Category: PASS Community Summit

Partner. Not Sponsor.

PASS has great brand and name recognition in the technical community, and of course we host the largest annual SQL Server-focused technical education conference in the world.  A lot of companies consider PASS as a critical part of their marketing efforts —whether it be through sqlpass.org or at a local, global, or virtual event. 

 PASS truly appreciates companies that sponsor our activities but PASS is not only looking for sponsors, we are looking for partners. The difference may be subtle to some or dramatic to others. We want the companies interested in reaching out to PASS members to immerse themselves in the community and establish a presence within multiple programs and events, encouraging their subject matter experts to share and learn with the community. PASS hopes that our sponsors—both large and small—transition to be partners.

This brings me to our unique relationship with Dell. Dell has been a top-tier sponsor for years, and Andrew Hargett from Dell keeps asking how they can get more involved with PASS and help the community more substantially. In addition to strong PASS Summit sponsorship, Dell has stepped up to support newer initiatives: 24 Hours of PASS, PASS SQLRally and PASS SQLSaturday.  In June, Dell provided a new SAN to PASS, refreshing the Dell SAN already in use. All PASS Hyper-V servers run on Dell and the new Dell SAN makes SQLPASS.org, our Exchange email, and all our Chapter and Virtual Chapter webhosting and media hosting possible.

As one of the largest IT users of SQL Server, Dell sells more SQL Server software than anyone…period! Dell is committed to support PASS and the SQL Server community and as Andrew has conveyed to me, taking our partnership to the next level will allow Dell to better understand the challenges and needs of our users and help deliver the right solutions to meet the demands of customers from across the globe.

Thank you Dell for partnering with PASS. We look forward to many more successful years together.

 

2011 PASS Summit Pre-Con Preview - Brent Ozar

Today's post is from Brent Ozar who will be presenting "Virtualization and SAN Basics for DBAs".  You can read more about his session here: http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/Speakers/CallForSpeakers/SessionDetail.aspx?sid=1122.

Is there an audience that would benefit especially from this session?
Database administrators hate hearing, "It's a SQL problem."  It's probably not - there are some basic storage and virtualization configuration issues that keep popping up again and again in my consulting work.  This session helps you understand how to ask the right questions and prove that it's not the database's problem.

 
After having attended your seminar, what are two or three things that an attendee will be able to take back to the office and put to use right away?
I'll show you what questions to ask, what metrics to monitor, and how to improve 'em.  Everything is designed around giving you the right words and the right proof to go toe-to-toe with the guys who keep saying it's SQL's fault.

What background should attendees ideally have to be fully prepared for your seminar?
Absolutely none.  I take you from zero virtualization & storage knowledge to the point where you can start asking tough questions to your sysadmins.

 
What experience are you, as a speaker, bringing to this session?
I've been working with SQL Server for over a decade, and when my SAN admin quit, I offered to take his duties on.  I wanted to know what was going on inside the black box.  I was shocked at how easy it was to understand, but also horrified by just how badly the SAN was configured.  When our virtualization guy quit, same deal - I kicked down the door and took over.  You really can get great performance from shared storage and shared hardware, but it sure isn't set up that way by default, and I learned that the hard way.

Go here to register for the 2011 PASS Summit.

2011 PASS Summit Pre-Con Preview - Andy Leonard and Tim Mitchell

Today's post is from Andy Leonard who, along with Tim Mitchell, will be presenting "A Day of SSIS in the Enterprise".  You can read more about his session here: http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/Speakers/CallForSpeakers/SessionDetail.aspx?sid=1508.

Is there an audience that would benefit especially from this session?
Yep. Those getting started in SQL Server Integration Services development will get a jump start from topics presented by Matt Masson of the SSIS Developers Team at Microsoft, Tim Mitchell, SQL Server MVP, and me. Experienced SSIS developers are sure to pick up a tip or eight. And we'll be talking about features in SSIS Denali!
 
After having attended your seminar, what are two or three things that an attendee will be able to take back to the office and put to use right away?
Best Practices has to top that list. Tim, Matt, and I share from years of experience building solutions using SSIS. We three are also 60% of the author team of the upcoming book: SSIS Design Patterns, and we will be demonstrating patterns from the book. Finally, we'll be talking a lot about managing SSIS in the enterprise. After deploying SSIS solutions, developers often realize maintenance and support challenges. Some design decisions facilitate SSIS care and feeding, and we'll cover those!
 
What background should attendees ideally have to be fully prepared for your seminar? 
Ideally, the attendee should have experience with SQL Server and a thirst for more data integration knowledge.
 
