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SQL Server DBA Tips & Tricks

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DBA Horror Stories

Psycho-shower-scream In light of the fact that this weekend is Halloween I figured this would be a great time to start this meme: Give us your best database/IT horror story to date.

I’ve been fortunate to date as far as the databases I’ve dealt with not having any crazy problems. For that I’m thankful. Given that fact my story is more of a general IT horror story. It was a dark and stormy night (actually it was clear, humid, hot day day but those don’t work as well for these). I woke up this fine morning to hear the call with the two words every IT pro dreads to hear: major outage. As I got into work, fueled up on coffee I got details of what happened that fateful morning.

Every month our operations staff does a generator load test wherein we switch from commercial power to generator power for testing. On this day, however, the generator felt saucy and fate gave us the finger. They threw the switch as they had done so many times before when “something happened” and a major failure happened in the generator. Normally this wouldn’t be too bad as you can switch right back to commercial power but, nay, not this day. For some reason the switch was unable to cut back so our whole data center went down faster than Balloon Boy’s family credibility. Like over-caffeinated monkeys on speed everyone leapt to action to find out the extent of the affected systems and implement the appropriate DR plans. After some scrambling the picture looked bleak. Despite having an alternate data center it turned out some of the systems on that side relied on the SAN…in the datacenter…that was now down and out. Awesome. Over the next few hours meetings were held to determine which systems needed to come back up, in what order (yes, I know, this should have already been established but as we soon discovered our DR plans were dated). Power was restored by noon and that’s when the real work began.

As we began bringing systems back online a flurry of disk checks and fixes began. Things slowly began shaping back to normal as everyone hunkered down and brought everything back up. But not all was well in Whoville. Ripping out a SAN from underneath servers is not the greatest thing to happen. To make matters really awesome we’re a heavy VMware shop and guess where our VMDK files are? Yeah…well in the midst of the madness we lost 2 LUNs due to corruption. Couple this with the fact that some of those servers turned out not to be backed up and needless to say you have a recipe for pure FUN! The good news is we have a good staff of dedicated folks who stayed as long as it took to get as many systems back online and working again. By 2:00 am (the failure occurred around 7:00 am) we were 95% back up and running with no major losses of data. Over the next few weeks I got the pleasure of working the every living hell out of the restore feature of Arcserve as well as check and double-check servers were being backed up.

Moral of the story is:

Have an up-t0-date DR plan, you never know when disaster is going to strike. Jonathan Kehayias wrote a great article recently about this.

Time to do some tagging:

Jonathan Kehayias (since I mentioned him already)

Kendal Van Dyke

Jennifer McCown aka MidnightDBA (let’s put that new netbook to work ;-D )

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Windows 7 and Multiple Clocks

So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks/months, you may have heard about a little thing called Windows 7. Windows 7 is Microsoft’s latest iteration of its Operating System and along with a slew of other stuff (i.e. security enhancements, pretty new stuff to love, Windows management features, etc.) there’s a nice little feature I find comes in handy, especially when you work with a global community like PASS (and you SQL peeps thought this post wasn’t going to pertain to you…)

The feature I’m talking about is multiple clocks in your system tray. I’m not sure if this was available in Vista as well but I thought I’d share with everyone how to do it in Windows 7. First click on your clock in the bottom right-hand corner.

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Next click on the ‘Change date and time settings’ link to bring up the Date and Time box. Click on the tab for Additional Clocks.

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Once here you can add up to two additional clocks in addition to your default clock for a total number of 3 possible clocks! Simple check the ‘Show this clock’ box to enable the clock. Use the dropdown menu to select the appropriate time zone you wish to monitor. You can also give the clock a custom label for display purposes. Once you’re done click OK.

imageimageimage

Now if you click on your clock in your taskbar again you should see your newly added clocks!

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I live in Florida so the clocks I like to monitor are either West Coast or India since those are the two time zones I tend to end up working with the most. Sure I could probably do the math for someplace close like the West Coast but I’m a geek, and I like to see my information quick and at a glance.

And since we’re talking about Windows 7, I’ve included in this blog a zip file of step-by-step directions on how to do this (screenshots included) courtesy of another really cool feature in Windows 7 called the Problem Steps Recorder.  With this tool you can see step-by-step how a user got to a problem or you can use it to document an issue like I have here.

Download Zip File

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SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando: Recap

I’d like to preface my recap with a huge thanks to Kendal Van Dyke (Blog | Twitter) for being such a gracious host and letting me stay with him last weekend for the event. Kendal is a great guy, DBA and father and I really appreciated his invitation.

My SQLSaturday adventure started Friday as I left work and headed to Orlando to make it to the speaker’s dinner. I swung by Kendal’s house so we could head out there together. On a complete side-note, the city of Celebration really is quite the charming little town. It’s like driving straight on to the set of The Stepford Wives, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you make of that! The speaker’s dinner was held at a restaurant/bar about 40 minutes north so Kendal and I had some nice one-on-one geek talk about work, life and all the madness fun stuff going on with the PASS elections last week.

The speaker’s dinner was great, I got to meet some new folks like fellow SQL Twit (and co-author) Ken Simmons (Blog | Twitter), Regional PASS mentor and all-around awesome human being Andy Leonard (Blog | Twitter) as well as got to have some quality geek time with the rest of the speakers. Sitting down with fellow geeks and talking shop is always a fantastic time and I highly recommend you take advantage of it any time you get. I got to take advantage of a similar situation the next day which I’ll get to in a bit. After the dinner Kendal and I went back to his place and like anyone who has presented can attest to we both stayed up late tweaking and completing our slide decks in preparation for the next day.

The next morning Kendal and I arrived at the event and due to some miscommunication with signage we got into the wrong parking lot but thankfully Kendal remembered the right place to be from a  previous event there so we finally parked in correct lot. The check-in process was pretty smooth but the only thing I’d have to ding Jack/Andy for is the placement of vendor tables in that opening hallway. The doorway to and from that vendor hallway was really crammed and made it a bit of a hassle to get to/from but I can’t ding them too bad as you can tell it was placed there out of necessity since we didn’t have a large open space like a cafeteria to take advantage of. To counter my ding I should give kudos to the very large maps provided on the walls throughout the event that showed where each classroom was. I thought this was a FANTASTIC idea and was especially helpful when last-minute room changes were made. Some other great stuff that happened prior to sessions starting I got to meet another fellow SQL tweep Gareth Swann (Blog | Twitter)!

[NOTE: All presentation materials can be downloaded at the event page SQLSaturday website, go to Schedule and click on sessions to get slidedecks/code samples)

The first session I attended was Andy Leonard’s session on Database Design. As was mentioned by Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter) this session was standing room only after the small group of people who made it in after the room change confusion. Andy is a knowledgeable, personable and funny speaker and I was very surprised to discover this was his first time presenting at a SQLSaturday event. I really enjoyed the style in which he presented code examples. The first sample of code was the easy way which many take. It’s easy, and it works. The next code sample would be a better way to do it and finally he showed the “best” (or best compared to other samples) in how to code. Some examples of what makes code “better” is making re-executable SQL code. For example wrap your code with IF EXISTS checks so that if the code were run again it can fail gracefully or at least skip unnecessary code executions. Some other nuggets were that Andy likes to save the output from his script executions, which he referred to as deployment artifacts, and archives them for documentation purposes. Something really nice I took away from this is that I finally got an explanation of what that sqlcommand button/mode does in SSMS. This mode allows you to (amongst other things) chain scripts together so if you have several deployment scripts you can launch them all from within a single script file in order. Another very cool thing I took away from this presentation is Andy talking about how he read a paper from NASA regarding their code deployment/development process entitled “They Write the Right Stuff”. In it they describe how NASA actually looks to tweaking processes before they look to tweaking code to ensure quality and Andy had some very good insights as to how to carry that over to the SQL world. If you get a chance to chat with Andy or attend one of his sessions I HIGHLY recommend it! One last funny thing to come out of this session was Jonathan Kehayias keeping track of how long it took for him to answer a question with “it depends”. I believe Andy clocked in at somewhere near the 20 minute mark.

The second time slot was time for me to present my Policy Based Management talk. I had about a dozen folks in attendance including Aaron Nelson (Blog | Twitter), Ken Simmons, and Bonnie Allard from the Spacecoast SQL Server User Group. I attempted to broadcast the session via LiveMeeting (big thanks to Jeremiah Peschka for providing me with that) but alas it didn’t work because 1) I’d never done it before so after the fact I realized I broadcasted only webcam with no sound and no screen shared out and 2) Internet connection at the venue was spotty so I wasn’t even sure if connection didn’t drop during event. Overall I think the talk went ok, nothing blew up too badly but I did learn some valuable lessons thanks to feedback from those in attendance. I think from here on out I am going to break up the PBM into two presentations: One intro and basic overview and second more demo heavy and advanced tips/tricks. There really is just so much stuff in it that it is very hard to try and cram everything into an hour session and not forget something or rush. Hopefully if Ken can make it down to SQLSaturday Tampa in January we can do this two-part session together (and maybe even at PASS 2010? Hehe). On a side note this is the second SQLSaturday I’ve presented this talk and the number of those coming out were about a dozen while other sessions I’ve attended were pretty much full houses. So I ask this question to you, all five of you who read this the general audience: Does Policy Based Management simply not interest you or rather Does PBM seem like to much of a “niche” topic that you feel you can’t/won’t be using? I’d be very curious to know how people view this very powerful tool. It really is not that hard to implement/use and can be extremely useful for developers and DBA’s alike. Please leave your thoughts in comments below or if you’d rather email me directly at jorge<at>sqlchicken<dot>com.

Immediately following my session, in the same room, was Ken Simmons presenting on Automating Routine Maintenance. I thought this presentation was very well done and presented some really good things to think about and implement as a DBA. The ever SQL-omniscient Brent Ozar (Blog | Twitter) even got some credits in regards to the different images used in Ken’s slide deck which were funny and appropriate (gotta love car analogies). Ken covered some great stuff such as covering what a fail-safe operator was and how it differentiated from a regular operator in SQL Server (hint: fail-safe operator is written to system registry, rest are kept in msdb). This was cool as I didn’t know exactly what the fail-safe operator was or why it was there! Now that I know I’ll be implementing it in my systems back home. Some other important topics he touched on were performing DBCC checks on your databases and what some of the check options are and why you should be using them. Same goes with traceflags. He also covered statistics in databases and he had a really awesome analogy for this one that involved driving home. He likened SQL Stats to someone driving to and from work everyday. After awhile you know which route to take and which route is fastest so that’s the one you always take. But what if one day there’s construction and you need to detour from your usual route for a week? Well when this happens you need to update your mental stats as to which route you need to take in order to get to your destination fastest. The database engine works in a similar fashion. Again, car analogies FTW! For the record it took Ken almost 50 minutes before he dropped the “it depends” bomb.

Lunch was a bit of whirlwind for me since I pretty much just had time to grab my box lunch, eat and head over to my room for my mini presentation on Twitter and SQL Server. I rather liked this session as it just felt more laid-back than the PBM talk and with only 15 minutes to fill there wasn’t as much pressure. The presentation was aimed more towards those who have not used Twitter due to being hesitant on finding a useful value to the tool as opposed to finding out what Miley Cyrus had for breakfast. I gave a few examples of how Twitter has helped me personally at work, the best example being getting direct help from Paul Randal (Blog | Twitter) when I had a database corruption issue. Thanks to the relationships cultivated on Twitter with the rest of the SQL Commmunity I think I have added more value to both my organization and myself as I can always reach out to others and get help on topics I’m not necessarily comfortable or familiar with (read also: SSRS and SSIS). In addition to just reaching out for help I can stay up to date on latest happenings in the SQL Community as well as training opportunities such as free webcasts, events and blog posts that help me learn more about my specialty. If I sound like I’ve drank some sort of Kool-Aid it’s because I really can’t say enough how great Twitter has been in connecting to the SQL Community. If you haven’t tried it yet I highly suggest you give it a shot. If you need a list of folks to follow on Twitter then head over to SQLServerpedia as they have a nice collection of folks already on the Twitter bandwagon. Make sure to drop me a line at http://twitter.com/sqlchicken .

