Recent session at PASS HADR VC session

I recently delivered a session for High Availability and DBA Fundamentals on June 14th about the recent High Availability and Disaster Recovery enhancements that were delivered/to be delivered in recent Service Packs of SQL Server. The session recording is available on YouTube, the slide deck is available on Slide Share and the demo scripts along with the Power BI dashboards are available on GitHub

SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3 and the upcoming SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2 provide extended events which helps track down two of the most common issues that DBAs have to cope with during an outage situation related to Availability Groups: Latency and Lease Timeouts (which could result in failovers). These new extended events have been shipped based on customer feedback that we heard, acted up and shipped. If you have an Availability Group setup, then come learn about the new enhancements shipped with SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3 and the upcoming SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2 and above which allows you to troubleshoot failovers more easily and pin point the latency in your environment more efficiently.

SQL PASS Summit 2012

If you follow SQL Server related hashtags on Twitterverse, then you are already aware of the tweets that have been helping in the building of the SQL PASS Summit being held at Seattle from November 6-9. Rest assured that there will be a flurry of tweets originating from the Washington State Convention & Trade Center starting from Tuesday. And the reason for the excitement is coupled by the fact that I shall be present in person rather than following the event via Twitter or a streaming video session!

You might have already read the various blog posts doing the rounds on the net on why you should attend and what you can look forward to. I shall give you my 2 cents on why I think this is really worth a SQL Server professional’s time.

First and foremost, you will very rarely find the majority of the SQL Server brains in the world gathered under a single roof for a period of three days discussing and exchanging ideas about what you deal with everyday i.e. SQL Server. The session’s line-up will re-emphasize what I just said! Some of the best speakers in the industry will talk about various topics on SQL Server and you stand to gain a wealth of knowledge by just attending these sessions.

I have interacted with a lot of folks on Twitter regarding SQL Server related queries and it would be a great opportunity to connect faces to the Twitter handles that I am familiar with. Networking is one of the key components in SQL PASS and whether you want to or not, you will end up making acquaintances and even friends during the course of the three days (four if you are attending the Pre-Cons). Networking and interacting with the SQL Server community is the biggest motivation for me to attend PASS!

I always love to discuss SQL Server at any given opportunity and I will be available at the SQL Server Clinic on all three days. So feel free to walk up with your queries! Remember no question is a bad question! You don’t know till you don’t ask! You will get the opportunity to discuss your SQL Server related queries with some of the most experienced SQL Server engineers and members of the SQL CAT team)…. So feel free to walk by the clinic. The SQL Server Clinic timings are as follows:

•Wednesday

◦7:00am-8:00am (Early Birds)

◦10:00am – 6:15pm

•Thursday

◦7:00am-8:00am (Early Birds)

◦10:00am – 6:30pm

•Friday

◦7:00am – 2:00pm

We will be in 4C-3 which will be across from the Expo hall and on your way to the meal hall.

The Microsoft CSS team will also be delivering sessions at PASS. So don’t miss out on those. Bob Ward [B|T] will be delivering another session titled Inside SQL Server 2012 on November 7th: 1:30 pm – 4:30pm. Don’t miss that! For more details on what the CSS team will be upto at PASS, read the post by Adam Saxton [B|T] (yes, he is also delivering sessions).

Hope to see you there!

Psssstt… We shall try to get Bob’s Twitter followers to cross Adam’s… So start following Bob if you are not already doing so!!

SQL Saturday #116: A first but definitely not the last

Last weekend we successfully concluded SQL Saturday #116 which was the first ever SQL Saturday organized in India. I had the opportunity to present at the event and it was definitely an experience that I enjoyed immensely! Right at the outset, I want to call out two aspects of the event:

  • The audience – The audience participation and enthusiasm was amazing without whom this event wouldn’t have been a success!
  • Our sponsors, volunteers and SQL PASS – It’s needless to say that the event without the support of our sponsors and volunteers wouldn’t have been possible!

The event had two tracks with even a SQL Server Clinic which was like an Ask-the-Expert session where you could bring the problems that you experience with SQL Server and discuss it with the SQL experts from CSS. This was a new addition which was the brainwave of my colleague, Tejas Shah [Twitter]. If you have attended the SQL Pass Summit, then you will be familiar with this concept.

I was presenting on Demystifying SQL Server Memory Dumps which I thoroughly enjoyed presenting! I have already uploaded my presentation to the SQL Saturday website. All the debugging demos shown are available under the debugging category tag on my blog.

Thank you everyone who attended in making this a fun event for us!!