What experience are you, as a speaker, bringing to this session?
Tim , Matt, and I have decades of database integration experience. As a developer on the SIS Team at Microsoft, Matt has visibility into myriad data integration use cases. As a consultant and trainer, Tim has delivered SSIS solutions to enterprises large and small. My experience spans consulting and managing a team of SSIS developers as we built a multi-year SSIS solution. I understand the challenges unique to developer teams that are part of an enterprise.

Go here to register for the 2011 PASS Summit.

 

Last Chance to Save $600 on PASS Summit

A quick reminder that tomorrow is the last day to save $600 on PASS Summit 2011, the SQL Server event of the year, Oct. 11-14 in Seattle, WA. In the whirlwind of organizing all the conference details and getting the word out, it’s easy to forget exactly what PASS Summit is. Yes, it’s the largest SQL Server and BI conference in the world. But more than that, it’s your conference – planned and presented by the SQL Server community for the SQL Server community.

Volunteers (this year with the help of community session preference voting) select the sessions and speakers. Except for the pre-conference seminars, speakers share their knowledge and experience in exchange for a complimentary Summit registration. Community members are the driving force behind Summit’s special events, including the Welcome Reception Quiz Bowl, the annual Women in Technology Luncheon and Panel Discussion, SQL Kilt Day, the Photowalk, SQL Karaoke, and much more.

PASS Summit continues to grow in attendance and quality thanks to community members like you, who are passionate about the PASS mission – Connect, Share, Learn. And your registration fee stays in the SQL Server community, supporting a myriad of local, regional, and international programs and events that bring database professionals together around the world.

Whether you’re a seasoned PASS Summit veteran or thinking about attending for the first time, we encourage you to take advantage of this low rate before the price goes up July 1. See you in Seattle!
 

2011 PASS Summit Pre-Con Preview - Adam Machanic

Today's post is from Adam Machanic who will be presenting "No More Guessing! An Enlightened Approach to Performance Troubleshooting" - you can find more about his session here:  http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/Speakers/CallForSpeakers/SessionDetail.aspx?sid=1627.

Is there an audience that would benefit especially from this session?

  Countless times I have seen people grinding away when faced with a performance problem, not making any real progress on fixing it. The first step is often rebuilding indexes ("it must be fragmentation!"). Next they'll try various query rewrites ("is it a bad plan?"). And maybe the process will continue as they restart the SQL Server instance ("is it a memory leak?"). In many cases the problem is still not solved after all of this effort. The DBA or developer has wasted the better part of a day, is frustrated, and is convinced that SQL Server just can't handle the workload.

   My session is designed to teach attendees that it doesn't have to be this way. SQL Server gives us plenty of access to all of the information we need to diagnose the actual root cause of most performance problems. You just need to know where to look. And the best part is that once you understand the problem, the solution is usually natural and obvious. I am of the opinion that there is no reason to struggle with performance, nor to end a tuning process feeling disappointed or annoyed. I look forward to helping attendees move beyond these pain points so that they can use their valuable time to do more interesting and satisfying work.

After having attended your seminar, what are two or three things that an attendee will be able to take back to the office and put to use right away?

  My seminar teaches a methodology that leverages a number of tools within SQL Server to easily identify the cause of performance problems. Attendees will be able to go back to the office and immediately start looking at issues from a new and refreshed point of view. This translates into much quicker turnaround time when there is an issue and, in many cases, the ability to leverage proactive diagnosis to help stop problems before they fully manifest themselves. This seminar is not theoretical in nature; the entire day is focused on real-world techniques and the session materials include a number of scripts that attendees will be able to immediately use in their own environments.
 
 
What background should attendees ideally have to be fully prepared for your seminar?

  I will assume that attendees have at least some working experience as a SQL Server DBA or database developer. Performance monitoring is a topic that spans a huge part of the surface area of the product, and a number of components will be discussed over the course of the day. I won't have time to explain basics (e.g. the different types of indexes that can be created in SQL Server), and the ideal candidate should be comfortable with core topics. The more attendees know about the various components of SQL Server and how they interact, the easier it will be to understand and take advantage of the techniques that will be taught in the seminar.

 
 
What experience are you, as a speaker, bringing to this session?

  I have several years of experience working as a performance consultant, specializing in finding and fixing the some of the most difficult problems that my customers faced. My customers have ranged from startups with the server sitting on the floor under the CTO's desk to enterprises with hundreds of production SQL Server instances. I have learned how to deal with a large number of different performance problems in the various environments, and more importantly I have learned to understand the patterns of when and why problems arise. This session will teach attendees the best of the techniques that I have learned--and successfully used--over the course of my career.