At this point my intention was to head over to Kevin Kline’s End to End Troubleshooting session but as I was walking to the room I noticed a few guys sitting around the pavement chatting. What caught my eye was WHO it was since it was a couple of folks I hadn’t met yet and was really anxious to. The sidewalk gang consisted of Andy Leonard, Jonathan Kehayias, Buck Woody (Blog | Twitter), Joe Webb (Blog | Twitter), Joe Healy (Blog | Twitter) and (eventually) Ken Simmons. Despite all the great content available at the event I thought the hour spent with these guys (yup, ended up missing the session, sorry Kevin!) was invaluable. How often do you get to sit around a group of guys of that caliber and hear their thoughts on SQL Server and, as was the case in this particular conversation, get some inside stories from the world of Microsoft! This wraps back to the whole “social networking” aspect of one’s career and I highly encourage everyone to take advantage of opportunities when presented. In this case I weighed my options: Can I download Kevin’s slide deck or catch another similar session online? Yes and probably. Am I going to get another opportunity to get face to face time like this outside of going to PASS Summit? Probably not. If you attend a SQLSaturday event (or any event rather) and you see someone you’d like to talk to then go introduce yourself! Heck, even milling around and simply listening to two or three top guys discussing shop-talk together can bring all sorts of new information into your world. I guarantee you that those “big name guys” are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them. If you’re going to PASS this year and want to learn or practice networking skills I highly recommend you sign up for Don Gabor’s pre-conference session on Networking to Build Business Contacts. After our “sidewalk session” was done we started heading to our next classroom destinations when another impromptu networking opportunity presented itself with none other than Joe Celko (Blog)! I just got to spend a few minutes with Joe but man that guy is so ridiculously smart and personable I was blown away! I had heard how nice of a guy he really is as opposed to his evil cantankerous online alter-ego but Joe really is a great guy. He talked about the future of SQL a bit and how indexes may actually no longer be necessary thanks to something about hashing (again this guy is way out of my league in SQL-smarts so I’m probably butchering his words). So after all of this networking practice it was only right that my next session was to go see Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) present on Social and Not So Social Networking for the DBA!

Again, this was another standing-room only session and for good reason. Andy is a fantastic speaker and its almost like he’s a wisdom machine that just produces knowledge nuggets every time he speaks and you can quote me on that one. I showed up a little late due to my social activities from before so I didn’t realize (until I saw Jonathan Kehayias’ tweets) that Andy had projector issues so he was “working without a net” so to speak. I’ve attended this session before by Andy but it’s always interesting to see which way the conversation goes as the presentation is almost a forum in the way Andy prods the audience for their thoughts and views and goes from there. What I love about Andy’s speaking (and him in general) is that he has a definite viewpoint on things that are quite often different than mainstream views are and he forces you to really think about stuff. For instance it wasn’t until after then event was over that Andy delivered his first, and highly-anticipated, tweet! Did he just create an account that day? Nope, he actually created it months ago when another fellow SQL Tweep convinced him to create an account but Andy refused to jump in and start tweeting unless he could see a real returnable value from said technology or tool. This is something important for all of us to really think about before we just start jumping on-board trends. Jonathan was tweeting some great Andy quotes throughout the session and you can see some of those over at Jon’s SQLSaturday recap post.

The last session I attended was Joe Celko’s “Celko on SQL” session. Since I regrettably won’t be able to make it to PASS Summit this year, and I wasn’t sure the next time Celko was going to be down around my neck of the woods, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. The session consisted of Joe basically going back through the history of the SQL ANSI Standard (for those of you who don’t know, Joe is on the ANSI board, yes that board that met for 3 days to come to the conclusion that its pronounced S-Q-L not “sequel”) and all the fun things that came out of it and why some things behave the way they do. He had different slide decks based on topics such as the JOINs which we delved into a bit. This session didn’t have any code samples to take away or best practices to implement but its always interesting to see the history of your product and the minds behind said product. Special thanks to the Central Florida Oracle User Group for pitching in to bring Joe to SQLSaturday. Here’s another pitch for PASS but there’s plenty of opportunities like this at PASS Summit where you can talk directly to the folks that write the code that run the queries you bless/curse on a daily basis. So if you’d like a reason to give to your boss to attend, there’s a pretty good one right there.

