PASS Summit 2010-Tuesday

Started my day by going up to the club floor for the continental breakfast, met Mark Souza on the elevator and had a good chat over breakfast. For those you of who don’t now Mark, he’s on the Board of Directors and the guy who started CAT. We chatted about who he might know in Portugal that could help us with a SQLSaturday there. Good start to the day.

Checked mail and did quick morning chores, walked over to the convention center. Remembered to unpack a lot of the junk I typically have in my bag, gets heavy over the course of a 12 hour day. Board members have by tradition always sat in the front row, this year Tom, Jeremiah,and I have finally worked it out so that we can sit up front for the first part and then move back to the blogger table which offers both a table (useful!) and power. Probably 20 bloggers total.

The morning started with ‘Simply the Best’ by a Tina Turner impersonator. A little strange, but it definitely got people engaged and talking! Then Rushabh did an opening keynote that went pretty well, and a riff with Mark Souza about the Microsoft involvement this week, which is substantial. Mark was dressed up a doctor, nicely done with a good sense of fun, but you also get the passion he has about SQL Server. 400+ people from the SQL Server team here this week, and here to learn from attendees as much as attendees learn from them. Remember it’s a chance to re-connect them with the interesting and sometimes mundane challenges we encounter at work.

Then the transition to Ted Kummuert, moved back to the blogger table. Good intro, great demo of the Parallel Data Warehouse, showed a query against 800 billion rows in 19 seconds. Yes, it’s a big stack of hardware, but still, that’s a lot of data and it means being able to do queries that might not otherwise be possible, especially to get them done in a time to make a meaningful decision. Then a couple customer focused segments, which are my least favorite, but still sometimes interesting. Yahoo guy talking about 1.2TB of data a day, a 12TB cube, and 3.5 trillion – yes, trillion – rows a day.

Next is codename “Atlanta”, a configuration assessment service. Sign up at Bob Ward doing the demo, starting with a login failure and diagnosing a Kerboros issue, and then taking you to the KB article for help on resolving it. Uploads diagnostic information nightly in a “secure fashion”. Can view history to see when the account was changed that caused the problem, which leads to learning/future avoidance of same issue. They will continue to update with alerts as they identify more cases.

On to SQL Azure. Announcing CTP for web admin, reporting, and data sync. Data market at Demo of data market and SQL Azure with a simple report, changed target server url to the cloud server and deploy, running in the cloud. Now pulling in some weather data from the market using the ODATA feed (me: ODATA going to be big, more of a game changer than most people realize).

CTP1 for Denali will be public tomorrow after keynote. Overview today, details tomorrow. “Keynote moment” Ted struggling with the clicker. Now getting interesting enough that it’s hard to take notes, just want to watch! Amir Netz totally wowing the audience, demo is good, but he’s excited, genuine, and managed to say “engine of the devil” describing performance. Says it is a true column store behind to enable scanning 2 billion rows in under a minute.

Keynote keeping everyone engaged, good demos, some good accidental humor, no one leaving early, standing room only. Really good start to the Summit.