Tag Archives: PASS Summit 2011

PASS Summit 2011 Day 3 – Keynote Live Blog with Dr. DeWitt!

Today’s keynote with Dr. DeWitt starts at 8:15am EDT. Click here to watch today’s keynote live. For information on today’s keynote, titled “Big Data – What is the Big Deal?“, see the SQLPASS.org page on Keynotes.

Announcement: bradmcgehee: Free download of SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Special “PASS Edition” at: www.manning.com/passbook/  

8:12 A whoooole lot of us had late nights last night, and we are up bright and early to fill our mushy brains with Dr DeWitt-ness.  PASS is playing good rock music over the loudspeaker, and it’s helping.

 8:15 sharp, the lights go down. More videos! “Connect-share-learn. This is community!”  THAT WAS PHENOMENAL! 

Me: That was WAY better than Tina Turner.

Andy: “FREEBIRD!!”

Kevin Kline’s  Tribute to Wayne Snyder

8:33 Im going to have to blog from my phone. I still can’t get consistent internet here.

Dr. DeWitt is onstage! We apparently have his wife to thank for his return to the keynotes this year, and for the new glasses.

“This guy doesn’t seem like the marketing type…” [massive cheers]

8:39 Explosion of interest in big data because of the sudden increase in mass generated data that’s too valuable to discard. ( Twitter, web clicks, sensors…)

@Kendra_Little: Takeaway: Invest in hard drive manufacturers. #sqlpass

Why nosql? More data model flexibility (no “schema first requirement), relaxed consistency models such aseventual consistency (willing to trade consistency for availability)  And maybe they’re not smart enough to learn sql <cheers>.

We do a lot of loading/processing, whereas nosql has no cleansing, no etl, no load, and analyzes data where it lands.

Re Sharding, ” I don’t know why they felt the need to rename something we’ve had around since the 80s.” Oh, like renaming the internet “The Cloud”?

8:49 Two universes are the new reality: Structured and unstructured. I don’t understand how no acid/tran/sql/etl works…

                @mikehillwig: Why does the phrase ‘eventual consistency’ scare the hell out of me? #sqlpass

Why this talk? Summarized: We can’t just shoud “Get offa mah lawn.” any more. Learn and grow. RDBMSs aren’t going away, but Hadoop (etc) is the future. “Many businesses will end up with data in both universes.”

8:53 It all started at Google: massive amounts of click stream data that had to be stored and analyzed.  Hadoop equivalents of HDFS and MapReduce (Store and Process), the counterparts to those Google components designed to handle the new kind of workload.

Hadoop and MapReduce offer: scalability and a high degree of fault tolerance; low up front software /hardware cost, etc  etc.

The Hadoop ecosystem looks like a tetris game.

@jdanton ” Hive and Pig sounds like a great bar name #sqlpass”

8:57 File Splits. Large file, broken into large locks (64Mb) and store them as a separate file in NTFS. 

                @SQLDBA: ” DeWitt mentioning Windows and NTFS but the reality is almost all Hadoop installs are running on Linux. #sqlpass”

Those blocks are distributed around the nodes of the cluster. Triple replication is used, so youc an survive up to two failures.

@DBArgenis: ‘ I think of this as a really weird RAID implementation #sqlpass.”

@peschkaj: ” Dr DeWitt’s explanation of HDFS is much better than reading any of the original research/documentation. #sqlpass”

@Kendra_Little: ” I see software RAID in them there Hadoopery file system! #sqlpass”

@GFritchey: ” Just pointing this out, no “uhms” or “ahs” Smooth… #sqlpass”

NameNode is always checking the state of the data nodes (hearbeat, balancing, replication, etc). And backupnode.

Fault Tolerance (DataNode Failure)

If a data node fails, the remaining nodes will copy over their copies of the “lost” data so there’s still 3way redundancy. If the name node fails….(I missed that part). When a new data node comes online, it’ll automatically detect that it’s available, and redistribute/copy data blocks for optimum redundancy.