The day wrapped up as all SQLSaturdays do with the distribution of SWAG to the masses. Andy Warren was chucking stuff left and right from the balcony to the people whose number he called out below which made for an entertaining way to wrap up the day. Huge thanks and congratulations goes out to Jack Corbett (Blog | Twitter), Andy Warren and their dedicated volunteers for putting on such a great event. Events like these and the people I meet energize me and reaffirm how much I love what I do and how much I love the community I’m a part of because of it.

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Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group Recap 10/13

I know this is a bit late but you know what they say, better late than never! This month’s meeting was quite exciting as we had a big-name speaker come in. This month we had Kevin Kline (Blog | Twitter) of Quest Software come in and speak to us about Disk I/O Tuning on SQL Server.

Typically our meetings kick off with announcements and general discussion but because we had Kevin this month (he was in town for SQLSaturday #21) we let Kevin have as much time as possible so we skipped our normal routine and got right to it! First off Kevin is a fantastic speaker and has a real easy-going presentation style which I really enjoyed. Many times during the presentation felt more like a dialogue as he engaged the audience on many topics. One of the great things about a speaker engaging the audience as such is that more nuggets of information can come out that sometimes even the presenter wasn’t aware of. For instance during one exchange between Kevin and Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter) something came up (pardon me for taking horrible notes and not remembering exactly what it was!) but it was something new to Kevin. The meat of the presentation (Slide deck can be found here) was geared much towards explaining the different RAID types and their respective benefits within a SQL Server implementation. Other great disk information such as partition alignment (which you DEFINITELY want to do as it nets you up to 30-40% performance gain!), which perfmon counters you should focus on to baseline/monitor your disk performance, SQL file configurations (i.e. multiple data files), SAN tips/tricks/gotchas, and more. One really cool tidbit that Kevin shared with us, in regards to seeing real-world performance examples, is the online MMORPG EVE Online is actually back-ended with SQL Servers all on solid state drives (SSD)! How cool is that? Here’s an article on it and how they benefitted from using this technology.

Overall it was a great meeting and a huge “thank you” to Kevin for speaking at our group this month! If you ever get the chance to catch a Kevin Kline presentation I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re going to PASS Summit this year Kevin will be presenting The Ultimate Free SQL Server Toolkit (Database Administration) as well as Team Management Crash Course (Professional Development). If the Team Management one is the same presentation as the one he gave during the 24 Hours of SQL PASS event I HIGHLY recommend you attend that one as there are some great bits of information in there!

Next month on November 17th our presenter will be Jonathan Kehayias presenting Understanding SQL Server Memory Management. Visit the user group website and register to attend.

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My SQLSaturday Presentations: See Them Live!

Well the title says it all and you’re thinking “well obviously we’ll see it live if we’re there” but that’s not the big news: I’ll be broadcasting my SQLSaturday sessions via LiveMeeting this Saturday! That’s right, for those who can’t make it and want to get a taste of SQLSaturday, join us in my sessions over the internet! Big thanks to Jermiah Peschka (Blog | Twitter) for setting this up for me. Links to the LiveMeetings are listed below for the two sessions I’ll be doing:

UPDATE: Ok Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter) has brought to my attention that internet at the event might be spotty at best so this live event may or may not happen. Follow me on Twitter for updates as they happen…

Policy Based Management 101 (10:15 am-11:15 am EST) – LiveMeeting Link

Twitter and SQL Server:A Perfect UNION (1:15-1:30 pm EST) – LiveMeeting Link

I’m going to try and have the sessions recorded, let’s see how it goes!

AUDIO INFORMATION
-Computer Audio(Recommended)
To use computer audio, you need speakers and microphone, or a
headset.

