PASS Summit 2012: Day 1

Happy first day of Summit everyone!  Ok, if you attended any pre-conference sessions then today probably does not feel like the first day, but it’s the first day with a keynote and general sessions.  My day started with a 3 mile-ish #sqlrun down along the waterfront.  It was a great way to kick off the day, huge thanks to my roommate Jes Borland for organizing!  Today I present my DBCC Commands: The Quick and the Dangerous session at 10:15 AM PST in room 618-620 and I hope to see you there!

I was fortunate to have been selected to sit at the blogger’s table this week, so I will post through the keynote sessions today and tomorrow.  There is no keynote session on Friday, but I plan to attend Dr. DeWitt’s session, Big Data Meets SQL Server, and will try to live blog that as long as I have decent connectivity.

For those of you not in Seattle, don’t despair!  You can watch this morning’s keynote, and catch many other sessions (yes, actual sessions!) and events from the Summit on PASS TV.  I kid you not: PASS TV.  Open up your favorite browser and go to the main PASS TV page and you can connect from there.  I will be on PASS TV tomorrow morning before the keynote so make sure to tune in!  I wonder if they will have someone to do my hair and make up?  Can I get a rider that includes coffee and M&Ms?  😉

And if you find the PASS site a little busy, try the Microsoft SQL Server site, which will also live stream today and tomorrow’s keynotes, and Dr. DeWitt’s session on Friday.  If you’re reading this later in the day, check out the main page for the Summit to catch up on what you missed.

Finally…before we start, check out what I noticed on the back of my Summit Program Guide:










Interesting stuff!  A Business Analytics conference hosted by PASS in April – the PASS teams are definitely keeping busy.  I will post more details as I have them.

What’s on tap for today?  I know we will hear from PASS President Bill Graziano, as well as Ted Kummert, Corporate Vice President, Data Platform Group, Microsoft.  Now, I have also been told that there is a huge announcement coming about SQL Server.  This is not a shocker, there is always a huge announcement during the keynote.  Any guesses?  It will probably be up first, so stay tuned! 

8:15 AM – lights have dimmed, and here we go!  Testimonials from various members of the BoD are played first (I am a sucker for video montages, BTW)…

8:18 AM – Bill Graziano takes the stage to welcome everyone.  There are 3894 Summit attendees this year, at the 14th Summit, with 57 different countries represented.  Bill’s highlighting PASS TV and the fact that it will stream the keynotes, session and interviews with different members of the community.  There are 120,000 members of PASS, and Bill has challenged everyone to speak in the next year.  If that’s something that interests you – I encourage you to reach out to local speakers (whether you know them personally or not) and ask for help getting started.  As a speaker, I would be more than willing to work with someone to help start presenting within the SQL Server community.  Bill mentions that on Friday there will be a Board of Directors Q&A in room 401 at 9:45 AM.

8:24 AM – Bill mentions the Virtual Chapters – woohoo!  We are up to 20 different Virtual Chapters which is fantastic.  They are a great resource for members of the community and I recommend checking them out.  And of course, in an addition to Local Chapters, there are SQLSaturday opportunities for training.  There have been 79 SQLSaturdays this year, with many of them held overseas.  PASS is growing – in just the couple years I’ve been involved, I am amazed at the increased number of events and members.

Bill confirms the Business Analytics Conference in April!  Registration is now open…but I cannot find the site…yet…

Hm, Bill mentions an amendment to the by-laws that would designate certain spots on the board based on location around the world.  Look for a proposal for these changes in the next 60 days. 

Bill thanks the sponsors for Summit.  As I mentioned before, definitely stop by the Exhibit Hall if you can.  It’s a great place to try out technology and software that might help your SQL Server solution, and again, the sponsors help make the Summit happen.  Bill highlights Microsoft’s involvement at Summit, which includes the SQL Server Clinic, hosted by the Customer Advisory Team (CAT), Developer Chalk Talks, Hands on Labs, Certification Training, Focus Groups and Solutions Theatre.  There are over 300 engineers from Microsoft here at Summit.  If you’re having technical issues in your solution, I highly recommend taking advantage of Microsoft’s presence here at Summit.

