We enjoyed Dublin so much in 2008 and 2009 that we're going back for two weeks this time – and teaching three classes while we're there! We'll be working with our fabulous friends (Carmel, Sandra, and Bob) at Prodata and the event will be hosted by the nice folks at Microsoft Ireland. We'll also be doing a user group presentation, as usual, and you can register for this on the MTUG website. Not sure what we'll talk about at the user group yet (probably SQL Server related :-) – suggestions?

If you register for any of the classes, be sure to use this special discount code "PRB" which gets you 5% off and we'll know you saw the class on my blog.

We decided to structure the first class as a 4-day version of our popular Immersion Event and the following week do two deeper classes focusing on performance and disaster recovery.

We've taught several classes this year already and had rave reviews of the content, our knowledge, and presentation style. Check them out for yourself (with quotes extracted from their blog posts):

  • Greg Gonzalez, President and CEO of SQL Sentry wrote a long blog post about the Immersion Event he attended in Boston in April:
    • "When it comes to the instructors themselves, Kimberly and Paul simply have no equal.  Not only are they both ultimate authorities, but they have endless enthusiasm about the material, and spot on delivery.  If either ever got tired they never showed it, even after going all day and all week.  We witnessed countless demos over the course of the week, some extremely involved, multi-step processes, and I can’t recall a one that didn’t go the way it was supposed to."
    • "These are not beginner presenters, and they put an extreme amount of preparation and attention to detail into everything that they do.  Completely, utterly professional."
    • "You might think that with this extreme level of skill comes extreme levels of egotism and lack of patience.  Nothing could be further from the truth. … They simply know how to teach, and are approachable, humble, and patient."
  • Fellow-MVP Aaron Bertrand discussing the same Immersion Event:
    • "The additional insight around what's printed in the book or in Books Online is invaluable; and the experience Paul and Kimberly have had with real live customers yields a lot more information and things to watch out for than you'd ever get from the documentation alone."
  • Newly-minted MCM Robert Davis of Microsoft explaining how the previous training he'd received from us at Microsoft helped him pass his MCM certification (which we also teach):
    • "I try to take the SQLSkills classes when I can. I highly recommend to everyone that they take advantage of any training opportunities that they see from this group."
  • Newly-minted MCM Brent Ozar of Quest summing up the first week of the recent MCM class that we taught:
    • "To call them good trainers is an epic understatement.  They know how to deliver very, very technical material in ways that illustrate it well.  I had to stop Paul at one point and ask him how long it took to build a particular slide because the animations were so good at conveying a hard-to-describe process."

We also have a bunch of quotes from past customers and finally, here's the press release from last year's class. Phew!

4-Day Immersion Event, June 28-July 1 2010, Dublin, Ireland: See the Prodata site for full details and for registration links and options.

Day 1: SQL Server Internals

  • On-disk structures: how the data is stored
    • Records, pages, allocation bitmaps
  • Index internals: how the data is organized
  • Logging and recovery: how the data is protected
    • What is logging?
    • How recovery works
    • How the transaction log is structured
    • Recovery models 

Day 2: Designing for Performance

  • Choosing the RIGHT Data Type
    • Understanding data types
    • Character data, overflow and LOB
    • LOB considerations
    • Date and time data types
    • Heterogeneous data types
    • Sparse columns
    • Application inconsistencies in types
  • Table & Index Partitioning Strategies
    • Concepts/motivating factors in Partitioning
    • SQL Server 2000+ Partitioned Views
    • SQL Server 2005+ Partitioned Tables
    • Partitioning Design Techniques Combined
    • Partitioned and non-partitioned Indexes
    • Implementing the Sliding Window Scenario

Day 3: Indexing for Performance

  • Data Access
    • Data Access Patterns
    • Covering
    • Using INCLUDE (SQL Server 2005+)
    • Using Filters (SQL Server 2008+)
  • Indexing Strategies
    • Indexing for AND
    • Indexing for OR
    • Indexing for Joins
    • Indexing for Aggregates
    • Indexed Views (Overview)

Day 4: Essential Database Maintenance

  • Data and log file provisioning and management
    • Database layout considerations
    • Growing and shrinking
    • Instant initialization
  • Tempdb
  • Index and statistics maintenance
  • Using backup and restore
  • Consistency checking

Performance Optimization Masterclass, July 5-6 2010, Dublin, Ireland: See the Prodata site for full details and for registration links and options.

(This is not duplicate content to the 4-day class – it's deeper knowledge and really requires the equivalent knowledge to the 4-day class to get the best out of it.)

Part 1: Optimizing Procedural Code

  • Module 1: Batches and Plan Cache
    • Statement execution and plan caching
    • sp_executesql and dynamic string execution
  • Module 2: Optmizing Procedural Code
  • Understanding stored procedures
    • Understanding recompilation
    • Creating an optimal plan
    • Forcing plans & plan guides

Part 2: Resource Monitoring and Troubleshooting

  • Module 1: Waits & Queues
    • What are waits and queues?
    • What should you be looking for?
  • Module 2: Locking / blocking
    • Locking overview
    • Examples of blocking scenarios
    • Troubleshooting blocking
    • Blocking avoidance strategies
  • Module 3: Resource governor
  • Module 4: Extended Events
  • Module 5: Performance Data Collection

Part 3: Are Your Index Strategies Working?

  • Module 1: index cleanup
    • Index usage and consolidation
  • Module 2: Index health
    • What is fragmentation
    • Detecting fragmentation
    • Removing fragmentation
  • Module 3: Missing indexes
    • DTA

Disaster Recovery Masterclass, July 7-8 2010, Dublin, Ireland: See the Prodata site for full details and for registration links and options.

(This is not duplicate content to the 4-day class – it's deeper knowledge and really requires the equivalent knowledge to the 4-day class to get the best out of it.)

Part I: Fundamentals

  • Module 1: Internals
    • Introduction to database structures
    • Introduction to logging and recovery
    • How recovery models affect disaster recovery
  • Module 2: Data Storage
    • Choosing a RAID level
    • Storage tuning for fast recovery

Part II: Strategy

  • Module 3: Planning a disaster recovery strategy
    • Requirements and limitations
    • Testing
  • Module 4: Architecting for recoverability
    • Partial database availability
    • Planning a backup strategy
    • Database snapshots
    • Utilizing high-availability technologies

Part III: Practicalities

  • Module 5: Recovering from a disaster with backups
    • Tail-of-the-log backups
    • Determining restore sequence
    • Point-in-time restore
    • Piecemeal restore
    • System databases
  • Module 6: Recovering from a disaster without backups
    • Interpreting DBCC CHECKDB output
    • Using database repair
    • Using EMERGENCY mode

We really hope to see you at one or more of these classes!