FIRST-TIME USERS
To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is
ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=90703

TROUBLESHOOTING
Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:
1. Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/8000181573/join
2. Copy and paste the required information:
Meeting ID: 9KHZ82
Entry Code: dnP`2rr&G
Location: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/8000181573
If you still cannot enter the meeting, contact support:
http://r.office.microsoft.com/r/rlidLiveMeeting?p1=12&p2=en_US&p3=LMInfo&p4=support

NOTICE
Microsoft Office Live Meeting can be used to record meetings.
By participating in this meeting, you agree that your communications
may be monitored or recorded at any time during the meeting.

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SQL University:Computer Lab at SQLServerbeta.com

Good afternoon students, this is just a quick announcement to let you know that SQL University (sort of) is offering a computer lab for students to cut their teeth on SQL 2008 technology. I say sort of because this lab is actually offered via a partnership with PASS, Maximum ASP, and DELL Computers at http://www.sqlserverbeta.com .

The labs offer up a virtual sandbox environment where you can discover and practice everything you learn here in a dedicated hosted environment! Here’s the lab description:

The beta team has created a Microsoft® Hyper-V™ based private cloud to host individual instances of Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 on which you can perform your experiments.  You will have access to a Hyper-V instance and SA rights to a SQL Server Instance. The instance is available to you for three continuous hours and you are welcome to come back and use the beta instance as often as you like.
 
We have included the following sample databases for you to perform your experiment upon:
  • Adventure Works 2008 OLTP
  • Adventure Works 2008 DW
  • Adventure Works 2008 AS
  • Adventure Works 2008 LT

We will be adding additional labs in the coming months in preparation for the release of SQL Server 2008 R2, so check back often.

So how do you get in on this great deal? Well just head on over to http://www.sqlserverbeta.com and Register!

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Contest for SQLSaturday #21 Seminars

As if next week couldn’t get any better, Andy Warren went and jacked up the awesome factor. Details of the contest are below but HURRY! The contest ends tomorrow (Sunday) at 5pm.

THE MAIN PRIZE: Free attendance at any of the seminars next week, a $149 value!

THE CONSOLATION PRIZE: We’ve got three runner up prizes, a super discounted price of $99 for any seminar next week.

THE CONTEST: Correctly answer all three of the following questions:

  1. Which speaker ‘spins’ a good story?
  2. Which session seems to be the most fishy?
  3. Which speaker (hint: could be multiple answers) is speaking at a SQLSaturday for the first time?

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email your answers to sqlsaturday21@sqlsaturday.com with a subject of ‘Seminar Contest’. Entries must be received by 5 pm on Sunday and will be announced later Sunday evening – along with one more exciting contest!

Good luck! 

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SQLSaturday #21:Orlando

SQLSaturday is gonna be HUUUUUUGE!

SQLSaturday #21 is gonna be HUUUUUUGE!

I’m excited about next weekend’s SQLSaturday as its going to be one HUGE event. If you live anywhere in the Southeastern United States you should be excited as well! Why? Well for starters next is, for all intents and purposes this is going to be like PASS Summit: East Coast Edition.

For starters, the week leading up to SQL Saturday will feature some top-notch seminars. Each seminar is $149 and includes full-day training as well as lunch. Here’s the seminar schedule for the week:

Monday: Essentials of Managing SQL Server by Andy Warren (Blog | LinkedIn)

Tuesday: Learn BI in a Day by Brian Knight (Blog | Twitter)

Wednesday: Real World Performance Tuning by Kevin Kline (Blog | Twitter)

Thursday: From Zero to SSIS by Andy Leonard (Blog | Twitter)

Friday: Performance Tuning Methodology by Buck Woody (Blog | Twitter)

In addition use code “KKLINE” to get a 20% discount if you register for two or more seminars! Even better if you sign up for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday sessions together you can knock $200 off the price by using the discount code ”Bundle” at checkout. Also worth noting is that Kevin Kline will be visiting various user groups around the state next week. Here’s the schedule:

  • Tuesday, Oct 13, Tampa SQL Server User Group (http://www.tampasql.com)
  • Wednesday, Oct 14, Orlando SQL Server User Group (http://www.opass.org)
  • Friday, Oct 15, Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (http://jacksonville.sqlpass.org)
  • And that’s just the week leading up to the main event!!!EXCLAMATIONPOINT

    On Saturday we have a plethora of great speakers and sessions. In addition to all the guys I’ve previously mentioned in this post we also have guys like Chad Miller (Blog | Twitter), Joe Celko (Blog), Joe Webb (Blog | Twitter), Kendal Van Dyke (Blog | Twitter), Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter), Ken Simmons (Blog | Twitter) and more presenting! This SQLSaturday is also seeing the introduction of the mini-sessions. Mini-sessions are 15-minute presentations aimed at first-time speakers to encourage them to present at a big event without the pressure of having to fill that hour time slot.

