Memorial Day weekend we were in Chicago to celebrate my Father’s life. We did a “Celebration of Life” memorial and we had a few drinks (celebratory Meyers, Tonic and lime – which was my Father’s favorite drink), we (7 of us) gave a few heartfelt speeches, and a few friends wrote a song (and passed out the words – to which we all sang along) and we grieved… but, in a refreshingly-not-overly-depressing way. I have to admit – it was exactly what I’d want as well. It was a wonderful day filled with memories and friends. After that, we visited with my Mom as well as my Grandmother. Paul blogged a couple of pics (yes, that chair is VERY big!). Then, we were back in Seattle for only one week…back to work…and preparing for TechEd 2008 ITPro week.


As for TechEd being spread over 2 weeks, well… I think it offers some excellent logistical options (smaller size means more possible venues AND/OR it means that they could possibly grow the size for each event). And, for some topics, I think there is a very strong separation between developer and ITPro (admin/ops) but for SQL – I think it’s hard to get it perfectly right. I think there’s a lot of developers who need to know more about admin/ops just so that they can develop more optimal (and even manageable solutions) and I think that DBAs should have a really good architectural overview of a lot of features to better administer them. So, for SQL, I’d *love* to hear your comments on what you think…………


For Paul and I, the decision is relatively simple, we came for this second week for ITPro/Ops. But, we’ve also spoken at the developer events (and sometimes we even write/present sessions specifically targeted at developers at our SQL Connections shows and/or at User Groups (we just did a local .NET user group in Redmond and the discussion around Indexes became so popular that we’re going back in August (for Indexes) and again (tbd) for Disaster Recovery techniques). Basically, developers tend to say…oh, that’s why I should x or y or z……. so, maybe next year we’ll hit both? Regardless, I’d still like to know what you think? Were you at the Developers event? Do you wish you could be at both? Are you at both?


As for what we’re doing – Paul’s already blogged it here: http://www.sqlskills.com/blogs/paul/2008/06/05/OffToTechEdUSITProTomorrow.aspx.


But, I thought I’d do a quick recap so that you can get some insight into our week as well as where to find us to come and chat. We’d love to meet you and/or hear your success (or disaster) stories!


Monday



  • Full day pre-con seminar: SQL Server 2008 Overview for DBAs



This is ACTION packed (and a very full day!) and will include giving out the updated SQL Server 2008 HOLs DVD. We weren’t really sure we were going to be able to do it… we didn’t really burn too many of the CTP6 version of the DVDs, nor were we sure that CTP6 would still be the most relevant. But, it’s still excellent to learn on and this time our DVD includes 17 labs:




































































































HOL Lab Filename

Length


Lab Name

Lab Abstract/Description
Using Policy-based Management.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Policy-based Management Security, best-practices, proper configuration settings – how do you control these things on one or more server? These hands-on labs show you how to implement and leverage the new policy-based management framework to define and control your business rules and your server’s compliance for one or more instances of SQL Server 2008. 
Data Recovery Preventative Techniques.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Data Recovery and Preventative Techniques Hands-on Lab Can you recover from a dropped table? Can you reconcile tables that have become out of sync due to human error? These hands-on exercises show you how to bring a database back online quickly after a table is dropped as well as how to reconcile the differences between a production environment and a recently restored version of your database – so that you can manually merge the recovered data back into your production database. Once all of the recovery techniques are shown, the last exercise shows how DDL triggers can prevent some of these human errors altogether.
Table and Index Partitioning.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Table Index & Partitioning Hands-On Lab Table and Index Partitioning allows large tables to be managed more granularly. These hands-on labs show you how to implement and leverage these key features: a partition function, a partition scheme and the sliding window scenario.
Database Mirroring Part I.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Database Mirroring, Part I Database Mirroring allows you to create a secondary (mirror) database to handle requests either automatically or manually, in the event of a diaster at the principal database. These hands-on labs show you how to implement and leverage as well as when and how to use Database Mirroring. You will setup database mirroring in a High Availability configuration (synchronous mirroring with a witness), see the affects of failover, and see how automatic page repair restores damaged pages in the principal or the mirror.
Peer to Peer Replication.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Peer-to-Peer Replication Hands-On Lab Replication gives you a scale-out configuration where multiple servers participate in bi-directional transaction replication. Setting up and configuring this topology has a few requirements – many of which are minimized by using the Replication Wizards – but all need to be understood to configure a peer topology correctly. These hands-on exercises show you how to implement a peer topology correctly.
Using Performance Data Collection.doc 75 minutes Performance Data Collection in SQL Server 2008 Performance Data Collection brings together many key tuning features into one cohesive toolset. These hands-on labs show you how to create a Management Data Warehouse, setup and control the collection intervals and analyze the results of system data collection sets.
Instant Initialization.doc 45 minutes SQL Server 2008 Instant Initialization Instant Initialization allows data files of any size to be created instantly – eleminating zero-initialization. These hands-on exercises show you how to configure your server’s permissions to leverage instant as well as the security vulnerability created by enabling this feature.
Online Operations.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Online Operations Hands-On Lab Online Operations are critical to the success of any server that needs to be highly available. These hands-on labs show you how to implement and leverage these key features: online index operations, partial database availability and online piecemeal restore.
Database Development Clients Lab.doc 120 minutes SQL Server 2008: Database Development Hands-On Labs The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of when to use one or more of the advanced features of SQL Server 2008 Database Development. After completing these self-paced labs, you will be able to:
* Set up a Database Project using Visual Studio 2008 Team System Database Edition
* Make changes to the database schema and deploy those changes
* Create and edit a project that uses the LINQ to SQL Object Relational mapper
* Use LINQ to SQL to query and maintain a SQL Server database using the managed classes
* Use LINQ to SQL with stored procedures
* Create and edit a project that uses the ADO.NET Entity Data Model mapper.
* Use the ADO.NET Entity Data Model to model a many-to-many relationship in the database
* Use the ADO.NET Entity Framework classes and LINQ to Entities to query and update a database
* Use Visual Studio 2008 to quickly get an ADO.NET Sync Services application up and running.
* Set up SQL Server 2008 Change Tracking
* Use ADO.NET Sync Services with SQL Server 2008 Change Tracking
Snapshot Isolation.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Snapshot Isolation Hands-On Lab The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of the appropriate uses of transaction isolation levels as well as how snapshot isolation affects conflicting readers and writers.
Database Mirroring Part II.doc 120 minutes SQL Server 2008 Database Mirroring, Part II Part II of the Database Mirroring HOLs allows you to go through setup, implementation and numerous failover scenarios – step-by-step. While Part I offers quicker setup through SQLCMD scripts, Part II works through the setup process more slowly allowing you to see how things work together. This lab is longer but also goes through changing the mirroring configuration as well as forcing failover. Part I should be completed first and Part II should be completed only if time permits.
Service Oriented Database Architecture.doc 120 minutes SQL Server 2008 Service Oriented Database Architecture Hands-On Lab Manual The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of how and when to use Service Broker in deploying a service-oriented database application.
Database Snapshots.doc 75 minutes SQL Server 2008 Database Snapshots Hands-on Lab The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of how to use the Database Snapshot feature of SQL Server 2008. After completing these self-paced exercises, you will be able to:
* Understand how to create a database snapshot
* Understand how to investigate file sizes and sparse file configuration (using both T-SQL queries and Windows Explorer)
* Understand the benefits and challenges with creating multiple snapshots
* Understand how a database snapshot is created when transactions are in flight as well as when they’re not
* Understand how to use database snapshots for testing and reverting databases
* Understand the requirements to drop database snapshots and drop databases that have database snapshots
* Understand how to create a database snapshot on a mirror database
Dynamic Management Views.doc 75 minutes Understanding and Using DMVs Hands-on Lab The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of the more advanced new features of SQL Server 2008 that give access to server information that can be used for performance tuning, server health monitoring, and problem diagnosis. After completing these self-paced labs, you will be able to:
* Determine what DMVs exist, what their input parameters are, how and where their data is stored, and be able to persist DMV data to your own tables.
* Access information from the query plan cache, including determining frequently executed queries and their query plans.
* Access physical statistics information about indexes (e.g. fragmentation).
* Access information about tempdb space utilization.
Resource Governor in Action.doc 45 minutes SQL Server 2008 Resource Governor Hands-on Lab The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of when to use one of the more advanced features of SQL Server 2008: Resource Governor.  After completing these self-paced labs, you will be able to:
* Understand appropriate uses for Resource Governor
* Create Resource Pools
* Create Workload Groups
* Monitor Resource Usage
Understanding Spatial Data.doc 120 minutes SQL Server 2008: Understanding Spatial Data Hands-on Lab The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of one of the more new features of SQL Server 2008:  Spatial Data Support. After completing these self-paced labs, you will be able to:
* Understand what spatial data is
* Understand the different types of spatial data
* Create instances of spatial data
* Investigate the properties of spatial data
* Query the relationships between different instances of spatial data
* Integrate spatial data into a managed code application
* Move spatial data between managed code and the database
* Create spatial data graphically using WPF 
Using SQLCMD.doc 75 minutes Understanding Command-line Management with SQLCMD in SQL Server Hands-on Lab The goal of these hands-on lab materials is to get an understanding of one of the more new features of SQL Server 2008:  Spatial Data Support. After completing these self-paced labs, you will be able to:
* Use SQLCMD with an initialization file, system environment variables and parameters to create customized “master” scripts for automation and administration
* Use SQLCMD and SQL Server Management Studio with the Dedicated Admin Connection for troubleshooting
* Use SQL Server Management Studio to modify and execute SQLCMD mode scripts
* Upgrade databases from SQL Server 2000 using a parameterized script running with SQLCMD


