SQLRally Amsterdam 

Pre-Conference Seminars

Choose from five full-day Pre-Conference Seminars Wednesday, November 6, delivered by some of the leading SQL Server and Microsoft Business Intelligence experts in the world:

* Note: Pre-Conference Seminars are available for an additional fee.

DBA/DEV Pre-Conference Seminar

No More Guessing! An Enlightened Approach to Performance Troubleshooting
by Adam Machanic
Scratching your head, you stare at the screen. Should you rebuild an index? Create a new one? Reboot the server? Why is this query so slow?!? Figuring out performance problems can sometimes feel like fumbling your way through a dark room. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find the right solution―or maybe you’ll stub your toe. Either way, it’s a slow, potentially painful process. Yet finding the root cause of most performance issues is a simple exercise, once you understand where to look and when.

In this full-day seminar, you will learn a proven methodology that can be used to approach virtually any performance problem. Created and refined by Adam Machanic over several years, this strategy leverages core SQL Server performance tools (including dynamic management views, Extended Events, and WMI counters), applying them to various performance troubleshooting techniques (such as waits and queues analysis, baselining, and real-time activity monitoring). Each of these tools and techniques has a unique role, and you will learn to use them cooperatively to quickly and adaptively find the actual cause of performance issues. All of this will be illustrated through demonstrations that will teach you how to drill from high-level problem detection all the way to a specific spot in a query plan or deeper―pinpointing the exact problem and helping you quickly solve it. Attend this seminar to take full control of your databases—and never again stumble blindly through the dimly lit world of performance troubleshooting.

DBA Pre-Conference Seminar

This Year's SQL Server Setup Best Practices
Brent Ozar
You don’t build a lot of SQL Servers, but this year, you need to build one for your company – and it had better work. You need it to be reliable and fast the very first time. Unfortunately, everything keeps changing, and yesterday’s best practices don’t cover solid state drives, FusionIO, AlwaysOn Availability Groups, and clusters without shared storage. In this all-day session, Microsoft Certified Master Brent Ozar will bring you up to speed. He’ll teach you how to pick storage, when it’s okay to use virtual servers, how to turn business requirements into clustering/mirroring/AlwaysOn/log-shipping, and where to put your data files, log files, and TempDB. This session is for developers and DBAs who need to pick SQL Server hardware and aren’t sure about the options today.

DBA Pre-Conference Seminar

Storage and Virtualization for DBAs
by Denny Cherry
This two-part seminar will focus on two of the biggest topics in the DBA field: how to properly design your SAN storage solution and how to properly design your virtualization solution. The storage portion of this workshop will focus on SAN storage, but most of the material will apply to direct attached storage as well.

We will begin by focusing on the storage array. Storage can be one of the biggest bottlenecks when it comes to database performance. It ís also one of the hardest places to troubleshoot performance issues because storage engineers and database administrators often do not speak the same language. In the first half of this seminar, we will look at storage from both the database and storage perspectives. We will dig into LUNs, HBAs, and the fabric. Then we will examine advanced storage configurations, including RAID groups, multi-pathing software, and proper redundant storage network design. We will also cover some advanced storage array backup techniques, including taking storage level clones and snapshots, then see best practices for using them to back up the SQL Server environment to provide maximum redundancy with no recurring tape costs. In addition to theory, we will look at an actual SAN so we can translate what we see in the Storage Array with what we see on the actual server.

In the second half of the day, we will explore the pros and cons of moving SQL Servers into a virtual server environment, when it is not be a good idea, and when virtualizing a SQL Server is a good idea and can save you some money. We will see how to gather the metrics you need to make the appropriate decision for your environment. We will also look at how to tie the virtual platforms to the storage array so that you can maximize the storage performance for your SQL Servers and the virtual environment.

BI / DWH Pre-Conference Seminar

0 to DAX
by Alberto Ferrari
The DAX language is the foundation of self-service Business Intelligence using the Microsoft stack. It is the language used to query and program both PowerPivot for Excel 2013 and the new SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular model. Learning the basics of DAX is very simple, but mastering it is a different story because it requires a mindset that requires some study, for both BI professionals and Information Workers.

During this full-day workshop, the authors of the bestselling books Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model and Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2010: Give Your Data Meaning will guide you through the process of learning the DAX language, using many examples and scenarios that will help you understand important DAX concepts and how to leverage them in your everyday work. This workshop is for data professionals in many different roles, including Information Workers interested in exploiting the many interesting features of PowerPivot for Excel 2013 and BI developers who want to learn the DAX language. 

BI / DWH Pre-Conference Seminar

Enterprise Information Management with SQL Server 2012
by Dejan Sarka
Companies want to gather information from their data, so they start BI projects. They design a data warehouse and start developing extract – transform – load (ETL) applications. Then they discover they have data quality (DQ) issues. While poor data quality can cause problems in line-of-business applications, data quality can be a huge obstacle to a successful BI project.

Every company has "master data" - certain data that is used everywhere, in every transaction, such as customers data and products data. The people who manage master data are often called data stewards. Processes and activities for maintaining master data are known as master data management (MDM). In this workshop, we will discuss ETL, DQ, and MDM challenges and look at Microsoft SQL Server technologies and tools that can help you with solutions, including SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Data Quality Services (DQS), and Master Data Services (MDS), and other tools for data profiling and matching. Workshop modules include:
1. Master Data and Master Data Management
2. Introduction to ETL with SQL Server Integration Services
3. Improving Data Quality with Data Quality Services
4. Managing Master Data with Master Data Services
5. Data Profiling in Depth
6. Identity Mapping and De-Duplicating


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