2011 PASS Summit–Report #2

Starting the keynote on Wednesday, Bill Graziano talking about Kilt Day, quite a few of the bloggers wearing kilts (no, not me). Recognizing Tim Radney and Jack Corbett as outstanding volunteers – good stuff! Lori Edwards is the PASSion Award winner, big applause and well earned. Bill going over financials now, revenue and expenses growly equally, good growth on revenue. Talking about increase in direct community spend by 109%. Election cycle under way, can submit application until October 19th.

Now Quentin Clark from Microsoft. My translation follows.

Already heard “cloud on your terms”. Clearly cloud hasn’t lost steam at MS over the past year. Integrations Services = Integration Server, HA for StreamInsight (can’t think many of us need that, but good if you do use it), AlwaysOn is probably the big win for the DBA. Bob Erickson from Interlink, #1 in import/export in the US,why AlwaysOn is an important capability – I hear him,but isn’t availability always a big deal? TCO is the issue as much or more than raw HA options.

Hard to see demo, again. Microsoft makes Zoomit, and worst case change the resolution. Good story can get lost due to poor story telling, not being able to see is frustrating, distracting. Showing replicas and the management dashboard. Ok demo, good features.

He’s stepping through 12 areas, highlighting a feature or two for each. I like that technique, lets the audience understand where we’re at in the story, though as we’re only on #2 I think that means short demos or a long morning. Short demos not bad. Show the concept!

We just skipped to #3 with no demo. Felt shortchanged, maybe that’s just my fault for expecting a demo on each. Sharepoint alerts, a topic to make any DBA happy. Up to #5 now.

Lara Rubbelke demoing now, scenario with a slow report. Radio Shack is in the lake, minor map issue. Now doing a column store index. Now back off to the cloud, but also talking about domain based management, knowledgebase – clearly I’ve got some reading to do to see how much of this I may use soon. Got the report down to .31 seconds just with column store index. Got Radio Shack back on land. Defining alerts on data now, set an interval to check for big customers every one minute. Good smooth demo, still need more Zoomit though.

Up to #6, user defined audits and filtering is definitely interesting, auditing is key, but easy to burn a ton of space if you can’t get the granularity you need. #7 is about peace of mind. Supposed to better (usable?) replay capability, no demo. New support level, premier mission critical.

#8 is scalable warehousing. Going to demo appliance now. Amusing watching them try to use arm movements to illustrate hub and spoke (I’ve got to write more about expectations, fair or not). Says up and running in 20 minutes. 1U box ready to run in less than an hour, interesting stuff. Private cloud appliance from HP. Too many uhs. Says can do 160k SQL ios, not the pretend things. Can start with a half rack in a full rack enclosure. Upgradeable while in use. Uses HyperV cloud reference architecture. Lots of show, but gotta do more than show the server.

ODBC driver for Linux, good tactical win. Showing semantic search. Finally seeing some TSQL, funny how that resonates with me, better sense of “how” we’d use it. Finally some good demos, some good changes some to Azure. Can’t wait for Azure to match what we run locally feature for feature, then we’ll have the “hybrid” options we really need.

Better presentation today than yesterday. Looking forward to tomorrow.

While the keynote was going on Oracle sponsored an add on Twitter on the #sqlpass stream. Annoying. I don’t mind them advertising, but it was just annoying. Microsoft, please don’t do the same thing back to them, let’s stop this trend before it renders Twitter useless at events (or an arms race of changing hashtags begins).