Here are some other blog posts on the event from other speakers/attendee: Lohith [Speaker], Sudeepta [Attendee/Volunteer], Manas [Volunteer/Attendee], Varun Dhawan [Attendee] and Vinod Kumar [Speaker].

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SQL Saturday #116: Are you gonna be there?

I am really looking forward to SQL Saturday 116 which is the first SQL Saturday being organized in Bangalore at the Microsoft Office on January 7th, 2012. There are some interesting stuff lined up for the day with two different tracks: Main and Practical. You can look up the schedule here.

Not only do you have an amazingly line-up of speakers but there’s also going to be a SQL Server Clinic. Those of you who have attended the SQL Pass Summit might be familiar with this concept where you have MSFT CSS Engineers having deep technical expertise in SQL Server available to you to discuss your real-world SQL problems that you face in your environments that you manage or work on. We love the challenge of new problems that we have not seen before and derive immense amount of satisfaction in helping someone resolve a tough or difficult issue involving SQL Server! If you have a specific problem to solve, it helps to bring the details. ERRORLOG files, error messages, specific query syntax, or details of your environment. The more background context you provide us with, the more we can narrow down with our suggestions. No presentations, just some serious troubleshooting and on-the-spot assistance from 2:30PM IST – 5PM IST under the Practical track.

I am glad that I will have the opportunity of presenting at SQL Saturday #116 along with the likes of Pinal Dave [Blog | Twitter], Vinod Kumar [Blog | Twitter] and Balmukund Lakhani [Blog | Twitter]. My presentation topic reads “Demsytifying SQL Server Memory Dumps” at 11:30AM IST. As the topic reads, I am going to clarify why digging into the root causes which result in SQL Server memory dumps might not be a daunting task!

I am totally looking forward to Jan 7th!! That would be a cracker of way to start off the first weekend on the New Year! Are you gonna be there?

The GenNext for SQL Server

The SQLPASS Keynote on Day 1 of the Summit kicked off a slew of announcements which would ensure that Twitter received it’s fair share of activity for SQL Server. Look up the #sqlpass hashtag on Twitter to understand what I am saying. There are over 4,500 registrations from 49 countries for the streaming keynotes.

Among all the announcements, the one that created the maximum amount of buzz was the next major version of SQL Server, code-named Denali CTP1. As soon as Ted Kummert, Senior VP at Microsoft, made the announcement, a flurry of Tweets went out from the Tweeps attending the Keynote announcing to the world about Denali. SQL MVP Aaron Bertrand (Twitter | Blog) posted walkthrough for installing Denali on his blog. Read his narration of the Keynote session here.

The key features of Denali are:

  • SQL Server AlwaysOn – A Mission Critical Platform that helps in increasing up-time, reduce unplanned downtime due to OS patching, simplify High Availability management, support for multiple secondaries and multi-site clustering.
  • Column-based query accelerator – This will help improve query performance manifold and reduce the time taken for performance tuning.
  • SQL Server Tools code-named “Juneau – A unified environment which is a one-stop-shop for your developers and helps accelerate your time-to-market.
  • IT administration enhancements – Improved security facilitated through various improvements built into the product. You can now take advantage of the powerful XEvents to monitor SQL activity.
  • Beyond relational enhancements – Performance improvements for FileStream, Full-text search, 2D-Spatial Support and FileTable.
  • Pervasive Insight – Expand the use of Business Intelligence to business users by providing new and engaging ways to discover insights through a drag-and-drop interface, smart and powerful data querying and interactive storyboarding to allow users to quickly create and share visual presentations of large datasets.
  • Read more about it here.

    Other announcements include:

    Microsoft Code-name “Atlanta”

    Microsoft codename Atlanta is a secure cloud service that proactively monitors your Microsoft SQL Server deployments. It helps you avoid configuration problems, reduce downtime, improve performance, and resolve issues faster. Atlanta agent can analyze both versions x86 and x64 versions of SQL Server 2008 and above. Now you get a vital insight into multiple known issues that you could plague your SQL Server installation without having to manually check for known issues. Atlanta will re-define pro-active monitoring for SQL Server instances.

    SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW)

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (previously code named project “Madison”) is a highly scalable appliance that delivers performance at low cost through a massively parallel processing (MPP).

    New Path to Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

    If you have an aspiration to earn the coveted title of a Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server, then there is a new path to do so. Click on the above sub-title to learn more.

    If you feel that you need more food for thought, then read the Press Pass: Microsoft Introduces New Offerings for Business Intelligence and Mission-Critical Workloads

     Watch Rushab Mehta, SQL Pass President, and Ted Kummert, Senior VP at Microsoft, discuss SQL Server: