Monthly Archives: October 2011

PASS Board Of Elections: Rob Farley

Be Part Of The Solution, Not The Problem

<disclaimer >

Now that BoD season is in full swing and I’m not running for the board I am going to cover the candidates I think would be good for the BoD. Make no mistake about it, these are endorsements. I have ether worked with, or have a personal relationship with the people I am going to talk about. In the past I have sat on the sidelines and watched events unfold and simply spoke with my vote. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, heck I’m not sure the people I’ll be writing about will agree with my reasons for backing them.

Also, don’t think because I’m not backing you that I’m soundly rejecting you ether. I simply may not know you very well and wouldn’t endorse any thing, person or product if I didn’t have some personal experience to draw upon. If you want to correct that then feel free to reach out to me. I always love getting to know people better.

I won’t be speaking against any candidate. Don’t ask my opinion on a candidate that I haven’t written about, you won’t get it. I still have a sense of hope about elections in general and believe you should win them on YOUR merits and not by tearing down your fellow candidates. At the end of the day, we are all part of the PASS community. We all want it to be better and shouldn’t be in the business of belittling others just because they are running for a BoD slot along with you.

</disclaimer >

Rob Farley, High Voltage!

Many of you my only know Rob from his blog (http://sqlblog.com/blogs/rob_farley/) or via Twitter @rob_farley. I very little contact with Rob before 2009. I was an avid reader of his blog and knew he was an MVP from Australia but it wasn’t until I started following him on twitter and watching him interact with others that I add him to my “people to meet” list. In 2010 I got that chance at the PASS Summit. To be honest with you, I thought he was drunk. I’ve rarely seen anyone that excited about anything. I have seen people with enthusiasm and passion but Rob was just a notch above that.  I think Microsoft took AlwaysOn from Rob.

Management Skills

Well, that one is pretty easy. Rob started with a single person company and has grown it to 6. He is a leader in the SQL Server community running the Adelaide, Australia users group. He is also active outside the SQL Server community. Rob is a huge proponent of ownership. If you take on a problem you should own it. He doesn’t ever dodge an issue or deflect blame.

Education/Experience

Rob holds three degrees covering arts, science and computing. Again, I don’t believe that you must have a degree to be a successful leader. I do admire his dedication and for studying such a wide range of subjects.  Again, he is a local leader as well.

Dedication to Community

Holy cow! Rob is dedicated the the community locally and nationally. He recently accepted an non-voting appointment to the BoD to help grow PASS as an international organization. He  Even though he has focused on that aspect he also understands that PASS has to reach out to the local level. He also gets that local doesn’t just mean metro areas like my own town of Austin, TX but to the smaller undeserved communities.

My Understanding of Rob’s Vision

Remember, this is my take and if I’ve got it wrong I hope Rob will correct me.

Growing PASS internationally. Rob wants PASS to be more than a United States only organization. PASS has tried a few times to extend its reach without a lot of success. I don’t know if the new initiative will be a slam dunk  but I think PASS has engaged the right people. Rob also understands that to expand into Australia and other countries you must engage at the local level. You must also respect the organizations that are there serving the community already. After all, we all want the same thing, to educate and support the community. He also sees PASS as an organization that isn’t as tight with Microsoft as it should be. I agree that in some aspects we aren’t as close to the mother ship, but part of that is the nature of being an independent organization. I’m not sure how we could strengthen our bonds with Microsoft without becoming a “branch” of Microsoft. I’d like to hear how Rob would grow that relationship.

A Solid Candidate

Rob Farley is probably one of the most honest and genuine people I’ve ever met. He gives of his time and resources to help others. He is also a strong entrepreneur, his brand of leadership rings true with me. Oh, did I mention he is humble? He has a hard time promoting himself. He isn’t a boastful man at all even though he has plenty to be proud about. He has been awarded MVP for several years. A successful business man, father and community leader, he may not feel comfortable putting forward his successes I do.

Yep, I support him.

PASS Board Of Elections: Adam Jorgensen

Be Part Of The Solution, Not The Problem

<disclaimer >

Now that BoD season is in full swing and I’m not running for the board I am going to cover the candidates I think would be good for the BoD. Make no mistake about it, these are endorsements. I have ether worked with, or have a personal relationship with the people I am going to talk about. In the past I have sat on the sidelines and watched events unfold and simply spoke with my vote. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, heck I’m not sure the people I’ll be writing about will agree with my reasons for backing them.

Also, don’t think because I’m not backing you that I’m soundly rejecting you ether. I simply may not know you very well and wouldn’t endorse any thing, person or product if I didn’t have some personal experience to draw upon. If you want to correct that then feel free to reach out to me. I always love getting to know people better.

I won’t be speaking against any candidate. Don’t ask my opinion on a candidate that I haven’t written about, you won’t get it. I still have a sense of hope about elections in general and believe you should win them on YOUR merits and not by tearing down your fellow candidates. At the end of the day, we are all part of the PASS community. We all want it to be better and shouldn’t be in the business of belittling others just because they are running for a BoD slot along with you.

</disclaimer >

Adam Jorgensen, A Giant Of a Man

Many of you may know Adam. He is fun-loving, joke cracking and generally dangerous to engage in any kind of verbal jousting. He is an imposing figure both physically and mentally. Adam also has a wealth of experiences that makes him a good candidate for the board.

Management Skills

Most of us know Adam through Pragmatic Works. He currently serves as the President of Consulting. This isn’t his first position in a leadership role though. You don’t wake up one day magically in a leadership role. He holds an MBA as well as a BS in Computer Science. He is technical and still has the chops to navigate the board room. He also has a strong background in finance.

Education/Experience

I personally don’t think an MBA or a college degree is necessary to be a good leader and board member. Just look around in our own industry for that clue. What I do think you need is experience to back up any degree you have. To me Adam shows that every day. He manages a diverse group of people effectively. He has an MBA and backs that up with a solid track record.

Dedication to Community

You cannot be on the PASS BoD if you don’t get that we are a community. Adam gets that too. I watch him go out of his way to meet new people and make connections with them. Not just the normal “Hey you know Pragmatic is hiring right?” He also doesn’t put himself on a plateau above others no matter their skill level, or new-ness to SQL Server. He is an educator in every sense of the word. As an author he has worked on several books that have gone on to be standards in the BI space. He is part of the SSAS Maestro Council helping shape the top-level of certification for Analysis Services. He also is a current MVP.

Giving Back

All of that stuff is nice for sure. Adam also works for a consulting company. All of those things either directly or indirectly can add to that business. But, that’s not what it is all about with him for sure. He also sits on the board of the Pragmatic Works foundation. The focus is to help unemployed or underemployed teachers and veterans retrain and get back into the workforce. Some of these lucky few have actually gone to work at Pragmatic Works.  Can you say that? How often do you meet someone who gives freely to help another. How about changing someone’s life for the better?

My Understanding of Adam’s Vision

I have always held that PASS has always been an organization governed from the top down style. This has been slowly changing over the years. Things like SQLSaturday and SQLRally are finally bringing the training and community connections down to a regional level. We still haven’t fully reached the local chapter level yet though. By extending what PASS does well down to the local level and provide real training for those who need it most we can make a real change in people’s lives. In our own chapter we have talked about how to fund a small training program like Pragmatic Works foundation as well. True outreach to those in need. I’m not talking about blindly sending money to a user group, but setting up partnerships and helping manage some of the logistics to those who want to be teachers can, and those who want to learn have the opportunity to do so. There are also opportunities for internships with local businesses. Possible partnerships with local colleges and universities as well. I think Adam has the tools to make it happen.

Yep, I Like Him

Adam understands. A great Summit is awesome, but changing someone’s life for the better is priceless.

SQLServerIO Series

These are the series I am currently working on. I am currently working on these two plus two more for the new year!
The Fundamentals of Storage Systems
SQLDIY: Manage and Monitor SQL Server Yourself

PASS Keynote Day 3

Wow,

It’s the last day of the 2011 PASS Summit. I can’t wait to get some sleep on the plane tomorrow.

Wayne Snyder, hero

Wayne has been a huge mover and shaker inside and outside the PASS community. His impact on the community is immeasurable.

Buck and Rob sing!

Here’s hoping their performance makes it to youtube! Just a great way to kick off an early Friday.

THE DEWITT

David Dewitt talks big data. eBay managing 10 petabytes on 256 nodes on a parallel database system. Facebook on the other hand, uses a NoSQL system. Housing 20 petabytes on 2700 notes. Relational isn’t going away and it does scale.

NoSQL

Doesn’t mean No to SQL it is meant to mean Not Only SQL. David is really breaking down the NoSQL, and taking a couple of swings at the developers too.  Hes tone has changed a bit from last year about NoSQL, which is fine he is a smart guy.

Two Major Types of NoSQL

Key/Value Stores MongoDB, CouchBase Cassandra tipically have a flexable model and usually partitions, or shards, on a hash. NoSQL OLTP

Hadoop/Mapreduce

NoSQL Data warehouse

Scaleable, fault tolerant framework. Really meant for storing MASSIVE amounts of data. Really used for analytics and question answering.

Paradigm shift?

NoSQL isn’t a paradigm shift! Relational isn’t going away. NoSQL is another way to get to your data and use it.

I’m not gonna blog everything David talked about, it is a simple overview of Hadoop, so it is crazy detailed and way to much info to put up on my little blog post about today. Go watch the keynote online. Then go watch it again. Finally, watch it again then start asking questions.

Great keynote yet again! I’ll be in the SQL Clinic most of the day so come talk to me about your storage issues and share your stories with me.

PASS Summit Keynote Day 2

Bill Graziano opened the day with some very white knees as kilt day kicked off at the Summit this year! Lots and lots white legs showing their love of this great community.

Lori Edwards was announced as the PASSion award winner and it is well deserved. I’ve known Lori for a few years and she has always been a deticated volunteer……..

Not Denali, SQL Server 2012
We got a nice feature overview of some of the 2012 features. They are still touting the feature list as the largest in any single release of SQL Server.

AlwaysOn
I can’t tell you how big a feature this is for us as a whole. I gets us closer to true shared nothing environments.

The AlwaysOn dashboard is more than just red/green dashboard. It actually helps you troubleshoot problems.

ZoomIt

I Think ZoomIt was probably the most popular feature of 2012 according to the cheers from the bloggers table every time it was used.

Performance

This is a large part of the improvements across the board from loadng and ETL to query processing.

Column Store

Again this year column store is a huge feature that was announced last year at the summit.

Talking in X’s

I’m not talking about your ex they are throwing around performance increases like 10x 50x or 100x. I’d like to see real numbers or live demos to back it up.

Self Service, Power View and PowerPivot

BI is becomeing more and more adhoc and end user friendly with more tools, tighter intergration. Shifting from a backend maintainer to an end user maintainable product.

Cloud, Azure and Appliances

Lots of talk about Azure and appliances. They are acknowledging that you need to be able to manage these new deployments and are developing management packs.

Only one Dell appliance, the Dell Parallel Data Warehouse Appliance. The other three. Warehouse appliances are all HP branded. We will see how long that stays true.

EXTREME!

I love the we will allow you to buy one or a fully configured container, moble datacenter, and gladly sell it to you.

Brian Knight Quotes

Glad to see the guys at Pragamatic Works on a slide from Microsoft. Those guys just flat rock.

ODBC Drivers for Linux!

They are talking about enabling migration from “other products” on the linux platform to get data into their new SQL Server deployment.

Integrating true ETL from Oracle to SQL Server not just export and bulk load.

Semantic Search, Beyond Full Text

Yet again ZoomIt is the killer feature in SQL Server 2012. Demoing a nice little silverlight app to display some of the new semantic search features. Symantec search will take Full Text beyond fuzzy search of words to something more inteligent.

Development Enhancements

SQL Server Data Tools, formerly Juneau, is taking a front seat for developers and SQL Server
Fully imbedable version of SQL Express for your apps! A nice feature where you don’t want to use compact edition.

Sunny Yet Cloudy

SQL Server + SQL Azure = love.
For the third time ZoomIt is the hit feature in Azure! The DAC or deployment assistant helps you migrate your onsite database to Azure for a seamless deployment. I don’t know how they will handle all the features that aren’t in Azure that are on your local install other than failing to create the deployment package.

Azure is highly available with three replicas of your data when it hits the cloud. They aren’t talking about the latency on keeping those three replicas in sync and that may be a deal breaker for some apps that demand full syncronus support.

They are continuing to tightly intergrate your local tools for SQL server and Azure including backups!

Connecting to your Azure storage from SQL Server Mangement Studio 2012. You can restore them locally and share them with others.

Star Trek The Next SQL Server

The Federation takes over SQL Server! Ok, we are actually talkinga bout federations for Azure. You can create large databases by end of year in Azure! Well, 150GB at any rate. That is a 3x emprovement but I wouldn’t call that “large” per se these days. You can manage all your federation members from their new Metro UI for Azure. I’m glad to see Azure growing up.

Hybrid IT

I’m glad to see they are really starting to acknowledge that you can’t just push everything to the cloud. They are definatly pushing SQL Azure but without the tools to join your local IT infrastructure it just wasn’t a very compelling arguement. Like all things Microsoft does they may release the 1.0 to get into the market and work hard to rev it up with features to make it competitive in the market place.

They rapped up with a really cool video that no one stayed to watch.

All in all, a solid keynote and some really great announcements!

From The Bloggers Table Day 1

COMMUNITY!

It is a packed house again this year. If you were here on Tuesday night and you were a first timer you got to meet a thousand of your compatriots as a first timer. I can tell you Microsoft’s Steve Balmer doesn’t have anything on the enthusiasim on the PASS community.

Goals From Last Year

PASS set out a clear roadmap for growth last year and they are well on their way to meeting the goals of the five year plan.

1 million 250k members five global regions

Working globally

SQL Bits SQL Relay

Connect. Share. Learn.

PASS is working hard to give Summit attendees a truly epic training event.

Connect

Streaming Keynotes:

Live Summit Site:

Share

Twitter #SQLPASS #SQLFUN

Flickr sqlpass

Learn

SQL Clinic is a fantasic resource so bring your questions!

Not to mention 93 MVPs and 18 MCM’s that are speaking and attending the Summit.

Birds of a feather lunch is also a great way to come ask questions of reconized experts and your peers during lunchtime.

Fun

Tons of after parties and reseptions abound. There is at least one open after party every night. If you are setting in your room after the sessions, its your own fault.

Even though you have to pay to attend, your registration alone isn’t enough to pull off a conferince of this caliber. The vendors who pay to show your there wares pay a large part of the bill. They are also engaged with the community outside of the vendor area and give more than just money but fund people like myself so we can reach out and teach to a wider audince.

The New World of Data

Ted “The Cloud” Kummert took the stage to dissuss the future of data storage and SQL Server. To say that SQL Azure and the cloud is playing a huge part of the future of relational data.

The Hybrid World

Even though the cloud is a new paridigim you still need to house some stuff locally, that means sharing data between

Denali

The most significant release of SQL Server, Ted is really touting the breakthrough features in Denali. Personally, AlwaysOn is a huge feature for me.

Denali is SQL Server 2012. Finally, Denali gets a name and a quasi date. First half of next year, leaves a lot of room so hopefully it will be closer to January and not the end of June.

The Future, In Three Parts any data, any size, anywhere:

Manage and process data of all types

Mission-critical scale from on premises to the cloud

Common Management and development

What do people mean by “big data” ?

Big data, to me traditionally meant large single databases. That world is changing. Things like real time streaming data from traditional and non-traditional sources.

Hadoop goes windows, plays well with others

Ted also announced Hadoop based windows distribution!

ODBC Drivers and add-in for Excel nad Hive available next month is huge! It opens up Hadoop to us and our tools.

A javascript framework for Hadoop comming.

Lastly, available today connectors for Hadoop to SQL Server and SQL Parallel Data Warehouse.

Partering with hortonworks!

Eric Baldeshwieler, CEO of hortonworks took the stage to talk to Summit attendees about Hadoop and hortonworks and the spin out from Yahoo! specifically formed to support Hadoop. I’m glad to see Microsoft embracing Hadoop and NOT spinning off Hadoop#, but giving back to the Apache Hadoop project.

