I've been hitting quite a few bugs in the Integration Services June CTP recently; some are minor and others not so. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long until the final CTP in August/September. I'm finding many uses for package configurations and property expressions. Event handlers are also a great new feature...I just need to understand the difference between OnTaskFailed and OnError. Anyway..I thought I'd mention that there are some great webcasts appearing on MSDN TV. The latest one provides an overview of Analysis Services 2005 http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/episode.aspx?xml=episodes/en/20050714sqlserveran/manifest.xml. Check out the episode archive for other SQL Server nuggets.
Please take some time to look at the SQL Server TechCenter http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/default.mspx, particularly the SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence section http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/BI/default.mspx which has some great information on Analysis Servers and Integration Services. The SQL Server 2005 homepage http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/default.mspx also has a plethora of useful whitepapers.
You can also subscribe to the SQL Server KB / downloads RSS feeds on TechCenter http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/default.mspx (I find Sauce Reader to be the best tool out there http://www.synop.com/Products/SauceReader/)
I've just read a good article which discusses using SQL Server in a hyper-threaded environment http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322385. To cut a long story short, we recommend that the maxdop (maximum degree of parallelism) setting should remain equal to the number of physical processors that are being used.
"...The performance of hyper-threaded environments varies. Conservative testing has shown 10 to 20 percent gains for SQL Server workloads, but the application patterns have a significant affect. You might find that some applications do not receive an increase in performance by taking advantage of hyper-threading. If the physical processors are already saturated, using logical processors can actually reduce the workload achieved. For example, applications that cause high levels of contention can cause decreased performance in a hyper-threaded environment. We recommend that you test your application thoroughly to make sure that a hyper-threaded environment provides you the performance gain that you want versus the purchase of equivalent physical CPUs. Hyper-threading can be very helpful but hyper-threading cannot replace the full power of an additional physical CPU"
I have seen enough black Tech-Ed bags to send me blind.....
Pre-conf was good, I decided to attend the VB6 to VB.NET session and it was surprisingly very good - I thought I'd 'keep in touch' with the developer platforms since the CLR is going to be a major feature of SQL Server 2005 (although C# is probably going to be more favourable). The session materials can be found here: http://www.mcwtech.com/2005/teched/emea/ - I was definitely impressed with all the features that were demo'd to us in one day!
I'm going to be on the SQL Server ATE stand over the next three days (schedule below) so please drop by and ask questions.
Tuesday 5th: 1400-1630Wednesday 6th: 1100-1400Thursday 7th: 1100-1400