    So what are you waiting for? Oh what you want one more thing to entice you? Ok, how about free T-shirts for the first 150 to arrive to the event? Swag? We got it in spades. We only have a few seats left so hurry up and register!

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    SQL University: Basketball program!

    Tom LaRock aka SQLRockstar

    Tom LaRock aka SQLRockstar

    Exciting news for SQL University today, we have now named Tom LaRock (Blog | Twitter) our head basketball coach at SQL University! A basketball program? For a virtual University? How’s that going to work? Well Tom details his plans in his blog post but here’s the general idea:

    Each week Tom will hand-pick 5 players in the SQL community to put on the hardwood for that week. Think of them as Dream Team of the topic we’re covering that week. If I’m feeling saucy over the weekends I may Photoshop trading cards of each player he selects. We’ll see how everything plays out.

    Practice! Practice! Practice! Tom will be coming up with practice drills for you students to follow to hone your newfound educational skills on the topic of the week. Just think of it as homework only with Coach Tom yelling at your to drag your butt back up the court and play some Defense!

    I’m excited to see how this all pans out as it adds a nice dynamic to SQL University!

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    SQL University:Fall 2009 Syllabus

    Listed below is the Fall 2009 Syllabus for SQL University. Please refer back here often as weekly topics/presenters/dates may be subject to change. Each week each professor is asked to present between 2 and 3 articles on a given topic. The days where you see as Optional are listed in case the presenter that week chooses to take advantage of that 3rd day.

    For links to each session please check the main SQL University page.

    Date Topic Presenter
    9/29/2009 Basic Tools Jorge Segarra
    10/1/2009 Basic Tools Pt2 Jorge Segarra
    10/5/2009 Backups/Restores: Recovery Models Argenis Fernandez
    10/7/2009 Backups/Restores: Backups Argenis Fernandez
    10/9/2009 Backups/Restores: Restores
    10/12/2009 Basic Admin Tasks I
    Wendy Pastrick
    10/14/2009 Basic Admin Tasks II
    Jeremiah Peschka
    10/16/2009 Optional
    10/19/2009 SQL Internals I
    Wendy Pastrick/Jeremiah P.
    10/21/2009 SQL Internals II
    Wendy Pastrick/Jeremiah P.
    10/23/2009 Optional
    10/26/2009 Security K. Brian Kelley
    10/28/2009 Security K. Brian Kelley
    10/30/2009 Optional
    11/2/2009 History Week Jorge Segarra
    11/4/2009 History Week Jorge Segarra
    11/6/2009 Optional
    11/9/2009 Indexes/Performance Tuning Josef Richberg
    11/11/2009 Indexes/Performance Tuning Josef Richberg
    11/13/2009 Optional
    11/16/2009 Troubleshooting tips/techniques Chuck Lathrope
    11/18/2009 Troubleshooting tips/techniques Chuck Lathrope
    11/20/2009 Optional TBD
    11/23/2009 Intro to BI: Reporting Govinds Yadav
    11/25/2009 Intro to BI: Reporting Govinds Yadav
    11/27/2009 Optional
    11/30/2009 Intro to SSIS Josef Richberg
    12/2/2009 Intro to SSIS Josef Richberg
    12/4/2009 <<OPEN>>
    12/7/2009 Replication Kendal Van Dyke
    12/9/2009 Replication Kendal Van Dyke
    12/11/2009 Optional
    12/14/2009 Advanced Dev. I Govinds Yadav
    12/16/2009 Advanced Dev II Govinds Yadav
    12/18/2009 Advanced Dev III Govinds Yadav
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