gil. But the award went to Jen Stirrup. Well deserved. She is so active and so passionate. It’s amazing. It’s a well deserved win for her. Congrats Jen and thanks for all you do.

PASS Board members are gathering feedback from the community. If you have an idea, talk to a board member.

Don’t forget to attend the Women in Technology Luncheon. Men and women can attend.

Quentin Clark is now up for the Microsoft part of the keynote. We’re seeing a bunch of people talk about how great SQL SErver 2012 is. It really is great. He’s taking off on the concept of the data lifecycle. That’s a pretty interesting topic. He’s talking about how big data is getting both really, really cool and absolutely frightening. Hotels tracking guests within their building, coupons & ads based on the person standing in the supermarket, things like that. People are actually to the point where we can do things like this. It’s really cool. But wow, that is going to build out some seriously large data sets. The idea is to make gathering, interpreting, and sharing data easy, simple and very, very fast.

We’re starting off with data management. The combination between SQL SErver and Hadoop is pretty slick. It’s PolyBase, the new technology announced yesterday. But, please, presenters, don’t leave teeny tiny fonts up on screen while you talk. Zoom in. The room can’t see it. However, that information was very interesting. I like seeing how you can put these things together. Next up is discovering and refining data. We’re going straight into Excel. That’s the bad news. The good news, Access is dieing. YAY!

So the demo was poorly delivered, but very well structured. We got a good idea of how exactly we can do this with the new technology. There are lots of setup in the management area and in Excel to prep for  what they’re calling the ‘Ah ha’ moment. In other words, this is making your data more and more available, but the work to set it up is absolutely non-trivial. The structures get built out in really interesting ways, especially all the model work you’ll be doing in SSAS in order to prep this data. They’re showing how Azure marketplace hooks in. Once all of it is put together, an incredibly difficult task, you can really poke at the data with these new tools. It’s exciting stuff. It’s a shame that the presenters sucked all the life out of it.

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