We’ll be at PASS in November – will you?

This November Brent, Kimberly and I will be at the PASS Summit in Seattle as usual doing workshops and Spotlight Sessions (90 minute sessions to dive deeply into a subject).

The PASS Summit is an excellent learning, networking and socializing event – we always have a great fun!

Here's what SQLskills will be doing and we really hope to see you there!

Pre-Con Workshop

Database Best Practices for the Involuntary DBA (Paul and Kimberly)

Are you the "SQL person" on your team? Have you become a DBA (maybe involuntarily) and you find yourself managing SQL Server databases more and more? The one thing you NEED now, to manage the system correctly is knowledge! Paul and Kimberly will run through their top-ten database maintenance recommendations with lots of tips and tricks along the way. These are distilled from almost 30 years combined experience working with SQL Server customers and are geared towards making your databases more performant, more available, and more easily managed (and to save you time!). Everything in this session will be practical and applicable to a wide variety of databases you create, implement and manage yourself, as well as third party databases you manage. Topics covered include: data and log file configuration, tempdb, backups, consistency checking, database settings, statistics, and much more! Focus will be on 2008 but we'll explain where there are key differences for 2005 as well.

Post-Con Workshop

Indexing Strategies that work: Covering Concepts, Concerns, Costs (Kimberly)

In my highly rated spotlight session at PASS 2009, I spent only 90 minutes on this incredibly important topic and I could have done many more demos. This year, we’re going to spend the entire day focusing on the concepts, concerns and costs associated with the single most important tuning feature in indexing strategies: covering. Do you really know when and how to use this appropriately? Do you know what features provide covering options? Indexing is by far the most important aspect to database performance and health. But, do you have the right indexes? And, how are these indexes being used? This will be a demo packed session with numerous examples so that your indexing strategies come together for the best balance. In addition to looking at which indexes work for what types of queries, we'll look at the DMVs that can help us better understand where to look but we’ll also get insight into the pitfalls of these tools. DBAs, Devs and DB Architects can all benefit from this workshop.

Spotlight Sessions

Tales from the Trenches: GUIDs – Use, Abuse and How to Move Forward (Kimberly)

Since the addition of the GUID (Microsoft’s implementation of the UUID), my life as a consultant and "tuner" has been busy. I’ve seen databases designed with GUID keys run fairly well with small workloads but completely fall over and fail because they just cannot scale. And, I know why GUIDs are chosen – it simplifies the handling of parent/child rows in your batches so you can reduce round-trips or avoid dealing with identity values. And, yes, sometimes it's even for distributed databases and/or security that GUIDs are chosen. I'm not entirely against ever using a GUID but overusing and abusing GUIDs just has to be stopped! Please, please, please let me give you better solutions and explanations on how to deal with your parent/child rows, round-trips and clustering keys! Come to this session and you’ll really understand the *true* cost of GUIDs? We’ll look at programming, storage, maintenance, and above all – performance; I think you’ll be surprised at how much these really cost!

DBA Mythbusters (Paul)

It's amazing how many myths and misconceptions have sprung up and persisted over the years about SQL Server – after more than 10 years helping people out on forums, newsgroups, and customer engagements, Paul's heard it all. Are there really non-logged operations? Can interrupting shrinks or rebuilds cause corruption? Can you override the server's MAXDOP setting? Will the server always do a table-scan to get a row count? These are just a few of many, many myths that Paul will debunk in this fast-paced session on how SQL Server operates and should be managed and maintained.

You're Not Attractive – But Your Presentations Can Be (Brent, and our good friend Buck Woody from Microsoft)

Come hear Buck Woody (Microsoft's Real World DBA) and Brent Ozar (SQL Server Certified Master) explain how they make high scores at presentations. It's not luck, charm or (surprisingly) good looks – there are tips and tricks you can use to make your own presentations rock. With Buck and Brent in the same room it's much like Forest's Box of Chocolates, but you're sure to learn more about presentation techniques that you can extract into your own style.

Virtualization and SAN Basics for DBAs (Brent)

These two technologies can make a very big – and very bad – difference in how your SQL Server performs. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get the real, honest lowdown from a virtualization administrator, a SAN administrator, and a DBA? Wouldn’t it be even better if one person had done all three, and could give you the pros and cons of each point of view? That person is Brent Ozar, a Microsoft Certified Master who’s been there and done that.

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