 

2011 PASS Summit Pre-Con Preview - Itzik Ben-Gan

Today's post is from Itzik Ben Gan who will be presenting Advanced T-SQL for SQL Server 2008 and Denali - you can find more about his session here:  http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/Speakers/CallForSpeakers/SessionDetail.aspx?sid=1017 .

Is there an audience that would benefit especially from this session?

SQL Server developers and DBAs.  Essentially anyone who needs to write or review T-SQL code and cares about its efficiency and performance.

After having attended your seminar, what are two or three things that an attendee will be able to take back to the office and put to use right away?

The will be able to improve their existing T-SQL solutions in SQL Server 2008 as well as learn what's new in SQL Server Denali.

What background should attendees ideally have to be fully prepared for your seminar?

At least one year of experience writing T-SQL code.

What experience are you, as a speaker, bringing to this session?

T-SQL is my native tongue; I live and breathe it all the time.  I have over a decade of experience training people with advanced T-SQL topics, and training is my passion.

Announcing PASS Summit Regular and Half-Day Sessions

The all-volunteer PASS Summit Program Committee has had one of its most challenging years ever, working tirelessly over the past 6 weeks to select the best educational sessions for this year’s conference from an exceptional pool of 650+ abstracts.

Today, we’re proud to announce the PASS Summit 2011 regular sessions and 4 new half-day sessions, designed to give attendees a deeper look at everything from performance tuning and indexing to hardware configurations and scaling SQL Server. The sessions are spread across 6 tracks, include the new SQL Azure track.

The Program Committee’s daunting task involves choosing the best collection of session topics, types, levels, and speakers to meet every need and interest. This year, for the first time, the committee received direct input from the PASS community via the Session Preferencing tool, which let community members mark their favorite sessions. Thanks to everyone who shared their preferred sessions – your involvement helped make many of the difficult choices easier.

Another exciting addition to the Program process this year was awarding Summit session slots to the top 3 speakers at the Spring 24 Hours of PASS event and at PASS SQLRally 2011 in Orlando. We previously announced the top 24 Hours of PASS speakers, and I’m pleased to announce the top 3 SQLRally speakers, who will be presenting similar topics at the 2011 Summit:

Zero to OLAP Cubes in 60 Minutes, Adam Jorgensen
Understanding Storage Systems and SQL Server , Wesley Brown
DBA Disaster Recovery Techniques to Keep Handy, Edwin Sarmiento 

I’d like to thank every speaker who took the time to submit an abstract as well as the team of dedicated Program Committee volunteers (listed along the left side of the page) who put in the extra work to make this year’s Summit session lineup one of the best ever. Proof once again that without the community, PASS wouldn’t exist.

Watch for the Microsoft sessions to be added a little later this summer. And if you haven’t registered for PASS Summit yet, don’t wait – you don’t want to miss this one.

PS: Remember to register by June 30 to save $600 on a Full Summit registration.

 

PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte: Follow the Discussion

It’s been great to see all the interest in last week’s announcement of PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, NC. The community response has been highly positive overall, with a few comments around Charlotte’s flight availability, nightlife, and access to Microsoft.

A couple of PASS Board members have blogged about the decision-making process the Board went through and their own thought processes in selecting Charlotte to host the 2013 Summit:

Here’s what others in the community are saying:

And here are a few tweets we’ve collected over the past week to give you a taste of the conversations going on:

  • @SQLSoldier: North Carolina is a beautiful area!! Weather is great in Oct. too!! Hoping I can get approval to attend the #sqlPASS Summit in 2013!! 
  • @mark_sqlcat: #sqlpass Summit 2013 in Charlotte...SQL Dev and SQL CSS will be there. SQL Clinic travels... #sqlserver #sqlcat 
  • @kbriankelley: Charlotte is a short drive from Myrtle Beach, SC. Make it a vacation: bring your spouse and hit the beach before/after #sqlpass 2013 Summit. 
  • @awsaxton Nice that #sqlpass is in Charlotte. Will have a MS Support Site right there to help staff the #sqlclinic room.
  • @SQLSoldier: #SQLNASCAR RT @jlangdon: @SQLSoldier #sqlpass Might be able to catch a race since NASCAR runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway in mid-October. 
  • @shannonlowder: @SQLBalls Oh yeah. That time of the year they usually have Carrowinds decorated for Halloween too. Fun stuff! #sqlpass

Thanks for all your feedback! And continue to watch Twitter for more about PASS Summit 2013 and PASS Summit 2011, Oct. 11-14 in Seattle – just remember to use the #sqlpass hashtag.
 