There should be CTP’s of Windows on Hadoop very soon.

Denny Lee took the stage to talk about more real world Hadoop and showed us a bit about Hive. He also brought the first demos of the morning.

Hadoop for Windows console is my style, CMD window and ye old’ prompt. Hadoop is about scaling out to split the workload.

Denny showed off the ODBC driver for Hadoop and how seamlessly it plays with power pivot.

CTP on Azure by the end of the year

Connecting a World of Data

WHAT? A Windows Azure Marketplace brings a huge amount of reference and market data in a single place.

Private Azure Marketplace coming too.

Data Explorer

Well, it looks really cool, but as you guys know I’m a storage guy :). The tool looks really good and I understand the problem area they are trying to address but I just don’t know if this will be a game changer or just a nice to have. I would love to know how long it took to build this really slick demo.

Then, it went into the creepy zone a bit with yogurt, kids and delivery. Again, I’m not a BI guy so I don’t always understand the demos.

Amir Netz named Technical Fellow.

I’m not a BI guy and I still know who he is. He did a fun demo that didn’t involve yogurt at all. Power pivot on Windows Mobile is cool though. You don’t have to have build a specific report to fit on your phone or your tablet. You can’t optimize for the smaller screen but you don’t have to. Crescent is bringing a real nice cross platform reporting infrastructure from the iPad to Android and of course Windows based tables and phones.

 Rap up

I can’t wait for tomorrow and Friday for sure! See you in the morning.

 

Two For One, SQLSaturday and MVP All In One Day.

Day Of Days

I just don’t know what to say, Saturday was just plain awesome. Easily one of the best days of my life. The CACTUSS crew put on an awesome SQLSaturday, well attended and well received.

Right after I did the opening remarks I got a little email letting me know I AM A FRIGGIN’ MVP! It was everything I could do not to cry like a small child. Nothing could have been better than having all my friends around me and the community I support there on my big day. Just typing this I’m getting a little weepy :). Lots of high fives, handshakes and hugs not to mention a standing ovation at the end of the day.

My MVP Profile

All I have to do now is speak at the Summit next week and write a book by the end of the year to take care of everything I’ve never done as a SQL Server professional.

Oh, I’m speaking at the Summit next week. After that I’ll get cranking on a book.

 

 

My Kit For The Summit

As an old timer at the Sumit I have gone through several iterations of what I carry in my bag.

Luggage
I always take a large suitcase. It is half empty on arrival and completely full when I leave. As a chapter leader it is a great opprotunity to gather give-a-ways. You will get a of stuff from vendors and from PASS as well. There is a FedEx at the convention center if you prefer to ship stuff home.

Cables and Batteries
You need cables! USB full,micro and mini depending on your phone/tablet. All your chargers for your fun toys. Batteries for your mouse, pointer or wireless keyboard. I also take it a step futher and pack a rechargeable battery pack so my phone and laptop have a buffer. I always see people glued to a wall outlet all week long and sitting on the floor. Good luck jockeying with a thousand other people for that outlet!

Laptop
I make sure my laptop is in tip top shape. There are computers available in a pinch but getting time on them can be hard.

Tablet
I carry a tablet for the bulk of the event and leave the laptop in my room. Lighter and better battery life are the biggest reasons.

Phone
Again, do a checkup on your phone! It is your connection to home, friends and work(yuk!). It is also your gateway to all the impromtu events. Find a twitter client and watch the #sqlpass hash tag. Google plus and Facebook are also good sources for info. I also have a GPS car finder app. I tag where I am then go exploring knowing I can always get back. I hope they do a guidebook like they did for SQLRalley. Lastly, I use Skype on my phone and laptop so I can video chat with my three year old son.

Portable Hotspot
Internet can be spotty with a full hotel and full convention center. I carry a Clear 4G puck since there I coverage in Seattle. Most smart phones have a teathering option as ell. Be careful though, it usually costs more and you can burn through your data plan.

Finally
I wrote this post using the wordpress app on my phone :-)