@AirbornGeek: “Don’t really like that no auto-failover of the name node #sqlpass”

It’s designed for scanning large amounts of data, not OLTP.

9:08 No use of mirroring or raid, all block replication…why? Reduce cost, one mechanism (triply replicated blocks) to deal with wide variety of failure types. Downside: you don’t know where your data is sitting, so certain optimization options aren’t available to you.

@Kendra_Little: But how can I tell when my data is near a frozen yogurt shop? #sqlpass
@BrentO: Because you’ll see the pedabytes.

Mid-keynote Editorial (by me):

Just had a brief conversation with Sean, and I think we’ve more or less reached a consensus. It seems pretty clear that they’re trying to get us excited about Hadoop and big data, and Dr. DeWitt is doing it right.  You have a room full of technical people: to get them excited about a product, show what it’s for, and then how it works at a good, detailed, technical level.  Notice by the way that his entire presentation is lecture and PowerPoint, and we still don’t mind it…he’s not wowing us with demos because frankly the talk is more technical than a “look I ran a command and made a thing happen” demo would be, in this instance.

In short: Good message, great presenter, great strategy. Hadoop isn’t likely to be relevant to me in the coming 12 months, but (1) I now have a very solid idea of what it is, what it’s for, and how it works, and (2) there are people in the room for whom this is (or for whom it just became AS OF THIS KEYNOTE) relevant, and this is the talk they need to hear.

Okay, back to the show…

9:26 MapReduce Summary… Pros: Highly fault tolerant; relatively easy to write “arbitrary” distributed computations over very large amounts of data; mr framework removes burden of dealing with failures from programmer. Cons: Schema embedded in application code. …

@andrewbrust: DeWitt comments that the lack of a declarative query language is a downside of MapReduce. That puts it politely. 

@dirkMyers: Dr. DeWitt makes the case for SQL… 4 pages 5pt. font versus 1/2 page 20pt. font. #sqlpass #ymmv

 9:31 Benchmarks!!!  “I’m a performance kind of guy…”  He outlined his benchmark setup: 9 servers, 8 cores, mem/sas drives, etc etc. 140Gb, “A billion rows or so of orders.”.  Showed breakdown of Hive vs. PDW.  Spoilers: PDW won.

Most of us at the blogger tables are watching intently, not typing most of the time. The exception is Mr. Grant Fritchey, on my right, live blogging like mad to try to keep up. At this point (after the fact), it would be a good idea to watch the keynote recording and use my and Grant’s blogs to follow along. You’re lucky…you have the ability to pause and replay!

 @AndrewBrust: DeWitt’s team will try to build such a system in their lab. They need a name. AmbiSQL? #SQLPASS

@SQL_Kiwi: Multiverse Data Manager #sqlpass

Me: Hey Dr. DeWitt: Why not call the Enterprise Data Manager a TARDIS? Because it can go between universes. #sqlpass

9:47 “RDBMS-only or Hadoop-only  is NOT going to be the default.” Are “Enterprise Ddata Managers” the answer?

@sqlpass_de: RDBMS oder Hadoop ist NICHT die Frage. Beide haben Ihre Berechtigung #sqlpass #sqlpass_de

So, what should Dr. DeWitt talk about next year? Send your ideas to dewitt@microsoft.com !

@StrateSQL: I vote for Dewitt breaking down technology for everyone to consume #sqlpass

@AndrewBrust: This is a manifesto on the grand unification of database paradigms. Makes sense to me. Why fight about it? #SQLPASS

Thanks to Dr. DeWitt and his team for this most excellent talk…once again, the highlight of the PASS Summit!!

@SQLPASS announced: You can download Dr. DeWitt’s slides from PASS Summit 2011 and previous years here: http://t.co/o9zKgYDB

-Jen McCown, http://www.MidnightDBA.com/Jen

A few more tweets:

@adam_jorgensen: Check out how the Presidential Election is using BI and BigData #SQLServer #SQLPASS http://ow.ly/6SzSJ

PASS Summit Day 2 – Women in Technology Live Blog

Jes Borland Hosts the 2011 WIT Luncheon

Click here to watch today’s WIT luncheon live. For information on today’s luncheon and speakers, see the SQLPASS.org page on Keynotes.

12:00 Geoff Hitten, BOD member and WIT dude (okay, I don’t know his official title). Introduced Jes Borland. This is the 9th annual WIT lunch at PASS Summit.  Sponsored by SQL Sentry.  WIT chapter is not limited to women! Jes thanks volunteers and organizers.

AspiringGeek (Jimmy May): At #passwit @grrlgeek asks #sqlkilt men to stand. I’m drawing the line if asked to curtsy #sqlpass

Please fill out your evaluations, either on paper or online.

12:04 Introducing panelists: Yanni Robel, Dale Clark, Karen Lopez, Sharon Dooley. Topic today is how to make yourself heard, how to ask for what you want. I’ve been having this coversation a LOT lately, with both men and women, so I’m particularly interested in this year’s discussions. 

12:05 Yanni talks about getting the opportunity to go to SQL Connections for the first time; she said she was the only woman to volunteer, and the others were very reticent. “It’s very important to ASK… In order to get what you want, you need to start asking.”

12:09 Dale says it’s a big issue between technologists. “We’re not necessarily wired the same way as everyone else. …  We have a tendency not to communicate as well with people around us, to help us move forward. I recommend you set up continuous communications with people [who can help you].”

12:14 Karen: “Surprisingly, I have an opinion on this. … We were taught to be good, work really hard, and you’ll get rewarded for it. Unfortunately, most of us women believed that the world really works that way. … As a manager what I’ve noticed is that women don’t ask for what they want.” Karen quotes this stat: Only 7% of female college graduates negotiate the offered salary.

“It’s important to be your own best marketing officer. When someone recognizes that you did good work, take that as a compliment” before you also say it was a team effort.   Karen is speaking some really excellent truth, and this five-or-so segment of the broadcast should be required viewing as orientation for EVERY woman.

12:18 Sharon agrees with Karen, that we do have that hard training to BE NICE. “Don’t worry that they’ll call you something bad!”  Don’t be afraid to say I, to take credit.  “I’m supposed to be a team player, I’m supposed to sit quietly. It’s hard to break through that.” 

I really like her, and what she’s saying.  The word that comes to my mind is “pushy”…we have to resolve ourselves to be pushy, because what that really means is “determined.

@AliRazeghi : #PASSWIT Sharon Dooley sounds VERY experienced! It’s an inspiration to hear some of her wisdom. TY @sqlpass_de @sqlpass!

12:23 First comment from the audience is Kalen Delaney (@SQLQueen on Twitter): “I’ve had a lot of success in my career … but I still do findm yself thinking that I have to be nice, and if I’m not nice (and sometimes I’m not), I feel really really bad about it.”

Second questioner: What is something you’ve learned that can help us empower ourselves, to get the confidence to be able to ask? Yanni: Uses a personal board of directors, she runs ideas by them to get their objective opinions.  I definitely agree…you need a TEAM to go to and say, what about THIS?  And this is definitely not just for women; I’ve been part of many people’s crew (as we call them), men and women.  Karen: Act confident, and the feeling will follow. Also great advice.

12:30 @Kendra_Litte: How to prepare to ask for a raise?  Sharon: Sit down quietly and outline what I’ve accomplished since the last pay increase.  Yanni: Do your research, do your homework!  Dale says to ask your HR department for the salary range for your position, but I think that’s a lousy piece of advice. Not only will HR absolutely NOT answer that question, but it gives the impression that you’re jobhunting.

12:36 Sean (MY Sean) gets up to say that companies don’t understand the value of DBAs, so what do you do to help educate the upper echelon (decision makers) that this personis worth keeping, because not all DBAs are equal. Yanni: I keep a list of my accomplishments.

Nicole Phillips says that you have to prove yourself over and over again. How do you deal with that? Sharon: “I don’t think you ever get out of having to prove yourself over and over again. I haven’t found that nirvana state.” Ohhhhh, this woman is full of #WIN.

@kbriankelly: DBAs have to prove themselves over and over again as a general rule. Ask @SQLRockstar about a certain developer… #passwit

Comment by a young lady: It’s important to say thank you to managers in appreciation of training, and a summary of what was learned.  I rather like that, I think I will.

Comment: What would you do for a Klondike bar? Would you endure a 5 minute awkward conversation? That’s all it comes down to. VERY nice.

@Mike_Fal: A very liberating phase ”What’s the worst they’ll say? No?” #passwit #sqlpass

12:45 Comment: People don’t take you seriously when you make suggestions. How do you get credibility? Yanni: Document!  Sharon: “Make sure that you’re actually making a statement.” Women have a tendancy to use the intonation of a question. (The entire room nods and murmurs in agreement.) That just takes training and practice, it’s a learnable skill.

@kr4ster: #passwit could you clarify “… use the intonation of a question..”?

Me: Say “I’d like to implement change control.” Now say it again, raising the tone of the last word, like a question. It becomes “I’d like to implement change control?” It’s very common, shows that your’e not being confident, & ppl blow past it.

@kr4ster: Gotcha.. yeah, I’ve been working on that myself (I’m a #mit not a #wit 😉 )

A first timer gets up to say, this is cool: Peoples is Peoples! What can we do as men, to help women in the nonobvious ways (beyond treating everyone equally)?  Sharon: “LISTEN to me, honestly.”  Dale: Understand your team, each individual. I’m a “recovering introvert”.

12:51 Question: What do you recommend for your kids, to get them to be assertive (especially girls in school)?  Karen: You can be a good self-marketer without being boastful.  She says, People would say to my brother “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, and say to me “aren’t you pretty?” We treat boys and girls differently. Being assertive is also a good safety thing. Sharon: “A lot of what I’ve accomplished is a result of the ways I was raised, I was expected to help fix my bike, my brother was expected to wash the dishes.”

Question: When I get on to work I have to tell myself to put on my Mommy hat, because at home I’m non-negotiable. How to react to unprofessional behavior? Yanni: Challenge them. My commentary: Yanni’s putting an emphasis on nice in her last couple of answers, which is interesting, because I draw a definite line between nice and professional.  I can be professional without going out of my way to be nice, especially to someone who’s being a jackass in a work environment.  Dale uses the phrase “Which part of this don’t you like?”

@BenchmarkIT: #PASSWIT Huge thanks to you all… I’m raising a 2 yr old daughter and am SO thankful for groups like this. Well done all of you #SQLPASS

Question:  Work-life balance? Yanni: You have to set boundaries! The company will otherwise build an expectation. Of course, we’re DBAs, so sometimes we have to stay late. But then maybe you’ll take the next day off. But it starts by you asking.

@DBAWayne: If you’re having problems asking, go ask more. You get confidence with practice.

@kr4ster : It’s good to practice all interactions, not just asking.. remember, every friend/co-worker is an opp to practice!

Question: How do you deal with discrimination when asking for a raise?  Karen: I’ve heard this several times, “But you have a husband with a good salary.  He’s got a limited amount of funds that he has to reallocate, so ”  That’s assuming that my value to the company is based on something extrenal to the company.  And that’s how I put it. I don’t file a complaint. I now know I have the options of eitehr convincing him, or finding another company where I can contribute and be paid well. We women don’t ask, we undervalue our salaries and our expectation for our salaries, and it’s probably becuase we don’t go out and get that data.  Just keep the discussion abotu what it shoudl be.

Yanni: For me it’s about training, Iask for training and I get asked “Don’t you have kids?”  Just because I’m a mother, that doesn’t mean I cant’ make arrangements.  I grew up in indonesia, so I’m so used to that kind of sexist comment from my childhood. I thougt it would be different in the U.S. But fortunately I’ve never had that same experience as Karen.

Back to me… Whew!   That’s 1500 words for ya.  This has been a truly wonderful, amazing luncheon! Thanks so much again to SQL Sentry for sponsoring and donating! (And thanks to Heather in the AV booth for allowing me a seat, a space, and a plug!)

Happy days,
Jen McCown

PASS Summit 2011 Day 2 – Keynote Live Blog

Today’s keynote with Quentin Clark starts at 8:15am EDT. Click here to watch today’s keynote live. For information on today’s keynote (“a demo-packed adventure across SQL Server solutions that span traditional boxed software, appliances and cloud”) see the SQLPASS.org page on Keynotes.

8:15 Short series of videos promoting various events, clinics, and more here at the Summit.   Remember the live streamed Women in Technology Luncheon at 11:30PT today!

8:17 Bill Graziano got big cheers for his kilt, and that’s what he started off about….SQL Kilt Day!  They’ve thoughtfully provided a face cutout tableau of three men in kilts, so non-kilt wearers can get their picture taken.

LadyRuna on Twitter: “Saw @midnightDBA – both of them – in a #sqlkilt on the live broadcast :)”

8:20 Recognizing volunteers, asked them to stand for applause.   In particular recognized Tim Radny (speaker, mentor, SQL Saturday planner, regional mentor, Summit abstract review team) and Jack Corbett (SQLRally sponsorship and programming, chapter leader, sumit program committee, nomination committee, and SQL Saturday leader).  Time for the PASSion award – Lori Edwards!!! Program committee, Served on Election review committee, hard working volunteer!

8:22 And now the Governance and Financials section. I’ll let you follow along on the stream for this.

 8:26 Series of short videos about what Summit attendees are excited about for the upcoming SQL Server 2012 (codename “Denali”).

8:29 Quentin Clark, corporate VP of Microsoft, walks in to a snippet of “Livin on the Edge”.  We’re talking SQL 2012 today, and that’s exactly what we want to hear about.

There are four server cabinets running up on the stage…in the pauses, you can hear the low roar they’re putting out. Quentin starts “The fantastic 12 of SQL2012”.

8:37 Introduces Bob Erickson, Exec VP of Interlink Transport tech.  The entire blogger table instantly starts checking email, twitter, and Google+. It’s nothing personal, Bob. Basic message: “We have a big business. Outages are bad.”

Brent Ozar on Twitter: “Attendees: think of this #sqlpass guest speaker as your boss’s boss’s boss. He’s talking abotu why he wants SQL 2012. That’s cool.”
[Good way to put it.]

Demo (someone help me with this presenter’s name!) of AlwaysOn.  Showing us Availability Groups in AlwaysOn.  Cheers from the blogger’s table when completed. “The great thing about this is when something goes wrong, it’s right in your face.”

8:48 “2. Blazing Fast Performance” Performance enhancements – RDBMSs, SSAS, SSIS; and ColumnStore Index. THIS is good stuff. No demos, but that’s cool.

“3. Rapid Data Exloration” … Power View + PowerPivot; Administrtion from SharePoint; Reporting Alerts.  I particulary like the reporting alerts, this is something I’ve seen a need for in my org.

“5. Credible, consistent Data”

8:53 Lara Rubbelke (@SQLgal) up on stage to demonstrate SQL 2012. First demonstrating a report that takes a very long time. Brought COlumnstore into the enegine in SQL 2012, so we can create a new kind of index: COlumnstore index.  Allows us to have blazing fast perofrmance on data warehouse workloads…in the end my datawarehouse query’s going to scream.  She’s creating it with T-SQL (big cheers from bloggers).  Lara gave on-server and in-cloud options.  Again, I really like the emphasis they’re placing on options, in stead of their historical “YOU MUST USE CLOUD OR DIE JOBLESS” feel of the message.