Announcing PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte

After 5 years in Seattle, PASS Summit will travel to Charlotte, NC, in 2013, bringing the world’s largest SQL Server and BI conference closer to database pros in the Eastern US who may not have been able to make the cross-country trip in the past.

Responding to community feedback to have PASS Summit outside of Seattle on a recurring basis, the PASS Board of Directors considered Charlotte and Dallas for 2013. Known as the Queen City, Charlotte’s strong conference amenities, affordable rates, and growing reputation as a convenient, friendly travel destination won over the Board during a meeting last week in Orlando, FL.

“The hope is to move PASS Summit around on an irregular schedule to expose more people from around the country to this high caliber SQL Server conference,” noted PASS Executive Vice President Bill Graziano. “Seattle will remain as a regular venue in the future in order to secure a larger Microsoft presence.”

PASS Summit 2007 in Denver was the last Summit held outside Seattle. PASS Summit has seen impressive growth in attendance from 2008 to 2010. And with the success of last week’s first-ever PASS SQLRally regional event in Orlando, PASS is excited at the opportunities to bring its world-class technical training and networking to DBAs, developers, BI architects, and IT pros who haven’t been able to travel to Seattle. The East Coast location should also be more convenient for many international attendees.

Stay tuned for PASS Summit 2013 dates and more details as they become available, and in the meantime, we’ll see you in Seattle this year!

PASS 2011 Summit Abstract Submissions

[cross-posted from Allen Kinsel's blog at allenkinsel.com]

This week we’ll be launching the call for abstracts for the 2011 PASS Summit.

I thought it would be good to go over the basics for this year especially since some things are changing from years past.  Many of the changes are minor, some are behind the scenes so to speak, and a small amount are larger and more public facing.

A New Site

PASS HQ and the Program Committee team has been diligently working to bring the summit speaker/education management programming inhouse.  With this effort comes a new site for abstract submissions.  We hope this new site will make the abstract submission process easier and more relevant to collecting the info PASS needs in order to facilitate session selections.

A New Process

One of the largest changes on the backend process this year is going to be seperating the speaker review from the abstract review piece of the selection process.  Essentially, this year we have two seperate teams to do each task.  This came about from the comments of previous review team members as well as the need to offload some of the work the call generates for the larger teams.  Im hopeful that this change will help bring a little more stability to the scores each team gives an abstract as well as cut some of the subjectiveness (likely only a tiny bit)

A New Session Type

I wrote previously about having 1/2 sessions at the Summit and they are still planned.  Now you know where to bring your best and brightest content!  In case your thinking what it would be like to have your 1/2 day session recorded, Ive got great news.   Ive got a tentative compromise devised.  This year we will be distributing two seperate DVD sets, 1 for attendees of the Summit which will have every session.  Another for non attendees that will have all of the regular sessions excluding the deep dive 1/2 day sessions. 

Spotlight Sessions & Invitations

Thanks to some great feedback last year The formula that we used for spotlight selections was adjusted and looks like this: We will invite all speakers who recieved an overall evaluation of 4.5 or greater and had at least 15 attendees and 15 completed evaluations.  We will be excluding Lightning talks, Chalk Talks, and Microsoft speakers.  This year that leaves us with a whopping total of 27 people getting spotlight invites.  These speakers are truly spectacular, and they deserve the extra recognition/time for their sessions.  All abstracts submitted as spotlight will be considered not only for a spotlight slot but, will also be considered for a regular session if they dont get picked for a spotlight session.

Preconference Changes

I would be remiss to not mention this here but, some different things (changes!!) are planned for this year, as soon as I get a chance to finalize them a bit more I will write about it, hopefully in the next few days to a week. 

Abstract Limits

We have decided to change the limits on abstract submissions a bit for this year.  We will be encouraging you to submit up to 4 total : Regular, 1/2 day and Spotlight (if invited) Sessions.  In addition if you meet he qualifications you can submit up to 2 Preconference sessions.  On top of this each person can submit 1 panel (discussion type) session for consideration.  In order to do this each speaker in your panel will need to have speaker details entered so we can rate the session properly.  This in itself is a pretty good sized change so get creative and see what the selection teams think!

But when

I can hear you asking from here… “All of thats great but, when will the call for abstracts for the 2011 PASS Summit open?”  I have great news. 

The call will open this Wednesday! 4/13/2011 

look for more info coming officially from PASS