This is a GREAT resource for playing with a lot of these new technologies and it’s exciting that we have enough copies to give away to our pre-con attendees! A few of these are featured as HOLs at this year’s TechEd as well and some of these can also be found with our prior Jumpstart resources.


Tuesday



  • 13.15 – 14.30 (Room N230) DAT354 Are Your Indexing Strategies Working? (featuring me as speaker/presenter)
  • 15.00 – 16.00 (TechEd Online Stage) Panel: Leveraging SQL Server Technologies to Build a Solid High-Availability Strategy
  • 16.00 – 18.00 DAT track booth (green)

Wednesday



  • 10.15 – 11.30 (Room N220D) DAT375 Corruption Survival Techniques: From Detection to Recovery (featuring Paul as speaker/presenter)
  • 11.30 – 14.45 DAT track booth
  • 15.00 – 16.00 Blogger’s Lounge

Thursday



  • 10.15 – 11.30 (Room S230E) DAT363 Essential Database Maintenance (we’re co-presenting this one)
  • 11.45 – 13.00 Speader Idol judging (I’ll do my best to play Paula and I have hopes that Paul won’t play Simon but he does have that British thing going for him)
  • 14.30 – 18.00 DAT track booth

Friday, we fly home… then, we’re going to test all of our dive gear and take a little dive vacation at the end of the month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post a couple of nice underwater shots!


Oh, and I’ve finally tweaked my Indexing post (the one that survived the drive corruption – oh, but as an update to that post… Even though I got that drive repaired, almost all of the jpgs, some of the pdfs and even a few of the Office files were still corrupt. Office opened a few of them and “repaired” them on open (which was really cool) but I did lose the photos I had taken that weekend (well, all of the ones that I removed from my camera’s SD card). Anyway, I plan to (well, hope to) post the Indexing post (part 2 to this one) tomorrow!


Cheers,
kt


PS – It’s hot as hell here… and the humidity is NASTY!!! But, it beats the SOLID rain that we’ve been having in Seattle…