8:39 AM – Ted Kummert takes the stage.  I’m going to guess the big announcement is coming soon, and I’m thinking it’s going to be about Hekaton, and you find more information here as well.  Ted mentions that SP1 for SQL Server 2012 is now available.  There was no applause from the crowd.  Interesting.  Ted’s talking about big data and approaching the tipping point (which of course reminds me of Kimberly Tripp and statistics…stay focused on big data, no stats!). 

Ted’s talking about how if everything fits in memory, and you design around that assumption, huge transformations in business process are possible.  It’s one thing to accelerate queries, but if you want to accelerate business process, you have to consider all workloads involved.  Desktop all the way to the data warehouse.  You have to think about the entire architecture as it relates to the business process.  Today they’re announcing an in-memory transactional capability to SQL Server – and there you go, Ted says Hekaton and that it will ship in the next major release of SQL Server.  There’s the big announcement kids.

8:54 AM – Let’s see some demos!  Let’s see what Hekaton does when you have a highly transactional, in memory database.    We’re starting with OLTP…demo processes a bunch of sales orders.  Starts around 2000 transactions/sec, with CPU around 33% but there’s a ton of latches.  Switching over to Hekaton (note, what we’re seeing is NOT the final experience).  You can optimize based on table…SalesOrderDetail gets converted so it can run in memory with no application changes.  But all the data for the SalesOrderDetail table and indexes are in memory.  Running the tool again, looking at performance increase and it’s 10x improvement (with no change in the application or hardware).  Using more CPU (near 90%) but no latches with 10,000 transactions/sec.    Hekaton can also look at code (like Stored Procedures) to see if they can be optimized.  The tool picks a specific SP to optimize – so we migrate it over to Hekaton which recompiles so the SP runs native in memory (no code changes).  And now…performance is over 50,000 transactions/sec (but we don’t get to see CPU).  Oh, here comes information about Columnstore Indexes…  Before SQL 2012 there were lots of data warehouse queries that would result in full table scans.  Columnstore Indexes provide huge performance gains (taking a one plus minute query down to a second).  And in the next major release of SQL Server these indexes will be UPDATABLE (woohoo this is HUGE!) AND they can be CLUSTERED.  Ohhh, shiny.  Ohhhh, the opportunity to incorrectly architect.  Just because you can create the updatable Columnstore Indexes and use Hekaton doesn’t mean you still don’t have to consider schema design.  You still need to architect!

9:03 AM – Customer testimonial from BWIN, who has been working with Hekaton – they are largest online gaming site in the world and require the best technology speed to stay at the top of their game.  First test run took transactions/sec from 15,000 to over 250,000.  Holy cow.  The next release of PDW will be available in the first half of 2013.  Time for a demo of PDW from Christian Kleinerman…and he logs in as sa.  *sigh*  But he’s funny.  The changes in PDW take a query with a terabyte of data from 2 minutes to seconds.  The technologies used here are Columnstore and PDW.  Now Christian is talking about PolyBase, the ability to query Hadoop data through an interface in PDW.  Interesting.

9:24 AM – PolyBase is also going to be in the next release of PDW – it is built for big data – along with xVelocity and Columstore improvements.

9:32 AM – Amir Netz takes the stage for some BI demos.  I love Amir’s demos because you uses movie data.  You all know how much I love movies.  I really, really want a copy of the database he uses…  Oh, and Amir is funny, and he talks fast, and he is dynamic, and has a great accent.  He is fun to watch on stage (I know that’s not technical, but I appreciate speakers who keep the audience engaged).  I do love Amir’s demos, though I know so little about PowerView, BI and so on.

9:45 AM – ok friends, I have a session in a half hour so I am ducking out to get ready.  I’ll try to update a bit more later, but otherwise, catch you tomorrow morning!  And a quick reminder that tonight is the Exhibitor Reception, which starts at 6:15 PM and goes until
9:15 PM.  Again, lease take time to visit the sponsors throughout the week – they
provide amazing support for the PASS Summit and for numerous other events in the
SQL Server Community throughout the year.


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