SQLskills at 24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview 2019

On September 10, 2019, SQLskills will have three slots in the free 24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview 2019 event. I’ll be leading off with “Dr. DMV’s Troubleshooting Toolkit” at 12:00 UTC. Erin Stellato will present “Why You Need Query Store” at 16:00 UTC, and Jonathan Kehayias will present “Bigger Hardware or Better Code and Design?” at 19:00 UTC. You can use this link to register for any or all of the sessions in the entire event.

Here are the abstracts for the three sessions:

Dr. DMV’s Troubleshooting Toolkit

Dynamic Management views and functions allow you to easily see exactly what is happening inside your SQL Server instances and databases with a high level of detail. You can discover your top wait types, most CPU intensive stored procedures, find missing indexes, and identify unused indexes, to name just a few examples. This session presents, demonstrates, and explains a complete set of diagnostic DMV queries that you can easily use to detect and diagnose configuration and performance issues in your SQL Server instances and databases. This session goes into exhaustive detail on how to interpret the results of each of the diagnostic queries, including relevant background information on how to properly configure your hardware, storage subsystem, operating system, SQL Server instance, and databases in order to avoid performance and scalability issues.

Why You Need Query Store

Have you upgraded to SQL Server 2016 or higher, but still have databases using the old Cardinality Estimator? Do you know that you have queries with inconsistent performance, but you’re just not sure how to find them, or fix them, quickly? Are you tired of flailing around in SQL Server, querying DMV after DMV to figure out the *real* problem with performance? Query Store can help. We’ll cover Query Store end-to-end in this full day workshop built using real-world examples based on customer issues resolved over the last 2+ years. You’ll understand how to configure it, what data it captures, and how to use it to analyze performance, find regressions, and force plans. The demos will teach you how to find common patterns in query performance using T-SQL, and how to understand your workload. This class is applicable for those running SQL Server 2016 or higher (or planning to upgrade), or Azure SQL Database, and will provide practical and applicable information you can use whether you’re a new or veteran DBA, a developer that has to troubleshoot query performance, or an application administrator just trying to keep the system afloat. You’ll learn how to find and leverage important information in Query Store to make solving common performance problems easier the moment you walk back into the office.

Bigger Hardware or Better Code and Design?

Whether you are running SQL Server in the cloud or on-premise, more hardware often becomes the first answer to performance problems. The cost of scaling up in effort is relatively low, especially in the cloud where changing resource sizes is only a drop down option away, but financially this can quickly become a deal breaker. Even the fastest hardware won’t keep up with bad design and coding patterns. This session will take a look at many of the new features of SQL Server and how they can best be leveraged for performance tuning your workload. From In-Memory OLTP to Columnstore Indexes, Query Store, and Extended Events, this session will guide you in finding the source of the problems, and solutions available to make your workload faster and consistently reliable. We’ll even take a look at different alternatives using older features of SQL Server that you may be leaving on the shelf that are a better fit to solving certain kinds of problems.

Erin Stellato recently wrote about the SQLskills presence at PASS Summit 2019, where both Erin and Jon have full day pre-conference workshops, and I have a half-day session during the conference. I hope to see you both at 24 Hours of PASS and at the PASS Summit 2019!

Presenting at PASS Summit 2019

I am honored to have been selected to present two sessions at the PASS Summit 2019 in Seattle, WA. This year, I have a half-day session and a regular, general session.

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My half-day session is Dr. DMV’s Troubleshooting Toolkit, and here is the abstract:

Dr. DMV’s Troubleshooting Toolkit

Dynamic Management views and functions allow you to easily see exactly what is happening inside your SQL Server instances and databases with a high level of detail. You can discover your top wait types, most CPU intensive stored procedures, find missing indexes, and identify unused indexes, to name just a few examples. This session presents, demonstrates, and explains a complete set of diagnostic DMV queries that you can easily use to detect and diagnose configuration and performance issues in your SQL Server instances and databases. This session goes into exhaustive detail on how to interpret the results of each of the diagnostic queries, including relevant background information on how to properly configure your hardware, storage subsystem, operating system, SQL Server instance, and databases in order to avoid performance and scalability issues.

This is a topic that I have presented and taught multiple times, and it is something I am quite passionate about. I use my Diagnostic Information Queries on a daily basis in my consulting work, and they are extremely useful. Having 2.5 hours to go through them gives me plenty of time to cover them in detail without having to rush through them.

My general session is Hardware 301: Choosing Database Hardware for SQL Server 2019, and here is the abstract:

Hardware 301: Choosing Database Hardware for SQL Server 2019

Microsoft made some sweeping changes to their software licensing model for SQL Server 2012; moving from socket-based licensing to core-based licensing. This new licensing model alters much of the conventional criteria for hardware selection for database servers that will be running SQL Server 2012 and newer. This change still causes a significant amount of angst, with fears of huge increases in SQL Server licensing costs compared to older versions of the product. This session will cut through the uncertainty and hype to show you how to properly evaluate and choose your database hardware for usage with SQL Server 2016 and newer. You will learn how to choose hardware for different types of workloads and how to get the best performance and scalability for the lowest licensing cost, whether you are running in a physical or virtualized environment.

I will be talking about the latest developments with AMD and Intel server processors, and how they affect you as a data professional. With the upcoming release of the AMD EPYC “Rome” server processors (which I am 100% sure will be released by early November) the landscape of the server market has drastically changed. The old guidance about always buying an Intel-based server is not going to be a slam dunk any longer. This session is relevant for all versions of SQL Server, whether you are running virtualized or not.

Hopefully I will see you at both of my sessions and at PASS in general!

PASS Summit 2018

I will be presenting Migrating to SQL Server 2017 at the PASS Summit 2018 in Seattle, WA. I’m actually presenting a half-day session on Friday, November 9, 2018 in Room 6E. Here is the abstract:

How do you design and implement a safe and successful migration from an older version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2017 with no data loss and virtually no downtime? What if you have a limited hardware budget for the upgrade effort and you are worried about the core-based licensing in SQL Server 2017? How can you choose your hardware wisely in light of the new licensing model? How can you convince your organization that the time is right to upgrade to SQL Server 2017? This session will cover several different methods for migrating your data to SQL Server 2017 while meeting these objectives and minimizing your hardware and licensing costs.

I will also be covering some SQL Server 2019 considerations in this session.

This is a fun session that I really enjoy presenting. I think this subject is especially relevant with the upcoming end of extended support of SQL Server 2008/SQL Server 2008 R2 and end of mainstream support for SQL Server 2014, which both happen on July 9, 2019.

I honestly believe that CY 2019 is going to be an ideal time for many organizations to migrate from legacy versions of SQL Server (SQL Server 2014 and older) to a modern version of SQL Server (SQL Server 2016 and newer).

This is because you will have the opportunity to upgrade your entire data platform stack with significant new releases, including new processor families from Intel and AMD, wider availability of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, a new server operating system release (Windows Server 2019), and a new SQL Server release (SQL Server 2019).

BTW, if you are going to a Tuesday pre-con session at PASS, you should strongly consider Kimberly’s Query Performance Problems from Estimates, Statistics, Heuristics, and Cardinality. I have more information about why this session will be a great choice here.

You can register for the PASS Summit 2018 here.

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