After setting this up, she ran her query, and it was indeed lightning fast…brought it from 45 to .31 seconds using the colmnstore index. <applause>  We like fast, we like T-SQL, we like indexes, and we certainly like Lara.

9:00 Data alerts – Just like any other alert, define what you want to be alerted on, and how you want to be alerted.

“6. Organizational Compliance.” Sean will be paying attention to this one, he’s in a high-compliance field. Expanded audit, user-defined server roles…INteresting!

“7. Peace of Mind”  Production simulated app testing (THANK YOU for putting an emphasis on this, so companies know they shoud do it!!), system center advisor and management packs, and expanded support – premiere mission critical.

 9:08 “8. scalable data warehousing”. “SQL Server Appliances”, configured for their internal cloud New presenter on SQL Server Appliances (they won’t keep the name up long enough!)

@SQLChicken: “Fantastic 8 of 12: Herrrrre’s appliances! This is exciting stuff. I’ll be working appliences Pod after keynote, come by!”


Showing us a Business Data Warehouse appliance onstage, and a “Business Decision Appliance”.

@Datachick: “Both DELL and HP announce Parallel Data Warehouse appliances today.”

@SQLChicken: “20 minutes from boot time to loading data using BDW appliance. Telling you, this stuff is slick.”

@GarethSwan: “We had one of those in the office to play with…NICE stuff.”

9:15 Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance – appears to be one of the server racks.  Quote onscreen: “As the appliance is pre-built, pre-assembled, pre-tested, this has the potential to help us deploy in days versus weeks or months.”  brian knight, pragmatic works

@SQLBalls: Private Cloud Appliance for OLTP Dtabases just announced at #sqlpass

 Onscreen: “As the appliance is pre-built, pre-assembled, pre-tested, this has the potential to help us deploy in days versus weeks or months.”  Brian Knight, Pragmatic Works

9:20 “10. Extend any data, anywhere” ANNOUNCING ODBC Drivers for Linux


Sean: “For a lot of shops, what he’s talking about is a BIG DEAL.”

Beyond Relational: FileTable, 2d spatial, semantic search.

9:22 Michael Rys – “Deep Insights Beyond”  T-SQL demo of Semantic Search. Good demo…again, we like T-SQL and COOL NEW SQL THINGS!

Side Note: This is the year of Zoomit – if you use it, you’re in. If you don’t, you’re enemy #1.

9:29:  11. Optimized Productivity: SQL Server Data Tools (“Juneau”), Unified across DB and BI, Deployment and Targeting Freedom.  “Express LocalDB is a fully embeddable version of the engine that you can deploy as part of your application.”  Don’t we already have that? I’ll be interested to see how this differs.

New presenter: Nicholas Dritsas – Cloud Possibilities (SQL Server + SQL Azure). He’s already playing the crowd, pointing out his use of Zoomit. We cheerfully applaud.

Sean: “This presenter needs to be held.”

@BrentO: “This integration between developer tooling, on-premise services, and cloud services is a big edge for Microsoft.
[Yeah, that’s what I said. But you said it better.]

@SQLChicken: “As much as we jest about #cloud, it is pretty coll being able to extend to cloud from on-premises and back fairly easily”

9:40  For SQL Azure Federation, Introducting Sr Program Manager Lead Cihan Biyikoglu.  With Federations, you can power this environment and administrators can [fiddle with the dials to] repartition the database tier without any downtime.”

@retracement “Now Federations is one cloud technology that I think is totally AWESOME!”

 9:47: Announcing next SQL Azure SR, coming end of year:

  • sql azure federation
  • new management experience
  • db size increased to 150Gb

New CTPs available today:

  • SQL Azure Reporting CTP
  • SQL Azure Datay Sync CTP

@JDanton:  Execution plans in Azure. Nice.

Wrapup time.

Thanks for coming, all!  Be SURE you don’t miss tomorrow’s keynote with Dr. DeWitt!
-Jen McCown, http://www.MidnightDBA.com/Jen