Pre-Conference Seminar Abstracts for Voting: DBA

The following four abstracts comprise the three finalists in the DBA pre-conference seminar category for PASS SQLRally 2011. Vote for your favorite pre-conference seminar now.

Option A, Part 1 (Half-Day Shared with "SQL PowerShell for the DBA")

Title: Multi-SQL Server Management with PowerShell
Speaker: Aaron Nelson
Level: Beginner\Intermediate

Think you're too busy to learn PowerShell? Learning even a little PowerShell will actually free up time to tackle many of your DBA, developer, and BI tasks. This session covers the "How" and "Why" data professionals worldwide are turning to PowerShell to manage their SQL Server environments.

No previous experience is required for this session. You'll learn to complete common tasks including: checking database space, last backup date, table sizes, and server/database configuration settings. We'll explore deploying new users, groups, tables, and columns. We'll build on these fundamentals to tackle multi-server tasks we can automate with SQL Agent. We'll include reports to monitor your environment.

We'll also touch on advanced topics like: gathering Performance Counters, detecting worst performing queries, scripting out and comparing databases, importing data from websites, atom feeds, and spreadsheets - all with a very small amount of code. We'll wrap things up by going over some language nuances that will keep you from getting bogged down.

This is a hands-on session. Bring a laptop if you can. The afternoon will be spent touring the many capabilities and scripts available throughout the community. The intent of this session is to take you from PowerShellZero to PowerShellHero, joining the other champions of PowerShell in the SQL community!

Speaker Bio:

Aaron Nelson is a Senior SQL Server Architect with over 10 years experience in architecture, business intelligence, development, and performance tuning of SQL Server. Aaron's experience covers managing enterprise-wide data needs in both transactional and data warehouse environments. He also holds certifications for MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer, Database Administrator, Database Developer; as well as MCTS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration (meaning Hyper-V). Aaron helps run the AppDev Virtual Chapter of PASS, volunteers for the local PASS Chapter AtlantaMDF, and co-runs the Atlanta PowerShell User Group. Aaron also helps organize SQL Saturday in Atlanta and just launched the PowerShell Virtual Chapter of PASS.

Twitter: @SQLvariant


 Option A, Part 2 (Half-Day Shared with "Multi-SQL Server Management with PowerShell"):

Title: SQL PowerShell for the DBA
Speaker: Maximo R. Trinidad
Level: Beginner\Intermediate
Abstract: Learn about everything about SQL Server and PowerShell to get you started. We'll cover PowerShell basics including understanding command and building functions. Then, we'll deep dive into understanding SMO/SQLPS (SQL PowerShell mini-shell) and look at the difference between PowerShell and SQLPS.exe. Next, we'll work with databases, doing scripting, and creating some SQL jobs. The goal of this session is to have you appreciate PowerShell and give you confidence in using this scripting technology.
Take Home Skills:
  1. Learn a new scripting technology - PowerShell
  2. Get familiar with .NET Framework
  3. Learn about Task Automation
  4. Improve SQL Server management skills through scripting
  5. Stop being afraid of new technology
Speaker Bio: Max Trinidad is a native of Puerto Rico and has been working with computers since 1979. He has worked with Dbase III/IV, Clipper, RPG, OS/400, OCL/JCL/CL, HTML, and most current MS development technologies. As a Senior IT/Developer, Max has provided support for Windows Servers 2003/2008, Windows 7, SQL Servers Applications, Microsoft Virtualization Technologies, and building Visual Studio solutions. Max was recognized with a Microsoft MVP award in Powershell in 2009 and 2010, as well as a 2010 SAPIEN Technologies MVP Award.
Twitter: @MaxTrinidad


 Option B:

Title: Top-to-Bottom SQL Server Security
Speaker: K. Brian Kelley
 Level: Intermediate
Abstract: In this pre-conference seminar, we will look at best practices and practical methods for securing and auditing Microsoft SQL Server. We'll start from the operating system and work our way into SQL Server itself down to the object and column level. In this full-day class, you'll come away with a solid understanding of general security principles and how to apply them to your SQL Server installations; how attackers like to go after servers and database servers in particular; the security model for the Microsoft SQL Server database engine; how it interacts with the Windows operating system; which security features are available in each version and edition of SQL Server; how to audit for permissions, rights, and data access across SQL Server 2000 through 2008; how to properly report and alert on suspicious or unusual activity; and finally, what encryption options are available within SQL Server.
Take Home Skills:
  1. How attackers look to go after a system
  2. What to look at and harden at the operating system level
  3. A solid understanding of SQL Server security principles and securables
  4. How to instrument SQL Server for proper auditing
  5. How to apply encryption at the column and database level
Speaker Bio: Brian is a SQL Server author, columnist, and Microsoft MVP focusing primarily on SQL Server security. He is a contributing author for "How to Cheat at Securing SQL Server 2005 (Syngress)" and "Professional SQL Server 2008 Administration (Wrox)." Brian currently serves as a database administrator / architect for AgFirst Farm Credit Bank where he can concentrate on his passion: SQL Server. He was previously a systems and security architect for AgFirst Farm Credit Bank where he worked on Active Directory, Windows security, VMware, and Citrix. In the technical community, Brian is president of the Midlands PASS Chapter, an official chapter of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), the webmaster of the PASS Performance virtual chapter, and a PASS Regional Mentor for the US Mid-Atlantic states. Brian is also a junior high youth minister at Spears Creek Baptist Church in Elgin, SC.
Twitter: @kbriankelley


 Option C:

Title: Query Performance Tuning, Start to Finish
Speaker: Grant Fritchey
 Level: Intermediate
Abstract: One of the most common problems encountered in SQL Server is the slow running query. Once a query is identified as performing poorly, DBAs and developers frequently don't understand how to diagnose the problem and often struggle to fix the problem. This one-day seminar focuses exclusively on these two topics. Attendees will learn how to identify the queries that are performing badly and learn how to fix them. We will start by learning how to gather performance metrics, both server and query metrics, using tools available directly from Microsoft such as performance monitor, DMVs and Profiler. From there we'll move into learning how the optimizer works and how it uses statistics to determine which indexes and other database objects can assist the performance of a query. The session takes considerable time to show exactly how to generate and read execution plans, the one best mechanism for observing how the optimizer works. We'll then look at other DMVs that can assist you when performance tuning queries. With all this knowledge gathered, we'll move into looking at common performance problems, how they evidence themselves in the metrics and execution plans, and how to address them. Finally, we'll explore advanced methods for solving some of the more difficult query performance problems introducing such concepts as query hints, plan guides and plan forcing. Through all of this, best practices and common techniques will be reviewed. Attendees will go home with a working knowledge of query performance tuning, a set of methods for identifying poorly performing queries, scripts to assist in these processes and the knowledge of how fix performance problems in their own systems.
Take Home Skills:
  1. The ability to collect performance metrics on their servers as part of an overall query tuning methodology
  2. The ability to generate, read, and understand execution plans from multiple sources in support of troubleshooting poorly performing queries
  3. An understanding of how the optimizer works in support of writing better TSQL code as well as troubleshooting poorly performing queries
  4. A working knowledge of DMVs that will help them identify and fix performance issues on their servers
  5. The ability to address common query performance problems
Speaker Bio: Grant Fritchey, Microsoft SQL Server MVP 2009 and 2010, works for an industry-leading engineering and insurance company as a principal DBA. Grant has performed development of large-scale applications in languages such as Visual Basic, C#, and Java, and has worked with SQL Server since version 6.0. Grant spends a lot of time involved in the SQL Server community, including speaking, blogging, and he is an active participant in the forums. He is the author of several books including "SQL Server Execution Plans (Simple Talk Publishing, 2008)" and "SQL Server Query Performance Tuning Distilled (Apress, 2008)."
Twitter: @GFritchey
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